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Hey bud. Thanks for the PM and i'll gladly send you my script for a return read if you hit me back.
Read all of NEEDLES. A few typos but generally well written and clear. It's a decent story but i think there's a few things that could make it much better.
Firstly the relationship between your newlyweds. For the first 50 pages they're so nicey nicey it makes for a boring read. There's a few spooky jump scares but people expect that in your standard cabin in the woods set up. Not enough tension or suspense. I thought it woukd be good if they weren't newly weds - but were there to fix their marriage or get through some trauma. That would give some conflict or tension to resolve. Then the following events could end up bringing them together and give them a chatacter arc. Right now they're very one dimensional.
Second - the relationship with the Dad. His daughter seems very quick to accept her dad's an evil rapist murderer. This is HER DAD. Imagine the pain, disbelief and disillusion. But she's like "oh dad" then all on board for killing him. You have two choices here. Make him a stepdad she already has beef with. Perhaps there's hint he was innapropriate with her. So fuck telling him about the marriage (because why wouldn't she as it stands) and let's use the bastard's house without permission - that would make more sense. Or second choice - work over how she reacts to her dad's secret. And that's tough. But right now i don't buy it.
And i think i missed who her dad was and whybhe had access to all these girls. A judge was it? But that's no biggie.
Think what happened to the mother needs more clarity too.
All in all it's very much like WHAT LIES BENEATH. And i haven't seen that in ages but i seem to remember the man and wife relationship was more strained and tense - you need more of that. The main characters start happy newly weds and end happy newly weds. Not saying that can't work - but in this case - you need something to ratchet up the tension in the first 50 pages.
Had a look at the 1st 10 pages. Didn't read other reviews, so I might be doubling up on stuff.
Easy read. Some nice lean writing. Nice build up the first few pages.
Always good to copyright your work.
A few nit picks, IMO: * Page1: The opening, maybe show the House located next to a lake before stepping inside the house. * Pages: No confusion about your slugs so far, but your first slug is somewhat a minislug. Why not start with INT. HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT and then switch to minislugs within the house. * Page1: Don't repeat in action what's stated in the slug (ex: living room). * Page1: This is a picky one. Porch hasn't really been defined yet, so use "a porch" instead of "the porch", same thing goes for "The door", use "A door". Pages: Cut back on starting action lines with character names or he/she. Mix it up a little bit. Page1: "picks up" might be better than "scoops up". Page1/Pages: Get rid of words like "has/is/are" in action lines, it tends to tell more than show. Page2: "She grabs Sashen’s shirt and drags him upstairs to the bedroom.", I would remove "to the bedroom.", we don't really know where she's dragging him until you show us later. Pages: Keep action lines in present tense, get rid of verbs ending in -ing, ex: use "tears" instead of "tearing." Pages: CONT'D is not really used that much anymore. Configure your software, remove it. Page4: Don't repeat in action what's stated in slug (ex: hallway). Pages: The use of "and" in action can sometimes be replaced with a comma, to make it lean and clean. Pages: Try to minimize the use of words that end in-ly (ex: "walks heavly", instead use "trudges"), the power of verbs.
Why the yellowish background?
Nice build up with the ghost-like girl in the woods.
I'm curious to see where this is going so I'll see if I can get through your script in the next few days focusing more on story/plot/characters, etc.
Thanks for the feedback Scar Tissue Films and Frank!
Franks, I do plan to take another pass at this soon (as soon as I need a breaking from writing my next script), your feedback will certainly help a lot. I hope you keep reading, would love to hear more of your thoughts before revisiting.
Okay, I'll see if I can finish reading your script next week.
Any reason for picking yellow for your scripts background/paper color?
That's very odd. I don't see the yellow. Just to check I compared my posted script with another in both my browser and by downloading the pdfs. Can you tell me how are you viewing it so I can try to reproduce it?
Dialogue is pretty good. I enjoyed the chemestry between the young couple. Angelea is quite a tough cookie.
I believe Action can be tightened up more and there are unfilmables throughout.
Your script might be on the short side after optinizing it.
I wonder if Mom's "drowning" might be redundant and it might make more sense for Angela/Sashen to stay at the place if you remove Mom's drowning.
INT: BACK PORCH confused me a little. Is it a built in thing? I guess I think of a porch as the stepping stone into a house, usually it would be a EXT:
Maybe David was introduced a little too early so the last 40 pages get drawn out a little too much between him and his daughter.
Sick, but nice twist. We knew something happened at the house, but what?
Overall good writing. You squeezed a good story out of virtually one location.
Action: * Page10: "She takes a sip of her wine. " -- instead "She sips wine." * Page35: "He lifts his glass and clinks hers with it." -- instead "They clink glasses." * Pages: Unfilmables. Ex: Page16: "She grabs a broom and sweeps, clearly not wanting to talk about last night. " -- show us, don't tell us. * Page18: Needles instead of needle. * Page42:"A branch lands on the windshield." -- instead use "smashes", it's a storm out there. * Page70: Davis should be David. * Page79/80: We go from INT: BACK PORCH to DOCK, needs an EXT: * Pages: Faint instead of feint.
Dialogue: * Pages: When Angela reads the manuscript in the basement, I would use a Angela(V.O.) instead of TEXT. You could use an INSERT, but she's reading, so a (V.O.) works better. * Sounds like ahh, uh ... is redundant, cause you describe emotions in action.
I'm glad you liked the chemistry between the two. It was suggested earlier that I add more tension, but it's always a tough balance. I wanted the couple to be likeable and the tension to come externally so that you care what happens to them. In previous scripts I've often added two much conflict between characters at the risk of making them jerks.
Sometimes piling on too much can backfire. I'm ok with the tension and chemistry between the young couple. Now, you might need to up the shock effect between dad and daughter. As it stands, somewhat lame.