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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Thriller Scripts  ›  Drive Time Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: August 9th, 2020, 11:27am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Drive Time by Adam Nadworniak  - Thriller - Daniel Glides everyday life is turned upside down when on the way home from work he becomes terrorized by an insane radio dj that's holding his wife hostage and must take part in a horrific radio contest to free her. 89 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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ghost and_ghostie gal
Posted: August 10th, 2020, 9:47pm Report to Moderator
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Ahoy Adam,

The opening sent up a warning flare, suggesting that you haven't read nearly enough scripts. Your use of camera directions reinforced this suspicion.  Almost half- of your action lines start off with "We see...We hear.., etc." Done well, anything works... We see, VO, flashbacks... You name it. It's all in the hands of the right writer...They should add to the story, not be a crutch... and here, it's wasted space. It's not easy to do it well, not unless you're a particularly gifted novice, or you've earned your stripes the hard way and learned how to do it right.  Other's smarter than me often advise "aspiring" screenwriters to avoid them, because either they abuse it or they're just not developed writers in general.  

I mean, jugglers don't start out juggling chainsaws, neither should writers.

Now, I'm not saying not to, just make sure you know what you are doing.

Past that... what we're seeing thus far is pretty bland. There's no rule against doing the "wake up call" to start a script, but it's pretty trite. It's better to try a fresh take on the moment. Finding a more interesting venue to introduce your characters. more meaningful.  

Example: So show someone beneath the covers and a WOMAN'S hand turns off the alarm.  She tosses the covers back to reveal she is NOT the woman in the picture then have Daniel, who is in the picture, come out of the bathroom to greet her. We'll recognize him from the photo. The reason I threw that one out there is because Daniel is a serial cheater.  

Again - Daniel brags about cheating on Sarah...like it's a badge of honor...and yet in the very next scene he's with some hot chick at a sleazy motel, and decides to go cold turkey. It's abrupt and carries no weight. It feels contrived.

This is suppose to be a thriller, it needs more, more intrigue. Make it more interesting.

The dialogue needs work. Its very straight forward. Characters seem to be saying exactly what's on their minds. It's not 'movie-speak'.  

Not sure why Daniel spends a lot of time talking to himself. It didn't work for me.

Overall, the writing needs to be tighter.

To stand on the other side of the fence, based on the logline, which needs tweaked, the concept sounds intriguing - however,  and I could be totally wrong here, but I just feel there's missed opportunities, some illogical story choices.

So, there you have it. One opinion. Feel free to disregard. There's smarter folks than me here and they may have a different take on it. Good luck with your project.-A



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FrankH
Posted: August 22nd, 2020, 7:02pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Adam,

I didn't read the previous reviewer's feedback, so I might be doubling up on same comments.

You got 2 title pages.

Fade IN: should be on the left side of the page. I think Final Draft might put this on the right side.

The first action block is too big, break it up and include Character descriptions (Daniel and Sarah).
Let the director direct, stay away from "we see" and "Panning." I assume this is a spec script. Also, a wake-up type scene in the beginning of a script is done some many times before. Maybe be a little bit more creative.

Some light hearted dialogue on the 1st few pages, some a little bit on the nose, but ok,
between Daniel and Sarah, but they keep using each others names in the dialogue. At times, doesn't
sound natural to me.

I would disable CONT'D from your software, not used that much anymore.

IMO, remove CUT TO: and ROLL TITLES, not needed in a spec script.

There are some big blocks of dialogue and action throughout the script, makes it harder to read.

Grammar, "What wrong Daniel?", should be "What's wrong, Daniel?"
"I though we were settled down", should be "I thought we were settled down." Don't like this line of dialogue.

What's P.W.T.?

When they move within Daniel's home, I would recommend to use mini-slugs. You have established
Daniel's home in the beginning and it's the same time of day (DAWN), so use KITCHEN, BATHROOM,
etc. instead of repeating the entire slug-line.

Page4: "Sarah walks into the kitchen and she turns the radio on and
we watch as she starts to make coffee."
Don't repeat in action what has already been established in the slug-line.
How about something like, "Sarah turns a radio on, pours water into a coffee pot."
this removes "we watch" and compresses the action a little, saying the same thing.

You might have a good story. Interesting concept, but needs some surgery/re-writes.
I'll keep an eye out for it.

Ping me when you have an updated version.

Good luck.

Frank


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