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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Western Scripts  ›  Red Sun Moderators: bert
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  Author    Red Sun  (currently 9881 views)
stevie
Posted: March 26th, 2011, 6:52am Report to Moderator
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Hi E.D, here's my thoughts as promised. My net is back on but for who knows how long...

I really got into this. I skimmed some of the previous reviews and agreed that it was a fast read - always a bloody good sign!

I haven't seen the original movie and so could enjoy it on its own merits. I liked your writing style, throwing in bits of action lines - almost like dialogue - which some would call unfilmables, but well, I 'm over what we should and shouldn't do these days!

There was a fair bit of humour in here too, amongst the violence, which did jar a little at times.
For some reason, Kuroda made me think of Oddjob in 'Goldfinger'?!!

I can't really add to the other comments, mate. I enjoyed it and I think that's all that matters. Sure, you could tweak some pages off it but that's up to you and what you wanna do with it.

Now, I better go before the damn Net cuts off again!!!

Cheers stevie


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RayW
Posted: March 26th, 2011, 8:49am Report to Moderator
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Hi, Brett
Well... since I have... oh... over twelve hours before my other thing's due...

(snore)

Wha?! Huh?! Oh, yeah. Since I have a few minutes on my hands I really want to looksee at what you have planned for this.

After I finished the draft, I thought about that gang members thing.
Mace and Smirker are on the outside, so why not intro Whiskey there?

Whiskey & Smirker - Yes.
I thought Mace was on the high ground, lying in wait, scoping for coverage?

Yeah, the "work in progress" line is one of the place holder deals.
Funny. I do the same thing. Just ideas I want to get down before I forget them.
Irritating part is when I think of a solid beginning of something but come up with bleh for delivery.
Whatchagonado other than delete your babies?

I need this to read that he didn't get it all, but made a cursory effort to clean it.
I want there to be blood seen by Jorge at the outhouse.
It's a symbol for Kuroda's loss of control with Whiskey earlier.
And it's a gateway to Kuroda's reactions to Jorge, a redemptive moment.

Hmm... I really do understand each of those points.
Sometimes I struggle with where to apply movie magic and where it just won't cure anything.
This subject, on a minor scale, is where I was going with my "sweet spot" question to Babz:
Where's the break between predictable but before bullsh!t.
There's a kill zone between those two I've yet to master. (Usually, I overshoot into BS land!)

We are not dragging bloody bodies past the kids, Ray. Heh.
Will you feel better about it if it's a shallow grave for the dead?

Yeah, well... they're strappy country-western folk. They'll get over it.
Oh, yeah. BS land. I forgot.
Uh, no. No shallow graves.
How many dead people have you buried? Coyotes will dig 'em up, buzzards will be all over 'em, flies and whatnot.
No. No shallow graves. Bind them to a two fence-post sled rig and drag 'em behind one of their horses off the compound.

Then pesky things like double crosses, emotions and principles muck things up.
I like Link just being a smart @ss. It's a very funny line, really.
"Well, why not thirty? or fifty, or a hundred? How about the whole union cavalry?!"
LOL! It's great.

Well, Pogo did. Eventually.
A couple folks do go out windows, so maaaaybe, I could work on that part.
Though honestly, you're the first to mention it, yay movie magic.
I could make the exterior death interior, hence a more logical delayed response.

I dunno. Everyone in town is going to hear shots fired at the local cat house.
Now, if you want to make a little challenge for yourself, rewrite the entire sequence without any gunfire.
Everything is hand to hand, knives, swords and iron skillets.
Maybe the single shot that is fired is the one that strikes Maria.
Oh, the eye-ron-E.

Chamberlain used the opportunity to "scout" the hotel for Gault or Link.
Perhaps a line to Stone about that the next morning might help.

Oh, hey, Maybe this (and it solves the saloon issue as well [although the silent fight thing would be cool]): Just after Pogo enters the sheriff's office Chamberlain and Stone, with a squad of soldiers, ride back into town from a patrol.
Eh??

Don't you think that would be going to the well, one time too many?
I like it, but I think Gault's demise trumps the Captain in my mind.

Perhaps and agreed.
In which case, the "no one has touched our family tool" bit should be dropped.

Re. Chamberlain's radical change in behavior:
I hear you, there's a bit of suggestion that some get, but it's still too subtle.
Chamberlain is a work in progress, he's not developed in the original film.
I'm debating changing him from megalomaniac to double crossed conspirator.
Gault strikes a side deal with Chamberlain for information and make it look good.
Chamberlain tells Gault to leave the private car alone, it's a presidential matter, etc.
I think that way makes his less than honorable deeds more easily understood.
And I don't have to spend a ton of time building it up, could work yeah?

I think the audience for this material would like to keep the story more simple rather than "spicing it up" with additional plot complexity.
K.I.S.S.
I'd still go with the increasing frustration and insanity of Chamberlain route.
People like it when "the boss" flips out.

However, foolish is as foolish does, I need to meditate on this.
You like the traditional dual inter-cut clash of antags and protags?

Yes and Yes. Audience will want some entertainment here.
Often we see an intercutting dual fight going on, especially in buddy movies.
Now that you've considered cutting this back to a PG-13, watch the Shanhai's, Rush Hour's, Zorro's and that ilk.

I'm glad you enjoyed the story, what was it about the story that appealed to you?
I'd like to know if it's more me or the original film that you think works best.

The relationship development between Link and Kuroda. Exclusively.
Your crafting of their relationship and only a smidge of the story itself.
I don't care for westerns, typically. I'll watch them, but that time in history carries zero appeal to me. There's nothing fantastically KOOOOOL! about the overall collection of scenarios. Pretty standard fare. So it's the friendship primarily and action secondarily that makes this story's strongest appeal.

... and there's talks.
Love the talks! Better than the nothings. Much better.
This looks like at least a $50M movie. I'll say a little prayer for ya.  

My action description is a work in progress, and I think I'm zeroing in on it.
I used to be too clunky, now I'm running a tad lean, I can work on that.

You and me both.  "Working on it!"

I thought about the corpse montage but I thought it was a tad much?
You think it would be better than the reveal after the sword is returned?
I'm rather partial to the reveal, and Link finishing off the mission.
And then placing Little Deke on the grave says a lot about Link's feelings, methinks.
What do you think I gain by showing Link bringing Kuroda's body back?

First, the body is wrapped in a blanket, so it's not a corpse with flies in his eyes and purple fingers poking out. That'd be crazy.
Not "better"; package deal. Do both. Link DOES finish the mission - and - finish the journey.
Little Deke part is beautiful. Keep it. Do it.
With this tragic ending it's important to bring the audience back through their journey in a series of very somber moments past the milestones in their relationship change.
Not "We chased, we fought each other, we saved our own @ss's, we saved each other's @ss, he died, here's your butter knife. Bye! Ya'll have a nice day!"
Sixty seconds of quiet, poignant reflection should be a real tear jerker ending.

Thanks muchly for the extensive notes, they'll come in handy for sure.
If you need eyes on something on or off site, don't hesitate to ask, pal.
I wonder what a collaboration between us would come out like?

You're welcome. If you're gonna do something, do it well or at least make it look like you tried.
Thank you, sir. What goes around comes around. You got it.
Funny. I wonder the same.
We might polite and respect each other to death, though. LOL!
I'd certainly be game for a go at it.
Maybe this fall's 7WC?



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Electric Dreamer
Posted: March 28th, 2011, 10:28am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from stevie
Hi E.D, here's my thoughts as promised. My net is back on but for who knows how long...

I really got into this. I skimmed some of the previous reviews and agreed that it was a fast read - always a bloody good sign!

I haven't seen the original movie and so could enjoy it on its own merits. I liked your writing style, throwing in bits of action lines - almost like dialogue - which some would call unfilmables, but well, I 'm over what we should and shouldn't do these days!

Hey Stevie,

I appreciate the read, always good to get the fairer sex's perspective.
I'm glad the pacing worked for you, it's something I spent a lot of time on this draft.
Continuing experimentation with description style garners polarizing results.
I tinker with them to see if they enhance the reading experience.
I'm never going to please everybody, but I need to keep testing the waters.

Quoted from stevie

There was a fair bit of humour in here too, amongst the violence, which did jar a little at times.
For some reason, Kuroda made me think of Oddjob in 'Goldfinger'?!!

I can't really add to the other comments, mate. I enjoyed it and I think that's all that matters. Sure, you could tweak some pages off it but that's up to you and what you wanna do with it.

Now, I better go before the damn Net cuts off again!!!

Cheers stevie

Perhaps when your internets are more stable, we can talk about this further.
I'd like to hear what humor parts you felt were jarring to the script.
Heh, wow, you're the first to say Kuroda invokes Oddjob, interesting.
I could tweak a bit at the hotel and such and will probably do so next time around.
I'm pretty fond of the origami campfire scene though, I'll leave that one alone.

Best of luck with your connectivity issues, hope to hear from you soon!

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: March 28th, 2011, 11:13am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from RayW
Hi, Brett
Well... since I have... oh... over twelve hours before my other thing's due...

I thought Mace was on the high ground, lying in wait, scoping for coverage?

Correct. I was thinking of having Whiskey in the car instead of four random thugs.
I can intro that character sooner and set up his sleazy proclivities better.
Have a beat of him undressing Cora's mother with his eyes in the train car, etc.

Quoted from RayW

Hmm... I really do understand each of those points.
Sometimes I struggle with where to apply movie magic and where it just won't cure anything.
This subject, on a minor scale, is where I was going with my "sweet spot" question to Babz:
Where's the break between predictable but before bullsh!t.
There's a kill zone between those two I've yet to master. (Usually, I overshoot into BS land!)

I don't think it's too much of a stretch that he missed a spot.
He abhors men of low character, he's in a strange land on a dire mission.
Obviously, he's got a real problem with the rape of young women. Hence the goof.
It's just a dab of movie magic, I think I'm allowed a little here and there.

Quoted from RayW

Yeah, well... they're strappy country-western folk. They'll get over it.
Oh, yeah. BS land. I forgot.
Uh, no. No shallow graves.
How many dead people have you buried? Coyotes will dig 'em up, buzzards will be all over 'em, flies and whatnot.
No. No shallow graves. Bind them to a two fence-post sled rig and drag 'em behind one of their horses off the compound.

No dragging around of goon bodies, two men can dig a grave in a hour.
There's a planting field nearby, good fertilizer.

Quoted from RayW

I dunno. Everyone in town is going to hear shots fired at the local cat house.
Now, if you want to make a little challenge for yourself, rewrite the entire sequence without any gunfire.
Everything is hand to hand, knives, swords and iron skillets.
Maybe the single shot that is fired is the one that strikes Maria.
Oh, the eye-ron-E.

Hmmm, well, me likes a little gun play here and there, been a while since the train.
Think I'd rather ratchet up the response time, hence more tension.

Quoted from RayW

Oh, hey, Maybe this (and it solves the saloon issue as well [although the silent fight thing would be cool]): Just after Pogo enters the sheriff's office Chamberlain and Stone, with a squad of soldiers, ride back into town from a patrol.
Eh??

Some movie magic timing could work there, I'll think on that one, thanks.

Quoted from RayW

In which case, the "no one has touched our family tool" bit should be dropped.

I like that beat to show us Chamberlain's sense of pride and tradition.
Like Kuroda, he is becoming a bit of relic in these times of change.
But how they both deal with evolving cultures differently makes it interesting.

Quoted from RayW

I think the audience for this material would like to keep the story more simple rather than "spicing it up" with additional plot complexity.
K.I.S.S.
I'd still go with the increasing frustration and insanity of Chamberlain route.
People like it when "the boss" flips out.

That makes sense, I can give him more color, I like crazy.
Perhaps even in the climax, Chamberlain thinks he and Kuroda are alike.
Could lead to some spicy dialogue if I give those two a climatic sword fight. Yes?

Quoted from RayW

The relationship development between Link and Kuroda. Exclusively.
Your crafting of their relationship and only a smidge of the story itself.
I don't care for westerns, typically. I'll watch them, but that time in history carries zero appeal to me. There's nothing fantastically KOOOOOL! about the overall collection of scenarios. Pretty standard fare. So it's the friendship primarily and action secondarily that makes this story's strongest appeal.

I'm a sucker for character arcs and growth throughout a story.
I tried to craft a strong arc for these two to go through the act structure.
Give them a few humorous breaks, more for tension relief than anything else.
The campfire stuff and mining camp is all original material for them.
I really do like these guys and where they meet each other in their lives.
I guess it's why I keep coming back to the story and making it better for them.

Quoted from RayW

First, the body is wrapped in a blanket, so it's not a corpse with flies in his eyes and purple fingers poking out. That'd be crazy.
Not "better"; package deal. Do both. Link DOES finish the mission - and - finish the journey.
Little Deke part is beautiful. Keep it. Do it.
With this tragic ending it's important to bring the audience back through their journey in a series of very somber moments past the milestones in their relationship change.
Sixty seconds of quiet, poignant reflection should be a real tear jerker ending.

As I was re-reading your reply, I had an image flash in my head.
A fade to Link walking Deke out of the blasted fort, smoke billowing.
Kuroda across Deke's back, wrapped in something tasteful. Wow.

Quoted from RayW

Funny. I wonder the same.
We might polite and respect each other to death, though. LOL!
I'd certainly be game for a go at it.
Maybe this fall's 7WC?

Heh, I wonder if we'd be allowed to collab for a feature length challenge?
If the subject matter were juicy, it could work.
Though I hope we're both too busy working toward paying gigs to be available!

Thanks again so much, my condolences of getting ousted from the showdown.
You gave that pony a good ride though!

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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stevie
Posted: March 28th, 2011, 4:13pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Electric Dreamer

Hey Stevie,

I appreciate the read, always good to get the fairer sex's perspective.
I'm glad the pacing worked for you, it's something I spent a lot of time on this draft.
Continuing experimentation with description style garners polarizing results.
I tinker with them to see if they enhance the reading experience.
I'm never going to please everybody, but I need to keep testing the waters.

Perhaps when your internets are more stable, we can talk about this further.
I'd like to hear what humor parts you felt were jarring to the script.
Heh, wow, you're the first to say Kuroda invokes Oddjob, interesting.
I could tweak a bit at the hotel and such and will probably do so next time around.
I'm pretty fond of the origami campfire scene though, I'll leave that one alone.

Best of luck with your connectivity issues, hope to hear from you soon!

Regards,
E.D.


Hi E.D. Um, am I thinking that you think I'm a chick???!!!  LOL!!!

Re the humour/violence...there aren't any specific parts. Link seems to throw out a lot of witty repartee, which sort of tones down the violence. I understand you need to have some humour in any script (although the dark knight would be an exception of zilch humour in an unentertaining film...) but this is a western. People are getting killed.
Don't get me wrong, lets see...maybe I was too harsh. Sometimes the tone of a violent script doesn't need too many wisecracks or it can become a parody.

I think you get the gist of what I mean, E.D.  I seem to have lost it for some reason!

Cheers stevie



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rc1107
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Hey Brett.

I took a quick-see through some of the posts and I'm hoping I have something new to bring to the table that'll be of some help to you.

As big a fan of Westerns I am, I really haven't seen very many of them, and I've never seen 'Red Sun', so I'm going into this with fresh eyes, not comparing it to the old movie at all.

I saw you said that this was pretty much an exercise for you, which is a pretty good idea, I think, for your first feature.  Lets you get used to formatting, you might be able to see some characterization, pacing...

As for the pacing, it reads fine and very fluent.  I like the way you described the action.  kept it separated and it was easy to follow for the most part.  (I had to go over and read some things over to get the drift of what was going on, but I think that was probably just me not catching on the first time.

I really liked the story.  I thought the main characters were very interesting and I liked their interactions a lot.  You have two very likable characters in Link and Kuroda.

Here's a couple of the notes I scribbled down while I was reading.  These are mainly just typos, but adding in some things I liked and didn't like.


Pg. 5  -  dozens of hidden horseman...    (should be 'horsemen')
Pg. 9  -  ... rooftop soldier put his ear against the wood.    (should be 'puts his ear')

     Lol.  It's funny this opens with a train.  I live in Ohio and we just had a train derail this morning pretty close by to where I live.  (My sister works two blocks away from where it happened.)  They had to evacuate residents out of their houses and everything because there were chemicals and ammonias leaking out, I guess.  Just thought it was a funny coincidence.

Pg. 21  -  ... Ambassador walks back to car.    (back to 'the' car)

     That's a pretty strong beginning.  Clean writing.  Lots of action.  Crisp action, at that.

Pg. 32  -  (Uh oh, you have a two-for here.)  He would lead us right...    (should be 'He would've led us right'....)

Pg. 35  -  The doors creaks in the breeze.    (The 'door' creaks in the breeze.)

     Eww.  Link gets pee'd on.  That was pretty funny.  Actually, that was a pretty exciting scene, especially with Jorge running onto the porch and aiming his toy gun at Bandolier.  But after they're killed, wouldn't Link be griping they didn't keep anybody alive like when they killed Whiskey.

Pg. 43-45  -  That's a really cool way to show them bonding, by having Kuroda making a little origami rider for the little wooden horse.  (I don't know if it was you that thought of that or that was from the movie, but it's really impressionable and great insight into Kuroda.)

Come to think of it, why did that little girl give Kuroda the little wooden horse in the beginning?  At first, i thought Link whispered in her ear for her to give it to him.  So I thought these two had a history with each other before the train robbery.  That's the way it read to me, at least.

Pg. 56-57  -  I don't know if I like Kuroda shacking it up with Maria like that.  I think it just seems so out of character for him.  It kind of reads like  "I must honor my ambassador and I must honor being a samurai, I must show honor, but first I will pump this whore full of jizm."  It just seems kind of out of synch with everything he stands for.

Pg. 70  -  ...and only way in, or out...     (should be ...and only 'one' way in, or out.)
Pg. 70  -  Pogo stand alone with...    (Pogo 'stands' alone with...)

Pg. 70  -  Sargeant    -    is actually Sergeant.  (Sargeant is in Minnesota)

     In fact, sergeant is misspelled the whole rest of the way out from here.


     I don't know if I like the sudden abrupt change of weather.  I understand it's the mountains, but it seems like they're in a whole new setting or season altogether.  They went from prairieland to desert to snow tundra to desert sandstorm all in a couple of days.  Kind of reads like Cliff's notes for 'The Odyssey'.  I don't know if I'm the only one who got that vibe or not.  But that makes it seem like they've been traveling for months.

Pg. 84  -  You refer to them as 'our quartet' a lot of the times here on out.  I think it might be better to just refer to them as 'the' quartet.  'Our' quartet takes me out of the story and makes me realize that I'm only reading a story, and not living it.  There's nothing worse than being so into a story, and then snapped out of the spell by an awkward reference to a camera direction.

Pg. 85  -  He looses another rider      (should be He 'loses' another rider.)

Pg. 96  -  The stand storm wall      (The 'sand' storm wall.)



Well, that was all I wrote as I was reading.  I do have just a couple more random things to add I'm just now thinking about.

I didn't like Christina at all.  She was very one-dimensional and added almost nothing to the story besides something to look at.  They didn't even use her to find Gault, it seemed.  Kuroda was the one tracking Mace in the snow.  There was no reason to bring her along besides giving a sexy female actress a couple more lines.  (I have a feeling that's the actual movie's fault and not yours, but like I said, I've never seen the movie, so...)


But I was very impressed with the writing overall.  Like it's been mentioned a hundred times already, it read very smooth and was very easy to comprehend and stay interested in the story.  The dialogue, for the most part, I thought was great and you got information across no problem.  (A couple times here and there the dialogue got a little slapstick, but nothing that really snapped me away from the story.)

I really really liked the interactions between Link and Kuroda and how they developed into friends throughout the story, (Link absorbing in some of Kuroda's belief system about honor and such.)

Very good job on this, Brett.  Very tight script.  If I wouldn't have read it in earlier posts, I would have never known this was your first stab at a script.  I was really entertained.

- Mark


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: March 29th, 2011, 10:58am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from stevie


Hi E.D. Um, am I thinking that you think I'm a chick???!!!  LOL!!!



Heh, my bad. I know why I did this though. My mind goes to Stevie Wayne.



Seeing "The Fog" as a growing lad, Adrienne was such a stunner.

E.D.


LATEST NEWS

CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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stevie
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Is she the chick from Golden Girls? Who played Bea Arthur's daughter? Or is that someone else? Or was that another show?

Lol, thats funny, as most people would think of Stevie Nicks. Most people call me Steve but I just use stevie as a net name.

I loathe being called Stephen...


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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from stevie
Is she the chick from Golden Girls? Who played Bea Arthur's daughter? Or is that someone else? Or was that another show?

Lol, thats funny, as most people would think of Stevie Nicks. Most people call me Steve but I just use stevie as a net name.

I loathe being called Stephen...


Wow, quite a memory on you, Steve.
Yes, Adrienne Barbeau (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1565063/) starred in "Maude".
She was on that series for four years and went on to features.
She married her first husband, John Carpenter, around the time of filming, "The Fog".
I've always admired her, not just for the reasons that most recall her.
I'm glad she came up through this, gives me an idea.
I think Adrienne will be the voice of Christina in the next draft of Red Sun. Thanks!

E.D.



LATEST NEWS

CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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emcee
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Hey Brett.

I read this twice for a number of reasons.

I like your writing style. Your desriptions are good for me. I felt the heat of the desert, the cold of the ice, smelt the stale perfume in the hotel bar etc...very nice IMHO.

The script is very busy (I like that as it makes for a fast read). Your attention to detail is immense and tying in all the characters deserves kudos.

I'm not certain that I'm in a position to critique your work as I still get confused with what we should and shouldn't do with formatting and such....but here goes. (and by doing this I'll learn a lot too).

P1. Should CORA have a brief description? Should her MOTHER and FATHER have ages and brief descriptions?

P3. The 'sheriff's star' action line is excellent. Good job.
Should the conductor have an age/description?
Is the term "heist" spoken by STONE a little modern for this period?

P6. 'Kamakaze' slightly out of context? (WW2 Japanese suicide bomber).
Should there be a slug line (INT. ENGINE CAR - DAY) for when SMIRKER pulls the big lever and another when the scene reverts back? Sorry, but I get confused over this sort of thing.

P8. Typo...'The rooftop soldier PUTS...'

P10. The 'mandatory collection' line made me laugh out loud...still does!

P12. I got a bit confused as to who/what ROSE was initially although it was well explained later.

P16. "work in progress" spoken by Mace, again a little modern?

P17. WHISKEY says "he". I think it should read "me".
WHISKEY again, "knocking her up" modern?

P18. GAULT mentions "the skirts". Did we see them, or did I miss it?

P20. Why didn't GAULT and his boys just shoot the AMBASSADOR and KORODA? (Yeah I know, then we don't have a movie, right?)

P22. AMBASSADOR NOKUMURA (CONT'D) "Silence".

P32. Just a technical point here but I think that Samurai always cleaned thier blades prior to sheathing. It's part of the whole Katana learning process.

P39. LINK point(s) to the rump.

P47. WHORE age/description?

P50. The bar and longe description...perfect...great!

P51. CHRISTINA open(s) the door.

P55. POGO "...retirement plan." Modern?

P57. POGO "All read(y), Senor.

P62. Action line reads like POGO is stoking the stove using his greasy apron.

P70. CAPTAIN CHAMBERLAIN "...only (one) way in...."
POGO stand(s) alone....
I think SARGEANT is spelled SERGEANT.

P71. STONE addresse(s) the cavalry.

P75. EIther 'a hoof' or 'hoofs'.

P82. MACE "Does that combat circulatory distress". First time around this read strangely. Second time I laughed...seemed to work then.

P86. Link runs for it and loses his hat (not 'looses').

P93. Kuroda watches (the or them) escape.

P100. Not sure a whistle can 'bleat'.

Forgive me if I've been a bit picky or indeed pedantic but based upon your response I will learn a great deal.

In summary, this is a very good piece of work. As previously stated, your descriptions are colorful, the interaction between the main characters is slick with some laugh out loud humor.

I've noted that some others feel there are too many characters, however, I enjoyed the 'busyness' (is that a word?) of it all and your attention to detail and obvious depth of research is mesmerising.

Great job Brett.

Keep writing....you know the rest of the line! :0)

Best.

Martin.

P.S. Sorry it's a bit late. M.








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emcee
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Hey Brett.

For some reason my Discussion Board name has reverted to EMCEE.

The review above is mine, as promised.

Best.

Martin (Chelsea).
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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from rc1107
Hey Brett.

As big a fan of Westerns I am, I really haven't seen very many of them, and I've never seen 'Red Sun', so I'm going into this with fresh eyes, not comparing it to the old movie at all.

I saw you said that this was pretty much an exercise for you, which is a pretty good idea, I think, for your first feature.  Lets you get used to formatting, you might be able to see some characterization, pacing...

Hey Mark!

Big thanks for taking a gander at my first feature thingy.
Hope those stories you're working on are coming along well.
Red Sun started as a compulsion for me.
Shortly after a bad car wreck, I saw this movie for the first time.
Love Bronson. Love Toshiro Mifune even more.
The 1971 movie was fun, but there were some fundamental issues.
Someone said the movie is finally available through NetFlix, if you're interested.
By changing a few core things, the movie would be much better.
The ideas would not go away, for weeks, then weeks dragged into months.
So finally I said screw it, this is going to be my first screenplay.
I considered it a dry run to learn the process of screenwriting.
Instead of self help books, I used the original film as my "training wheels".
I'm lousy at learning anything from books, gotta dive in and learn to swim myself.
So, I followed along with the film as I methodically rewrote the so-so parts.
The first draft was 150 pages and I wrote in five weeks.

Quoted from rc1107

As for the pacing, it reads fine and very fluent.  I like the way you described the action.  kept it separated and it was easy to follow for the most part.  (I had to go over and read some things over to get the drift of what was going on, but I think that was probably just me not catching on the first time.

I really liked the story.  I thought the main characters were very interesting and I liked their interactions a lot.  You have two very likable characters in Link and Kuroda.

My philosophy on action scenes requires me to do more heavy lifting on the page.
I despise action scenes that are arbitrary obstacles and offer no short term goals.
Having those goals (capturing someone, ambushes, thefts, etc.) provides tension.
When the audience knows what the protag needs/wants, the action comes to life.
The strategy relayed to the audience is a template for urgency and anticipation.
It's a much harder approach to the standard chase or run and gun, but I like it.
It forces me to be a much better writer on the page. No lazy run and stumbles.
And I'm all about painting myself into a corner and come out swinging.
I'll never know how good I can be, unless I stack the odds against me.

Some writers say, just give the vaguest of specifics, it will be changed later.
I say bollocks to that and weave my story through the action set pieces.
Even if they change the specifics, hopefully the flavor/spirit of the action remains.
Ideally, I hope they inspire directors and stunt coordinators to improve upon them.
I guess it's me trying to appeal to an artist's sense of adventure.

Quoted from rc1107

Here's a couple of the notes I scribbled down while I was reading.  These are mainly just typos, but adding in some things I liked and didn't like.

Pg. 5  -  dozens of hidden horseman...    (should be 'horsemen')
Pg. 9  -  ... rooftop soldier put his ear against the wood.    (should be 'puts his ear')

     Lol.  It's funny this opens with a train.  I live in Ohio and we just had a train derail this morning pretty close by to where I live.  (My sister works two blocks away from where it happened.)  They had to evacuate residents out of their houses and everything because there were chemicals and ammonias leaking out, I guess.  Just thought it was a funny coincidence.

Pg. 21  -  ... Ambassador walks back to car.    (back to 'the' car)

     That's a pretty strong beginning.  Clean writing.  Lots of action.  Crisp action, at that.
[/.quote]
Yeah, I wanted an opening act that slapped you if you weren't paying attention.
My intent was to grab the reader by the collar and pull them right in.
Thanks for the typos, I rewrote this fourth draft from scratch, gotta clean it up.
Heh that train story reminds me of Denzel Washington's latest, "Unstoppable."
That was a good film, takes places in PA, not Ohio though.
[quote=rc1107]
Pg. 32  -  (Uh oh, you have a two-for here.)  He would lead us right...    (should be 'He would've led us right'....)

Pg. 35  -  The doors creaks in the breeze.    (The 'door' creaks in the breeze.)

     Eww.  Link gets pee'd on.  That was pretty funny.  Actually, that was a pretty exciting scene, especially with Jorge running onto the porch and aiming his toy gun at Bandolier.  But after they're killed, wouldn't Link be griping they didn't keep anybody alive like when they killed Whiskey.

Rosa and Jorge are not in the original film. The toy gun is my invention.
The aborted rape and Whiskey's murder, all new stuff. The well ambush too.
I wanted to show Link consciously choosing to help the girl instead of escaping
Sure, he cusses and drops the saddle, but it's his choice, he decides to help.
It's a good step towards liking him better, that was my intent anyway.
I like using the toy gun to humanize Kuroda after he murders Whiskey.
And then call it back at the climax of the scene when Kuroda saves Jorge.
I'm sure Link was upset at first, but we already played that card.
We rejoin the scene after the bodies are disposed and the well pulley fixed.

Quoted from rc1107

Pg. 43-45  -  That's a really cool way to show them bonding, by having Kuroda making a little origami rider for the little wooden horse.  (I don't know if it was you that thought of that or that was from the movie, but it's really impressionable and great insight into Kuroda.)

Come to think of it, why did that little girl give Kuroda the little wooden horse in the beginning?  At first, i thought Link whispered in her ear for her to give it to him.  So I thought these two had a history with each other before the train robbery.  That's the way it read to me, at least.

The origami campfire scene is totally original from beginning to end.
Little Deke too, Link's carving hobby is purely my invention.
It's my favorite scene in the entire script, the coverage I got said to cut it.

In my mind, Link sends Cora to Kuroda to size this "wildcard" element up.
The Japanese were not part of the robbery equation.
Sending Cora with Little Deke gives Link some insight into Kuroda.
Seeing how the samurai reacted, Link thinks there's nothing to worry about.
This guy is a cream puff that a little girl can "ambush". We're good.
And Link tips his hat and goes on his way, it made sense when I wrote it.

Quoted from rc1107

Pg. 56-57  -  I don't know if I like Kuroda shacking it up with Maria like that.  I think it just seems so out of character for him.  It kind of reads like  "I must honor my ambassador and I must honor being a samurai, I must show honor, but first I will pump this whore full of jizm."  It just seems kind of out of synch with everything he stands for.

Pg. 70  -  ...and only way in, or out...     (should be ...and only 'one' way in, or out.)
Pg. 70  -  Pogo stand alone with...    (Pogo 'stands' alone with...)

Pg. 70  -  Sargeant    -    is actually Sergeant.  (Sargeant is in Minnesota)

     In fact, sergeant is misspelled the whole rest of the way out from here.

It's one of those moments a producer will likely toss, it's from the original film.
I saw no reason to pass up an opportunity to show another side of Kuroda.
And to flash some boob.
It gives me a chance to color Maria, so her death has some impact as well.
Thanks for all the typo notes, I've never spelled Sergeant right in my life.

Quoted from rc1107

     I don't know if I like the sudden abrupt change of weather.  I understand it's the mountains, but it seems like they're in a whole new setting or season altogether.  They went from prairieland to desert to snow tundra to desert sandstorm all in a couple of days.  Kind of reads like Cliff's notes for 'The Odyssey'.  I don't know if I'm the only one who got that vibe or not.  But that makes it seem like they've been traveling for months.

You're the first to say it, I'm pretty consistent with the weather in the film.
My main diversion is the sandstorm at the end. I added it for dramatic effect.
I'll keep an eye out for more notes about this.
I like the weather diversity, it's a cinematographer's dream/nightmare.

Quoted from rc1107

Pg. 84  -  You refer to them as 'our quartet' a lot of the times here on out.  I think it might be better to just refer to them as 'the' quartet.  'Our' quartet takes me out of the story and makes me realize that I'm only reading a story, and not living it.  There's nothing worse than being so into a story, and then snapped out of the spell by an awkward reference to a camera direction.

Pg. 85  -  He looses another rider      (should be He 'loses' another rider.)

Pg. 96  -  The stand storm wall      (The 'sand' storm wall.)

Yeah, it's a cheat, I should work on that. Good point.

Quoted from rc1107

Well, that was all I wrote as I was reading.  I do have just a couple more random things to add I'm just now thinking about.

I didn't like Christina at all.  She was very one-dimensional and added almost nothing to the story besides something to look at.  They didn't even use her to find Gault, it seemed.  Kuroda was the one tracking Mace in the snow.  There was no reason to bring her along besides giving a sexy female actress a couple more lines.  (I have a feeling that's the actual movie's fault and not yours, but like I said, I've never seen the movie, so...)

Heh, Christina is way more b*tchy in the film, cartoony b*tchy.
Actually, Kuroda loses the tracks after Christina almost falls to her death.
Link saved her after she agreed to help him out.
It's Christina that directs Link and Kuroda to the mining camp.
I guess I need to made that clearer in the scene.

Quoted from rc1107

But I was very impressed with the writing overall.  Like it's been mentioned a hundred times already, it read very smooth and was very easy to comprehend and stay interested in the story.  The dialogue, for the most part, I thought was great and you got information across no problem.  (A couple times here and there the dialogue got a little slapstick, but nothing that really snapped me away from the story.)

I really really liked the interactions between Link and Kuroda and how they developed into friends throughout the story, (Link absorbing in some of Kuroda's belief system about honor and such.)

Very good job on this, Brett.  Very tight script.  If I wouldn't have read it in earlier posts, I would have never known this was your first stab at a script.  I was really entertained.

- Mark

Thanks, Mark. I just wanted to tell an entertaining adventure yarn, nothing more.
They say a boat at sea, could be anything, a comedy or drama.
But if you add a storm to that scene, then you have an action picture.
And if you put people on that boat that the audience cares about...
Well then, my friend, now you've got an adventure picture.

Regards,
E.D.



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Electric Dreamer  -  April 7th, 2011, 2:06am
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Quoted from emcee
Hey Brett.

I read this twice for a number of reasons.

I like your writing style. Your desriptions are good for me. I felt the heat of the desert, the cold of the ice, smelt the stale perfume in the hotel bar etc...very nice IMHO.

The script is very busy (I like that as it makes for a fast read). Your attention to detail is immense and tying in all the characters deserves kudos.

Hey Martin,

Thanks for the read, I'm glad you liked the story, it's my first feature.
I wanted to create a well paced adventure yarn with some solid themes.

Quoted from emcee

I'm not certain that I'm in a position to critique your work as I still get confused with what we should and shouldn't do with formatting and such....but here goes. (and by doing this I'll learn a lot too).

P1. Should CORA have a brief description? Should her MOTHER and FATHER have ages and brief descriptions?

P3. The 'sheriff's star' action line is excellent. Good job.
Should the conductor have an age/description?
Is the term "heist" spoken by STONE a little modern for this period?

P6. 'Kamakaze' slightly out of context? (WW2 Japanese suicide bomber).
Should there be a slug line (INT. ENGINE CAR - DAY) for when SMIRKER pulls the big lever and another when the scene reverts back? Sorry, but I get confused over this sort of thing.

P8. Typo...'The rooftop soldier PUTS...'

Never worry about offering me a critique, I always welcome a fresh perspective.
You're right on the anachronisms, I should keep a lid on those, thanks.
Sometimes, I cheat on minor character description, it's a bad habit.

Quoted from emcee

P10. The 'mandatory collection' line made me laugh out loud...still does!

P12. I got a bit confused as to who/what ROSE was initially although it was well explained later.

P16. "work in progress" spoken by Mace, again a little modern?

P17. WHISKEY says "he". I think it should read "me".
WHISKEY again, "knocking her up" modern?

P18. GAULT mentions "the skirts". Did we see them, or did I miss it?

I like referencing religion and thievery whenever I get the chance.
Rose is one of those things, maybe needs a better intro.
I think she will come across better on screen.
Perhaps I can rework her intro a little better, thanks.
More modern phrasing, I'll review this for reading flow.

Quoted from emcee

P20. Why didn't GAULT and his boys just shoot the AMBASSADOR and KORODA? (Yeah I know, then we don't have a movie, right?)

P22. AMBASSADOR NOKUMURA (CONT'D) "Silence".

P32. Just a technical point here but I think that Samurai always cleaned their blades prior to sheathing. It's part of the whole Katana learning process.

Link told Gault not to do it, if Gault did it, then the jig is up.
Gault didn't want a shootout with Link, he'd rather stab him in the back.
Once Gault gets the sword, cash and thinks Link is dead, he doesn't care about them.

The bloody blade, you're right about samurai.
In a rage over the rape, Kuroda slays Whiskey and loses his cool.
He forgets himself and does not get all the blood of the katana.
It shows Kuroda has flaws too and he needs reminders like we all do, to do better.
His mistake forces him to be very compassionate with the child.
At least, that's how I wanted it to read. Heh.

Quoted from emcee

P39. LINK point(s) to the rump.

P47. WHORE age/description?

P50. The bar and longe description...perfect...great!

P51. CHRISTINA open(s) the door.

P55. POGO "...retirement plan." Modern?

P57. POGO "All read(y), Senor.

P62. Action line reads like POGO is stoking the stove using his greasy apron.

P70. CAPTAIN CHAMBERLAIN "...only (one) way in...."
POGO stand(s) alone....
I think SARGEANT is spelled SERGEANT.

P71. STONE addresse(s) the cavalry.

P75. EIther 'a hoof' or 'hoofs'.

P82. MACE "Does that combat circulatory distress". First time around this read strangely. Second time I laughed...seemed to work then.

Yay typos.

Glad you liked the slower mid section of the script.
I tried hard to make it colorful and intro the ladies then.
Mace came alive this draft and that's how he talks.
I spent a lot of time developing my supporting flunkies.
I took out a lot of bits where guys are pointing guns at each other.
To me, these guys know what each other is capable of, no showboating needed.

Quoted from emcee

P86. Link runs for it and loses his hat (not 'looses').

P93. Kuroda watches (the or them) escape.

P100. Not sure a whistle can 'bleat'.

Forgive me if I've been a bit picky or indeed pedantic but based upon your response I will learn a great deal.

In summary, this is a very good piece of work. As previously stated, your descriptions are colorful, the interaction between the main characters is slick with some laugh out loud humor.

I've noted that some others feel there are too many characters, however, I enjoyed the 'busyness' (is that a word?) of it all and your attention to detail and obvious depth of research is mesmerising.

Great job Brett.

Keep writing....you know the rest of the line! :0)

Best.

Martin.

P.S. Sorry it's a bit late. M.

Martin, thanks for all the detailed notes, they're very helpful.
I always welcome the effort of readers, whether they they liked the script or not.
It's always encouraging to know I provided a little entertainment for someone.
If you need eyes on any pages, drop me a note!

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

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A list of my scripts can be found here.
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leitskev
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E.D.

Your skill as a writer has resulted in the achievement of a script which serves both as an outstanding blueprint for a film and as an entertaining read in itself. That's difficult to pull off, but you have.

The chemistry between Kuroda and Link is carefully nurtured and cemented like a seasoned professional. The classic juxtaposition of two vastly different cultures is on full display here, and you manage to capture authentically the era and place of the setting.

Because of the Jackie Chan movies, this has kind of a familiar feel to it. There's nothing that can be done about that, it was almost inevitable with this kind of script, but that has been a successful formula, so you might as well ride it. Not sure where this is in terms of edits at the moment, but I would recommend tweaking the humor and cutting the violence if you are going to go with that formula. These are just subtle, evolutionary changes to what is a polished script.

Where I might have some trouble, but not necessarily, is the final series of scenes. I say might because there is a lot of action going on and it's a little hard to follow exactly what's happening. The difficulty is not due to your skill as a writer but mostly due to the complexity of the action taking place. Let me try to give an example.

The scene where Link and Kuroda charge the cavalry while a dust storm approaches. I'm not sure how realistic that is. There is nothing in Link's character to suggest he would do that, even with his character arc and growth. Also, why charge from the shelter of a fort? I realize Kuroda wants the sword, but the soldiers are charging. Let them come first. That's what I think they would do. A samurai with a sword is no match for a cavalry charge, even with our modern glorification of samurai skill.

I am a little skeptical of the military situation around the fort at the end. But again I may not be picturing all the action properly. It seems to me the cavalry would win this rather easily, and the bandits didn't really come up with anything spectacular to thwart them. You've looked at this close, though, I'm sure, so I am probably wrong.

Question: what is Kuroda's arc? What has he learned? The reason I ask is because there is no rational reason for his foolish suicide charge on a man armed with a pistol. It jeopardizes the higher goal of ensuring the safety of the sword. Kuroda has demonstrated an ability to be practical. And perhaps this is an area where one would expect some character growth.

Christina: her character is not at all likable, Usually in this slot one might find a woman who has some roguish charm, like say the girl from the first Raiders movie. It seems clear that she loves herself first, but Gault second, which is surprising in that usually in a movie that love is reserved for the hero.

Finally, I realize Kuroda's death is a big part of your story. But Jackie Chan dying might have less market appeal. Whoever plays this will have Jackie Chan like charm. His death will hurt, which I know you want, and it probably is a better story your way. But if this movie gravitates more in the direction of a semi light hearted gripping action yarn, the ending may not fit.

But definitely an outstanding piece of work here E.D., easily one of the better non-produced scripts I have read. As far as the actual writing, there is very little to question. This script is worth a continuing effort towards the ultimate goal of being filmed, and your writing suggests if not with this script then with another your name will soon be on the big screen.
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Quoted from leitskev
E.D.
Your skill as a writer has resulted in the achievement of a script which serves both as an outstanding blueprint for a film and as an entertaining read in itself. That's difficult to pull off, but you have.

The chemistry between Kuroda and Link is carefully nurtured and cemented like a seasoned professional. The classic juxtaposition of two vastly different cultures is on full display here, and you manage to capture authentically the era and place of the setting.

Hey Kev,

Thanks for taking the time to read this, I'm glad it worked for you.
The film lingered after a viewing and slowly built up to this script.
The first draft was August of 2009, the story stayed with me.
I really do like Link and Kuroda a lot, I try to bring that across on the page.
It's a fine line between authentic flavor and keeping the pages fluid.

Quoted from leitskev

Because of the Jackie Chan movies, this has kind of a familiar feel to it. There's nothing that can be done about that, it was almost inevitable with this kind of script, but that has been a successful formula, so you might as well ride it. Not sure where this is in terms of edits at the moment, but I would recommend tweaking the humor and cutting the violence if you are going to go with that formula. These are just subtle, evolutionary changes to what is a polished script.

Yeah, "Shanghai Noon" is a loose reworking of this story.
I wrote this to learn about the craft more than anything else.
I don't learn well from books, I have to get my paws dirty to learn.
So I used the film blueprint to write my first screenplay.
As I learn more, I rewrite and keep going.
Three rewrites later and 45 pages shorter and this is what we get.

I agree there's still some rated R stuff left in there from previous drafts.
It's a process slowly stripping it out, I want the film to be PG-13.
I think it plays better to Link and Kuroda's friendship.
If there's another draft, those few remaining elements will be adjusted.

Quoted from leitskev

Where I might have some trouble, but not necessarily, is the final series of scenes. I say might because there is a lot of action going on and it's a little hard to follow exactly what's happening. The difficulty is not due to your skill as a writer but mostly due to the complexity of the action taking place. Let me try to give an example.

The scene where Link and Kuroda charge the cavalry while a dust storm approaches. I'm not sure how realistic that is. There is nothing in Link's character to suggest he would do that, even with his character arc and growth. Also, why charge from the shelter of a fort? I realize Kuroda wants the sword, but the soldiers are charging. Let them come first. That's what I think they would do. A samurai with a sword is no match for a cavalry charge, even with our modern glorification of samurai skill.

I did try hard to bring a lot of elements to bare in the climax.
I may not have done my best sorting it all out.
In my mind, Kuroda is going on a suicide run and he knows it.
So does Link, it's never said, but I tried to get that implication across.
Link follows Kuroda to keep him alive, not die with him.
Perhaps I need to find a better way to get that across on the page, thanks.

Quoted from leitskev

I am a little skeptical of the military situation around the fort at the end. But again I may not be picturing all the action properly. It seems to me the cavalry would win this rather easily, and the bandits didn't really come up with anything spectacular to thwart them. You've looked at this close, though, I'm sure, so I am probably wrong.

The cavalry wasn't expecting a fully functional fort with cannons.
In their minds, the place was a deserted trap. Surprise.
Perhaps I need to clear up my action description there.
You're not the first to bring it up. It's a very complex sequence.
50 men get taken out my a dozen men in a fort with cannons.
I'll work on getting my vision better on the page, thanks.
I don't make it easy on myself by creating a complicated conclusion either.
But, that's the way I like them.

Quoted from leitskev

Question: what is Kuroda's arc? What has he learned? The reason I ask is because there is no rational reason for his foolish suicide charge on a man armed with a pistol. It jeopardizes the higher goal of ensuring the safety of the sword. Kuroda has demonstrated an ability to be practical. And perhaps this is an area where one would expect some character growth.

Kuroda charged Gault out of revenge for Namuro.
He recovered the sword, first priority and now it's revenge time.
Kuroda's downfall is letting vengeance get the better of him.
In the end, Kuroda entrusts Link with the Imperial Katana.
When he gives that sword to Link, that's when he learns to trust in others.
It's not as pronounced as Link's arc, but it's there.
Perhaps I need to strengthen and verbalize it better, thanks.

Quoted from leitskev

Christina: her character is not at all likable, Usually in this slot one might find a woman who has some roguish charm, like say the girl from the first Raiders movie. It seems clear that she loves herself first, but Gault second, which is surprising in that usually in a movie that love is reserved for the hero.

Poor Christina, she gets no love from anyone.
I thought coloring her past relationship with Link would give her some life.
I like how matter of fact she discusses betrayal with her ex-lover.
Suggesting at one time, they may have done some deeds together.
Christina is a bit of a villain that gets what she deserves.
So, I wasn't so concerned with likability as I was with her being herself.
She's one of the few characters not ashamed of who she is.
To me, that makes her interesting, but I see she needs some work.

Quoted from leitskev

Finally, I realize Kuroda's death is a big part of your story. But Jackie Chan dying might have less market appeal. Whoever plays this will have Jackie Chan like charm. His death will hurt, which I know you want, and it probably is a better story your way. But if this movie gravitates more in the direction of a semi light hearted gripping action yarn, the ending may not fit.

But definitely an outstanding piece of work here E.D., easily one of the better non-produced scripts I have read. As far as the actual writing, there is very little to question. This script is worth a continuing effort towards the ultimate goal of being filmed, and your writing suggests if not with this script then with another your name will soon be on the big screen.

Jackie Chan gets mentioned a lot because of the Owen Wilson film, I get that.
But he's Chinese, I've actually had in my mind a Japanese/Taiwanese actor in mind.
Since the very beginning, this is the actor I saw in the role.
His name is Takeshi Kaneshiro: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0437580/
He's been a favorite of mine for fifteen years.
He speaks good English, but has never taken a role in American cinema.
Apparently, due to not being offered roles of much substance.
He's also the face and voice of the CAPCOM game series, "Onimusha".

Thanks for the vote of confidence, I'm working on an original feature right now.
Red Sun is a continuing effective learning experience for me.
I hope to carry that experience with me into a new completely original script.

Your effort is greatly appreciated here.
Drop me a note if you want eyes on a piece of work.

Regards,
E.D.



LATEST NEWS

CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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