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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Thriller Scripts  ›  Inconceivable Pain Moderators: bert
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  Author    Inconceivable Pain  (currently 3528 views)
Don
Posted: July 21st, 2016, 7:04pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Inconceivable Pain by Frank B. Hansen - Thriller - Desperately seeking justice for her long lost friend, a street-smart woman joins forces with a troubled undercover agent, but struggles to trust his erratic course of action in a battle against corrupt police practices.  94 pages - pdf, format

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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  August 28th, 2017, 12:56pm
revised draft
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FrankH
Posted: July 31st, 2016, 3:31pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks Don for posting my script.
I've followed this discussion board for awhile. Lots of great feedback. Lots to learn.
Time for me to jump in and participate.


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Dressel
Posted: July 31st, 2016, 3:35pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Frank, this sounds interesting.  I'll give it a read when I get the chance.


MY SCRIPTS

Based on a True Story (Comedy)

The Other Man (Thriller)

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FrankH
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Thanks Matthew,

I am 1/2 way through yours, "The Other Man", get back to you shortly.


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TimC
Posted: August 29th, 2016, 8:31pm Report to Moderator
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Found it!

Will give it a read over the next few days and provided feedback.


My screenplays:

Hell To Pay (thriller)

Killer Crocs (working title / work in progress)
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TimC
Posted: August 31st, 2016, 6:18pm Report to Moderator
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Read to page 40.

I'm liking it so far, but to this point it's not really reflecting the logline other than the introduction of an "undercover agent". Consider revising for the next draft.

The pace is good and it's building well so I'll definitely finish it.

Great job in character intro's, profiling and background, they're spot on.

My only major gripe is the scene involving Dinah, Kenzie and the two teens (p. 29). I had to read this several times and I still don't fully understand what's happening here.

Firstly, I don't follow the teens involvement at all - are they needed?.

Secondly, as this is the first time that Dinah and Kenzie meet, there is something missing from this initial introduction to Dinah leaving the massive tip and then talking about a spin class. This needs to be fleshed out a little more in the next version.

Will finish and provide final thoughts over the next few days.

Well done so far...

Cheers, Tim.


My screenplays:

Hell To Pay (thriller)

Killer Crocs (working title / work in progress)
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FrankH
Posted: August 31st, 2016, 9:52pm Report to Moderator
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Tim,

Thanks a lot for your feedback.

Agree with you regarding the logline, that needs a facelift.

(p.29) Dinah likes Kenzie from the very first second they meet (it's a reason for that, hopefully that becomes clear later in the script), so she tips her well and joins her in spin class. I put the teens in the scene to show how protective Dinah is of Kenzie, even if they only met a few minutes ago. The teens are doing up-skirt filming, recording it on a tablet. I wanted the introduction between Dinah/Kenzie to be short and add to it as the script progresses.
Certainly keep in mind to flesh that scene out more . Thanks for the input.

Looking forward to your final thoughts.

Thanks again for reading my script.

Frank


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TimC
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Ok...have now finished it.

I won't comment largely on the style of writing, as each to their own, but I will say I find your style a little stilted which can make it difficult to follow. As per my previous post, I found myself having to read several scenes / sequences a couple of times to properly form the picture in my mind of what was actually happening. Example is scene in cottage starting on page 16 - does Kenzie already know she is Amber's sister or does she need the FBI to tell her that?

The story; overall I think it has potential and is sitting at a 5 out 10. Having now finished it I still think there is work needed in several areas:

1) (further to original post) Developing the link / relationship between Dinah and Kenzie as any former relationship that Dinah had with Amber doesn't really jump out at you. I only made that link because of your response to my earlier question in my previous post.

2) I didn't follow Arthur's story at all and I couldn't see how he fit in.

3) Kenzie is a waitress and also a stripper that just happens to work the joint Rick has is bachelor party in? Not sure if I fully understand that, but this leads me to my next point...

4) And most important point - I was left wondering what the motive was for Amber being killed in the first place (and therefore everything that happens there after) - did she have dirt on Rick, etc. and was going to expose them? I know she was his stripper at his 40th, but this isn't motive enough.

And finally, having now read the entire script the logline absolutely needs a re-write as it doesn't reflect the story well enough - it is also misleading in eluding to the undercover agent (Eric) being the main protagonist, whereas I see Kenzie playing that role.

Well done for writing a full length feature, as I know how much work is involved in just doing that!

I wish you the best of luck with this and future projects.

Tim.


My screenplays:

Hell To Pay (thriller)

Killer Crocs (working title / work in progress)
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FrankH
Posted: September 10th, 2016, 5:36pm Report to Moderator
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Tim,

Thanks a lot for your read. Your feedback is very helpful.

Re logline, yeah, Kenzie is the driving force. Both Eric and Kenzie are protagonists, but she should probably be more of a main protagonist than Eric. Agree, face-lift needed.

A few points:
Kenzie didn't know anything about Amber, not even her name. What connected Kenzie to Amber was the photo of the two young girls. I'll revisit this section, see if it needs more clarification. Thanks for your input.

Curious, if you have a little extra time, I would really appreciate your response to the following:
3) How did you form the opinion that Kenzie is a stripper?
4) This is not clear to me, but are you saying that Rick killed Amber?

Again, thanks for taken time to read my scripts. This board is a great way of learning.

Frank


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TimC
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Absolutely have extra time:

3) sequence starting p.44 - Kenzie, Rick and Tony in a private room of the T and A Taproom where Rick has a flashback of Amber have whipped cream on her chest. Is Kenzie just serving drinks?
4) That's not what is clear to me. My assumption is that Rick had something to do with Amber's death given the flashback involving Amber. If he didn't kill her, then I'm very unclear on who did.

Cheers, Tim.


My screenplays:

Hell To Pay (thriller)

Killer Crocs (working title / work in progress)
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FrankH
Posted: September 11th, 2016, 5:48pm Report to Moderator
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Tim,

Thanks again for your time.

3) Is Kenzie just serving drinks? YES.
4) Rick had nothing to do with Amber's death.

I'll shoot you an e-mail.

Frank


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eldave1
Posted: September 12th, 2016, 10:30am Report to Moderator
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Hey, Frank. Read the first ten, so comments may not be valid depending on what happens later. Anyway - my initial thoughts:

SPOILERS:

An interesting premise - one that would seem to have the bones to support a feature.

A killer set up with Amber trapped on the bed. This is wicked, imaginative, and compelling.

And, I think you should open the script with this scene (AMBER). Don't even have Marc in the house yet. Have her straining against the restraints. Maybe looking at an ominous clock on the night table (4:55).

Then go to Marc - perhaps driving home with the bouquet of flowers and gift already in the passenger seat - Pulls into the driveway. If you want us to know he's a cop = put a revolver and a badge on his belt. Then have him comes in the house - yells out for her - no answer. Goes to the door and (you know the rest).

The problem I have with it is now is Marc's actions are unnatural. I am assuming that Amber is his friend, girlfriend, wife or something and that the flowers were for her. So, here he is in the house - blasts some music, takes a shower, gets some roses from a delivery girl all before he bothers to check in on Amber. Didn't make sense to me. The actions are also a bit mundane.

So if it were me - I'm spending more time in that room with Amber really pushing the anguish and less time focusing on Marc's daily routines. Long winded way of saying that the scenes with Amber in bed and the subsequent opening of the door are the killer scenes here - pump them a little bit more and make them the focus from the get go.


Quoted Text
The framed photo wobbles, hits the floor, face down.


Nice - but I would have liked an anguished scream from Marc here right after the photo hits the floor.


Quoted Text
On a desk, a laptop, an office phone and a framed picture of
three women.


I think three women should be CAPPED

Also - I would describe them a bit - I want some sense of what/who they are when Dinah is circling her finger around the photo later.

Dinah's dialogue to Marc sounded a little juvenile to me - like she was treating a twelve year old. I think you can make that a little more sophisticated.


Quoted Text
He taps his phone, plays a video clip of Amber.


Would prefer a picture here rather than a video. One, it's a more natural action, IMO and two - it's an easier write. If it is a video - you really have to tell us what's g oing on in it.

Loved the tension in the middle of this scene with Dinah. Although I thought some of Marc's dialogue was too on the nose. This for example:


Quoted Text
MARC
Every day I’m living a nightmare.


We already know this - he wouldn't be in therapy otherwise.


Quoted Text
MARC
I gotta stay strong for her. She
deserves justice.


Didn't like the above at all - too OTN and - it confused me. He just put a revolver to his head. Was he just screwing with Dinah?

Anyway - I do think there is a lot of promise here - it's gritty with interesting characters. Best of luck - hope the above helps




My Scripts can all be seen here:

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FrankH
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David,

Thanks much for your feedback. Lots of good points.

Agree, I could be milking the beginning more than I have. Actually, I had 1/2 dozen different versions of the first few pages, one being very close to what you're suggesting. The bathroom scene was set up by the killer as a distraction, believing Amber was taking a shower, so Marc wouldn't be that careful swinging the door open to the bedroom, cause he thought Amber was in the shower. I'll definitely revisit the first few pages.

The framed photo on Dinah's desk is explained/exposed in dialogue later in the script. That felt more natural to me, but I'll keep your input in mind for the rewrite.

I used a video-clip instead of a picture, cause I felt that would be more powerful with Amber's voice etc.,., but maybe not ...

Yeah, parts of Dinah and Marc's dialogue, not the best, agree. What I was trying to do was to show how Marc goes through his routine in the morning before he gets coffee. He wants out, reunite with Amber, but realize he needs to stay strong. He wants the killer locked up. I might have to rethink this part.

Thanks again. Some good points. Appreciate it.

Frank


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eldave1
Posted: September 17th, 2016, 2:31pm Report to Moderator
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Glad it helped


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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eldave1
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Hey, Frank: I have now had a chance to read the whole thing. Keep in mind these are my opinions only and that others will certainly have different ones. First some macro level observations:

TONE

I think you have to pick you poison. You start off with a horrific murder scene - gut wrenching and vivid. Maniacal even. So, I am set for a murder mystery thriller. And then throughout the script you throw in comedic elements that, for me, derail the tension that you are trying to build. Macabre humor would be fine, but in my view, straight comedic moments undermine the tone of the story. I'll point out an example later - but there are several of them in the script.

In several places I found the descriptions too cryptic. It took me several reads to piece together what you wanted me to see (I'll site a couple of example later). I think you are being too brief and, at least in my mind, it caused confusion on several of the action sequences.

There are instance where the dialogue is not consistent with the actions we are observing. Something horrific happens and then the tone of the dialogue is normal - as if someone spilled something rather than what happened.

You have room for more back story. You are only at 95 pages. I wanted a little more on Marc up front. Maybe one or two more counseling sessions as an example.

Some characters are not needed in my view because they do nothing to move the plot further (Arthur is entirely not needed). The two teens in the restaurant on page 29 aren't needed. Getting rid of them allows even more room for back story.

There are some logic issues throughout - I will cite them later.


Quoted Text
She snaps her head sideways, stares at a photo of her and ...

INT. TRUCK - MOVING – DAY

... MARC POWELL (32), sports black shades, taps the steering wheel. He cranks up a radio and howls the lyrics.


The photos described earlier were of two girls. It was not clear to me that one or either of them were Amber and the way this is written it makes it sound like a photo or her and Mark – again, that was not in the scene. After reading the script, I think you just need to write she stares at the photo of the two girls.

To me the first BEDROOM/TRUCK unnecessarily interrupts what is a very dramatic and tense scene with Amber. I would not to this. I would pick up Mark and the truck when he first appears outside her window.

And... this is a good place for back story. Having Marc getting flowers really tells us little other than he is bringing these two Amber. I would rather have him at work so we know what he does. Maybe talking to a co-worker about his future plans, etc.


Quoted Text
CAPTAIN GOLDMAN
Schedule him for a few sessions. We’ll recap over breakfast.


The line didn’t make sense to me. He’s going to have a couple of sessions but Dinah’s going to give  a recap over breakfast. Is there enough time for several sessions between now and breakfast?


Quoted Text
EXT. FOUR-WAY INTERSECTION - DAY
The police car pulls out into oncoming traffic, screeches to a halt in the middle of the junction.....


IMO, this scene was (a) not needed and (b) a tension breaker. You’r ramping up the tension nicely with the Amber killing, Marc in therapy etc – I don’t see the need for a comedic break here with the Grandma.


Quoted Text
INT. HEALTHCARE CENTER - HALLWAY – DAY
Scratches around the door lock to “Suite 400.” Wood splinters on the floor.


Do we ever get back to this. Someone obviously broke in. What does Dinah do? Nothing from what I can tell. Why wouldn't she - her office is broken into. The reaction is not normal nor is the break in ever really followed up on.


Quoted Text
Kenzie spins with coffee in hand, no lid.

Bullseye.

Eric grimaces, covers his groin with one hand.

KENZIE
Oh my God.

Kenzie dumps the coffee cup, empties a napkin holder.

She drops to her knees, fans the napkins, blows on his groin.


One those unneeded comedic moments, IMO. We're just out of a gruesome murder. IT derails the tone.


Quoted Text
ERIC
You lost some money.
Eric hands Kenzie the money, rubs his crotch.
Still on her knees, Kenzie gawks at Eric.

What money? It was not clear to me. Did Kenzie drop some?


Quoted Text
The Fitness Club downtown?


Don’t need a ?

Quoted Text
KENZIE
How about your credentials?

CAPTAIN WILKINS
Special Agent Wolfe carries no credentials. Please, take a seat


What agent doesn't carry credentials? Besides, it's not needed anyway. Really doesn’t add anything. What this does to readers is give them a WTF moment. He doesn't carry credentials and Kenzie is okay with that?


Quoted Text
KENZIE
Yeah, I recognized the photo on her lap. It was taken days before we got separated at the orphanage. Never saw her again.

Kenzie touches the photo.

KENZIE
Didn’t even know her name.


If this is true (never saw her again – didn’t know her name) , how did Kenzie know that it was Amber that got killed ?? – i.e., assuming that is why she called the police.


Quoted Text
CAPTAIN WILKINS
Identical twin.


They were not labeled as such in the original photo and would have not Kenzie noticed that?. I mean they are identical – there is a picture of them – but the Captain is not bothered by the fact that they are identical and Kenzie did not figure out it was her sister from the photo? Didn't make sense to me.


Quoted Text
Captain Wilkins hands Eric the envelope and a set of keys.


-     Did you mean hand to Eric or to Kenzie.
-     I forgot all about the envelope and had to go to the top of the scene to see where it came from (the purse). Why not just have her pull it out of her purse right here – would be clearer.

I’m on page 23 where Dinah is having breakfast with Wilkins. So, she had one session (not several as indicated earlier) and is lasted a few minutes (as opposed to a profile). Does not make sense to me that she could have developed anything meaningful in that one session. And there is the matter of her office which appeared to have been broken into on page 2 – this has not been followed up on nor raised as a concern by Dinah.


Quoted Text
INT. COTTAGE - KITCHEN - DAY
Eric hands the envelope to Captain Wilkins, turns to Kenzie

.
This is really confusing me. In the prior scene – Wilkins hands the envelope to Eric. Eric is now handing it back to Wilkins. What am I missing?


Quoted Text
KENZIE
My butterfly tat looks like shit.

Dinah clears her throat.

Unless it is important plot wise – Kenzie does not need a butterfly tat too – you already are working a lot of coincidences. This is also the 4th time in the script that Dinah clears her throat – look for something else.


Quoted Text
Kenzie puts the driver’s license in her purse, glances at the framed picture on the desk.


Been awhile since we’ve seen this – I would refresh our memories on what the picture is.


Quoted Text
KENZIE
Officer? So, you’re the lucky one?


I really got lost here. Kenzie is works at a T&A club on Vegas? And back to the identical twin thing. Kenzie is Ambers identical twin. Rick had a very erotic encounter with Amber previously. But he does not see the resemblance in Kenzie?


Quoted Text
Rick stumbles, grabs the edge of a counter, drops his gun.

He whips the flashlight at two assault rifles mounted on swivel stands, bolted to the counter. Wires run from the triggers to two handles on a wheel.

A motor whirs. The assault rifles swing from side to side. The wheel pulls the wires, yanks on the triggers.

As he circles the counter, the beam catches one end of a leash hooked to a collar around the Silhouette’s neck. The other end of the leash nailed to a wall. Body strapped to the counter.

An ear shattering scream. His knees buckle. The flashlight clatters on the floor, comes to a stop, illuminates a scared leg. Weights tied around the ankles


I read this passage several times – I got lost. It is confusing. Not sure I eneded up seeing what you wanted me to see. Also – scared leg or scarred leg?


Quoted Text
On a desk, a pink bag sits next to a laptop.

As Kenzie grabs the bag, she steps on a sheet of paper.

She picks it up, flips it. Her eyes go wide, hand trembles.

She looks over her shoulder, taps the keyboard.

The laptop hums to life, displays “password.”

Kenzie puts the sheet of paper on the desk, leaves.

The sheet of paper shows a cropped photo of a body from the waist down with an assault rifle between tied up legs.

A hand grabs the photo. Kenzie puts the photo on the floor, face down



Again, this was a confusing sequence for me. Kenzie picks up a photo from the floor –  boots up a computer – it shows password – But nothing is entered after that – and then Kenzie outs the photo on the desk – leaves (not sure why she left the computer at password) – then a mysterious hand grabs the photo – then Kenzie puts the photo on the ground (if the mysterious hand is Kenzie – then lose the hand, just have Kenzie come back and put the photo in its original place and be clear on what the computer thing is – from the action – it is left at a screen ready for a password.


Quoted Text
Captain Goldman paces towards Dinah, unbuckles the ball gag.
DINAH
Thank you.

The dialogue is a little pedestrian/polite given her predicament


Quoted Text
Dinah’s head pierces through the glass.

Kenzie screams, buries her face against his chest.

Dinah’s bloody face twitches. Lifeless eyes stare at Kenzie and Eric.

I didn’t get this at first – later through the subsequent action figured out she jumped from the building. I would make it clearer here.

So - There is a lot in the script to like and a lot of solid writing. The scenes that are supposed to be horrific really are. Makes your skin crawl. However, there are too many interruptions of that tension. Need a little more description so we can see the links easier on some of the action sequences.  Some logic issues need addressing. A little more back story on the main characters. Lose some of the unneeded ones (e.g., Arthur).

Hope all of this helps in some way.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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FrankH
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Thanks, Dave.

I'm doing a 24/6 work week, get back to you over the weekend.

Frank


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eldave1
Posted: February 24th, 2017, 6:16pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from FrankH
Thanks, Dave.

I'm doing a 24/6 work week, get back to you over the weekend.

Frank


No problem. Hope you get a chance to get back to your script - it's loaded with potential


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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FrankH
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Hey Dave,

Some great feedback. It really opens your eyes. Very much appreciated.

--------------------------------------------------------------
Quoted Text
She snaps her head sideways, stares at a photo of her and ...
INT. TRUCK - MOVING – DAY
... MARC POWELL (32), sports black shades, taps the steering wheel. He cranks up a radio and howls the lyrics.

The photos described earlier were of two girls. It was not clear to me that one or either of them were Amber and the way this is written it makes it sound like a photo or her and Mark – again, that was not in the scene. After reading the script, I think you just need to write she stares at the photo of the two girls.

To me the first BEDROOM/TRUCK unnecessarily interrupts what is a very dramatic and tense scene with Amber. I would not to this. I would pick up Mark and the truck when he first appears outside her window.

And... this is a good place for back story. Having Marc getting flowers really tells us little other than he is bringing these two Amber. I would rather have him at work so we know what he does. Maybe talking to a co-worker about his future plans, etc.

*** MY ANSWER ***
Good points. There are two photos. One on the dresser (two girls) and one on a sidetable (Amber/Marc). I used the photo of Amber and Marc as a transition to Marc, but didn't really state/show where the  photo was located. Needs clarification.

I also agree with the Intercut, it distracts more than adding to the scenes.

I'll think about adding more back story to Marc. I didn't want him to get too exposed, though.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quoted Text
CAPTAIN GOLDMAN
Schedule him for a few sessions. We’ll recap over breakfast.

The line didn’t make sense to me. He’s going to have a couple of sessions but Dinah’s going to give  a recap over breakfast. Is there enough time for several sessions between now and
breakfast?

*** NY ANSWER ***
This was interesting to me how you interpreted the dialogue. Sessions are not happening the same day, maybe once a week, maybe twice a week. Dinah and Captain Goldman do breakfast/recap whenever Marc has had a session. Again some more clarification might be needed.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quoted Text
EXT. FOUR-WAY INTERSECTION - DAY
The police car pulls out into oncoming traffic, screeches to a halt in the middle of the junction.....

IMO, this scene was (a) not needed and (b) a tension breaker. You’r ramping up the tension nicely with the Amber killing, Marc in therapy etc – I don’t see the need for a comedic break here with the Grandma

*** MY ANSWER ***
My thinking of putting this scene into the script was about power/control, it was not suppose
to be comedic. Rick shuts down an entire intersection, just to help Grandma crossing the
street. Rick is all about power/control, he abuses his power, King of the hill. He doesn't
really give a shit about Grandma, but the side effect is, wow, what a nice cop. I see your point, so I might remove the entire scene. It might not convey what I was hoping it would.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Quoted Text
INT. HEALTHCARE CENTER - HALLWAY – DAY
Scratches around the door lock to “Suite 400.” Wood splinters on the floor.

Do we ever get back to this. Someone obviously broke in. What does Dinah do? Nothing from what I can tell. Why wouldn't she - her office is broken into. The reaction is not normal nor is the break in ever really followed up on.

*** MY ANSWER ***
With her "involvment" with Amber, holding on to Marc's revolver and Captain
Goldman's threat of an office search warrant and a subpoena, Dinah doesn't want to pursue the "break-in" any further. It needs a rewrite/restructuring with more details, but no investigation. Swept under the rug.

-------------------------------------------------------
Quoted Text
Kenzie spins with coffee in hand, no lid.
Bullseye.
Eric grimaces, covers his groin with one hand.
KENZIE
Oh my God.
Kenzie dumps the coffee cup, empties a napkin holder.
She drops to her knees, fans the napkins, blows on his groin.

One those unneeded comedic moments, IMO. We're just out of a gruesome murder. IT derails the tone.

*** MY ANSWER ***
Agree - removed.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Quoted Text
ERIC
You lost some money.
Eric hands Kenzie the money, rubs his crotch.
Still on her knees, Kenzie gawks at Eric.

What money? It was not clear to me. Did Kenzie drop some?

*** MY ANSWER ***
Yes, a few lines above at the condiments counter,  when Kenzie pulls her phone from her pocket, she drops money, but this entire scene will be removed.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Quoted Text
KENZIE
How about your credentials?
CAPTAIN WILKINS
Special Agent Wolfe carries no credentials. Please, take a seat

What agent doesn't carry credentials? Besides, it's not needed anyway. Really doesn’t add anything. What this does to readers is give them a WTF moment. He doesn't carry credentials and Kenzie is okay with that?

*** MY ANSWER ***
Yeah, poor wording. I'll see what I do, remove it or reword it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Quoted Text
KENZIE
Yeah, I recognized the photo on her lap. It was taken days before we got separated at the orphanage. Never saw her again.
Kenzie touches the photo.
KENZIE
Didn’t even know her name.


If this is true (never saw her again – didn’t know her name) , how did Kenzie know that it was Amber that got killed ?? – i.e., assuming that is why she called the police.

*** MY ANSWER ***
Maybe a little bit of a stretch, but Kenzie had the same identical photo (from the orphanage), so most likely the person holding the photo is Amber. At least that's what Kenzie thought, that's why she came to town to find out.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Quoted Text
CAPTAIN WILKINS
Identical twin.

They were not labeled as such in the original photo and would have not Kenzie noticed that?. I mean they are identical – there is a picture of them – but the Captain is not bothered by the fact that they are identical and Kenzie did not figure out it was her sister from the photo? Didn't make sense to me.

*** MY ANSWER ***
I purposedly made the girls look different in the photo (clothes/shades/hair-style/color) so
they could not be recognized as twins. The reason for Kenzie getting involved as an informant/"bait" is because Amber and Kenzie are identical twins. Risky, yes.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quoted Text
Captain Wilkins hands Eric the envelope and a set of keys.

-     Did you mean hand to Eric or to Kenzie.
-     I forgot all about the envelope and had to go to the top of the scene to see where it came from (the purse). Why not just have her pull it out of her purse right here – would be clearer.

I’m on page 23 where Dinah is having breakfast with Wilkins. So, she had one session (not several as indicated earlier) and is lasted a few minutes (as opposed to a profile). Does not make sense to me that she could have developed anything meaningful in that one session. And there is the matter of her office which appeared to have been broken into on page 2 – this has not been followed up on nor raised as a concern by Dinah.


Quoted Text
INT. COTTAGE - KITCHEN - DAY
Eric hands the envelope to Captain Wilkins, turns to Kenzie

.This is really confusing me. In the prior scene – Wilkins hands the envelope to Eric. Eric is now handing it back to Wilkins. What am I missing?

*** MY ANSWER ***
The envelope was handed back to Captain Wilkins after we get back from the scene with Captain Goldman and Dinah having a bite to eat. My thinking was that Kenzie had to sign some papers, so when the envelope gets back to
Captain Wilkins, all papers are signed. I could clarify this by having Kenzie sign the last piece
of paper, then the envelope goes back to Captain Wilkins. Captain Goldman had breakfast/lunch with Dinah,
not Captain Wilkins. We don't really know how many sessions Marc had, he was signed up for a few, but
how many before he got slaughtered we don't know, and do we really need to know? I didn't mean to convey
that the first session lasted just a few minutes just because I switched to a different scene.

*** MY NASWER ***
*** Kenzie's butterfly tat - agree, will be removed, the scene that is.

*** MY ANSWER ***
I wasn't able to copy your reply from the Taproom scene, page 45, here's my answer.
We're still in SOCAL. Rick and Tony are on their way to pick up the guys to go to Vegas. Rick and Tony stop by the taproom for a couple of drinks and to see big tit Nikki. Kenzie helps out. Rick never had an erotic encounter with Amber. She performed at his 40th, that's it. The traffic stop earlier was all bogus. Rick needed to check out Kenzie. Remember, his eyes popped at the Stakeout Shack when he saw Kenzie.

*** MY ANSWER ***
I wasn't able to copy your reply page 72 at Arthur's place with Rick/Tony/Misty.
I'm replacing this scene. Curious, what didi you visualize after reading the scene?

*** MY ANSWER ***
I was not able to copy your reply page 78, Kenzie picking up the photo.
Yeah, after reading this passage, the hand is gone, kind of silly writing.
When Kenzie finds the photo, she's curious, so she taps the laptop to see if maybe there is
something more on the laptop. She can't access, password protected.
Again, Some more clarification needed.

----------------------------------------------------------------
Quoted Text
Captain Goldman paces towards Dinah, unbuckles the ball gag.
DINAH
Thank you.

The dialogue is a little pedestrian/polite given her predicament

*** MY ANSWER ***
*** Agree, that dialogue isn't gonna win any Oscars.


Lots of great feedback. Definitely need to wrap some scenes with more meat.
Arthur will be gone, no purpose in the script. I don't want to spoon-feed
the audience/reader, but it has to be clear, not confusing.

Keep in mind that this is an undercover operation and I want Kenzie as an informant/bait to go about her daily life as "normal" as can be, so some shift in tone is necessary. I didn't want this script to be a typical crime scene type investigation.

Thanks a million for all your input, Dave. Very helpful. You certainly know your stuff.
I got some work to do.

Frank


`












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eldave1
Posted: February 26th, 2017, 8:03pm Report to Moderator
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Glad it was helpful, Frank - you do have an interesting story here - hope you keep at it.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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FrankH
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Thanks, Dave.

A revised version in the works.

Frank


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FrankH
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Thanks Don for posting a revised version of my script.

Frank


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Vincent
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I'll be the first to admit that thrillers -- particularly violent ones such as this -- aren't my cinematic cup of tea, but all things considered, this was a good, smooth read, with the twists and turns one would expect from this genre. I see you've apparently done numerous revisions with your script, as I have with mine.

Is "Kenzie Heart" her real name? "Heart" sounds contrived, as if it was a stage name. and might make her character seem less believable. (It's her twin sister who's the stripper, right?) I might change "Heart" to "Hart," which could lessen any doubt among script readers.
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FrankH
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Vincent,

Your feedback is much appreciated.
Interesting point you have regarding Kenzie's last name. (Kenzie Heart is her real name).

Thanks again,
Frank


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ericdickson
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This was an ambitious effort balancing multiple characters and plotlines.   Right off the bat, I can tell you I wasn't crazy about the overall story and felt it was a missed opportunity in a lot of ways.  The basic framework is here.  A murder mystery blending sex, multiple red herrings and characters of different worlds and backgrounds crossing paths.  All the workings of a modern film noir.  

With the character of Dinah, the therapist, I see a woman who is trapped between the truth and her loyalty to the police department.  Her sexuality comes into play as she first meets Kenzie and her obvious obsession with her sister Amber is apparent right away.  This could have been a super twisting did she or didn't she type of story where we constantly question her involvement with Amber and/or her murder.  

But we seem to jump back and forth between her and Eric, never developing either relationship to its fullest extent.  There's no real reason to like, dislike, trust or distrust or side with either one of them and that element of mystery got lost as we jumped between them and our dirty cops.  I feel like there should've been more nail biting moments in this that led us down certain paths.  Maybe, at one point we really dislike Eric and all the evidence points at him.  Or vice versa with Dinah.  Then you have Goldman and Wilkins who all but disappear for most of the story.    

The opening sequence with Mark and Amber was a bit confusing with multiple door handles turning and Marc entering and leaving various rooms.  Lots of back and forth here which made your descriptions seem repetitive and unclear as to where Marc was coming and going.    

I didn't like Goldman's gruff reaction to Dinah's asking about Marc leaving a suicide note.   She's a therapist.  It's her job to be concerned for her patients.  I'd do a rewrite on this scene.  Goldman should be much sharper here and play it as if he's just as surprised about his suicide.  Make it so he's not outright announcing his involvement.  Make it so we may actually believe his total innocence.  

I was thrown a bit when Kenzie acted surprised about being Amber's twin.  When she mentioned being separated at the orphanage I assumed them being sisters was already known.   It's a bit hard to believe she wouldn't remember Amber being her twin.  I did find Kenzie's dream sequence about Amber's murder very confusing and had to re read your descriptions several times to envision the scene.

I liked how Eric got Kenzie to check out the rental house.  Good lead in to our introductory scene with Captain Wilkins.  This was a good way to get all three of them in a room together.  

So now Kenzie is going undercover and working for Hawke and Wilkins.  I didn't quite understand how Kenzie was supposed to automatically bait Dinah at the restaurant.  I suppose Dinah's obsession with Amber was enough reason to drive her into the identical sister's life?  But we won't know about this obsession until the third act.   Until that point, this seemed unclear to me.   I needed more of a motivation for Dinah.  

Nobody ever bothers to ask Kenzie  "Do you have a twin sister?  Like the one that was just killed."  This is a sexually sadistic and unusual killing that would make national headlines.  An identical sister popping up in town would be a major story and would be hard to conceal in casual conversation.      

Tony and Rick are supposed to be these dirty cops, and, according to your logline, I expected a much deeper and more complicated web of corruption and scandal.  They basically come off as sick assholes who treat women like shit, pull people over at will and act like pricks.  No drugs, illegal informants, hush money, etc.  What they are is obvious.  Red herrings in our story.  The obvious suspects in Amber's sexually sadistic murder.  Because of this, we never actually believe they are guilty.  

As a major and obvious fan of bad cops and stories of corruption, I was eager to jump into this script.  I figured they would dig deeper into an interdepartmental type scandal with Captain Goldman at the helm but the focus was more on Dinah and Kenzie's relationship which made her the most obvious suspect.  I nailed her as the killer after their first sexual encounter.  

Goldman all but disappears from the story if only for a couple of key scenes.  Tony and Rick aren't quite dirty enough to warrant an investigation into their lives and their loyalty to Goldman is never really established.  Unless I missed it.  Eric and Wilkins claim a dirty department but they never seemed to divulge how, why and when they were dirty or how the FBI has become involved in the goings on of this department.    

In the rewrite, if you're doing one in the future, I'd play up the sexual chemistry between Dinah and Kenzie.  Perhaps, Dinah could come off more as someone fighting her lesbian and sexual fantasies.  Someone who is ashamed of herself and her most secret, inner most thoughts.  Make full use of multiple red herrings and treat all of your characters as possible suspects.  But definitely, Dinah should be your lead.  

Who exactly are Eric Hawke and Captain Wilkins?  They just show up in Kenzie's life out of the blue and can they be trusted?   If I were you, I'd really play up the sexual angle with not just Kenzie and Dinah, but all of your characters.  The sexual act surrounding this murder is shameful and can ruin careers.  Including Dinah.   I would give all your characters a sexually sketchy past which could connect them to the crime.  

If you haven't seen it, you should see Whispers in the Dark with Annabella Sciorra, John Leguizamo, Danile Travanti, Alan Alda.  This reminded me so much of that movie with the lead character who is a psychologist struggling with her own sexuality during a murder investigation.  Which also was influenced by Dressed To Kill with Michael Caine.  Or even Basic Instinct.  It's a formula and framework that has always worked.  I thought these films made great use of that mystery angle that I thought was lacking in your script.  

The Good --  

I did enjoy your colorful use of descriptions and action was well written.  Nice formatting for the most part but I did struggle with your dialogue in places.  I really feel the sexual tension between your characters could make for a really interesting and intriguing murder mystery thriller.  I would go back and play this up as much as possible in the rewrite.  Make sex and power drive each of your characters until we are confused as to who our killer really is.  As it stands now, Dinah seems like the only real suspect.  

I hope this helped.  I've been out of the script review thing for years and am very rusty.  It is noteworthy that I made it through your script in one sitting and was never bored.  The elements and characters are here.  But, in my opinion (for what that's worth) this needs serious reworking and a more constant theme that will keep each of your characters connected throughout.      

    
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FrankH
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Hey Eric,

Thanks a bunch for your review.
You got some excellent points and I didn't really plan on doing any more rewrites, but I think I will. Already have a dozen new scenes in mind and revamp some of the old stuff with a different angle on the entire story. Clarifications lack throughout, but I'll keep the core of the story, add a lot more spice to it. should be a lot of fun.

The only connection Kenzie had to Amber was that photo of the two of them, 4 years old, no name, nothing else, at 4 years old, you don't really remember too much. The police posted a crappy photo of Amber (short dark hair, but with the photo of the two 4 year old girls), that's what stuck in Kenzie's mind when she was dreaming/nightmare. Amber was dying, Kenzie could do nothing to save her. The dream was to introduce Kenzie.

I guess Kenzie was more bait than an informant.

In your review, you struggled with some of the dialogue. Can you give me a couple of examples of dialogue that didn't really work for you or you struggled with?. Is it not clear, on the nose, not natural, cheesy..? That would really help me.

As you noted, early on you picked Dinah as the killer, true, but she was A killer. Who killed Marc? Curious, didn't see that in your feedback, you might know, but didn't mentioned it.

Thanks again. Really appreciate it.

Frank

example of some diag


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Quoted Text
CAPTAIN WILKINS
Captain Lauren Wilkins, FBI. You’ve
met Special Agent Eric Hawke.  


Now that's interesting.  

The following is a listing of the rank structure found within the FBI (in ascending order):

Field Agents
New Agent Trainee
Special Agent
Senior Special Agent
Supervisory Special Agent
Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge (ASAC)
Special Agent-in-Charge (SAC)

FBI Management
Deputy Assistant Director
Assistant Director
Associate Executive Assistant Director
Executive Assistant Director
Associate Deputy Director
Deputy Chief of Staff
Chief of Staff and Special Counsel to the Director
Deputy Director
Director

Did GOOGLE miss something?



A-CAROLING FOR CHRISTMAS

GHOSTS OF APPALOOSA

RISE OF THE AMAZONS

THE SLEEPING TIGER

THE TIME GUARDIAN

"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."


Revision History (1 edits)
_ghostwriters  -  July 26th, 2018, 3:54am
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Quoted from FrankH
Hey Eric,

Thanks a bunch for your review.
You got some excellent points and I didn't really plan on doing any more rewrites, but I think I will. Already have a dozen new scenes in mind and revamp some of the old stuff with a different angle on the entire story. Clarifications lack throughout, but I'll keep the core of the story, add a lot more spice to it. should be a lot of fun.

The only connection Kenzie had to Amber was that photo of the two of them, 4 years old, no name, nothing else, at 4 years old, you don't really remember too much. The police posted a crappy photo of Amber (short dark hair, but with the photo of the two 4 year old girls), that's what stuck in Kenzie's mind when she was dreaming/nightmare. Amber was dying, Kenzie could do nothing to save her. The dream was to introduce Kenzie.

I guess Kenzie was more bait than an informant.

In your review, you struggled with some of the dialogue. Can you give me a couple of examples of dialogue that didn't really work for you or you struggled with?. Is it not clear, on the nose, not natural, cheesy..? That would really help me.

As you noted, early on you picked Dinah as the killer, true, but she was A killer. Who killed Marc? Curious, didn't see that in your feedback, you might know, but didn't mentioned it.

Thanks again. Really appreciate it.

Frank

example of some diag


I can't pinpoint specifics that threw me off but can only say I wanted more subtext and a constant underlying theme that pushes dialogue between various characters.  The agent, the psychologist, the police captain, Wilkins, Kenzie, the two cops.  There should be a much clearer connection between these characters that keeps us interested and turning pages.  In other words, dialogue that keeps the element of mystery going and keeps us wondering who these people are, what they want and where they are coming from.  I just couldn't get invested in what was coming out of anyone's mouth as a lot of it seemed perfunctory.  


The opening murder scene suggests this will be a story about sexual sadism.  It's essentially a mystery that needs to be solved by the visiting FBI via Kenzie's help.  A sexual relationship is suggested between Kenzie and Dinah and your two cops are hanging out at titty bars and view women as sex objects.  But neither "sex angle" is built to its fullest potential.  There's little to no mystery to keep us involved in guessing who the killers are.  Not just Amber but Marc as well.  


I understand that Goldman had Marc killed and that the Feds were actually interested in solving both murders.  Two birds with one stone.   I just didn't care when Dinah was revealed as Amber's killer because there wasn't enough of a guessing game throughout the script.  You didn't make full use of your supporting characters.  Just a minor suggestion toward the end of the second act that made Eric the prime suspect.    

You have two dirty cops who need to be much dirtier, much more complex and have much more to do in this story than written.  As it stands now, they are obvious red herrings because of their treatment and disregard of women.  But are they sadistic and violent by nature?  What are they doing in this story that suggests they are guilty of Amber's murder?  I guess I missed this part.  


I think it would be a great idea to do an outline of all your characters.  Give them a background and character bio.  Give them all something dark in their pasts that would suggest they are capable of a sadistic type murder.   If you were to rewrite this, I would give all your characters more to do to keep the mystery as strong as it can be.  
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FrankH
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Thanks again Eric.
I'll definitely give this some thoughts.
Lots of great feedback.


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FrankH
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Thanks Ghostwriter for peeking in.

Yeah, this being my first attempt at a feature, it definitely needs some serious updates/rewrites and googling.

Frank


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