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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 10033 views)
Don
Posted: October 15th, 2010, 4:59pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Red Sun by Brett Martin (electric dreamer) - Western - A double crossed thief and a honorable samurai form an uneasy alliance in order to recover a priceless stolen artifact and a fortune in gold. 101 pages - pdf, format


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Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  March 9th, 2011, 5:52pm
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Electric Dreamer
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***Author's Note, Please Read Before Commenting***

Thanks for taking the time to flip through my first script.
This is a "spec remake" of a 1971 film.
It is not for sale and strictly a training tool and a writing sample.
It was just one of those things that would not go away until I wrote it down.
While polishing up my skills on this script, I have been developing original material.
Thank you to all that make this such a fun site for me.

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.

Revision History (1 edits)
Electric Dreamer  -  October 25th, 2010, 8:00pm
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conwall
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Reads more like a novel than a script.  Probably something like twenty or so speaking parts in the first few pages make it very difficult to read, let alone follow.  The action sequences were pretty well done.  I particularly liked when the train started to go in reverse.  That surprised me.  But we spend a lot of time introducing characters on the train platform, who don't say anything.

Better if Link just gets on board and we get the feel for everything as he walks from car to car or something.

I also liked where the guy drew a star on the window.  Great example of Showing instead of Telling.  

Sophisticated story telling, but come on with now this guy, and this guy, and this guy, oh and don't forget this guy, and another guy, but wait, there's also this guy and this guy.  

Holy crap.  Who can keep up?


Your comments welcome on:  GOD GETS FIRED.  Comedy, 89 pages.  Humans are such a failure that God loses his job.  Worse, his ex-wife is appointed to oversee Earth’s destruction.  Luckily, God has a plan…but it’s not about saving us.  It’s about winning her back.

http://www.simplyscripts.com/scripts/GodGetsFired.pdf
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soulforvee
Posted: October 20th, 2010, 2:32am Report to Moderator
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read till page 10.u introduce a boatload of characters.way too much in my opinion.u should also avoid Fade to and Cut to: let the director direct and focus on writing visually.maybe somewhere theres a cool story there. i would gladly read the rewrite
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Brian M
Posted: October 23rd, 2010, 12:36pm Report to Moderator
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I didn't realise this was uploaded. I've read the first 20 pages and I'm enjoying it so far, and I'm not a western guy. You did intro a lot of characters but I'm following everything just fine.

I think you read all of the 7WC scripts so I hope you get a lot of reads on this. I'll finish by tomorrow or Monday.
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dogglebe
Posted: October 23rd, 2010, 1:21pm Report to Moderator
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It took me the longest time to realize what movie this is a remake for.  I knew it was a Charles Bronson movie.  When I realized what it was--and saw your title--I was embarrassed.


Phil
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Dreamscale
Posted: October 25th, 2010, 9:13pm Report to Moderator
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Why were you embarrassed, Phil?


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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dogglebe
Posted: October 25th, 2010, 9:33pm Report to Moderator
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The original movie is Red Sun.  Reading the title, here, should've been enough.


Phil
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Dreamscale
Posted: October 25th, 2010, 10:14pm Report to Moderator
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HaHa!  Gotcha. I don't remember it by name, but I bet ya I've seen it. Used to love old Charlie Bronson.

I'll be giving this a look ASAP, Brett.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Baltis.
Posted: October 25th, 2010, 10:26pm Report to Moderator
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It was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid... Largely due to the samurai me thinks. I remember having a VHS of RED SUN - CHOOSE ME &, oddly; LADY IN RED on it.  I don't know where it came from but I watched it all the time.  Also because of Bronson, but I had fond memories of sitting and watching him in Once Upon a Time In the West.  Which I took much inspiration from when writing "Coffin Canyon" over the last 9 years.  Love that movie.  Love Henry Fonda.  Love it all.

& Phil, you and I were in a topic with the author here and giving him tips on if he should pursue this or not.
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Dreamscale
Posted: October 26th, 2010, 12:48pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Brett, I read your first 10 pages.  Here are my thoughts...

First of all, I think it's good.  There's alot going on, alot of characters intro'd...and killed.  Alot of action.  Alot of detail.  It's all handled pretty well, IMO.

It's a tough read, though, because of all of the above.  It was tough for me to get good visuals.  It was tough for me to follow along with everything taking place.

One thing I definitely did not like was the abundance of exclamation marks.  Actually, I don't like their presence in a script at all, other than in dialogue.  But I can put up with a few here and there.  Every action segment was littered with them here though, and for me, it really took away from the read.

Westerns really aren't my thing, these days.  Back in the day, I enjoyed them, and one of my all time favorite movies to this day, is The Outlaw Josey Wales.  As I said earlier, I have always been a fan of Charlie Bronson, and I'm sure I've seen this movie, but I don't remember it yet.

I have a feeling that because I don't watch alot of Westerns, this is reading tougher for me than it would if I was more familiar with  them.  I'm not sure.  Obviously, big action scenes with many characters are much tougher to write (and follow) than simple scenes.  I think you've done a pretty good job overall here.  I'm actually impressed.

I was worried that this would be way overwritten like your OWC script.  It doesn't seem to be, but since I don't know how things play out, I can't be sure.  There was alot of detail on the depot, but again, I don't know if it's necessary or not.

Hope this helps, and I apologize for not reading the entire script.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Dreamscale
Posted: October 26th, 2010, 6:31pm Report to Moderator
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Brett, as promised, here’s some more feedback through page 20.  I’ll try and get through more tomorrow…we’ll see.

The story is good…interesting…intriguing…but it should be, as it’s already a movie from the early 70’s.  So far, I don’t remember the movie, so maybe I haven’t seen it or it was just too long ago.  I assume you are familiar with it, and have watched it many times, right?

I didn’t take detailed notes, but I did jot a few things down, which follow.  Biggest issue I can see is your continual usage of so and so sees, watches, hears, etc.  Keep in mind that when you write this, you are actually calling for shots of both the person doing the watching, seeing, hearing, as well as whatever it is that is being watched, seen, or heard.  IMO, people use this incorrectly most of the time, as a way of getting around we see, we hear, etc.  If you’re not really looking for a reactionary shot, so to speak, just write whatever it is that’s taking place, be it action or sound, as characters in the same vicinity will see and hear things taking place around them.

As I said earlier, and you already responded about, lose all or most of the exclamation marks!  PLEASE!!!

Let me know if you have questions, as I didn’t really write this stuff down in a way that’s simple to follow along.

Notes -

Lots of Link does this, and Link does that.

Lots of so and so sees this, so and so hears that.  Personally, I’m against these in most circumstances.  If a character is in the scene, they are going to see and hear whatever is taking place.  These should only be used when you’re looking for a reactionary shot of the character hearing or seeing whatever it is.  Otherwise, just state the sight or sound.

lays/lies – look this up and do a search and replace wherever it’s wrong.

Careful of your Slugs – make sure all the action is actually taking place where you say we are.  I think there are some issues early on with the train fight scenes.

POV shots – make sure only what is seen through the POV is included.  When you leave the POV, you need to “RETURN TO SCENE”

Problem with a line on page 9, beginning with “Corporal Holly and fire…”

MOMENTS LATER/MINUTES LATER – Be consistent…you’ve use both.  Also watch your times in your Slugs and make sure they make sense and are exactly what you want.

I am not a fan of “INT/EXT” scenes.  IMO, it’s lazy writing, and in this case, I think it’s harder to follow along.

LUXURY CAR/AMBASSADOR’S LUXERY CAR – One and the same car?  If so, again, you’ve used both.  You want and need to be 100% consistent with your Slugs.

Some missing commas throughout.  Most don’t really matter, but some change the read, so I’d give it another read through to catch them.

Remember to Cap all new characters when they are first intro’d…even if they don’t have names.

Page 20 – OK, the opening “scene” basically takes up 20 pages, or 20 minutes of film. Is this how long the movie version takes to set the story up?  I think it’s an intriguing story and pretty well done, but IMO, it just takes too long to get going.  Basically, we’ve got 18% (we’ll call it 20% to make it easy to follow) of the entire script spent on the intro/setup.  For some types of movies, I wouldn’t have a problem with this ratio, but I don’t think you can get away with it in an action/drama/Western…I may be wrong.

So much of this is action with very little dialogue.  That's not a bad thing, so to speak, but it's a very dense read so far...a difficult read with so much going on, so many different characters.  I don't feel like I really know anyone yet.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from Dreamscale
Brett, as promised, here’s some more feedback through page 20.  I’ll try and get through more tomorrow…we’ll see.

The story is good…interesting…intriguing…but it should be, as it’s already a movie from the early 70’s.  So far, I don’t remember the movie, so maybe I haven’t seen it or it was just too long ago.  I assume you are familiar with it, and have watched it many times, right?

Page 20 – OK, the opening “scene” basically takes up 20 pages, or 20 minutes of film. Is this how long the movie version takes to set the story up?  I think it’s an intriguing story and pretty well done, but IMO, it just takes too long to get going.  Basically, we’ve got 18% (we’ll call it 20% to make it easy to follow) of the entire script spent on the intro/setup.  For some types of movies, I wouldn’t have a problem with this ratio, but I don’t think you can get away with it in an action/drama/Western…I may be wrong.

So much of this is action with very little dialogue.  That's not a bad thing, so to speak, but it's a very dense read so far...a difficult read with so much going on, so many different characters.  I don't feel like I really know anyone yet.


Jeff,

Thanks again for putting in the effort here, I truly appreciate it.
I will incorporate your useful technical notes into my next draft.
For now, I want to address your concern over the opening sequences.

Yes, I have watched the film a half dozen times.
It's difficult to find, its not available in most regions on DVD.
However, if you know where to look, you can find it on the internet's charcoal areas.
On the top of page 20 of my script is when Link and Kuroda depart on their quest.
In the original film, this does not happen until 24 minutes into the story.
In that 19+ pages, I have also added several aspects not in the original film.
The sniper, the little girl and wooden horse, Smirker, the Captain & Corporal's lines.
All these folks are in the original film, but have little to no contribution to the story.
I hope this helps answer your concerns about the opening scenes of my script.

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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dogglebe
Posted: October 26th, 2010, 10:33pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Baltis.
& Phil, you and I were in a topic with the author here and giving him tips on if he should pursue this or not.


If Brett is writing this just as an exercise, then I say go for it.  If he hopes to shop it around, I would say not to try.  If Hollywood, which seems to be doing a lot of remakes, wants to remake Red Sun, it'll bring in an established writer for the job.


Phil
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Brian M
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Hey Brett,

Thanks to work, I couldn’t finish this by Monday like promised. Anyway, better late than never. I liked the opening a lot. A lot of characters introduced, but I could follow everything just fine, and that’s unusual for me with  scripts with loads of characters in the opening pages.

I thought things slowed down a fair bit until it all kicked off in the end, but it might be that way in the 1971 film, I don’t know, I’ve never seen it. Pretty much all of the action sequences were very well done. I especially liked the shootout in Hotel Maxine with Maria’s death. Also loved the scene at the campsite on pages 43-45. Nice to get to know Link and Kuroda and a welcome break from the action.

I did a quick search on IMDB and the movie reads exactly like you have here. I see your post earlier of what you added, and they work well for me. I can’t tell what else you added though, so it’s difficult for me to comment. There were some great one liners (You dropped your hat!), and some great dialogue about the butter knife etc. If they are added from you, they are very well done, but because I haven’t seen the movie... see my situation here! I’d be interested to know what is new here so it would give me more to comment on.

I see Jeff has already touched on this but I’ll mention it anyway. Almost every action line started with the character’s name, and it got a bit annoying after a while. Most of the time, you will need to start the line with the characters name, but there are ways of mixing this up a bit to make it easier to read.

Anyway, reading this script makes me want to track down the film, so that’s a good thing. There’s a lot of good in here. If you post any more scripts, give me a PM, I’d love to give them a read. Thanks!

Brian
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: October 27th, 2010, 2:34pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Brian M
Hey Brett,

I thought things slowed down a fair bit until it all kicked off in the end, but it might be that way in the 1971 film, I don’t know, I’ve never seen it. Pretty much all of the action sequences were very well done. I especially liked the shootout in Hotel Maxine with Maria’s death. Also loved the scene at the campsite on pages 43-45. Nice to get to know Link and Kuroda and a welcome break from the action.


Thanks for completing the read Brian, it means a lot to me!
I will address those tech issues Jeff mentioned in the new draft.
Red Sun is my first script, so its an evolving training tool for me.
I'm glad you liked the action, all of it is original material.
The environments are the same, but I completely reworked the actual action.
The campfire scene with whittling and origami? Completely original by me.
The wooden carving and origami stuff do not exist in the original script.


Quoted from Brian M
I did a quick search on IMDB and the movie reads exactly like you have here. I see your post earlier of what you added, and they work well for me. I can’t tell what else you added though, so it’s difficult for me to comment. There were some great one liners (You dropped your hat!), and some great dialogue about the butter knife etc. If they are added from you, they are very well done, but because I haven’t seen the movie... see my situation here! I’d be interested to know what is new here so it would give me more to comment on.


The hat dropping by Stone and the return pay off on the bridge, all me.
The butter knife is referred to once in the original, I kept on using it.
The whole bit about the "nag" is me. The Captain has one line in the original film.
Stone never returns after the opening scene of the original film.
I hope this help, I will PM you about tracking down the hard to find original film.



Quoted from Brian M
Anyway, reading this script makes me want to track down the film, so that’s a good thing. There’s a lot of good in here. If you post any more scripts, give me a PM, I’d love to give them a read. Thanks!

Brian


Well, that's great news!
It pleases me a non Western fan is interested enough to follow up on the film.
I will be uploading a redo of my OWC effort soonish, I'll keep you posted.
Thanks again so much!

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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medstudent
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Read this in one setting which is a good thing. The pace and action was written well.

While the script reads well and hits most of the appropriate story points, there are several critical problems with this script. The First, being there is no discernible THEME. PLOT + THEME = SCRIPT is what I've learned (although, I would add PLOT + THEME + CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT = SCRIPT)

Was the theme "honor vs getting what's yours?" Touches of a theme were there but were lost very quickly.

The second critical problem is with the characters. I could never really pick who to root for (except Kurodu, who I began to dislike for his weakness) because there was no reason to. Link and Gault were nothing more than selfish thieves who would sell their own mothers for gold. Why should I root for either of them? Also, none of the characters had a real character arc. There wasn't a moment for any of the characters that changed them (for good usually). No realization that what they thought or believed in the beginning may be wrong.  The problem is that, I believe, you don't really know who your characters are. What makes them do what they do? believe what they believe? The more you know about your characters BEFORE you write, the easier it is to know what they will do, how they will react to certain instances.

GENERAL THOUGHTS:
I like the tension being built in the train.
I'm trying to get a feel for what Link's position within the gang is. Is he the leader?
PG 19. "Ambassador Nokamura speaks harsh-sounding Japanese to the genuflecting warrior." reads better.
PG 23. Not sure what to think of Link. Is he a bad ass? A thief? A cheat? What's his story? Why did he get into robbing trains and running around this crowd in the first place? I think if YOU knew his backstory a little better we (the reader) would already have a pretty good idea who he is.
PG 25. Action in parenthesis should be only one or two words. More should be put in a separate action line.
PG 32. How does she know he was left handed? Did he write a letter? I know he probably used a gun with his left. Too easy.
Too many "!" in your action lines.
PG 37. Not sure I'd be pulling water from a well that was just urinated in.
PG 63. One thing I'm realizing is that I'm having a difficult time being sympathetic for Link. I mean, he robbed a train, killed a bunch of people, allowed several "good" people to get killed by Gault without protest. Why should I root for him? Just when I start liking him, I remember that he's just a low-life thief.
PG 69. Why would Kurodu ask "Who gave this to you?" He already knows.
PG 75. At this point, Pogo still believes Link is still at the hotel. Why did they not go there to check it out first?
PG 77. Promotion from Corporal to Sergeant does not make one an "officer."
PG 96. Why didn't Mace kill Link and Kurodu druing Link's rescue?
PG 101. Cannonball's don't explode. They are just big, round pieces of metal.
PG 105. At this point, I'm not sure who to root for. The soldiers or the bandits. The only one I semi-like is Kurodu. The military didn't do anything to make me dislike them. They are fighting against criminals.
PG 106. Actually, the sword does belong to President Grant. It was going to be a gift to him anyways, right?

I know this is a rewrite and an exercise. So for your next script, you need to include a theme and more character development. This is really what separates novice writers from experienced ones.

Joseph


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medstudent
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Thought I'd clarify and give example of how to solve certain things...

One movie that I reference for using a scene to make us sympathetic for a character is The Wrestler. There is ONE POINT in the movie that pulls us close to the character and allows us to root for him. When The Ram is sleeping in the van and the kids come banging on the door... at first you think he's going to get up and rip heads off but when he comes out of the van he starts playing with the kids. This ONE SCENE makes us believe "This guy isn't so bad, he's just in a fucked up situation. Damn. I hope this guy succeeds." You are missing this scene in your film.

One addition that would be a good start would be to have Link protest or get angry at Gault for killing the old man in the beginning. Also, a good character arc for him would be have him starting out as a selfish bad ass who cares only for himself and getting rich but in the end sacrifices himself or has to choose between doing something for someone and getting the gold... of course he chooses to help someone and gives up the gold, showing us that he really isn't that bad.

Go through the script and find these scenes where Link could have one of these moments. Use a scene already written.

Remember, you are using your skills to pull the reader/viewer in the direction you want them to go. "I want them to believe that the samurai is a stone-cold killer without any emotion in the beginning but in the end I want them to know that he has a heart."

This is what's cool about creating characters.

Hope this helps clarify things.

Joseph


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Quoted from medstudent

One addition that would be a good start would be to have Link protest or get angry at Gault for killing the old man in the beginning.


I agree. I'm on page 30. I thought the killing of Cora's father was dealt with very coldly. I thought killing her dad in front of her would be about as horrific as it gets, but no one seemed to react too much to it.



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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from medstudent
Read this in one setting which is a good thing. The pace and action was written well.

The First, being there is no discernible THEME. PLOT + THEME = SCRIPT is what I've learned (although, I would add PLOT + THEME + CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT = SCRIPT)
Was the theme "honor vs getting what's yours?" Touches of a theme were there but were lost very quickly. There wasn't a moment for any of the characters that changed them (for good usually). No realization that what they thought or believed in the beginning may be wrong.  

Joseph,

Much thanks for the read, I'll do my best to address your concerns.
I'm glad you found this compelling enough for a one sitting read, a good sign.
Yup, you got the theme. The value of honor over personal gain.
Lost very quickly? Allow me to provide what I feel are examples to the contrary.
I'll focus on the second and third act, since that's when Link really begins to change.
Link could shoot Kuroda after the ranch, but he acknowledges the samurai's quest.
They philosophize at the river and campfire about honor versus wealth.
Link no longer tries to run away, even Kuroda get caught thinking he would do that.
Link could have let Kuroda drown, he already knows where Gault was last seen.
Link rescues Kuroda and helps him regain his health.
Kuroda decides to face the cavalry alone to retrieve the sword.
Link joins Kuroda, facing almost certain death, Link does this of his own free will.
Facing Gault at the end, Kuroda mortally wounded, Link kills Gault.
Link does this knowing he will never find out where the gold is hidden.
He sacrifices the only chance of ever finding the money to avenge his friend.
Not only does he give up the gold, he completes Kuroda's mission.
He doesn't try to sell the jeweled sword for money, he gives it back.
Link starts out as a thief and in the end gives it all up to restore Kuroda's honor.
I can't imagine him going through much more of a change than that.


Quoted from medstudent
The second critical problem is with the characters. I could never really pick who to root for (except Kurodu, who I began to dislike for his weakness) because there was no reason to.

I don't follow what you mean by Kuroda's weakness. Could you elaborate?


Quoted from medstudent

GENERAL THOUGHTS:
I like the tension being built in the train.
I'm trying to get a feel for what Link's position within the gang is. Is he the leader?
PG 19. "Ambassador Nokamura speaks harsh-sounding Japanese to the genuflecting warrior." reads better.

I'm glad the tension worked for you.
As to Link's position in the gang, here's page 12...
Bandits assembly line heavy gold coin filled bags out of the
MAIL CAR. Link, Ellis and Gault observe nearby.
GAULT
$300,000?
LINK
$100,000 for me, $100,000 for you
and $100,000 for everyone else.
Give or take.

I thought that made it clear Link and Gault were partners without lots of exposition.
I like your p. 19 suggestion, it reads well.

Quoted from medstudent

PG 23. Not sure what to think of Link. Is he a bad ass? A thief? A cheat? What's his story?

Well, you're right. Link is all those things. He's a survivor.
He can get himself out of a scrape, but isn't a gun happy killer.
Link kills out of necessity, he tries to let the Mail Car guys live.
He does not wish for the Japanese delegates to be murdered.
Perhaps that could be a stronger disagreement between him and Gault?
He only kills the cavalry soldier necessary to facilitate his escape through the roof.
He's upset when Cora's father is killed, but he's a thief, can't get all golly gee about it.
A survivor is not the easiest person to root for, until they start to change.

Quoted from medstudent

PG 32. How does she know he was left handed? Did he write a letter? I know he probably used a gun with his left. Too easy.

Too easy? I am I detecting some sarcasm here? Hope I'm mistaken.
When I reviewed Shades Within for you, I don't recall treating you that way.
It's established in Gault's intro that he is a left handed gunfighter.

Quoted from medstudent

PG 37. Not sure I'd be pulling water from a well that was just urinated in.

Well, I hadn't thought of that, good point. That needs a rewrite. Thanks.

Quoted from medstudent

PG 63. One thing I'm realizing is that I'm having a difficult time being sympathetic for Link. I mean, he robbed a train, killed a bunch of people, allowed several "good" people to get killed by Gault without protest. Why should I root for him? Just when I start liking him, I remember that he's just a low-life thief.

Great! At this point of the story, you should be struggling with liking him.
He does likable things, but he comes from a not so likable background.

Quoted from medstudent

PG 69. Why would Kurodu ask "Who gave this to you?" He already knows.
PG 75. At this point, Pogo still believes Link is still at the hotel. Why did they not go there to check it out first?
PG 77. Promotion from Corporal to Sergeant does not make one an "officer."
PG 96. Why didn't Mace kill Link and Kurodu during Link's rescue?

p. 69 Kuroda wants to hear Christina say it. He's getting angry.
Sometimes a victim wants to hear the guilty confess.
p. 77 Okay, thanks, I can change that "freshly promoted soldier" or something.
p. 96 Because was given off screen instructions my Gault to bring them to the fort.
Once and for all, Gault wants to assert himself over Link, his ego is muy grande.

Quoted from medstudent

PG 101. Cannonball's don't explode. They are just big, round pieces of metal.
PG 105. At this point, I'm not sure who to root for. The soldiers or the bandits. The only one I semi-like is Kurodu. The military didn't do anything to make me dislike them. They are fighting against criminals.
PG 106. Actually, the sword does belong to President Grant. It was going to be a gift to him anyways, right?

p. 101 The cannonball fires into the sand! Explosive blowback
obliterates the CANNONEER!
Its the recoil from firing directly into the ground that causes the effect.
Perhaps I did not word it too well. Thanks for pointing it out.
p. 105 & 106 It's a matter of honor versus law.
Do you root for the honorable man or the lawful soldiers?
Kuroda is a cultural relic of a changing country trying to hold on to honor.
Link starts out as a thief and in the end gives up the gold to help his friend.
I'm sorry my efforts to show those aspects of them did not work for you.
Yes, the sword is meant for the President. The law is correct there.
However, its the honor of Japan to present the gift to him.
To have the army save it would be a massive dishonor for Japan.

Thanks so much for the read and your thoughts.
Your input is appreciated, good luck with all your writing!

Regards,
E.D.



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medstudent
Posted: November 10th, 2010, 8:45pm Report to Moderator
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ED,
I'll respond to those things that I can without going back through the script. I'll need to go through the script again for some of the other things.


Quoted Text
Facing Gault at the end, Kuroda mortally wounded, Link kills Gault.
Link does this knowing he will never find out where the gold is hidden.
He sacrifices the only chance of ever finding the money to avenge his friend.
Not only does he give up the gold, he completes Kuroda's mission.


I completely missed this, then. If I did, it wasn't made explicit enough or I didn't read it well. I'm assuming the former. I'll have to go back through the script. To be clear, all the other things Link does are good things but him having to choose between the gold and his new friend IS THE ONE THING that shows us he's changed in the end. This point is what really matters for Link's character arc. This needs to be laid out explicitly in the end.


Quoted Text
I thought that made it clear Link and Gault were partners without lots of exposition.


Again, no, it wasn't clear enough on what Link's position within the gang was. There are more than two people in the gang. Not just he and Gault. He needs to reprimand one of the others, be addressed like he's the leader. SOMETHING. I just didn't get a good sense with the characters behaviors towards each other DURING the heist. This is when we should get the best sense of who's who. The behaviors of these bandits were pretty much the same for everyone during the initial train scene.


Quoted Text
He's upset when Cora's father is killed, but he's a thief, can't get all golly gee about it.

How do we know he's upset? There was no resistance to this happening nor after it happened. He just stood by and let it happen. In the eyes of the audience he's as implicit as they are. I'm not saying have him get all "golly gee" about it but show that he isn't for it.


Quoted Text
He does not wish for the Japanese delegates to be murdered.


Again, how do we know this? He had no reaction or showed no resistance either physically or verbally to this.


Quoted Text
Great! At this point of the story, you should be struggling with liking him.

HUGE NO. By page 60 we should have a good feeling one way or the other for your character. We should NOT be struggling to like him. If this person is your protagonist, we HAVE TO BE SYMPATHETIC FOR HIM BY THIS POINT. You are well into your second act and in order to convince the audience to continue watching this character, you have to convince them that it is worth doing so. This is done by making your character LIKEABLE. Not by making it difficult to feel one way or the other for him.


Quoted Text
Because was given off screen instructions my Gault to bring them to the fort.
Once and for all, Gault wants to assert himself over Link, his ego is muy grande.

If I remember correctly, Gault wanting to assert himself and him having an Ego that was more important than his greed was never given to us. Again, my impression was that he wanted the gold and nothing else. He didn't care about Link one way or the other. If his conflict is being better than Link then say so in the script with action or dialogue. If someone is trying to be better than someone else, it is usually communicated with the people around them not directly to them.


Quoted Text
p. 101 The cannonball fires into the sand! Explosive blowback
obliterates the CANNONEER!  Its the recoil from firing directly into the ground that causes the effect.


"Obliterates" to me means the guy was killed with his body being turned into tiny pieces. If sand was just thrown on him then "covered" may be better.


Quoted Text
p. 105 & 106 It's a matter of honor versus law.
Do you root for the honorable man or the lawful soldiers?

I don't root for either. This is where your problem lies. You haven't given us enough to REALLY root for either side.


Quoted Text
Too easy? I am I detecting some sarcasm here? Hope I'm mistaken.

Not one bit of sarcasm. Think about it. When do you EVER think about describing a person you meet by their handedness? Only if you see them handwriting something. I was in the military and shot weapons all the time and never did it occur to me if a person was left or right handed by the way they shot.

Again, my opinion is really worth shite. But remember... don't fight so hard defending these points in discussion, find a way to defend them with the writing in the script. If it is good you shouldn't have to DEFEND anything really. Maybe clear some things up, but hardly defend. If you find yourself defending points in the script, go back and take a look at those areas to see if things can be tightened up. I bet they can.

Cheers,
Joseph



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medstudent
Posted: November 10th, 2010, 11:05pm Report to Moderator
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ED,
Just to be clear on something...

I like the script. I think it could be better, though.

I apologize if I sounded like an ass in my previous posts.

Joseph


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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from medstudent
ED,
I completely missed this, then. If I did, it wasn't made explicit enough or I didn't read it well. I'm assuming the former. I'll have to go back through the script. To be clear, all the other things Link does are good things but him having to choose between the gold and his new friend IS THE ONE THING that shows us he's changed in the end. This point is what really matters for Link's character arc. This needs to be laid out explicitly in the end.


Hey Joseph, thanks again for the reply.
Here is the scene I think we are referring to.
p. 109
CHRISTINA
You stupid bastard! You killed him!
The samurai clutches the wakizashi to his chest.
KURODA
All for nothing, no gold.
LINK
Not for nothing, the sword is safe.

I felt that was pretty explicit. I suppose Christina could yell about losing the gold.
Something like, "You stupid bastard, you killed him, now we'll never find the gold!"
Is that the kind of explicit you are referring to there? Perhaps that would be better.

Quoted from medstudent

Again, no, it wasn't clear enough on what Link's position within the gang was. There are more than two people in the gang. Not just he and Gault. He needs to reprimand one of the others, be addressed like he's the leader. SOMETHING. I just didn't get a good sense with the characters behaviors towards each other DURING the heist.

I'll go along with that one. It could use a tweak.
The opening scenes or this script are the ones most like the original film.
As I gained confidence, I deviated more and more from the source material.

Quoted from medstudent

How do we know he's upset? There was no resistance to this happening nor after it happened. He just stood by and let it happen. In the eyes of the audience he's as implicit as they are. I'm not saying have him get all "golly gee" about it but show that he isn't for it.

p. 5
CORA
Daddy!
Cora’s Mother shields her daughter.
Link sees the little girl’s anguish, the sound of pounding
wheels and whistle drown her cries. He lowers his gun.

Looking back, I can see how his reaction may be interpreted that way.
The lowering of the gun for a moment suggests he's not thinking like a thief.
It's subtle, perhaps too subtle, point taken.


Quoted from medstudent

Again, how do we know this? He had no reaction or showed no resistance either physically or verbally to this.

p. 16
GAULT
What about them?
LINK
Let them go, unless you have a
thing for men wearing dresses.

Link tells Gault to leave the Japanese alive.
This also suggests something of a pecking order in the gang.
It could use a bit more of that early on though.


Quoted from medstudent

HUGE NO. By page 60 we should have a good feeling one way or the other for your character. We should NOT be struggling to like him. If this person is your protagonist, we HAVE TO BE SYMPATHETIC FOR HIM BY THIS POINT. You are well into your second act and in order to convince the audience to continue watching this character, you have to convince them that it is worth doing so. This is done by making your character LIKEABLE. Not by making it difficult to feel one way or the other for him.

I respect your opinion, but I'm standing my ground on this one.
Link has allowed and done some not so cool things. True.
However, he saved the raped girl and the little boy.
He could have killed or run off from Kuroda, but he doesn't.
He says and does some light hearted stuff.
He has a healthy relationship with Pepita.
It's not all black hat/white hat at this time and that's how I want it.
Link is coming around, it's an arc and it ends with him laying it all on the line.
Kuroda is the one that should be close to 100% likable at this point, not Link.
Kuroda is honorable, loyal, a bad ass and caring for the weak.


Quoted from medstudent

If I remember correctly, Gault wanting to assert himself and him having an Ego that was more important than his greed was never given to us. Again, my impression was that he wanted the gold and nothing else. He didn't care about Link one way or the other. If his conflict is being better than Link then say so in the script with action or dialogue. If someone is trying to be better than someone else, it is usually communicated with the people around them not directly to them.

There are several points where Christina, Gault's girl, is Link's old flame.
When Mace reports to Gault, he's furious Christina is "with Link".
This is the first I've encountered someone not picking up on it.
I'll look into those moments, perhaps they are a bit too subtle.


Quoted from medstudent

Again, my opinion is really worth shite. But remember... don't fight so hard defending these points in discussion, find a way to defend them with the writing in the script. If it is good you shouldn't have to DEFEND anything really. Maybe clear some things up, but hardly defend. If you find yourself defending points in the script, go back and take a look at those areas to see if things can be tightened up. I bet they can.

Cheers,
Joseph


I see what you're saying, but sometimes you do have to defend the good stuff too.
Defend/explain, its a thin line, but sometimes out of defense, I learn things too.
I cite examples, explain my character motivations and pick up new stuff.
It's all part of the process and its all good. Thanks for the effort.
I'll take your passionate replies to mean you care and like the material.
Laguna Beach, not that far away, I'm a few beaches up the coast.

Regards,
E.D.


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medstudent
Posted: November 12th, 2010, 10:48pm Report to Moderator
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ED,              


Quoted Text
GAULT
    Tell you what, let Christina and I
    go and you can have all the gold.

Link turns! He grabs the IMPERIAL KATANA!

Christina drops the rifle down to Gault!

Link charges and drives the blade into Gault!

The rifle falls to the ground.

Link stands face to face with Gault.

                 LINK
      You keep it.


So I missed this point completely... This is THAT POINT I'm referring to... my apologies.


Quoted Text
Link sees the little girl's anguish, the sound of pounding
wheels and whistle drown her cries. He lowers his gun.


Yeah, may be too subtle. Maybe something more.


Quoted Text
Link exits the LUXURY CAR. Mace watches Link leave, then nods
to Gault. He tosses the robe to Mace.


Just don't feel this is a reaction I want my protagonist/hero having. You said it yourself, deep down he only does these bad things because he has to. He is against unnecessary killing. Leaving, he knows what is going to happen. I think if he felt no one was going to get killed it would be okay for him to leave. Maybe if Gault reassured him that nothing was going to happen.


Quoted Text
However, he saved the raped girl and the little boy.
He could have killed or run off from Kuroda, but he doesn't.
He says and does some light hearted stuff.
He has a healthy relationship with Pepita.


So I think the problem (for me) is that in order for your character to have an arc, he/she needs to have a good starting point, a reference. Maybe a line of dialogue like "No one ever cared for me so I don't care for no one." This gives us a VERY EXPLICIT starting point for a character arc. I'm afraid it is difficult to pin this down with Link. Once we have a good reference, the character can't begin to change UNLESS there are things that help to change his/her mind. He can't be bad one scene then good another for no reason. People don't just change. They need good reason to. If Link "doesn´t care for anyone" why start with the little girl, etc? Because this is really the character arc... He starts out not caring for anyone but himself, then little by little finds reasons to care for others until ultimately he gives up the only thing he cares about for someone else.


Quoted Text
There are several points where Christina, Gault's girl, is Link's old flame.
When Mace reports to Gault, he's furious Christina is "with Link".
This is the first I've encountered someone not picking up on it.
I'll look into those moments, perhaps they are a bit too subtle.


Jealousy and Egomania are two different things. Again, if Egomania is Gault's fault, this should 1. be explicit and 2. Ultimately be the thing that "does him in" in the end.

Next time I'm in LA or you in LB let's hook up and talk shop!

Best,
Joseph



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medstudent  -  November 12th, 2010, 11:23pm
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Murphy
Posted: November 13th, 2010, 6:24pm Report to Moderator
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I read this yesterday with the knowledge it was a re-hash of an existing script, so really i just read it as I would with a pro scripts, i.e. for entertainment rather than to provide a review. I can't really comment on any aspect I would normally focus on... story and structure as I have no idea what is the result of someone else (most I assume) and what it yours.

I don't think it is a bad idea however for your first script, I hope it achieves what you set out to achieve, it is a good way to understand how a script is built and a story structured. In fact I read something once where someone suggested re-writing other peoples scripts word for word is a great exercise in understanding the craft.

What I can comment on I guess is the writing, I think it is over descriptive, far too much in places. I can forgive the first page, often writers will over write on the first page to get across the physical look of the film. But for the rest of the script you really need to scale it back. The good thing however is that this is an easy thing to fix, it is very common with new writers, I used to be awful at it. I am not sure how many pro screenplays you read, but make sure you do read some, after a while it just begins to click. You will read a pro script that has a character go into the bathroom and the writer describes nothing, only the slug tells us it is a bathroom, the writer assumes we all know what one is. Then you read amateur scripts that tell us what the bathroom looks like in every detail, even down to the stains on the wall.

It makes for a much harder read than it needs to be, and I think this script does suffer from that. Again, this is just a minor quibble, something you will fix the more you write.

If I had seen the original I may well have more to say on the story, I am not sure if you have changed much? It was a good story though, and with True Grit about to descend on us it is very timely. It has made me add the film to my "need to see" list, so once I do I will probably come back and read this again then.

It was written well though, despite my issue above, for your first feature I am impressed. The fact you have written one I am impressed. I enjoyed the read.
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Angry Bear
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Not sure why you would rewrite another script, but hey, maybe it's time for an update on this one. Not enough westerns are made IMO.

Okay, I read your first comment and I see it's your first script and this was just training for you. That's fine.

I also noticed there were comments in the beginning of this thread saying you introduced too many characters. I didn't feel that way at all. Is this a different draft?

Okay, on to your script.

The story...well, it's good. I liked it. Don't remember seeing the film, but I guess you pretty much watched the film and wrote down what you saw. So, no complaints about the story.

The characters were fine too. I think you missed out on some of the characterization though. Like I said, I haven't seen the film, but I imagine that the characters revealed a lot more about themselves via gestures and expressions than you wrote down. Therefore the characters come off a little more flat than they probably were on screen.

Formatting was okay except for the slugs!!!! There's more about those later on.

Your writing was boring. I'm sorry to say. You had a good story to work with. Good characters to work with, but somehow this was a tough read. I really felt that you were just writing down what you saw on screen. There's no emotion or anything. Someone said it read almost like a novel. I would agree sort of. The biggest difference between a novel and your script is that in a novel we usually get a very deep glimpse into the characters psyche. What they're thinking, how they feel, back story... That IMHO is the biggest problem with your script. We get none of that. We can "see" the action and "hear" the dialogue, but...and this is huge IMO, we get no sense of emotion whatsoever. In other words this fails to reach its potential and feels flat.

The following are comments I wrote down while reading.

Sorry this took so long btw. I've been really busy lately and have only had time to read about 10 pages/day.

pg   1.  what is sweaty toothed?

I think you need to mention why Smirker struggles to keep his balance. Is he drunk or did the horse take off?

pg   2. not sure how old Cora is, but her second piece of dialogue doesn't work for me. It doesn't sound like a kid from the old days.

pg   3.  didn't quite get what happened there with Gault, Stone and Link. Did Gault shoot and missed and Link shot his hat off? Then Stone jumps off.  what happened to Gault? I read it three times. Maybe make that a little more clear what happened there.

pg   4.  I'm getting confused by the characters now. Who is Goatee Bandit. I thought the man in the window with the goatee was Ellis? I think to keep the reading easier in keeping all the characters separated, you need to call them by name only. I don't have a problem with you mentioning that Stone is a sheriff or a bounty hunter and Ellis is a bandit, but when you refer to them in the script you should call them by their names, Stone, Ellis. Just to make it easier to follow the story for the reader. I'm sure on film it would be easier since you can see their faces.

pg   9.  typo...Holly "and" fire"s"

pg   10.  I think it would add to the scene if Cora is crying or something. Maybe even her mother. After all, they just watched their husband/father get murdered.

pg  18.  I don't think you need to mention that Veho is Latin for ride. Nor do you need to mention they ride west unless the suns position plays a role.

By now I'm thinking that this is a very slow read. Did you watch the film and just typed in exactly what you saw? Not saying it's bad, only that that's how it reads to me. Lots of action so far, but action should read faster if done well. At least IMHO.

pg  22.  typo...he "puts" food on two...
  
pg  34.  was Link in the well? he got pissed on?...even if that was in the movie, I would probably change that. just doesn't seem cool to have our hero drenched in urine.

pg  37.  I wouldn't drink that water from the well... Was that in the movie? Yuck!

Is Christina a town? Just asking since it's a normal female name, I wasn't sure if it was a town or you forgot to change a name.

pg  39.  again, I don't think you need to tell us the dialogue is in Japanese. We can pretty much guess that.

you have a lot of "MINUTES LATER" and "MOMENTS LATER".  Not sure if that's correct or not.
I'm thinking not...  You also use AFTERNOON and DUSK and things like that instead of NIGHT and DAY. Not a huge deal I suppose, but IMO it's better to describe the time of day in the following action paragraph.

pg  44.  "never had the patience to learn people"  should that be "teach" people? Sounds better to me at least.

pg  54.  she struggles just enough to make it interesting! LOL!

pg  62.  not to be picky or anything, but I think your slug "PEPITA'S BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER" doesn't work since the previous scene are totally different people doing something totally different. You do that a lot. Moments later, minutes later and so on. That doesn't tell the production if that scene takes place at nigh or day light.

pg  75.  you really need to stop this MINUTES LATER stuff. I'm not saying it's totally wrong to use it, but you're misusing it. You can't go from one character doing something in one location to another scene with another character doing something completely different and say that it's minutes later. It's getting very annoying. Minutes later means what's happening in this scene is taking place minutes later than the previous one!

pg  77.  I think it's sergeant, not sargeant...

pg  85.  wrong use of MINUTES LATER again. Those are actually everywhere in this script, but I have to point this out.  Link pulls Kuroda out of the water and "minutes later"  they have a campfire going and everything.

pg  92.  your paragraph starts by telling us "the group" rides up to a wagon. I think you need to tell us which group. Link's or Stone's. I know which one by reading on, but to paint a complete picture right away we need to know who is in the picture.

pg 106.  how do we see the cold winds separate from the hot winds?

Hope any of this can be helpful.

Pia  


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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from medstudent

Yeah, may be too subtle. Maybe something more.

I was thinking perhaps a "Sorry, kid." outside the train or something.
The little girl rejecting it, saying "Liar! You're just like him!" referring to Gault.
Something like that would stick in his gut. I'll save it for the next draft.


Quoted from medstudent

Just don't feel this is a reaction I want my protagonist/hero having. You said it yourself, deep down he only does these bad things because he has to. He is against unnecessary killing. Leaving, he knows what is going to happen. I think if he felt no one was going to get killed it would be okay for him to leave. Maybe if Gault reassured him that nothing was going to happen.

I think perhaps making Link's objection to killing the Japanese stronger would work.
Crossed guns barrels or something. It would show the Japanese he has some worth.
Which is why the Ambassador may believe he can be of use on the mission.



Quoted from medstudent

He starts out not caring for anyone but himself, then little by little finds reasons to care for others until ultimately he gives up the only thing he cares about for someone else.

I'm thinking perhaps not so linear, but something in bed with Pepita.
"I'm tired of turning kids into orphans." Something like that in the middle.
Perhaps a reveal of something else during this private moment too.


Quoted from medstudent

Next time I'm in LA or you in LB let's hook up and talk shop!

Best,
Joseph


Hells yeah! The first round is on me, mate!
Thanks again and looking forward to reading more about rattlesnake tacos!

Regards,
E.D.

P.S. Murphy and Pia, thanks for the reads, will reply when I have more time!


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James McClung
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How's it going, Electric?

Haven't seen the original film nor had I heard about it until I learned a studio remake and Joss Wheadon's Cabin in the Woods were getting shelved. Not sure how I feel about that but as far as Wheadon's movie goes, yippie! The world is a better place without that bullshit.

Anyway, I Wiki'd the original film. I didn't notice much difference except the end in which Link supposedly promises to bring the sword to the Ambassador. In your script, this actual happens. Is this a genuine departure from the film? If so, I think it was a good choice as there's no doubt as to Link's intentions.

Moving along. This script seemed to grow on me. The opening seemed pretty standard. It was also a little confusing as they were hopping from train to train but with each new slug, I just assumed it was a different place (until I continued reading). Think the location just lent itself to that kind of confusion. Following the setup, it seemed really cliche with Link and Kuroda in the desert, especially when Kuroda reveals he speaks English. I couldn't help but think of lame Jackie Chan movies (e.g. Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon). I also didn't care for Link for the most part. I think when they come across Rosa, he kind of turned a corner but he was still sort of a douche and I didn't buy his arc at the end, even though I knew it was coming.

That said, I did like him better at the end. Not quite sure why. Maybe a little more charisma and not so much doucheface.

Kuroda was a better character. He teetered on stereotype at times but never quite became one. I liked his moment with the little boy and the toy gun. I think that was my favorite moment in the whole script, despite all the action, killing, etc. Was this you or the film? It was really special, I felt. I also liked the running gag with the "butter knife." It was funny but really communicated how he felt about Link at the same time. I think the guy fell to the wayside around the middle but no biggie.

The action got more and more interesting as the script went on, as did the dialogue. I'm not sure why but everything seemed to work better. Part of this, I think, is that you divided up attention to different characters around the middle. You had Link and co., the Captain, the bad guys. Just a lot more well-rounded. I think you could've used more Gault though. Then again, he was barely around at all so I don't know how his presence would've fared to begin with. Maybe it wouldn't work. I don't know. You could try it. Just saying there wasn't much of a villain in this one.

I think you should rename the characters at the fight at Rosa's. Every name ends with BANDIT. I'd drop it. CALVALRY HAT BANDIT could become CALVARY HAT. FAT BANDIT could become FATTIE. GREASY BANDIT could become GREASEBALL... Food for thought.

I also didn't get how Rosa knew Gault was left-handed. Do people really notice this stuff?

Anyway, good stuff, dude.


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khamanna
Posted: November 16th, 2010, 3:44pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Brett,

Read your Red Sun, just wondering how much of it is the movie and if the dialog and all the funny bits is yours. Reminds me very much of Shanghai Noon (or Nights - one of the two)

I took some notes up to page 34 I think and then stopped (not reading but taking the notes)

p2 "Cora stops skipping" - maybe I missed something but I haven't see her start skipping.

p3 "The ex-lawman", "the left handed gunslinger" - these are all fancy descriptions for Link and it takes me time to understand who you're talking about.

p4 - "Now jump" He fires, sheriff's hat flies off "You dropped your hat" - I really, really like it. Moments like this make a movie, I think. Is that you though?

p4 Link wipes the crude sheriff's star of the dirty glass - I don't understand that.

I realize they exited the train, but don't know what for. Is that for some leisure time, for food - Cora with a bun in her hands would explain much - or maybe they changed one train for another... --maybe I missed something too.


bottom of p6 "The armed quartet keep the passengers in check. Gunfire outside punctuates the silence. The train lurches backward." --you break here

"Link Cauld and Ellis look at each other" - interesting break. It's a chain reaction - train lurches backward, they look at each other -- looks like it should go in one paragraph I think. And I spotted quite a few instances like that.

p8 I think it's too many exclamations marks in description. Reads very informal.

p8 The soldiers curse the unarmed bandit for the unwelcome gunfire. - I think that "curse someone for something" is not very visual. Id' let them curse outloud.

p17 Cauld asks them to open up the box and Link exited the car. He didn't even tell Gauld to cut it off. Very negligent of him I'd think.

p20 "you got any horses" - is there a beat before he says that... I think we must feel the beat.

p21 - I love the dialog!

p22 "Kuroda makes his untrustworthy companion take the lead again" - what do I see here.

p22 You wrote "He food on two Bamboo Mats" - probably a typo.

p34 Fat & Greasy Bandit - shouldn't be Fat Bandit and Greasy Bandit?
p34 - too many bandits for me! of all kinds apparently, hard to distinguish.

p34 bottom - You have "Miss!" - probably meant "missed".

I really liked it. It was hard for me to start it, I thought it's a real western but it's more on the comedy side. Link is not very cowboyish, he sounds like Owen Wilson all the time! And maybe that's why I liked it. It's also very funny and there are many original bits, with much texture. Like "Do people in Japan make fists" etc (sorry for paraphrasing).
Curious of how much of it is you though.

The first 8 pages were a slow read read. But it went fast once I got past them.
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: November 16th, 2010, 9:34pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Murphy
I read this yesterday with the knowledge it was a re-hash of an existing script, so really i just read it as I would with a pro scripts, i.e. for entertainment rather than to provide a review. I can't really comment on any aspect I would normally focus on... story and structure as I have no idea what is the result of someone else (most I assume) and what it yours.


Murphy,

Big thanks for taking the time to read my work, it's appreciated.
I have been getting this a lot about the compare and contrast thing.
Sadly, the movie is not easy to come by in its original 1971 release.
It was VERY LOOSELY remade with Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan, Shanghai Noon.
Brian (reader on this thread) has procured a dubious copy of the original.
I know safe place where such "copies" can be found, its what I did.
So, I am very looking forward to his thoughts on the reworking here.
IMHO, about 70% of my script differs from the original.
I kept the basic story beats, but cut stuff and expanded on many characters


Quoted from Murphy

I don't think it is a bad idea however for your first script, I hope it achieves what you set out to achieve, it is a good way to understand how a script is built and a story structured. In fact I read something once where someone suggested re-writing other peoples scripts word for word is a great exercise in understanding the craft.


This started as a weird obsession in summer 2009, when I first saw the film.
It wouldn't go away until I wrote it down. So, I did.
What it has become is a good practice tool for screenplay mechanics.
While nibbling away at this, I have written treatments for several original ideas.
I figured since I had to purge this remake out of my system, I might as well use it.


Quoted from Murphy

What I can comment on I guess is the writing, I think it is over descriptive, far too much in places. I can forgive the first page, often writers will over write on the first page to get across the physical look of the film. But for the rest of the script you really need to scale it back. The good thing however is that this is an easy thing to fix, it is very common with new writers.


I'm guilty as charged! This is actually the third draft.
Believe it or not, this draft is toned down with the descriptions.
The first draft of this script came in at 148 pages.
I've already chopped about 15 pages of novel type junk out of it.
I agree it needs, more, but I work on this in between original ideas.


Quoted from Murphy

If I had seen the original I may well have more to say on the story, I am not sure if you have changed much? It was a good story though, and with True Grit about to descend on us it is very timely. It has made me add the film to my "need to see" list, so once I do I will probably come back and read this again then.

It was written well though, despite my issue above, for your first feature I am impressed. The fact you have written one I am impressed. I enjoyed the read.


I feel its about a 70% change, for example, the Captain has two lines in the original.
Funny thing is I wrote the first draft of this before True Grit was publicly announced.
My friends felt this was a bad sign, I agree with you, quite the opposite.
Thanks so much for the encouraging words!
I look forward to reading more about your "silly idea".
Keep writing and stay in touch.

Regards,
E.D.



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Electric Dreamer
Posted: November 18th, 2010, 12:29pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Angry Bear
Not sure why you would rewrite another script, but hey, maybe it's time for an update on this one. Not enough westerns are made IMO.

Okay, I read your first comment and I see it's your first script and this was just training for you. That's fine.

I also noticed there were comments in the beginning of this thread saying you introduced too many characters. I didn't feel that way at all. Is this a different draft?


Pia,

Much thanks for the read back, the effort is appreciated.
I agree, there are not enough Westerns being made.
Hopefully True Grit will be a success over the holiday season.
Yeah, there were a couple of folks early on that complained about it.
I don't see anyone else since here that had that problem.
I hope those early comments haven't thrown anyone from reading the script.
Those first couple of comments tend to make a first impression.
This is the same draft and no one else has complained about since then.


Quoted from Angry Bear

The story...well, it's good. I liked it. Don't remember seeing the film, but I guess you pretty much watched the film and wrote down what you saw. So, no complaints about the story.

The characters were fine too. I think you missed out on some of the characterization though. Like I said, I haven't seen the film, but I imagine that the characters revealed a lot more about themselves via gestures and expressions than you wrote down. Therefore the characters come off a little more flat than they probably were on screen.

Eh, no. I did not copy the movie from television.
That would be a fine exercise to strictly work on format I suppose.
However, I reworked the story from the original script.
IMO, this version is about 70% from the original film.
Almost the entire second half is original material, except for a bit of hotel dialog.
All the action scenes have been completely rewritten and many scenes removed.
New characters were created, some expanded upon, others removed.
So, I guess I should take it as a compliment that you liked the story then.
I know its difficult to compare and contrast, its a relatively hard film to find.

I didn't set out to make this my first script, it just came out that way.
I saw the film and the ideas I had to enhance the story would not go away.
So, I "exorcised" them through writing, then it became about finishing what I started.
I've read you should always finish, its unlikely you'll come back to it later.
Almost the entire second half is original material, except for a bit of hotel dialog.


Quoted from Angry Bear

Your writing was boring. I'm sorry to say. You had a good story to work with. Good characters to work with, but somehow this was a tough read. I really felt that you were just writing down what you saw on screen. There's no emotion or anything. Someone said it read almost like a novel. I would agree sort of.

Sorry this took so long btw. I've been really busy lately and have only had time to read about 10 pages/day.


I'm sorry my script bored you.
The fact that you think I simply "copied" a pro script can be taken two ways...

1) It's essentially calling me a plagiarist. That's kinda frowned upon by writers.
    Not to mention it's a tad illegal last I checked. I don't care for that implication.
2) You think my extensive reworking of this script was done by a pro and filmed.
    Therefore, the plagiarism implication, becomes an unexpected compliment.

So, I thank you for #2 and move on.
I agree I tend to write novel like, my action description is thick, I'm working on it.
I hope in time it will not get in the way of my stories so much. Thanks.


Quoted from Angry Bear

pg   1.  what is sweaty toothed?

I think you need to mention why Smirker struggles to keep his balance. Is he drunk or did the horse take off?

pg   2. not sure how old Cora is, but her second piece of dialogue doesn't work for me. It doesn't sound like a kid from the old days.

Sweaty toothed is a Walt Whitman "Leaves of Grass" reference.
It was a popular book at the time of this story. A style flourish on my part.
I can see it being a distraction to others.

Oops, I accidentally removed the line where Deke rides off, thanks.

Cora is 6 years old. I see I put "young" in there by mistake.
She says, "What's his name?" and "I'm sorry, mister."
I feel that's age appropriate, I'll change young to the actual number, thanks.


Quoted from Angry Bear

pg   3.  didn't quite get what happened there with Gault, Stone and Link. Did Gault shoot and missed and Link shot his hat off? Then Stone jumps off.  what happened to Gault? I read it three times. Maybe make that a little more clear what happened there.

Link smokes a sloppy cigarette. He hears a revolver cocked
behind him. STONE, 30s, lanky, aims his weapon at Link.
STONE
The gun belt, nice and slow, Link.
Link does not turn. He takes another puff.
LINK
When you turn bounty hunter,
Sheriff Stone?
STONE
The day after your last job in
Cheyenne.
Stone feels cold steel on the back of his neck. The ex-lawman
freezes. A black leather gloved right hand takes his gun.
The left handed gunslinger pushes Stone onto the deck.
Link turns to Stone. He exhales smoke in Stone’s face.


I thought that was fairly explicit that Link had his back to Stone, I'll review this, thanks.
Perhaps I could find a way to emphasize the "behind him" part.


Quoted from Angry Bear

pg   4.  I'm getting confused by the characters now. Who is Goatee Bandit. I thought the man in the window with the goatee was Ellis? I think to keep the reading easier in keeping all the characters separated, you need to call them by name only. I don't have a problem with you mentioning that Stone is a sheriff or a bounty hunter and Ellis is a bandit, but when you refer to them in the script you should call them by their names, Stone, Ellis. Just to make it easier to follow the story for the reader. I'm sure on film it would be easier since you can see their faces.

I see your point, I did earlier call Ellis "goat bearded", I'll change that, thanks.

CONTINUED ON NEXT POST


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: November 18th, 2010, 12:33pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Angry Bear

pg   9.  typo...Holly "and" fire"s"

pg   10.  I think it would add to the scene if Cora is crying or something. Maybe even her mother. After all, they just watched their husband/father get murdered.

pg  18.  I don't think you need to mention that Veho is Latin for ride. Nor do you need to mention they ride west unless the suns position plays a role.

p. 9 Oops, thanks, I'll fix that.
p. 10 I agree with that, will make the change next draft, thanks.
p. 18 The sun does play a factor, which is why I included it.


Quoted from Angry Bear

By now I'm thinking that this is a very slow read. Did you watch the film and just typed in exactly what you saw? Not saying it's bad, only that that's how it reads to me. Lots of action so far, but action should read faster if done well. At least IMHO.


The action scenes are the same beats in the plot, but completely new execution.
Sniper fire, arm crushing or running through crossfires and roof hatch escapes, all new.
Yes, the story does go through a lot of action before settling down.
Yes, I agree that my action description skills are a work in progress.
I did not make it easy on myself by choreographing complex action scenes.
I will endeavor to continue to improve my description skills in the next draft. Thanks.


Quoted from Angry Bear

pg  22.  typo...he "puts" food on two...
  
pg  34.  was Link in the well? he got pissed on?...even if that was in the movie, I would probably change that. just doesn't seem cool to have our hero drenched in urine.

pg  37.  I wouldn't drink that water from the well... Was that in the movie? Yuck!

p. 22 Oh, gotcha, thanks for that catch, my bad.
p. 34 Yup, he hid in there. Well, I wouldn't say drenched, but yeah. I went there.
        Link is a bit of anti-hero and you're right, its not meant to be cool.
        That whole ranch sequence is all original material, not from the film.

Quoted from Angry Bear

Is Christina a town? Just asking since it's a normal female name, I wasn't sure if it was a town or you forgot to change a name.

pg  39.  again, I don't think you need to tell us the dialogue is in Japanese. We can pretty much guess that.

you have a lot of "MINUTES LATER" and "MOMENTS LATER".  Not sure if that's correct or not.
I'm thinking not...  You also use AFTERNOON and DUSK and things like that instead of NIGHT and DAY. Not a huge deal I suppose, but IMO it's better to describe the time of day in the following action paragraph.

Link is referring to Christina, Gault's girl. Not the name of the town.
I chose that line to foresahdow the old flame conneftion between Link and Christina.
The gold is his focus, but there's a bit of jealousy there, which he alludes to.

p. 39 I'll go along, it read fine your way. Thanks.

It's been mentioned before and I agree, I will streamline my slugs next pass.
My technical skills are a definite work in progress, thanks.


Quoted from Angry Bear

pg  44.  "never had the patience to learn people"  should that be "teach" people? Sounds better to me at least.

pg  54.  she struggles just enough to make it interesting! LOL!

pg  62.  not to be picky or anything, but I think your slug "PEPITA'S BEDROOM - MOMENTS LATER" doesn't work since the previous scene are totally different people doing something totally different. You do that a lot. Moments later, minutes later and so on. That doesn't tell the production if that scene takes place at nigh or day light.

p. 44 Link is referring to whittling wooden people here. It's not a grammar error.
        It's also intends to reveal Link's lack of personal relationships.

p. 54 Glad you liked that, its indicative of the old relationship they had.

p. 62 The previous slug says morning, but I can see how it would be confusing overall.


Quoted from Angry Bear

pg  75.  you really need to stop this MINUTES LATER stuff. I'm not saying it's totally wrong to use it, but you're misusing it. You can't go from one character doing something in one location to another scene with another character doing something completely different and say that it's minutes later. It's getting very annoying. Minutes later means what's happening in this scene is taking place minutes later than the previous one!

pg  77.  I think it's sergeant, not sargeant...

pg  85.  wrong use of MINUTES LATER again. Those are actually everywhere in this script, but I have to point this out.  Link pulls Kuroda out of the water and "minutes later"  they have a campfire going and everything.

p. 75 I'm sorry you personally find it annoying, but I'm not misusing it, Pia.    
        The scene is taking place minutes later than the previous one.
        If you're implying I can't switch characters and do that, that's news to me.
        As I said before, I plan to streamline my slugs, thanks.

p. 77 Whoops, my bad, that's easily fixed. Thanks.

p. 85 I see your point, they didn't have Quick Start then, thanks.


Quoted from Angry Bear

pg  92.  your paragraph starts by telling us "the group" rides up to a wagon. I think you need to tell us which group. Link's or Stone's. I know which one by reading on, but to paint a complete picture right away we need to know who is in the picture.

pg 106.  how do we see the cold winds separate from the hot winds?

Hope any of this can be helpful.

Pia  


p. 92 Point taken. I need to be more attentive if I want to write complex action.
p. 106 I can't find the line you are referring to here, sorry.

Thanks for all the helpful comments, I'll put them to good use in the next draft.
As to the plagiarism stuff, thanks for thinking I just copied a pro.
In its own way, I suppose it means I have something working out ok here.
Good luck with all your endeavors and thanks for your time!

Regards,
E.D.


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Angry Bear
Posted: November 18th, 2010, 12:55pm Report to Moderator
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Sometimes when commenting page by page as you read, comments can sound more harsh than intended.

I did like the script but didn't bother commenting on the story since I thought you basically had rewritten it.

I didn't say your script was boring. I said your writing was. I felt it read flat with little or no emotion.

In regards to the "MOMENTS LATER and MINUTES LATER" I still believe you are wrong. Perhaps something to discuss on the screenwriting board. IMO if character A is fixing his house in one scene and the following scene says MINUTES LATER and has character B eating in a restaurant, what on earth does MINUTES LATER have to do with the first scene? Do you want the editor to insert text telling us it happens minutes later.

Pat yourself on the back. You did well.  


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Brian M
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Hi Brett,

So I've watched the film and read the script again (finally! sorry I'm late!), and I agree that about 70% of this is original. The second half of the script is almost completely different from the film, for the better in my opinion. I thought the film fell apart in the second half, right around when the Indian tribe kidnapped Christina. It felt like they were just wasting time and wanted an excuse to film another shootout. That scene had nothing to do with Gault, the gold or the sword and was just not needed. Your script is a lot more focused, in my view, because you got rid of the Indian tribe and added the Captain and the calvary, also because Stone wanted the money, too.

The absolute standout scene in the script is the shootout in the Hotel Maxine, and I'm glad it's all original. That's the point where the script does a complete U-turn from the film and goes its own way. I'm also happy that Maria is more fleshed out in the script, I loved all her scenes with Kuroda and didn't want to see her die.

Also liked the shootout at the ranch, which was also very well handled and not present in the film. I think it was James who commented on the little boy and his toy gun. I thought that part was brilliant, too.

I really liked the small changed at the start. Little Cora and her parents are introduced. I think in the film, Link and Kuroda only share a brief glance before the train boards, but your script has Cora presenting Kuroda with the wooden horse to say sorry for laughing at him. I liked that addition. Also, in the film when Gault shoots the man reaching for his gun, the bullet rips right through him and through the guy in the seat behind. In the film, it's just a random guy, but in the script, it's Cora's father. That was a very, very smart move, as you took a scene from the film with no emotional impact (I didn't know who the guy was), and made it quite moving, especially when Cora shouts "Daddy!".

Another part of the film that annoyed me. When Gault and his crew are riding away, Kuroda calls him over and asks for his name and tells him he intends to see him dead. That didn't work for me. Gault has just killed several people in cold blood, why wouldn't he just end Kuroda's life right there? I'm glad you got rid of this in the script.

Just a small change made me smile - the way Link and Gault made Stone jump from he moving train. In the movie, the just tell him to jump and he jumps, but I liked the addition of shooting his hat off and telling him he'd dropped his hat. A very small change, but it made me smile.

One or two changes didn't work as well as the film, but they were very small and hardly worth mentioning as they didn't affect the story in any way. One example, when Link meets Pepita. In the film, she sees Kuroda first, and is quite rightly scared, then Link appears behind her. In the script, she enters the room and sees Link standing by the doorway and runs into his arms. Like I said, hardly worth mentioning, but that was one of the few instances where the change didn't work any better than the original film.

While I remember, there wasn't much an ending with Pepita and Link in the script or the film. That was something I wanted to see.

I've read the comments, and I wanted to say that Link's character arc worked for me. Someone mentioned that you can see it coming, but it worked for me anyway. I also liked how Link killed Gault with the sword in the script. Much more fitting.

Anyway, it was a good film, but the changes you made definitely improved it overall, especially in the second half. I can't think of anything more to add right now, but if I do I'll come back and add. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the film, I've certainly learned a lot.

Brian
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: November 20th, 2010, 12:56pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from James McClung
How's it going, Electric?

Haven't seen the original film nor had I heard about it until I learned a studio remake and Joss Wheadon's Cabin in the Woods were getting shelved. Not sure how I feel about that but as far as Wheadon's movie goes, yippie! The world is a better place without that bullshit.

Hey James!

Much thanks for the read, I'm grateful for you giving my work your time.
A studio remake? Not sure to which you are referring to here. Red Sun? Really?
I've not heard any news about this particular property being remade by a studio.
As to Cabin in the Woods, MGM lacks the funding to properly distribute the film.
With restructuring through bankruptcy, the film is due out  I think spring 2011.
LOL are not not a Joss Whedon fan? Aww, how could you not like Dr. Horrible? =p


Quoted from James McClung

Anyway, I Wiki'd the original film. I didn't notice much difference except the end in which Link supposedly promises to bring the sword to the Ambassador. In your script, this actual happens. Is this a genuine departure from the film? If so, I think it was a good choice as there's no doubt as to Link's intentions.


Yes, you are correct. I added a scene with the Ambassador and Link at the end.
I felt it was paramount to Link's character arc to show him giving his word.
It also means that Kuroda's mission was not in vain.  Honor was restored.
Not to mention, a thief gained some personal honor for himself.


Quoted from James McClung

Moving along. This script seemed to grow on me. The opening seemed pretty standard. It was also a little confusing as they were hopping from train to train but with each new slug, I just assumed it was a different place (until I continued reading). Think the location just lent itself to that kind of confusion. Following the setup, it seemed really cliche with Link and Kuroda in the desert, especially when Kuroda reveals he speaks English. I couldn't help but think of lame Jackie Chan movies (e.g. Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon).

I'm glad that the script grew on you over time, all part of the master plan.
Funny you should mention that about Jackie Chan, James.
Shanghai Noon is very loosely based on Red Sun, mostly the first act.
Disney got away without directly admitting that's where it came from though.
There's a detailed review here that talks about the Shanghai Noon link:

http://fistfulofcult.blogspot.com/2009/09/film-red-sun-1971.html


Quoted from James McClung

I also didn't care for Link for the most part. I think when they come across Rosa, he kind of turned a corner but he was still sort of a douche and I didn't buy his arc at the end, even though I knew it was coming.

That said, I did like him better at the end. Not quite sure why. Maybe a little more charisma and not so much doucheface.

Link does some very thief/killer things early on, that is intentional.
As the story unfolds, Kuroda grows on him and in turn, influences Link.
All part of the master plan, my friend.


Quoted from James McClung

Kuroda was a better character. He teetered on stereotype at times but never quite became one. I liked his moment with the little boy and the toy gun. I think that was my favorite moment in the whole script, despite all the action, killing, etc. Was this you or the film? It was really special, I felt. I also liked the running gag with the "butter knife." It was funny but really communicated how he felt about Link at the same time. I think the guy fell to the wayside around the middle but no biggie.

Kuroda is the better man, there's no doubt about that throughout the picture.
Though Kuroda does learn to trust Link as the story goes on too.
They both drop their preconceived notions about the other and learn to work together.
The little boy and toy gun you mention are completely invented by me
The ranch scene plays out very different in the actual film.
Brian from Glasgow is the first to have seen the film and compared it to my script.
You may find his comments interesting to check out, if the mood strikes you.
Jorge and his toy gun are very special to me too, I'm proud of that beat in the story.
Thank you very much for pointing out to me how you felt about my additions there.
The butter knife gag is from the original film, but they only use it once.
I thought it would be great to keep coming back to it, as well as the nag joke.


Quoted from James McClung

The action got more and more interesting as the script went on, as did the dialogue. I'm not sure why but everything seemed to work better. Part of this, I think, is that you divided up attention to different characters around the middle. You had Link and co., the Captain, the bad guys. Just a lot more well-rounded. I think you could've used more Gault though. Then again, he was barely around at all so I don't know how his presence would've fared to begin with. Maybe it wouldn't work. I don't know. You could try it. Just saying there wasn't much of a villain in this one.

I'm glad as you went on the story worked better for you.
As the script goes on, its more original material leading up to the hotel shootout.
The hotel shootout and everything that follows is all original stuff.
I would say IMHO that about 70% of this script has been rewritten for this version.
Brian's comments above can shed more light on the subject, if you're interested.
I can also point you in the direction of where to grab this hard to find film, if you like.
I'm glad you like the return of Stone and the Captain.
In the original script, those characters never return in the second half of the film.
You are right, Gault is a somewhat absentee villain.
He is discussed much, but seen little, he's not in the second act at all.
In the end, villain duties are shared by Gault, the Captain and some Stone added.
Gault is not around as much because I see him more as an objective.
The real villain in the film is personal gain over personal honor.
The characters struggle with pride, honor, greed and ego, its not just about obstacles.
I'm not making excuses, just saying I consciously kept villains out of the second act.
I wanted the second act to focus on Link and Kuroda sorting out their partnership.


Quoted from James McClung

I think you should rename the characters at the fight at Rosa's. Every name ends with BANDIT. I'd drop it. CALVALRY HAT BANDIT could become CALVARY HAT. FAT BANDIT could become FATTIE. GREASY BANDIT could become GREASEBALL... Food for thought.

I also didn't get how Rosa knew Gault was left-handed. Do people really notice this stuff?

Anyway, good stuff, dude.


Very good point, James. I will make those changes in the next draft.
I think it will help this be a more fluid read, thanks.
LOL, I'm getting killed over the left handed thing.
Guess I'll give Gault a red bandanna or something to identify him with. =p

I'm glad you enjoyed the read.
I encourage you to check out Brian's post about the changes I did for the remake.
Thanks so much again for all your time.
I now feel compelled to check out your western, "Red Storm".
Perhaps if our scripts get produced, we could get a double bill together!

Cheers!

E.D.




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Electric Dreamer
Posted: November 23rd, 2010, 11:16am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from khamanna
Hi Brett,

Read your Red Sun, just wondering how much of it is the movie and if the dialog and all the funny bits is yours. Reminds me very much of Shanghai Noon (or Nights - one of the two)


Hey Khamanna!

Much thanks for read back! You are good to your word, it's appreciated.
Sorry I took so long to reply to your comments.
It's funny you should mention the movie, Shanghai Noon.
That Jackie Chan film is a very loose acknowledged remake of Red Sun.
Shanghai Noon is much more of a comedy, but the first acts are pretty similar.
Instead of a Japanese culture, they went for the Chinese empire instead.
Which pretty much removes the social commentary of the original film.
Part of the subtext is that Kuroda comes from a dying culture.
Japan of the late 1800's is being slowly industrialized.
They are most interested in emulating the west than preserving their past.

Quoted from khamanna

I took some notes up to page 34 I think and then stopped (not reading but taking the notes)

p2 "Cora stops skipping" - maybe I missed something but I haven't see her start skipping.

p3 "The ex-lawman", "the left handed gunslinger" - these are all fancy descriptions for Link and it takes me time to understand who you're talking about.

p4 - "Now jump" He fires, sheriff's hat flies off "You dropped your hat" - I really, really like it. Moments like this make a movie, I think. Is that you though?

p4 Link wipes the crude sheriff's star of the dirty glass - I don't understand that.

p. 2
I see what you mean, I changed skips to cavort on p. 1 with Cora.
I will fix that in the next draft, thanks.

p. 3
Actually, the ex-lawman is Stone.
The left handed gunslinger is Gault.
I'll revisit those descriptions and try to make them a bit clearer.

p. 4
Shooting the hat off of Stone's head and "You dropped your hat" is all me. Thanks.
In the original, Link just tells Stone to jump and he jumps. Glad you liked it.

p. 4
Earlier, Ellis drew a star on the window to alert Link to Stone's presence.
Link knows their is a lawman on the train that could foil their robbery plans.
After Link gets rid of Stone, he goes to take his seat.
When he does, he wipes the star drawing off the window.
This is a silent way of Link telling Ellis that the lawman has been dealt with.
I know its a show not tell thing, perhaps I could make it a bit clearer.


Quoted from khamanna

I realize they exited the train, but don't know what for. Is that for some leisure time, for food - Cora with a bun in her hands would explain much - or maybe they changed one train for another... --maybe I missed something too.


bottom of p6 "The armed quartet keep the passengers in check. Gunfire outside punctuates the silence. The train lurches backward." --you break here

"Link Cauld and Ellis look at each other" - interesting break. It's a chain reaction - train lurches backward, they look at each other -- looks like it should go in one paragraph I think. And I spotted quite a few instances like that.

p8 I think it's too many exclamations marks in description. Reads very informal.

p8 The soldiers curse the unarmed bandit for the unwelcome gunfire. - I think that "curse someone for something" is not very visual. Id' let them curse outloud.


The train stopped so the steam engine you take on water to keep things cool.
It's a small depot station where people can get on and the train can refuel.
In the description you can see them refueling from the water tower.

Yes, I've have noticed that I could put things together in action that i did not.
I was trying to space things out since this is a very action heavy script.
I think sometimes I may have put those spaces in awkward places

p. 8
Yes, the exclamation points, I will change that in the next draft, thanks.
Again, I was trying to save space and the curse thing does read a bit awkward now.


Quoted from khamanna

p17 Cauld asks them to open up the box and Link exited the car. He didn't even tell Gauld to cut it off. Very negligent of him I'd think.

p20 "you got any horses" - is there a beat before he says that... I think we must feel the beat.

p21 - I love the dialog!

p22 "Kuroda makes his untrustworthy companion take the lead again" - what do I see here.

p22 You wrote "He food on two Bamboo Mats" - probably a typo.

p. 17
Link leaves the car before Gault goes for the box.
You are right, this is showing that Gault is a better thief than Link.
Link is more about surviving, getting in and out as fast as possible.
Gault is more comfortable killing and wants to get everything he can.

p. 20 "You got any horses?"
Yes, in my mind there is a beat there, I simply forgot to write it in.
That line is mine, most of that sequence is all original dialog.
I kept the plot beats but threw out most of the serious dialog.
I felt Link needed to be more lively in this scene and less in control.
Brian as read my script and seen the original film.
You may be interested to read his comments on this thread.
He goes through a lot of comparing and contrasting the two stories.

p. 22
When walking, Kuroda makes Link walk in front of him, does not trust Link at all.
Thanks for pointing out the typo, I will fix that next draft.


Quoted from khamanna

p34 Fat & Greasy Bandit - shouldn't be Fat Bandit and Greasy Bandit?
p34 - too many bandits for me! of all kinds apparently, hard to distinguish.

p34 bottom - You have "Miss!" - probably meant "missed".

I really liked it. It was hard for me to start it, I thought it's a real western but it's more on the comedy side. Link is not very cowboyish, he sounds like Owen Wilson all the time! And maybe that's why I liked it. It's also very funny and there are many original bits, with much texture. Like "Do people in Japan make fists" etc (sorry for paraphrasing).
Curious of how much of it is you though.

The first 8 pages were a slow read read. But it went fast once I got past them.


p. 34
Yeah, I will try to give the bandits better names in the next draft.
I don't like random death, I prefer detailed action scenes.
I just need to do it in a way that is not confusing for the reader.  Thanks

You are right this is not your standard Western at all.
It's more about personal honor in a changing world vs. the law and industry.
I did try to inject a lot of humor in what could have been an overly serious story.
I think humor makes the drama at the end all the more effective.
It's more of a rollercoaster ride for the reader that way, I hope.
I tried very hard to give the story a lot of that texture you mention.

The "fists in Japan" line is mine, not in the original movie at all.
IMO about 70% of the story was changed from the original film.
Brian has seen the movie and read my script.
He gives a detailed opinion on his thoughts about the changes.
If you are curious, you may want to give them a read.
Several people have mentioned this point, perhaps I should notify them too.
If you are super interested, I could point you to where you can find the movie too.
It's hard to find, since its not available on DVD in most countries.

Thanks so much for the read and your insightful comments.
I look forward to new work from you and keep writing!

Regards,
E.D.


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James McClung
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Quoted from Electric Dreamer
A studio remake? Not sure to which you are referring to here. Red Sun? Really? I've not heard any news about this particular property being remade by a studio.


Definitely read about it somewhere. It got paired with Cabin in the Woods as being shelved by who I now assume to be MGM.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
LOL are not not a Joss Whedon fan? Aww, how could you not like Dr. Horrible? =p


Didn't mind Dr. Horrible and Alien: Resurrection is a guilty pleasure of mine. I think Buffy lent a hand in ruining vampires but Wheadon wasn't the only one. Really, I just absolutely hated the Cabin in the Woods script.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer


Interesting...


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
I now feel compelled to check out your western, "Red Storm".
Perhaps if our scripts get produced, we could get a double bill together!


The draft on SS is over a year old and as far as I'm concerned, unreadable. So I'd hold off on it. I've done about a dozen rewrites and think I've purged most of the script's most glaring issues. I'll be working on one more before too long. A new draft should be up soon enough.

Sounds like you did what you set out to do with this one. Think it'll be great with a few touch ups.


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: November 24th, 2010, 10:55am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from James McClung


Definitely read about it somewhere. It got paired with Cabin in the Woods as being shelved by who I now assume to be MGM.

Hey James,

Thanks for the quick reply, I must say this tidbit gave me pause for concern.
I was surprised to hear the MGM would be involved in a remake of Red Sun.
I've done my homework and know for a fact the Brothers Warner own the rights.
I think this is maybe what you were referring to, another "Red" remake...

http://www.collider.com/2010/06/16/red-dawn-cabin-woods-delayed-joss-whedon-mgm/


Quoted from James McClung

Didn't mind Dr. Horrible and Alien: Resurrection is a guilty pleasure of mine. I think Buffy lent a hand in ruining vampires but Wheadon wasn't the only one. Really, I just absolutely hated the Cabin in the Woods script.

Whedon does tend to polarize folks, they have strong feelings either way.
Love or hate him, I think he has his own voice and style which causes these reactions.
I enjoy Whedon's work most of the time.
I thought it was great he made Doc Horrible on his own during the writer's strike.
Buffy the movie and Alien Resurrection final cuts weren't really his script at all.
He is the writer of credit, also has credit on Toy Story, wonder what he contributed.
I did enjoy Buffy, Angel & Firefly on TV, Dollhouse, not so much.
I thought it was amazing he pulled off the Serenity movie after Firefly was killed.
I am pretty stoked he's getting a big budget shot with The Avengers.
I feel Whedon is good with ensemble story telling in action settings.
With that crazy amount of superheroes, you need someone with balanced story skills.


Quoted from James McClung

The draft on SS is over a year old and as far as I'm concerned, unreadable. So I'd hold off on it. I've done about a dozen rewrites and think I've purged most of the script's most glaring issues. I'll be working on one more before too long. A new draft should be up soon enough.

Sounds like you did what you set out to do with this one. Think it'll be great with a few touch ups.

Ahhh, fair enough, I'll hold off on Red Storm then.
I'll keep my eyes peeled for it.
Anything else you'd like me to take a look at, drop me a line, sir.
Thanks so much for your attention to my work, its greatly appreciated.
When I'm not knee deep in original properties, I will return to fix this draft.

Happy Thanksgiving! If you're in the colonies. =p

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

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A list of my scripts can be found here.
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James McClung
Posted: November 24th, 2010, 11:35am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Electric Dreamer


My mistake. Guess it's not happening after all.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Whedon does tend to polarize folks, they have strong feelings either way.
Love or hate him, I think he has his own voice and style which causes these reactions.
I enjoy Whedon's work most of the time.
I thought it was great he made Doc Horrible on his own during the writer's strike.
Buffy the movie and Alien Resurrection final cuts weren't really his script at all.
He is the writer of credit, also has credit on Toy Story, wonder what he contributed.
I did enjoy Buffy, Angel & Firefly on TV, Dollhouse, not so much.
I thought it was amazing he pulled off the Serenity movie after Firefly was killed.
I am pretty stoked he's getting a big budget shot with The Avengers.
I feel Whedon is good with ensemble story telling in action settings.
With that crazy amount of superheroes, you need someone with balanced story skills.


I'll have to check out his Firefly stuff (that is to say, Serenity and Firefly). Fans seem to think that stuff is his best work.

Buffy started the trend of making vampires look like they have Down's syndrome. I just can't get on that.

Honestly, I don't much care for TV and can barely watch anything that's not on cable. I think this is the biggest block for me when it comes to guys like Wheadon and J.J. Abrams.


Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Ahhh, fair enough, I'll hold off on Red Storm then.
I'll keep my eyes peeled for it.
Anything else you'd like me to take a look at, drop me a line, sir.


You can check out "Complete" if you like. It's in the Horror section and the best script I've written to date. It's not in dire need of rewriting but all my other features are so there you have it.


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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from Brian M
Hi Brett,

So I've watched the film and read the script again (finally! sorry I'm late!), and I agree that about 70% of this is original. The second half of the script is almost completely different from the film, for the better in my opinion. I thought the film fell apart in the second half, right around when the Indian tribe kidnapped Christina. It felt like they were just wasting time and wanted an excuse to film another shootout. That scene had nothing to do with Gault, the gold or the sword and was just not needed. Your script is a lot more focused, in my view, because you got rid of the Indian tribe and added the Captain and the calvary, also because Stone wanted the money, too.

Brian,

I gotta tell ya man, you really made my week with this post.
I'm so stoked that someone had the tenacity to go through all this material.
Not only did you read my script TWICE, you compared it to the original film.
After you had to download the film and fiddle with codecs to get it to work.
These facts alone, regardless of your opinions, are truly awesome and I thank you.
I owe you a fistful of pints, mate. Anything of yours you want my eyes on, name it.

I had the same reaction to the second half of the film that you did.
I felt they took a good premise and didn't know how to finish it good and proper.
The second half left a bad taste in my mouth.
I did not plan on this being my first script, it just would not go away until I wrote it.
So I sat down, deconstructed the script and asked myself what makes this not work.
Random Indian. It's a sucky racial stereotype that has nothing to do with the story.
Ok, no Indians, well, then what are you going to do for the last 40 pages then?
I pulled an Indigo Montoya and went back to the beginning of the movie.
To my amazement it was all right there, they just never did anything with it!!!
A cavalry Captain out for revenge is much more fun than random Indian attacks.
He teams up with a pissed off bounty hunter and there's your motivation.
The Captain and Stone in the original are one offs and its a waste of characters.
I like how in the script we circle back to them after Link and Kuroda bond some.

I did rewrite the film with a "training wheels" mentality.
I started pretty close to the source material and incrementally moved away from it.
By the time I got to the third act, it was all original material.
I figured this style would help me gain confidence in my writing abilities.


Quoted from Brian M

The absolute standout scene in the script is the shootout in the Hotel Maxine, and I'm glad it's all original. That's the point where the script does a complete U-turn from the film and goes its own way. I'm also happy that Maria is more fleshed out in the script, I loved all her scenes with Kuroda and didn't want to see her die.

The hotel shootout was kinda my big middle finger to the third act of the film.
I intensely disliked the Indians and hostage trade cr*p from the original film.
At the ranch shootout, our heroes have the element of surprise on the bandits.
So, I felt doing the opposite here would help the scenes stand out from each other.
To be honest, I did not have fun writing that scene, it was a lot of work.
I had four action locations going simultaneously, mucho intercutting.
I was terrified readers would be confused by all the scenes building up.
I like the repercussions those scenes have in the story.
Too many actions scenes have no consequences to the plot. Random death, bleh.
The hotel shootout tips off the Captain and sets the final chase into motion.

I did enjoy enhancing Maria as a character, then have the innocent pay the price.
It makes her more interesting and we see a new side of Kuroda with Maria in private.
I like to think it shows Kuroda as a man in some kind of relationship back home.
I never wanted to describe his at home life, that's boring exposition.
Just show he has that ability to feel, alluding to some romance or family in Japan.


Quoted from Brian M

Also liked the shootout at the ranch, which was also very well handled and not present in the film. I think it was James who commented on the little boy and his toy gun. I thought that part was brilliant, too.

The first scene that I really felt was flat in the film was the ranch shootout.
I just didn't buy that Kuroda would be into stealing horses at this point.
He's a samurai, a man of honor. So, I had to make changes to suit "my" Kuroda.
Plus, I like the fact they argue about how to proceed in my scene, yay tension.
Link stopping his escape to disrupt the rape shows his humanity too.
The new ranch scene shows Kuroda making a mistake by killing the rapist.
Honorable samurai can make mistakes too, so Link gains a peg, Kuroda loses one.
Adding Jorge gave Kuroda the chance to redeem his actions and show some heart.
The "toy gun" idea was an on the day spontaneous inspiration.
I felt the scene needed something to keep it from being all grim.
Little Jorge gives that scene the humanity it needs to let our guys shine.
Sometimes you need character emotion arcs within scenes to keep it interesting.


Quoted from Brian M

I really liked the small changed at the start. Little Cora and her parents are introduced. I think in the film, Link and Kuroda only share a brief glance before the train boards, but your script has Cora presenting Kuroda with the wooden horse to say sorry for laughing at him. I liked that addition. Also, in the film when Gault shoots the man reaching for his gun, the bullet rips right through him and through the guy in the seat behind. In the film, it's just a random guy, but in the script, it's Cora's father. That was a very, very smart move, as you took a scene from the film with no emotional impact (I didn't know who the guy was), and made it quite moving, especially when Cora shouts "Daddy!".

Adding Cora and the little wooden horse, help humanize Link down the road.
I like introducing my main characters through the little girl.
Link uses Cora to kinda size up this wild card showing up in his robbery plans.
Link uses charm, but he has ulterior motives, lot of show don't tell there.
Taking random death and  making that Cora's father plays on Link's feelings.
Yes, he used Cora a bit, but he didn't want to see her suffer later.
It shows the slippery slope that Link in on and its the beginning of change.
Link is a thief and a survivor, he does not enjoy killing, only when necessary.
I'm glad my changes worked for you, I thought it started the story much better.
There's also the big pay off at the end when the little wooden horse returns.


Quoted from Brian M

Another part of the film that annoyed me. When Gault and his crew are riding away, Kuroda calls him over and asks for his name and tells him he intends to see him dead. That didn't work for me. Gault has just killed several people in cold blood, why wouldn't he just end Kuroda's life right there? I'm glad you got rid of this in the script.

Just a small change made me smile - the way Link and Gault made Stone jump from he moving train. In the movie, the just tell him to jump and he jumps, but I liked the addition of shooting his hat off and telling him he'd dropped his hat. A very small change, but it made me smile.

Yeah, that scene annoyed me too, Gault would blow Kuroda away right there.
I also liked Kuroda's first English line to be with Link instead of Gault.

The "You dropped your hat" line has gotten a lot of comments, yay.
I also liked bringing it back on the bridge when Stone kicks Link's hat over the side.
Even supporting villains have a moment in the sun, before they get blown to bits. =p


Quoted from Brian M

One or two changes didn't work as well as the film, but they were very small and hardly worth mentioning as they didn't affect the story in any way. One example, when Link meets Pepita. In the film, she sees Kuroda first, and is quite rightly scared, then Link appears behind her. In the script, she enters the room and sees Link standing by the doorway and runs into his arms. Like I said, hardly worth mentioning, but that was one of the few instances where the change didn't work any better than the original film.

While I remember, there wasn't much an ending with Pepita and Link in the script or the film. That was something I wanted to see.

Guilty, it was an on the day writing change for this most recent draft.
I thought it might enhance Pepita and Link's relationship, but it doesn't.
I have some ideas on how to enhance their pillow talk to that end.

In my mind, after Link leaves the train in the end, he goes back to Pepita.
He's not going to go chase lost gold across the countryside, he wants her.
Kuroda's mission changed Link and I do hope he winds up with Pepita.
But I left it open, so the reader hopes and longs for it, like I hope Link does.

Quoted from Brian M

I've read the comments, and I wanted to say that Link's character arc worked for me. Someone mentioned that you can see it coming, but it worked for me anyway. I also liked how Link killed Gault with the sword in the script. Much more fitting.

Anyway, it was a good film, but the changes you made definitely improved it overall, especially in the second half. I can't think of anything more to add right now, but if I do I'll come back and add. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the film, I've certainly learned a lot.

Brian


Yeah, my roomie suggested to me the blade gutting and its 100% spot on.
Very appropriate that Gault dies by the honorable sword in the end.

I'm thrilled my little adaptation adventure was fun and educational for you.
I live in fear that people are terminally bored with my ramblings.
Remakes and adaptations are tricky things, no doubt.
I learned truckloads too and its helping me develop my original ideas.
After having to break down Red Sun, it makes deconstructing my stuff easier to start.

Thanks a metric ton for all your efforts, you really did make my week.

Cheers!
E.D.


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: November 27th, 2010, 11:05am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Angry Bear
Sometimes when commenting page by page as you read, comments can sound more harsh than intended.

I did like the script but didn't bother commenting on the story since I thought you basically had rewritten it.

I didn't say your script was boring. I said your writing was. I felt it read flat with little or no emotion.

In regards to the "MOMENTS LATER and MINUTES LATER" I still believe you are wrong. Perhaps something to discuss on the screenwriting board. IMO if character A is fixing his house in one scene and the following scene says MINUTES LATER and has character B eating in a restaurant, what on earth does MINUTES LATER have to do with the first scene? Do you want the editor to insert text telling us it happens minutes later.

Pat yourself on the back. You did well.  


Pia,

Thanks for the return note. I appreciate the effort.
If interested, Brian has done a comparison above of the script to the original film.
God love him for the effort, he recently sat down with both and took notes.
Any notes/thoughts you have on the story would be great.
I understand though if you do not have the time to revisit the material.
I know this script is problematic as far as review goes.
It's not a well known or easily accessible film to review and compare to the script.
I didn't intend to write this, but I've tried to use it well as a training tool.
As to my writing, its a work in progress, I'm trying to improve my descriptions.
I admit there's inconsistencies with the "Moments/Minutes Later" thing.
IN the next draft, I will streamline that to avoid confusion. Thanks.
Good luck with all your endeavors!

Regards,
E.D.


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dogglebe
Posted: January 1st, 2011, 3:56pm Report to Moderator
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I wasn't planning on reading this whole script as you said it was just an exercise and a training tool.  I read about twenty pages into it, who where Link was forced to team up with Kurada.

I got the impression that you wrote the script shot-for-shot from the movie.  Because of this, I feel that the script dragged on quite a bit.  I haven't seen this movie in decades, but I can't imagine the train robbery taken twenty minutes.  The way that movies are made today, this scene would probably take less than ten minutes.

It's not required to write every bit of action in fight scenes.  If this was the case, then all Jackie Chan and Jet Li movie scripts would be 500+ pages long.  All you need to do is give us the general gist of what's happening.


Phil
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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from dogglebe
I got the impression that you wrote the script shot-for-shot from the movie.  Because of this, I feel that the script dragged on quite a bit.


These points were mentioned near verbatim earlier in the this thread
So, I'll copy and paste those replies here in response.

The fact that you think I simply "copied" a pro script can be taken two ways...

1) It's essentially calling me a plagiarist. That's kinda frowned upon by writers.
    Not to mention it's a tad illegal last I checked. I don't care for that implication.
2) You think my extensive reworking of this script was done by a pro and filmed.
    Therefore, the plagiarism implication, becomes an unexpected compliment.

So, I thank you for #2 and move on.
I agree I tend to write novel like, my action description is thick, I'm working on it.
I hope in time it will not get in the way of my stories so much. Thanks.

Eh, no. I did not copy the movie from television.
That would be a fine exercise to strictly work on format I suppose.
However, I reworked the story from the original script.
IMO, this version is about 70% from the original film.
Almost the entire second half is original material, except for a bit of hotel dialog.
All the action scenes have been completely rewritten and many scenes removed.
New characters were created, some expanded upon, others removed.
So, I guess I should take it as a compliment that you liked the story then.
I know its difficult to compare and contrast, its a relatively hard film to find.

I didn't set out to make this my first script, it just came out that way.
I saw the film and the ideas I had to enhance the story would not go away.
So, I "exorcised" them through writing, then it became about finishing what I started.
I've read you should always finish, its unlikely you'll come back to it later.


But you don't have to take my word for the changes I feel I made.
Earlier in this thread Brian compared and contrasted my script to the original film.

Hi Brett,

So I've watched the film and read the script again (finally! sorry I'm late!), and I agree that about 70% of this is original. The second half of the script is almost completely different from the film, for the better in my opinion. I thought the film fell apart in the second half, right around when the Indian tribe kidnapped Christina. It felt like they were just wasting time and wanted an excuse to film another shootout. That scene had nothing to do with Gault, the gold or the sword and was just not needed. Your script is a lot more focused, in my view, because you got rid of the Indian tribe and added the Captain and the calvary, also because Stone wanted the money, too.

The absolute standout scene in the script is the shootout in the Hotel Maxine, and I'm glad it's all original. That's the point where the script does a complete U-turn from the film and goes its own way. I'm also happy that Maria is more fleshed out in the script, I loved all her scenes with Kuroda and didn't want to see her die.

Also liked the shootout at the ranch, which was also very well handled and not present in the film. I think it was James who commented on the little boy and his toy gun. I thought that part was brilliant, too.

I really liked the small changed at the start. Little Cora and her parents are introduced. I think in the film, Link and Kuroda only share a brief glance before the train boards, but your script has Cora presenting Kuroda with the wooden horse to say sorry for laughing at him. I liked that addition. Also, in the film when Gault shoots the man reaching for his gun, the bullet rips right through him and through the guy in the seat behind. In the film, it's just a random guy, but in the script, it's Cora's father. That was a very, very smart move, as you took a scene from the film with no emotional impact (I didn't know who the guy was), and made it quite moving, especially when Cora shouts "Daddy!".

Another part of the film that annoyed me. When Gault and his crew are riding away, Kuroda calls him over and asks for his name and tells him he intends to see him dead. That didn't work for me. Gault has just killed several people in cold blood, why wouldn't he just end Kuroda's life right there? I'm glad you got rid of this in the script.

Just a small change made me smile - the way Link and Gault made Stone jump from he moving train. In the movie, the just tell him to jump and he jumps, but I liked the addition of shooting his hat off and telling him he'd dropped his hat. A very small change, but it made me smile.

One or two changes didn't work as well as the film, but they were very small and hardly worth mentioning as they didn't affect the story in any way. One example, when Link meets Pepita. In the film, she sees Kuroda first, and is quite rightly scared, then Link appears behind her. In the script, she enters the room and sees Link standing by the doorway and runs into his arms. Like I said, hardly worth mentioning, but that was one of the few instances where the change didn't work any better than the original film.

While I remember, there wasn't much an ending with Pepita and Link in the script or the film. That was something I wanted to see.

I've read the comments, and I wanted to say that Link's character arc worked for me. Someone mentioned that you can see it coming, but it worked for me anyway. I also liked how Link killed Gault with the sword in the script. Much more fitting.

Anyway, it was a good film, but the changes you made definitely improved it overall, especially in the second half. I can't think of anything more to add right now, but if I do I'll come back and add. Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the film, I've certainly learned a lot.

Brian



Quoted from dogglebe
I haven't seen this movie in decades, but I can't imagine the train robbery taken twenty minutes.  The way that movies are made today, this scene would probably take less than ten minutes.


Funny you should mention that, Jeff brought up the same point earlier.

Jeff,
Yes, I have watched the film a half dozen times.
It's difficult to find, its not available in most regions on DVD.
However, if you know where to look, you can find it on the internet's charcoal areas.
On the top of page 20 of my script is when Link and Kuroda depart on their quest.
In the original film, this does not happen until 24 minutes into the story.
In that 19+ pages, I have also added several aspects not in the original film.
The sniper, the little girl and wooden horse, Smirker, the Captain & Corporal's lines.
All these folks are in the original film, but have little to no contribution to the story.
I hope this helps answer your concerns about the opening scenes of my script.


You mentioned that in modern films, this would not work.
Your comment sparked an interesting idea for an experiment.
I decided to make a comparison to a modern film, per your claim.
I chose "Shanghai Noon" (2000). Why? It's a loose remake of Red Sun.
I figured what more of an appropriate film could I choose?

At the 15 minute mark, the train heist ends in Shanghai Noon.
At first look, there seems to be credence to what you are suggesting.
However, there is no item that is a bone of contention between the protags.
Red Sun spends about 5 pages on the ceremonial sword after the heist.
That sword polarizes the dilemma between the protags.
IMO it's what separates an action/comedy from an action/drama with comedic parts.
What the sword means to the protags changes over the course of the story.
If you add five pages for that in Shanghai Noon, its about the same as my script.
Shanghai Noon is a popcorn comedy, so it forgoes the dramatic dilemma.

Thanks for suggesting this, I never would have made this comparison on my own.


Quoted from dogglebe

It's not required to write every bit of action in fight scenes.  If this was the case, then all Jackie Chan and Jet Li movie scripts would be 500+ pages long.  All you need to do is give us the general gist of what's happening.
Phil


This draft was written before I joined SS.
You are right, its overwitten and hard for me to look at now.
I've learned a lot about format since I've joined the site.
I'm grateful for those that have shared their experiences.
I am much the better writer for it.
A new draft should be up in 6 - 8 weeks.

Thanks for the bump, Phil. I'll return the gesture soon on Santa, Inc.
Happy Birthday.

Regards,
E.D.



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grademan
Posted: March 13th, 2011, 7:07pm Report to Moderator
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Hey ED,

I never read or saw this movie. It’s really quite good.  Congrats. You have a great first feature here.

The only real suggestion I have is to avoid asides. Otherwise, mostly picky stuff. The narrative pull was pretty good all the way through at least for me.

Characters: Pepita - is she important enough to be covered in an epilogue? The captain was good but defeated too easily.  

Glad I could help. Detail comments follow.

Gary

FORMATTING: Just me being picky

p 1 The names of the rail cars do not need to be ALL CAPS
      Captain should have description other than just uniform
      Cora should have physical description
       Cora’s dad should be introduced
p 3 Fade to is optional
     The sheriff needs physical description
p 4 beat is optional
       ...family is one row back
        CONT’D is optional
p 25  SAGE BRUSH needed in scene headings?
P 70 periods not needed at end of slugs

NARRATIVE: overall very good / just being picky

p 1 Mention the rail tracks in opening description
     Nice use of alliteration
     Add that the platform is crowded     
p 2 Meticulously dressed as what? A suit and tie?
P 5  a visual for the father’s expression
P 6  the red bandana
p 8  kamikaze description odd for gang member
p 9 rooftop description for soldier is redundant with slug
p 10 train was just moving, did the soldiers move along?
P 12 the captain is on his way to crazy land!
p 31 toward
p 33 good visual of them side by side
p 36 pissing in the well on cowboy – eewwww!
P 42 Maybe the horse speaks Japanese > dialogue
p 43 good mix of action and exposition
p 48 “where’s link?” Might be better “he spots links empty bed”     
        “He fooled me again” and “quick think of something” not needed let subtext   work for you
p 49 innocent kiss between two women - looks like what?
P 54 “just enough to make it interesting” not needed
p 55 gold coin deposit - wish I had thought of that!
P 71  toward
p 84 the knots on the knife were a great ticking clock     
p 89 orphan slug
p 94 compromises > smashes a corner of
p 98 the day is lost > show us how
       murders > kills
       the captain dies too quick

DIALOGUE: overall very good

P 19 the nun joke was a groaner
p 25 grunt line is good
p 26 Link sounds like Robert Duvall in my head
p 31 Butter knife line is good buddy humor
p 62 mouthness is an odd word
p 88 my enemy is cliche - you decide
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: March 15th, 2011, 6:21pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from grademan
Hey ED,
I never read or saw this movie. It’s really quite good.  Congrats. You have a great first feature here.

Hey Gary,

Thanks for the lightning fast read!
It's good to know whether or not you go into this familiar with the original material.
For the record, this draft is about 85% different than the original film.
If you're interested in ever seeing the film, I can show you where to acquire it.
It does not have a proper region 1 DVD release, which baffles me.

Quoted from grademan

The only real suggestion I have is to avoid asides. Otherwise, mostly picky stuff. The narrative pull was pretty good all the way through at least for me.

Characters: Pepita - is she important enough to be covered in an epilogue? The captain was good but defeated too easily.  

Glad I could help. Detail comments follow.

Gary

I wrote this after the latest draft of Lie Detector.
For some reason, I was on a bit of an aside kick those weeks.
Random style flourish, go figure. I'm weird like that.

I'm glad you mentioned Pepita. She's gotten little to no love in the thread so far.
I focused mucho effort on the supporting characters this draft.
Wanting an epilogue with her tells me that she's got some game on the page.
I tweaked that relationship and your comments give me hope it paid off.
I like the idea of folks drawing their on conclusions about Link's decision.
Does he go back to the girl or the gold mine?
Suggesting an epilogue with Pepita suggests you think Link changed. So yay.

The Captain is a work in progress as I trudge through establishing villain clarity.
His role in the original film is thankless at best.
I honestly haven't decided if he should be a megalomaniac or conspirator.
I debated a sword fight there, I would do that if Gault and Link have a shootout.
It could provide some nifty inter-cutting for the film. Mmm, inter-cutting.

Quoted from grademan

FORMATTING: Just me being picky

p 1 The names of the rail cars do not need to be ALL CAPS
      Captain should have description other than just uniform
      Cora should have physical description
       Cora’s dad should be introduced
p 3 Fade to is optional
     The sheriff needs physical description
p 4 beat is optional
       ...family is one row back
        CONT’D is optional
p 25  SAGE BRUSH needed in scene headings?
P 70 periods not needed at end of slugs

I put the rail cars in all caps to help reduce confusion during the robbery.
I think it's the only time I do all caps with props.

I was stingy on character description this time around.
Until I was more suer of what they looked like in my mind, I suppose.
I'll fill something in next draft more than likely.

I will probably drop that FADE TO in the next go around.
I finally found the turn off CONT'D option for dialogue in FD 8.
So, that won't crop up in the new draft of West Side Markets.

The mini slug on p. 68. Yah, I don't know where that period deal came from.
I think it was Bert that pointed out I did that on Markets draft one.
I've put that in my mental folder of format boo boos.

Quoted from grademan

NARRATIVE: overall very good / just being picky

p 1 Mention the rail tracks in opening description
     Nice use of alliteration
     Add that the platform is crowded     
p 2 Meticulously dressed as what? A suit and tie?
P 5  a visual for the father’s expression
P 6  the red bandana
p 8  kamikaze description odd for gang member
p 9 rooftop description for soldier is redundant with slug
p 10 train was just moving, did the soldiers move along?
P 12 the captain is on his way to crazy land!
p 31 toward
p 33 good visual of them side by side
p 36 pissing in the well on cowboy – eewwww!
P 42 Maybe the horse speaks Japanese > dialogue
p 43 good mix of action and exposition
p 48 “where’s link?” Might be better “he spots links empty bed”     
        “He fooled me again” and “quick think of something” not needed let subtext   work for you
p 49 innocent kiss between two women - looks like what?
P 54 “just enough to make it interesting” not needed
p 55 gold coin deposit - wish I had thought of that!
P 71  toward
p 84 the knots on the knife were a great ticking clock     
p 89 orphan slug
p 94 compromises > smashes a corner of
p 98 the day is lost > show us how
       murders > kills
       the captain dies too quick

p. 1 I am a bit of a whore for alliteration. Guilty as charged.
p. 2 I could throw a line in there about his garb, yup.
p. 5 You mean an expression when he's shot?
p. 6 Yeah I all caps red bandana, because of the call back in act two.
p. 10 The train speeds up much faster than they can pursue.
        The bandits keep pace on horseback.
p. 12 I'm glad you caught the set up for the Captain's frame of mind.
p. 31 Yup, caught me sleeping there, thanks.
p. 32 Whiskey chuckling at them was an in the moment decision. Go Whiskey.
        It gave me happy goosebumps, so I went with it.
p. 42 Kuroda dialogue about a Japanese horse could be good there.
p. 48 A peck in the cheek works too.
p. 87 The mini slug at the bottom of the page? I can fix that.
p. 94 Not sure what you mean here.
p. 98 Another style flourish, I was feeling randy that day.

Quoted from grademan

DIALOGUE: overall very good

P 19 the nun joke was a groaner
p 25 grunt line is good
p 26 Link sounds like Robert Duvall in my head
p 31 Butter knife line is good buddy humor
p 62 mouthness is an odd word
p 88 my enemy is cliche - you decide

p. 19 Yes, it is a groaner joke.
p. 26 If only I could put Duvall's voice in Sawyer from Lost's head.
p. 60 Yeah I struggled with that one on the day. It needs a change.
p. 88 Maybe it would be funny if Link said it, but Kuroda was clueless.
        they assume a Japanese would know Chinese philosophy.

Thanks a ton for the super notes, I'm glad you enjoyed this dusty tale.

Regards,
E.D.


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leitskev
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About a third of the way done E.D. and taking notes.

So far, a good read, plenty to keep one's interest. In most areas the dialogue is pretty natural, but dialogue will be a big challenge in this effort. You have Yankee soldiers, Confederate outlaws, and Samarai. The only issue I would raise is that I am starting to get a Jackie Chan type image in my head with Kuroda. I don't know if that's good or bad.

But overall a very enjoyable read so far!
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bert
Posted: March 16th, 2011, 10:03am Report to Moderator
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I liked this more than I thought I would.  The premise was engaging, and it did not take too long to get underway with the action, which is a problem I frequently encounter in this genre, though that may just be my personal preferences coming through. Having a mental image of Charles Bronson in place for Link certainly did not hurt.

There are a lot of characters introduced within the first few pages.  I was not terribly confused, but the script might benefit from spacing them out a bit.

You do parentheticals wrong.  Look it up.

You should give Link something more clever to say during the hold-up.  His dialogue is cliché when you should be forging him into a more unique and ultimately likable character.

I am not sure they had rifle scopes in the old west.  Even if they did, it still strikes me as anachronistic and kind of unnecessary anyway.

The scene where Link teams with Kodura is not working quite right.  I am talking around page 22 or so.  Kodura is following orders, and that is fine, but Link needs something more compelling if we are to believe him agreeing to this arrangement.  Perhaps some promise of a reward from the Ambassador, combined with his opportunity to exact some vengeance, would do the trick.

I like the interactions between Link and Christina at the hotel -- it is amusing -- but it also has a kind of 70's slapstick feel to it.  I am betting much of this is from the original, and I am not sure if that kind of stuff would play today.  Maybe.   The action the next morning, however, is quite good.

Starting around page 73, I had no idea what was going on for the better part of this scene.  This is with the ice and stuff.  The "sound effects" that you provided shed no light on my confusion, and I do not think they were very good or even accurate.  They were certainly too drawn out, at any rate.  There is danger here, and it is ultimately a good scene, but it could be better if clarified from the outset.   Perhaps the slugline establishing their location could be improved.  I think this scene is an example of the author knowing what it going on and not realizing how confusing things are to the reader without explicit details.

There is plenty of action to support the climax, but the delivery is a bit staccato for my liking, and I was not always certain what was going on.  I know you are kind of experimenting with that "stacking" sort of style, but at the same time you should not be afraid to open up the narrative a bit here and there when clarity demands a few extra words.
    
There was a solid story and characters here.  To me, the weakest link was Christina, who was kind of a one-note bitch throughout, and it would have been nice if you could add some extra layers to her.  But women typically get short-changed in this genre anyway, I suppose.

This was good enough that it made me want to see the film upon which this is based.  I checked and I can get it through Netflix. I can certainly see the comparisons to "Shanghai Noon", although "Red Sun" plays it more straight as opposed to comedic.  There is humor in this script, but it is with a lighter touch, and I think that serves the material well.

I honestly have very few problems with this script, as the story is sound and all the pieces fit into place pretty well.  Let me know if you have any specific questions regarding this that I might address for you.


Hey, it's my tiny, little IMDb!
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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from leitskev
About a third of the way done E.D. and taking notes.

So far, a good read, plenty to keep one's interest. In most areas the dialogue is pretty natural, but dialogue will be a big challenge in this effort. You have Yankee soldiers, Confederate outlaws, and Samarai. The only issue I would raise is that I am starting to get a Jackie Chan type image in my head with Kuroda. I don't know if that's good or bad.

But overall a very enjoyable read so far!

Hey Leitskiv!

I'm glad you are enjoying the read so far.
Adventure tales should have plenty to keep the reader busy.
Trying to keep the dialogue fresh but authentic is certainly a tightrope act.
Funny you should mention Jackie Chan.
Red Sun was very loosely remade in 2000, Jackie Chan movie called "Shanghai Noon".
Looking forward to your comments, thanks again for the effort.

Regards,
E.D.


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: March 17th, 2011, 2:56pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from bert
I liked this more than I thought I would.  The premise was engaging, and it did not take too long to get underway with the action, which is a problem I frequently encounter in this genre, though that may just be my personal preferences coming through. Having a mental image of Charles Bronson in place for Link certainly did not hurt.

Hey Bert!

Thanks truckloads for the read, your opinion is valued and always well stated.
I'm very pleased to here this exceeded your expectations for the genre.
Non Western fans enjoying the script is very encouraging to hear.
I try to create an engaging structure and characters to transcend the genre.

Quoted from bert

There are a lot of characters introduced within the first few pages.  I was not terribly confused, but the script might benefit from spacing them out a bit.

I agree but I'm rather stumped as to whom to trim down.
Some are thrown off the train or dead in 15 pages.
Perhaps save the parents intro until they are in the car? Could work.

Quoted from bert

You do parentheticals wrong.  Look it up.

I'll have to look into this, is it something drastic?
If so, perhaps you could provide an example. Thanks.

Quoted from bert

You should give Link something more clever to say during the hold-up.  His dialogue is cliché when you should be forging him into a more unique and ultimately likable character.

I can take a look at the for sure on the next go around, thanks.

Quoted from bert

I am not sure they had rifle scopes in the old west.  Even if they did, it still strikes me as anachronistic and kind of unnecessary anyway.

They sure did, I researched the early use of scopes in America.
They started using them sparingly a decade before the story takes place.
The scope POV does play a fairly integral part of the climax.
However, if I get a lot of notes about this, I'll reconsider it, thanks.

Quoted from bert

The scene where Link teams with Kodura is not working quite right.  I am talking around page 22 or so.  Kodura is following orders, and that is fine, but Link needs something more compelling if we are to believe him agreeing to this arrangement.  Perhaps some promise of a reward from the Ambassador, combined with his opportunity to exact some vengeance, would do the trick.

The part Link resists is bringing Kuroda along.
He already intends to hunt down Gault.
Link is unarmed, wrist bound and a katana at his throat.
I thought that was a fairly compelling reason to let the samurai tag along.
He can ditch the tenderfoot later, in his mind, and tries to do so.
But you think that's a weak motivator to carry through that scene?
Hmm, I'll have to take a closer look at that then, thanks.

Quoted from bert

I like the interactions between Link and Christina at the hotel -- it is amusing -- but it also has a kind of 70's slapstick feel to it.  I am betting much of this is from the original, and I am not sure if that kind of stuff would play today.  Maybe.   The action the next morning, however, is quite good.

The tone of Link and Christina starts out very much like the original film.
My script deviates from the original once they leave the hotel and Link spares her.
I like that they are very direct with each other.
Christina has no problem voicing her selfish motivations to Link.
They have a past, albeit stormy, and I wanted to show that.
They discuss double crossing others in a matter of fact way.
And I hope that suggests the past that I was trying for.
Christina is a bitch, but she's direct about her intentions.
I thought that would help give her more dimension.
I gather from your comments though that was not the case.

The hotel shootout was a real chore to make fire on all cylinders.
It's a completely original sequence set in the hotel from the film.
I wanted to build more tension and make the action more character centric.
I find one of the best ways to do that is to find logical reasons to split people up.
Shootouts get way more interesting when it's an ambush or fort defense.
Scenarios like that necessitate strategy, hence the tension I prefer to write.
Carrying out that strategy gives urgency to even the simplest of actions for me.

Quoted from bert

Starting around page 73, I had no idea what was going on for the better part of this scene.  This is with the ice and stuff.  The "sound effects" that you provided shed no light on my confusion, and I do not think they were very good or even accurate.  They were certainly too drawn out, at any rate.  There is danger here, and it is ultimately a good scene, but it could be better if clarified from the outset.   Perhaps the slugline establishing their location could be improved.  I think this scene is an example of the author knowing what it going on and not realizing how confusing things are to the reader without explicit details.

I'll take a very close look at this and address your concerns, thanks.

Quoted from bert

There is plenty of action to support the climax, but the delivery is a bit staccato for my liking, and I was not always certain what was going on.  I know you are kind of experimenting with that "stacking" sort of style, but at the same time you should not be afraid to open up the narrative a bit here and there when clarity demands a few extra words.

You're spot on in your assessment, I am still zeroing on my style.
To that end, I think I'm getting closer.
However, I think I over corrected and now can go back and fill in some spots.
I chopped out nine pages of this last draft by trimming my description.
Not a single scene was trimmed and dialogue was expanded.
And I still managed to trim out nine pages down to 101 total.
So, I think I've earned the right to support the description where it needs it.

Quoted from bert
  
This was good enough that it made me want to see the film upon which this is based.  I checked and I can get it through Netflix. I can certainly see the comparisons to "Shanghai Noon", although "Red Sun" plays it more straight as opposed to comedic.  There is humor in this script, but it is with a lighter touch, and I think that serves the material well.

I honestly have very few problems with this script, as the story is sound and all the pieces fit into place pretty well.  Let me know if you have any specific questions regarding this that I might address for you.

It's great to hear this encouraged to to seek out the original film. Fantastic.
I would LOVE to hear a comparison from you, should you feel inclined.
I'm glad to hear you mention the humor in the script.
I tried hard to lightly sprinkle plot centric humor throughout the script.
I'm weary of depressing angst ridden action adventure stories.
I think Pogo is the only one that gets random slapstick, face down in the mud.
I truly believe the humor highlights the drama of an adventure story's climax.
In my experience we're more likely to feel for them if we laughed with them earlier.

If you had any specific thoughts about villain clarity, I would like to hear it.
I've gotten a few notes about Gault being a weak villain.
And the Captain and Stone kind of making it further unclear.
Gault is more a second act carrot than a straight up villain, it's a tightrope.
Any thoughts to villain structure would be appreciated.

I'm grateful for the detailed review, thanks a lot Bert.
I'm on tender hooks waiting to read the next draft of The Farm!

Regards,
E.D.


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greg
Posted: March 17th, 2011, 11:25pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Brett,

I was going to read this in chunks but wound up reading the whole thing last night.  That's a testament to good flow.  I haven't seen the original Red Sun so this is an "original" story to me.  I guess if you don't agree with something I say then you can just blame it on that haha.

So this read very fast.  The only parts which really dragged, and this is a big point, were the opening and closing sequences.  The first few pages there's a barrage of characters introduced and immediately go into action, leaving little room to develop them enough so we know what the hell is going on.  At least that's how I was feeling.  It wasn't until after the smoke cleared from the opening action sequence that I really figured out who was who.  And the thing is, at 101 pages, you do have some room to tinker with.  I know - 101 pages is beautiful.  Maybe take out some of the more specific action and replace it with dialogue or tone the description down a little bit so it's easier to get into the grind of things.  Likewise the final action sequence was kind of rough for me too.  Maybe it's the style you've chosen to write in, which is, I think, stacked?  It's just there's a lot of detail going into it that I think you could away without listing so much of.

Everything in between flowed very well.  Some good humor, good characters, and a nice western vibe to it.  A couple things to note with the characters because there was a lot of 'em; the first thing is Mace.  He was introduced as a kind of sort of integral character in the beginning mentioned a few times throughout, then surfaced toward the end as a kind of sort of integral character.  The thing is though I didn't feel that way about him.  He just came off as a guy who surfaced, did/said something important, then blew some things up.  Gault I would have liked to see more of.  I'm torn on my thoughts on this; we know he's the villain, we know Link and Kuroda are after him, I'm just not sure of how I feel about never seeing him except for the first and final sequences.  I can really go either way on it.  I also would have liked more insight into Kuroda.  We know his goals, we know his lifestyle, we know what he wants, but I would have liked to see more of his personality and a little more story for him.  Everyone else, I think, was fine.  

Where I fell flat with the story was the involvement of Chamberlain and Holly and all those guys.  They were in several scenes and played pretty big parts but I just wasn't too into them.  Again, I bring up the opening and closing sequences as being overly convoluted and also these guys were pretty integral in them so that's definitely a contribution.  

The descriptions, I think, you should take another look at.  Stacking is a good in theory but in major action scenes I'm not sure it entirely pays off.  Or at least break the action apart with dialogue or something.  You've got the benefit of having room to play with, so give it a shot.

Overall I liked this.  It's a nice western, has some good battles, some good western themes, some good humor, and it paces for the most part pretty well.  

So nice job on this, Brett!

Greg


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bert
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Quoted from Electric Dreamer
I'll have to look into this, is it something drastic?


No, I was just too lazy to provide an example.  Like your teachers used to tell you -- look it up yourself you'll remember it better.


Quoted from E.D.
I researched the early use of scopes in America...if I get a lot of notes about this, I'll reconsider it.


Always refreshing to hear -- and in that case, do not reconsider it.  If you're good, you're good.


Quoted from E.D.
If you had any specific thoughts about villain clarity, I would like to hear it.


You know, I really didn't until you mentioned it.  And Greg kind of touched on it that Gualt is really absent for so much of the picture, so he does not get much screen time to really make an impression.

Not sure if there is a cure for that, and again, it wasn't really a major problem for me until you forced me to think about it, so whatever.



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Character crib sheet:
LINK STUART (40's), weathered cowboy, "partner" with GAULT
DEKE, his Palomino horse
SMIRKER (20's), buck toothed
RANCE GAULT (30s), hawk eyed predator,"partner" with LINK
ELLIS (60's), silver beard and spectacles
MACE (20's), lanky and pale
WHISKEY (20's), yellow teeth and red hair


KURODA JUBEI (30's) The meticulously dressed samurai
NAMURO (30's), stern samurai
AMBASSADOR NOKUMURA (50's)

STONE (40's) Sheriff from Cheyenne
CAPTAIN CHAMBERLAIN (30's) uniform buttons and sword hilt shine
CORPORAL HOLLY (17), freckles


JORGE (5)
PEPITA (30's) Spanish blossom in full bloom
POGO (40's) a sweaty barrel of a man
MARIA (20's), porcelain beauty
CHRISTINA (30's), a Scandinavian tsunami with hourglass hips




Pg 4 FOUR GANG MEMBERS stand up. They pull out weapons.
Counting LINK, that makes five to this gang. Up to this point, the reader can only associate three people with the gang: Link, Ellis and Gault.

Fantastic lines:
MACE It's a work in progress
LINK Smirker, you put a bun in a nun?

Unfortunately, and for understandable climactic reasons, Mace never will finish up this WIP.
Modify his last statements to include something along the lines of "next best thing is to get the cannon".
Probably don't want to go the Gladiator "maybe in the next life" route.

After Link and Kuroda start talking it's d@mn near impossible to NOT envision Owen Wilson & Jackie Chan.

IMHO, this will immensely work adversely in this production's potential.  

Pg 31 Kuroda severs Whiskey's hand off at the wrist.
Well... up until this you have a nice PG-13 show going on.
But right on the heels of attempted rape (of a possible minor) comes this.
I dunno.
A third of the way in is kinda deep to be "switching horses", so to speak.

The samurai opens up Whiskey's throat with his steel. Blood
flow chokes the sound. Whiskey falls to the floor.

Aw... h3ll. R. 4 shur.

Pg 32 Kuroda sheaths the crimson stained weapon.
Unlikely.
Maybe you're shooting for a little dramatic movie magic, but no sensible soldier is going to sheath a bloody blade back into it's scabbard.
Kuroda would've cleaned it off on something.
Maybe dead red's shirt on the bed post?

Pg 35 Is "prick" anachronistically acceptable?

A glut of gold coins and guts spill out of him.
R.
Jorge smiles proud and wide. He holsters his toy gun.
G.

Waitaminit...
Go back...
Ponytail splits the well's pulley with a shot.
followed by blah blah blah
Kuroda helps Link climb up to safety.
Was that Ponytail's last dying shot?
D@mn. That's a pretty lucky death-shot there.
In all seriousness, there's some major wiffle-waffle back and forth between some fun PG-13 movie magic and what would be called rated R-U-FN'-kidding-me?!
Do you want this to be R or PG-13?

Kuroda sticks a shovel into a fresh grave by the barn.
Link tests the makeshift repairs on the well.

Grave? Whose grave? Who'd they bury?
Surely not PONCHO, PONYTAIL, CAVALRY HAT, FATTY and BANDOLIER?
First, that'd be "graves", plural.
Second, it takes waaaay too much time to dig and bury one guy, let alone five.
Third, this is rated R: Drag 'em by rope back to town or at least halfway to town.
Fourth, what?! Repairs on the well? WTH happened to the well? The pulley was split (wooden?), which means some SOB had to go back down the well to retrieve the bucket and rope? Then they re-pullied it?
Pshhhh. Samurai Sam has only five days left before it's seppuku time.
Ain't got time.
Drag 'em! Wave g'bye to the kids.

Rosa and Jorge watch Link. The boy covers his mouth.
LINK What? (remembers) Oh.

G.

KURODA What is, the nag?
LINK Nag means excellent horse, easy to ride, no problems for foreigners.

G.

LINK Kuroda, you can't spend ideals.
The pair stare at each other. Impasse.

Classic principle vs. practicality. Nice.

LINK What's going on?
KURODA I saw, a big animal.
LINK Is that a fact?
KURODA Yes, this is, a fact.

Owen and Jackie. All the way.


Pg 46. Kuroda lays down. He turns away from THE cackling cowboy.

Captain Chamberlain and a WHORE enter from the BAR.
PG-13

LINK Why not thirty?
  
I'm having a hard time flip-flopping between the way Owen Wilson would deliver that line and the way Clint Eastwood (back in the day) would deliver it.

Pogo exits back to the kitchen. Pots and pans clang.
G.

Link drops the coin into her cleavage.
PG-13

KURODA I am, keeping warm.
Very funny. Nice.

Link hammers the steel into bent submission.
Again. Very funny.

POGO This is not a good retirement plan.
LOL!

KURODA Samurai have wife and one not wife.
Might wanna hyphenate those last two: not-wife.

Maria warms. She unbuttons, revealing... anything at all!
R.

I'll quit beating this G+R conflict drum after I nag on it just this last time.
Which is good, because pages 64 - 66 coming up is chock full of R material.

Pg 67 Stone cleans a rifle.
How is it that Super Sheriff Stone (and Captain Chamberlain) didn't hear all of that gunfight... somewhere in town.
Or no one came running to tell him/them?

Okay so they have the burned & blinded Smirker tied to a chair, blah blah blah, then they're off to the snow capped mountains.
Do you need a scene in there where Smirker gives up Mace or Gault.
So far the story has pretty much spoon fed the audience, but this is the first moment of "suspenseful withholding of information".

And you might wanna consider calling CAPTAIN CHAMBERLAIN just CHAMBERLAIN in the character slugs.
(Also, I'm not a big fan of dialog (CONT'D)s, but we all have personal preferences).

Maybe it's more movie magic but let me get this straight:
- Chamberlain is in town presumably following Gault,
- but not fiercely enough to not have time to enjoy the services of the Hotel Maxine,
- Gault's men (kinda) sneak past Chamberlain's remaining soldiers into said Hotel,
- engage in gunfight,
- tipped off by Pogo the plan is to now capture Link at the old fort?
Chamberlain's plan was to just wait around until something happened?

Also, since Chamberlain made his big to-do about no one other than his lineage has touched the saber there needs to be some scene where EVERYBODY is touching it. He's having kiniptions over it.
And if you wanna be a real bad@ss, in the sword fight (I'll be suggesting later) have them somehow switch weapons and Kuroda skewers/guts Chamberlain with his own saber.
Eye-ronny.  

Pogo standS alone with his "reward".
Also, this reads as if Chamberlain is about to leave Pogo, his new guide to the mines/fort, behind.
At your discretion, maybe have Chamberlain roll out a smooth yet snide "You'll get your reward upon our return".
Later I see no mention of Pogo with Stone and Chamberlain on the way to the fort.
Best just to drop the "new guide" bit on page 69.

Pg 77 Wet clothes hang on sticks.
Having dried wet clothes and towels by campfire coals many times myself, you should note that they steam.
Steam rises from wet clothes on sticks.
But that will give you an extra line.
Abut the Kuroda and Clothes sentences. Maybe kick the Christina line down to the Link sentence.

From:
Kuroda sleeps under saddle blankets by the fire. Christina
bundles up in her coat. Wet clothes hang on sticks.

Link walks off the lake. He sits and cleans ice off his
revolver by the fire.


Rearrange to:
Kuroda sleeps under saddle blankets by the fire. Steam
rises from wet clothes on sticks.

Link walks off the lake. He sits by Christina bundled in her
coat by the fire and cleans ice off his revolver.

No line loss, added visual, related information abutted.

Very nice friendship on pg 81.
Where's Christina to foul it up?  

Link fires his revolver at a log stack support. The board
splits. Logs tumble out of the cradle behind Link.

Love that movie magic!

Pg 90 The cannoneers adjust the lUmber the cannon rests upon.
The cannoneers realign the lUmber.


Pg 95 The stand storm wall closes on the soldiers from behind.
Sand storm wall, maybe?

Pg 96 As much as we'd all like to dislike Chamberlain, he doesn't have sufficient cause for gunning down his own men. No precedent has been set for this radical change in behavior.
Either he lets them disobey orders while they run off in the face of both cannon fire and advancing sand storm - or - set a precedent earlier with an increasingly line of threats against LT (which has popped up out of nowhere, BTW) and the men that if they don't cooperate he'll gun 'em all down. You gotta make it clear that his increasing frustration leads to his increasing insanity or loss of reason.

CAPTAIN CHAMBERLAIN (CONT'D) President Grant will not be denied. I will give our glorious leader the sword. That honor will be mine and mine alone!
Yeah. All of this shift of need to control power needs to be built up earlier.
I don't recall there ever being any previous mention or sense of his intent.
Or is this supposed to be a surprise reveal?
If so... eh?
It's kinda left field.

Kuroda parries the thrust. He slices Chamberlain gut to neck.
Chamberlain falls lifeless to the windswept earth.
Kuroda retrieves the Imperial Katana.

Personal grievance of mine: I KNOW a fight choreographer will rewrite an entire sequence so I'm loathe to choreograph one myself, but... there needs to be a big Hollywood West vs East sword fight sequence here, al la The Patriot, Martin vs. Tavington.
Here's where you want weapons switched and Chamberlain done in by his own saber.

Pg 99 GAULT Tell you what, let Christina and I go and you can have all the gold.
WTH? What's Christina doing with the rifle?
She's has the draw on Link?!
What's this "let us go" negotiation stuff?


Okey doke.
All done.

Wonderful story, Brett.
I know it's 80% fresh and I think it's a crying shame the Shanghai Noon and Knights have played this out already.
A real crying shame.
Now, if you can get a producer to move beyond that limitation your next issue is you gotta figure out if you want a rated R or PG-13 story. As is, it's 95% PG-13 and only 5% R. Smartest play is to ease up on the minor raping, hand cutting off and Maria tits sorta stuff.
Big problem there is that now the story is even closer to Shanghai Noon and Knight, and the Rush Hour trilogy, bitter sweet ending be d@mned.
And I don't think it's R enough to be brought up to a 3:10 to Yuma or a Unforgiven story.

I don't have an issue with the stacked writing style. Fine by me.
I read a screenplay as a blue print rather than a literary style, which I can understand will hang up others.
But I ain't right.
I'm more of a nuts and bolts sort of guy.

You've four good fighting sequences: Train robbery, ranch house, whore house and extended fort sequence.
I like how the assorted story lines weave and intersect, only some character issues need to be augmented a little.
And I can't believe Link didn't horse-pack Kuroda's dead body out to be buried alongside Namuro's. **
To get really sappy, have the Ambassador help Link dig the grave and bury Kuroda.

GL
I'm interested in seeing your next draft.

**Idiot. I'm wrong. Link did bury Kuroda beside Namuro.
I dunno WTH I was thinking.
Maybe because there are other idiots out there in reader world who also might miss this, insert an action of Link placing the Imperial Katana on Kuroda's chest, crosses Kuroda's arms over it then respectfully drapes a blanket fold over him.
Insert a few montage scenes of Link slow-walking Deke in reverse order past several of the places they've been through from the fort back to the railroad, all while there's a big blanket bundle rolled atop the chestnut nag on rope behind Link.
- Leaving the way they came to San Lucas.
- Though the deep creek where Link ambushed Kuroda.
- Past Rosa and Jorge's ranch.
- Through the arroyo where Link said "Sayonara."
Then fade to EXT. RAILROAD TRACKS - DESERT FLATS - DAWN




Revision History (7 edits; 1 reasons shown)
RayW  -  March 20th, 2011, 2:49pm
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Dressel
Posted: March 18th, 2011, 4:12pm Report to Moderator
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Brett,

I gotta say, I breezed through this one pretty fast.  Now, I'm not familiar with the original, so I don't really know what you took from it.

I think the main reason I got such a kick out of this script was because I really dig the old Westerns; especially Leone's stuff.  I'm a sucker for the slick talking man with no name.  I feel like I saw a lot of that in this script.  Most of the time I could picture Link's words coming out of Eastwood's mouth (although I doubt Eastwood would ever play a character name Link).

I honestly didn't have a problem with the number of characters you introduced, which is odd because that's usually something that gets my goat.  But here, it didn't bother me.

Your characters were all very colorful and spoke awesome/clever dialogue (especially Link).  On top of that, you managed to put them in really great situations with awesome set pieces (the train heist would be great to see on film).

THAT BEING SAID

I didn't care about any of the characters, which seemed odd to me.  I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but if Link took a bullet between the eyes at the halfway point, I couldn't have cared less.  I gave it some thought and I came up with a couple reasons why it might be:

1) Save the Cat:  Ok, I hate the book Save the Cat, only because I find the author so damn annoying.  But he does, at times, make a good point.  Early on in the script, Cora's mother is being harassed by the bandits.  Right when it's getting bad, Link steps in and stops it.  But I don't feel like you really drove home the point that Link stopped it because of some kind of moral code.  A code that would make us identify with him.  Even something as simple as him saying "No kids."  Maybe you'd see that as too on-the-nose, but I just felt like it needed something more.  I wanted to see him and Cora share a moment..or something.  But before you know it, she's out of the picture.

2.) Mystery:  One of the reasons Charles Bronson worked so well in Once Upon a Time in the West is because he was shrouded in mystery; a mystery that was slowly revealed as time went on.  There's no mystery with any of the characters.  As colorful as they are in terms of dialogue and dress, they're fairly one-dimensional.  And because of this, my interest in them starts to wane as time goes on.

--

Maybe I haven't hit the nail exactly on the head yet, but something stopped me from caring about these characters, and that's what I'd ask you to evaluate for the next draft.  Hope I've helped somewhat in my ramblings.

-Matt


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: March 19th, 2011, 10:18am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from greg
Hi Brett,

I was going to read this in chunks but wound up reading the whole thing last night.  That's a testament to good flow.  I haven't seen the original Red Sun so this is an "original" story to me.  I guess if you don't agree with something I say then you can just blame it on that haha.

Hi Greg,

Thanks for the read, sorry to hear you couldn't find the time to address my notes.
I'm pleased to hear you felt the script flowed well, I worked hard on it.
I was concerned the action heavy first and third acts would make the middle sag.
I have gotten that comment from a few off site sources.
This script is about 85% different from the original film.

Quoted from greg

So this read very fast.  The only parts which really dragged, and this is a big point, were the opening and closing sequences.  The first few pages there's a barrage of characters introduced and immediately go into action, leaving little room to develop them enough so we know what the hell is going on.  At least that's how I was feeling.  It wasn't until after the smoke cleared from the opening action sequence that I really figured out who was who.  And the thing is, at 101 pages, you do have some room to tinker with.  I know - 101 pages is beautiful.  Maybe take out some of the more specific action and replace it with dialogue or tone the description down a little bit so it's easier to get into the grind of things.  Likewise the final action sequence was kind of rough for me too.  Maybe it's the style you've chosen to write in, which is, I think, stacked?  It's just there's a lot of detail going into it that I think you could away without listing so much of.

I've gotten the note about the number of chracters before.
However, you're the first to say the action was confusing throughout the first act.
I'll keep an eye out for areas where I can scale things back.
Most notes I've gotten on the opener credit it for getting right down to business.
My action description is always no more than two lines, it's a hard rule I have.
It's a process of refinement, in my most recent script rewrite, I stack less.
It's a matter of zeroing in on a style, I'll revisit those points you mentioned, thanks.

Quoted from greg

Everything in between flowed very well.  Some good humor, good characters, and a nice western vibe to it.  A couple things to note with the characters because there was a lot of 'em; the first thing is Mace.  He was introduced as a kind of sort of integral character in the beginning mentioned a few times throughout, then surfaced toward the end as a kind of sort of integral character.  The thing is though I didn't feel that way about him.  He just came off as a guy who surfaced, did/said something important, then blew some things up.  Gault I would have liked to see more of.  I'm torn on my thoughts on this; we know he's the villain, we know Link and Kuroda are after him, I'm just not sure of how I feel about never seeing him except for the first and final sequences.  I can really go either way on it.  I also would have liked more insight into Kuroda.  We know his goals, we know his lifestyle, we know what he wants, but I would have liked to see more of his personality and a little more story for him.  Everyone else, I think, was fine.  

I'm glad you enjoyed the second act, I worked hard to keep it flowing.
I was concerned that it would lag in comparison to the rest of the story.
Mace is a supporting character who has a key role in the climax.
Most large gangs will have a crack shot in their ranks and that's him.
I endeavored to give him a lot of flavor with his dialect and Civil War background.
It's true, there's about half the script where the gang is not around.
That part plays pretty true to the original film.
Though I'm looking at establishing more villain clarity in the script, thanks.

Kuroda is not a talkative dude. So, I tried to convey him through his actions.
He shows a sense of humor, even when it's not his native language.
He does have an appetite for revenge, but can go too far.
He can change when he's wrong, hiding the bloody blade from the child.
He knows how to play/interact with children, suggesting a family life.
He has great compassion for Rosa and cleans up and gives them money.
Kuroda is artistic as well as a warrior and uses that to engage Link.
He demonstrates tenderness with Maria, instead of your usual one night stand.
He is a man caught in uncertain times by a changing culture.
Kuroda is a quiet man of conviction and he lets his actions speak for him.
Link emulates that in the final scene, or so I hoped it would come out that way.
I'm sorry those moments didn't translate for you, I'll take a look at them.
I tend to shy away from exposition as much as I can, hence the above examples.
However, if it's hamstringing the story, I'll review the style. Thanks.

Quoted from greg

Where I fell flat with the story was the involvement of Chamberlain and Holly and all those guys.  They were in several scenes and played pretty big parts but I just wasn't too into them.  Again, I bring up the opening and closing sequences as being overly convoluted and also these guys were pretty integral in them so that's definitely a contribution.  

Chamberlain is one of the major departures from the original film.
I removed the random Indian attacks from the film, they felt superfluous.
I decided to bring back Chamberlain from act one to continue that arc.
He's a work in progress and I'm refining his role in the new story.
I already have some ideas to enhance his involvement, thanks.

Quoted from greg

The descriptions, I think, you should take another look at.  Stacking is a good in theory but in major action scenes I'm not sure it entirely pays off.  Or at least break the action apart with dialogue or something.  You've got the benefit of having room to play with, so give it a shot.

Overall I liked this.  It's a nice western, has some good battles, some good western themes, some good humor, and it paces for the most part pretty well.  

So nice job on this, Brett!

Greg

My action description is always evolving and I'm getting it into focus.
On this draft, I wanted to get it down much more than ever before.
I used to get notes for thick descriptions just a few months ago.
Now that I've given myself some room to play, I'll build on it, thanks.
I appreciate the good notes, hope the replies do them justice.

Thanks for your effort, and best of luck with your endeavors.

Regards,
E.D.


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Revision History (1 edits)
Electric Dreamer  -  March 19th, 2011, 10:46am
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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from Dressel
Brett,

I gotta say, I breezed through this one pretty fast.  Now, I'm not familiar with the original, so I don't really know what you took from it.

I think the main reason I got such a kick out of this script was because I really dig the old Westerns; especially Leone's stuff.  I'm a sucker for the slick talking man with no name.  I feel like I saw a lot of that in this script.  Most of the time I could picture Link's words coming out of Eastwood's mouth (although I doubt Eastwood would ever play a character name Link).

I honestly didn't have a problem with the number of characters you introduced, which is odd because that's usually something that gets my goat.  But here, it didn't bother me.

Your characters were all very colorful and spoke awesome/clever dialogue (especially Link).  On top of that, you managed to put them in really great situations with awesome set pieces (the train heist would be great to see on film).

Matt,

Thanks for the read back, I have your feature in my queue.
I'm pleased to hear you enjoyed the script.
Long story short, it's about 85% different than the original film.
The film is available through Netflix, should you care to check it out.

To tell a large scale adventure, you need a wide palette of characters.
Some come and go throughout the story, it's the nature of things.
I tried hard to distinguish the supporting characters from each other.
Not just through cheap affectations, but distinctive names and dialogue.

The action scene composition is entirely original.
The settings are from the original film, but I wanted more story centric action.
I feel set pieces play out with more tension when they have goals.
Link needing to get to the head of the train.
Ambushing bandits at the ranch to get weapons and information and protect Rosa.
That kind of stuff always feels more urgent to me than a goon obstacle.

Quoted from Dressel

THAT BEING SAID

I didn't care about any of the characters, which seemed odd to me.  I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but if Link took a bullet between the eyes at the halfway point, I couldn't have cared less.  I gave it some thought and I came up with a couple reasons why it might be:

1) Save the Cat:  Ok, I hate the book Save the Cat, only because I find the author so damn annoying.  But he does, at times, make a good point.  Early on in the script, Cora's mother is being harassed by the bandits.  Right when it's getting bad, Link steps in and stops it.  But I don't feel like you really drove home the point that Link stopped it because of some kind of moral code.  A code that would make us identify with him.  Even something as simple as him saying "No kids."  Maybe you'd see that as too on-the-nose, but I just felt like it needed something more.  I wanted to see him and Cora share a moment..or something.  But before you know it, she's out of the picture.

2.) Mystery:  One of the reasons Charles Bronson worked so well in Once Upon a Time in the West is because he was shrouded in mystery; a mystery that was slowly revealed as time went on.  There's no mystery with any of the characters.  As colorful as they are in terms of dialogue and dress, they're fairly one-dimensional.  And because of this, my interest in them starts to wane as time goes on.

--

Maybe I haven't hit the nail exactly on the head yet, but something stopped me from caring about these characters, and that's what I'd ask you to evaluate for the next draft.  Hope I've helped somewhat in my ramblings.

-Matt

I see what you're saying about the morale code thing.
I thought I covered that with Link yelling, "That's enough!", on the train.
He was cheesed off that Gault killed a passenger and Cora's father.
Link stops Gault from killing the Japanese in the private car.
Link decides to halt his escape to help Rosa escape from Whiskey.
He masks his morale code but gets it out there in his own way, I feel.
Obviously that didn't work for you, I'll revisit the Link/Cora dynamic again. Thanks.

The mystery, nope, not much of a mystery in this script.
I wanted to tell a straightforward action adventure with compelling characters.
However, they don't wear their sentiments on their sleeves.
The mystery is their backgrounds, more than anything.
I wanted to give readers insight into their characters through their actions.
I loathe straightforward dialogue, perhaps that's where the disconnect for you is.
I love subtext, but perhaps it's a bit too vague to ram home some things.
I'm inserting more things to sharpen the motivations, I'll revisit this next draft.

Thanks a lot for your effort, it's appreciated.
I'm looking forward to delving into your feature.

Keep writing and rewriting!

Regards,
E.D.

Ray, I'll get to your mammoth as usual review soon! ^_^



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RayW
Posted: March 19th, 2011, 12:53pm Report to Moderator
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Didn't want you think I was just skimmin', juno?  



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GM
Posted: March 19th, 2011, 1:19pm Report to Moderator
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Got to read this. Never saw the original film so just basing my opinion on your draft.

Thoughts:

The opening segment needs a character reduction or some breathing room. I think who needs to go are Cora's family. It will make things so much simpler. Or give it some breathing room so the reader can digest each character.  

I was expecting a drama driven Western like a Clint Eastwood type. This is more like that Jackie Chan and Wilson comedy western. However, I doubt that Jackie will have sex with Maria. lol.  I would have preferred the Clint Eastwood type story but I enjoyed this script as well, E.D..

You did a great job with Link's development. But I would have had him get the money at the end. He could do greater things with the money.

Chamberlain needs to be added more and dealing with Kuroda more to make that final battle scene between them mean something.

Other than that, I enjoyed the story somewhat. I wanted more serious drama I guess. That's just me.

Hope this helps,
Gabe

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GM  -  March 19th, 2011, 2:30pm
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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from RayW

Pg 4 FOUR GANG MEMBERS stand up. They pull out weapons.
Counting LINK, that makes five to this gang. Up to this point, the reader can only associate three people with the gang: Link, Ellis and Gault.

Hey Ray!

Thanks for the read, your effort is always appreciated.
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?
It doesn't need to be a faceless quartet, Whiskey's a slimey bad ass.
And he's the kind of guy that takes pleasure in petty crimes.

Quoted from RayW

Fantastic lines:
MACE It's a work in progress
LINK Smirker, you put a bun in a nun?

Unfortunately, and for understandable climactic reasons, Mace never will finish up this WIP.
Modify his last statements to include something along the lines of "next best thing is to get the cannon".
Probably don't want to go the Gladiator "maybe in the next life" route.

Yeah, the work in progress line is one of the place holder deals.
It was all I could think of that the time, so I stuck it in there.
Mace developed a lot this draft, I'm sure I'll come up with something better.

Quoted from RayW

After Link and Kuroda start talking it's d@mn near impossible to NOT envision Owen Wilson & Jackie Chan.
IMHO, this will immensely work adversely in this production's potential.  

I know, but that's no reason to not keep using it to get better at rewrites.
Who knows, someday it might be changed enough to be wholly original.
It's time to get down to business on a new feature.
This was head and shoulders above the previous draft, which gave me confidence.

Quoted from RayW

Pg 31 Kuroda severs Whiskey's hand off at the wrist.
Well... up until this you have a nice PG-13 show going on.
But right on the heels of attempted rape (of a possible minor) comes this.
I dunno.
A third of the way in is kinda deep to be "switching horses", so to speak.

The samurai opens up Whiskey's throat with his steel. Blood
flow chokes the sound. Whiskey falls to the floor.

Aw... h3ll. R. 4 shur.

Early drafts were R, for sure.
But as I've gone on, I've seen less and less reason for it to be a hard R.
This is still one of those remnants that I haven't converted yet.

Quoted from RayW

Pg 32 Kuroda sheaths the crimson stained weapon.
Unlikely.
Maybe you're shooting for a little dramatic movie magic, but no sensible soldier is going to sheath a bloody blade back into it's scabbard.
Kuroda would've cleaned it off on something.
Maybe dead red's shirt on the bed post?

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.

Quoted from RayW

Waitaminit...
Go back...
Ponytail splits the well's pulley with a shot.
followed by blah blah blah
Kuroda helps Link climb up to safety.
Was that Ponytail's last dying shot?
D@mn. That's a pretty lucky death-shot there.
In all seriousness, there's some major wiffle-waffle back and forth between some fun PG-13 movie magic and what would be called rated R-U-FN'-kidding-me?!
Do you want this to be R or PG-13?

Ponytail split the pully rope while shooting at Link. Yay movie magic.
This is slowly but surely taking on a PG-13 thang, so be it. I'm cool with it.

Quoted from RayW

Kuroda sticks a shovel into a fresh grave by the barn.
Link tests the makeshift repairs on the well.

Grave? Whose grave? Who'd they bury?
Surely not PONCHO, PONYTAIL, CAVALRY HAT, FATTY and BANDOLIER?
First, that'd be "graves", plural.
Second, it takes waaaay too much time to dig and bury one guy, let alone five.
Third, this is rated R: Drag 'em by rope back to town or at least halfway to town.
Fourth, what?! Repairs on the well? WTH happened to the well? The pulley was split (wooden?), which means some SOB had to go back down the well to retrieve the bucket and rope? Then they re-pullied it?
Pshhhh. Samurai Sam has only five days left before it's seppuku time.
Ain't got time.
Drag 'em! Wave g'bye to the kids.

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?
It's not cool to leave them for the girl and the boy to deal with.
Besides, Link and Kuroda are getting a couple horses out of the deal.

Quoted from RayW

LINK Kuroda, you can't spend ideals.
The pair stare at each other. Impasse.

Classic principle vs. practicality. Nice.

That particular line is from the original film.
However, the preceding lines are my handy work.

Quoted from RayW

LINK What's going on?
KURODA I saw, a big animal.
LINK Is that a fact?
KURODA Yes, this is, a fact.

Owen and Jackie. All the way.

Actually, that sequence is not from Shanghai Noon or Red Sun.
It's a little something I threw in there.
I like the idea of showing Link changing through little reversals like that.
At first, it was Link lying about the mosquitoes.

Quoted from RayW

LINK Why not thirty?
I'm having a hard time flip-flopping between the way Owen Wilson would deliver that line and the way Clint Eastwood (back in the day) would deliver it.

I like the idea of Link being more seasoned and having an exit strategy.
He wants out of the outlaw life, but needs a big score to run for it.
Then pesky things like double crosses, emotions and principles muck things up.

Quoted from RayW

KURODA Samurai have wife and one not wife.
Might wanna hyphenate those last two: not-wife.

Good point, I'll do that Ray.
Well, duty calls, so I'll get to the second half of your expansive review soon!
Thanks for everything, Ray!

Regards,
E.D.


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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from RayW

Pg 67 Stone cleans a rifle.
How is it that Super Sheriff Stone (and Captain Chamberlain) didn't hear all of that gunfight... somewhere in town.
Or no one came running to tell him/them?

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.

Quoted from RayW

Okay so they have the burned & blinded Smirker tied to a chair, blah blah blah, then they're off to the snow capped mountains.
Do you need a scene in there where Smirker gives up Mace or Gault.
So far the story has pretty much spoon fed the audience, but this is the first moment of "suspenseful withholding of information".

I've toyed with the idea of the Captain questioning Smirker at the hotel.
Heck, I even thought of Chamberlain taking Pepita hostage, but that seemed trite.
However, if he tried to question Smirker, we get the cut tongue pay off/reveal.
Which is a nifty "success" for Smirker, he's been getting the short end mostly.
Then the Captain can give Pogo what for over the supposed informant.
It's been mentioned to me and I've been kicking it around for a few weeks.

Quoted from RayW

And you might wanna consider calling CAPTAIN CHAMBERLAIN just CHAMBERLAIN in the character slugs.
(Also, I'm not a big fan of dialog (CONT'D)s, but we all have personal preferences).

That's an easy fix on Chamberlain, and you're right there.
I recently discovered the option to turn off those CONT'D's.
In the new draft of West Side Markets, you will not see them.

Quoted from RayW

Maybe it's more movie magic but let me get this straight:
- Chamberlain is in town presumably following Gault,
- but not fiercely enough to not have time to enjoy the services of the Hotel Maxine,
- Gault's men (kinda) sneak past Chamberlain's remaining soldiers into said Hotel,
- engage in gunfight,
- tipped off by Pogo the plan is to now capture Link at the old fort?
Chamberlain's plan was to just wait around until something happened?

Chamberlain used the opportunity to "scout" the hotel for Gault or Link.
Perhaps a line to Stone about that the next morning might help.
I also had a line or two of action description about him looking around the hotel.
I could take a line or two for Mace about avoiding the soldiers in town.
Chamberlain hired Stone after the heist as a bounty hunter.
This is one of those tip offs that the Captain is a bit askew.
There's a line about Chamberlain hiring Stone in the Sheriff's office.
I've debated adding a beat on the track post heist where the two meet.

Quoted from RayW

Also, since Chamberlain made his big to-do about no one other than his lineage has touched the saber there needs to be some scene where EVERYBODY is touching it. He's having kiniptions over it.
And if you wanna be a real bad@ss, in the sword fight (I'll be suggesting later) have them somehow switch weapons and Kuroda skewers/guts Chamberlain with his own saber.
Eye-ronny.  

I see what you're going for there, save for the silly touching part.
I touch on that kind of irony by skewering Gault with the Imperial Katana.
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.

Quoted from RayW

Pogo standS alone with his "reward".
Also, this reads as if Chamberlain is about to leave Pogo, his new guide to the mines/fort, behind.
At your discretion, maybe have Chamberlain roll out a smooth yet snide "You'll get your reward upon our return".
Later I see no mention of Pogo with Stone and Chamberlain on the way to the fort.
Best just to drop the "new guide" bit on page 69.

Eh, Pogo is not the guide, Stone's the one familiar with the mountains.
If there's a line in there that suggests Pogo is the guide, point it out to me.
You're the first to mention this, but I'll keep an eye on it.

Quoted from RayW

Pg 77 Wet clothes hang on sticks.
Having dried wet clothes and towels by campfire coals many times myself, you should note that they steam.
Steam rises from wet clothes on sticks.
But that will give you an extra line.
Abut the Kuroda and Clothes sentences. Maybe kick the Christina line down to the Link sentence.

Oh, nice idea, me steal.

Quoted from RayW

Very nice friendship on pg 81.
Where's Christina to foul it up?  

Nope, not this time, the guys need a moment when all seems pretty hopeless.
Glad you liked it, you're the first to comment on that scene.
It's a call back to the "thief school/samurai school" chat at the campfire over origami.
And all that is original material, the original film is even thinner on their relationship.

Quoted from RayW

Pg 90 The cannoneers adjust the lUmber the cannon rests upon.
The cannoneers realign the lUmber.


Pg 95 The stand storm wall closes on the soldiers from behind.
Sand storm wall, maybe?

I'll buy both of those for a dollar. Each!

Quoted from RayW

Pg 96 As much as we'd all like to dislike Chamberlain, he doesn't have sufficient cause for gunning down his own men. No precedent has been set for this radical change in behavior.
Either he lets them disobey orders while they run off in the face of both cannon fire and advancing sand storm - or - set a precedent earlier with an increasingly line of threats against LT (which has popped up out of nowhere, BTW) and the men that if they don't cooperate he'll gun 'em all down. You gotta make it clear that his increasing frustration leads to his increasing insanity or loss of reason.

CAPTAIN CHAMBERLAIN (CONT'D) President Grant will not be denied. I will give our glorious leader the sword. That honor will be mine and mine alone!
Yeah. All of this shift of need to control power needs to be built up earlier.
I don't recall there ever being any previous mention or sense of his intent.
Or is this supposed to be a surprise reveal?
If so... eh?
It's kinda left field.

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?

Quoted from RayW

Kuroda parries the thrust. He slices Chamberlain gut to neck.
Chamberlain falls lifeless to the windswept earth.
Kuroda retrieves the Imperial Katana.

Personal grievance of mine: I KNOW a fight choreographer will rewrite an entire sequence so I'm loathe to choreograph one myself, but... there needs to be a big Hollywood West vs East sword fight sequence here, al la The Patriot, Martin vs. Tavington.
Here's where you want weapons switched and Chamberlain done in by his own saber.

I've given considerable thought to going this route.
And inter-cutting it with a Gault/Link shoot out in the blasted fort.
I thought it might be too much action, I've packed it in there pretty good.
And we all know that the Captain will be no match for a trained samurai.
However, foolish is as foolish does, I need to meditate on this.
You like the traditional dual inter-cut clash of antags and protags?

Quoted from RayW

Pg 99 GAULT Tell you what, let Christina and I go and you can have all the gold.
WTH? What's Christina doing with the rifle?
She's has the draw on Link?!
What's this "let us go" negotiation stuff?

Christina has the rifle, Link has the revolver.
If she aims at Link, she's pretty convinced he'd shoot her and rightfully so.
However, Gault wants the rifle, Link is much less likely to kill him.
And I think there's a part of Gault that wants to settle this himself.
I don't recall a line in there where she blatantly draws a bead on Link.

Quoted from RayW

Wonderful story, Brett.
I know it's 80% fresh and I think it's a crying shame the Shanghai Noon and Knights have played this out already.
A real crying shame.
Now, if you can get a producer to move beyond that limitation your next issue is you gotta figure out if you want a rated R or PG-13 story. As is, it's 95% PG-13 and only 5% R. Smartest play is to ease up on the minor raping, hand cutting off and Maria tits sorta stuff.
Big problem there is that now the story is even closer to Shanghai Noon and Knight, and the Rush Hour trilogy, bitter sweet ending be d@mned.
And I don't think it's R enough to be brought up to a 3:10 to Yuma or a Unforgiven story.

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.
Please elaborate at your leisure if you feel the inclination.
Also, for extra credit, the original film is available on Netflix according to Bert.

Yeah, that could be tough but now they reboot movies less than ten years old.
Heck, Ghost Rider 2 is a reboot of a 2007 movie.
Albeit, a proven financial success and all, hence the allure.
It's been a great exercise and the rewrites have been very educational.
It will more than likely go completely PG-13 the next go around, that's easy.
I think a shift in Chamberlain might be the key to distinguishing the story.
I do have True Grit's success in my favor, should things get serious.
Hollywood is more open than ever to the Western reboot and there's talks.

Quoted from RayW

I don't have an issue with the stacked writing style. Fine by me.
I read a screenplay as a blue print rather than a literary style, which I can understand will hang up others.
But I ain't right.
I'm more of a nuts and bolts sort of guy.

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.
I can see the next time around coloring in here and there as needed.

Quoted from RayW

You've four good fighting sequences: Train robbery, ranch house, whore house and extended fort sequence.
I like how the assorted story lines weave and intersect, only some character issues need to be augmented a little.
And I can't believe Link didn't horse-pack Kuroda's dead body out to be buried alongside Namuro's. **
To get really sappy, have the Ambassador help Link dig the grave and bury Kuroda.

GL
I'm interested in seeing your next draft.

**Idiot. I'm wrong. Link did bury Kuroda beside Namuro.
I dunno WTH I was thinking.
Maybe because there are other idiots out there in reader world who also might miss this, insert an action of Link placing the Imperial Katana on Kuroda's chest, crosses Kuroda's arms over it then respectfully drapes a blanket fold over him.
Insert a few montage scenes of Link slow-walking Deke in reverse order past several of the places they've been through from the fort back to the railroad, all while there's a big blanket bundle rolled atop the chestnut nag on rope behind Link.
- Leaving the way they came to San Lucas.
- Though the deep creek where Link ambushed Kuroda.
- Past Rosa and Jorge's ranch.
- Through the arroyo where Link said "Sayonara."
Then fade to EXT. RAILROAD TRACKS - DESERT FLATS - DAWN


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?

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?

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

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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 23rd, 2011, 10:57am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from GM
Got to read this. Never saw the original film so just basing my opinion on your draft.

Thoughts:

The opening segment needs a character reduction or some breathing room. I think who needs to go are Cora's family. It will make things so much simpler. Or give it some breathing room so the reader can digest each character.  

Hey Gabe,

Much thanks for the read!
You make a good point here and I've been thinking I should try it.
I don't really have a reason to introduce them on the platform.
We can see the overt number of military sans the parents' dialogue.
Perhaps that will help things some, thanks.

Quoted from GM

I was expecting a drama driven Western like a Clint Eastwood type. This is more like that Jackie Chan and Wilson comedy western. However, I doubt that Jackie will have sex with Maria. lol.  I would have preferred the Clint Eastwood type story but I enjoyed this script as well, E.D..

"Shanghai Noon" is a loose acknowledged remake of the original Red Sun.
The 1971 film is a straight up adventure and I wanted to stay true to those roots.
The Wilson/Chan film is played for laughs, I wanted to avoid that here.
I felt the humor in my script is more situation related than slapstick.
For me, adventures that end dramatically achieve a bigger arc with some humor.
It makes a story feel like an emotional journey as well as a physical one.
I'm glad you were still able to enjoy the story, despite the less than ideal tone.

Quoted from GM

You did a great job with Link's development. But I would have had him get the money at the end. He could do greater things with the money.

Aww, that's nice of you to say, I'm pleased that Link's arc worked for you.
Who knows where Link is riding off to in the end?
He could head back to the abandoned mines.
Or, will he go to the woman that loves him, but expects he'll never return?
One thing's for sure, I hope it comes across he's a better man now.
He rides Deke the same way he walked bound a week earlier.
Whatever he decides to do, he's better equipped to make a good decision.
Did you find Link's conclusion lacking too much without that epilogue?
Some say they want to see him with the girl in the end.
You're the first to say, give him the cash, it's cool to hear.

Quoted from GM

Chamberlain needs to be added more and dealing with Kuroda more to make that final battle scene between them mean something.

Other than that, I enjoyed the story somewhat. I wanted more serious drama I guess. That's just me.

Hope this helps,
Gabe

Chamberlain is a villain in progress, not quite sure where to go with him.
I have some ideas how to bring him closer to the plot.
Multiple villains in an adventure film is always a tricky tightrope.
Despite not meeting your preferences, I'm glad it wasn't a labored read.
Thanks for your time, if you need eyes on anything, drop me a line.

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

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stevie
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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
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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
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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

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Electric Dreamer
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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.


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stevie
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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
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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.


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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

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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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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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Revision History (1 edits)
Electric Dreamer  -  April 7th, 2011, 2:06am
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Electric Dreamer
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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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leitskev
Posted: April 9th, 2011, 5:15am Report to Moderator
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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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Electric Dreamer
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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

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leitskev
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The problem with Kuroda's suicide charge is that his first priority should be returning the imperial sword. When he charges the cavalry it is not yet in his hands. The captain has it. Logically he should wait for the cavalry to hit. Also, again, I can't picture Link's character joining him. He might risk his life for Kuroda, but not suicide.

The charge on Gault is different. At this point they have sword. So it is an irrational act by Kuroda, one spawned by a desire for vengeance. It is irrational because, though they possess the sword, there is little reason to think it will make it back if Kuroda dies. After all, Link is a thief, Kuroda's final words.

So this fatal act by Kuroda is a result of his character flaw, where the emotional desire for vengeance trumps his rational goal of returning the sword. This should be foreshadowed more, I think.

And I do still think Christina needs to evolve. This is actually kind of standard formula stuff, and I don't think you should vary from it here. Christina is a survivor, and generally consumed by her own selfish needs. This makes her treacherous, as she is prone to switching sides based on her own needs. In the usual formula, she would love Link, and though she is capable of betraying him, there should be moments when that love shines through.

Even if this script is never produced, it is useful to you as part of your resume. And of course, it could be produced!

I have time later in the week if you want to send me something from the new work. Maybe around Wed.


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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from leitskev
The problem with Kuroda's suicide charge is that his first priority should be returning the imperial sword. When he charges the cavalry it is not yet in his hands. The captain has it. Logically he should wait for the cavalry to hit. Also, again, I can't picture Link's character joining him. He might risk his life for Kuroda, but not suicide.

Exactly, this is what I was hinting at before.
That Link believes if he joins Kuroda, he can turn a suicide back into a mission.
I'll need to work on strengthening before they charge the cavalry.
I see your point but also the Captain could leave at any time.
It needs some fine tuning, thanks for putting it out.

Thanks a lot for the offer on the new feature.
When completed, I will gladly post it and let the SS crew have at it.

E.D.


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James McClung
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Hey Brett,

Read through this a second time. Not really sure what new I can offer you. The most standout nitpicks I had have been corrected and the first half of the script reads a lot smoother now. I almost wanted to go in the other direction of my previous review and say it the pacing was a little too fast but that would've been wrong. The first time around, it took a little too long to get the wheels rolling and that's that. You've since fixed it so kudos. Link somehow came off a little better this time around as well so double kudos.

Not sure what else to say. There's always something to tighten up, loosen up, etc. so go to it. But this worked quite well for me this time around.


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Electric Dreamer
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Quoted from James McClung
Hey Brett,

Read through this a second time. Not really sure what new I can offer you. The most standout nitpicks I had have been corrected and the first half of the script reads a lot smoother now. I almost wanted to go in the other direction of my previous review and say it the pacing was a little too fast but that would've been wrong. The first time around, it took a little too long to get the wheels rolling and that's that. You've since fixed it so kudos. Link somehow came off a little better this time around as well so double kudos.

Not sure what else to say. There's always something to tighten up, loosen up, etc. so go to it. But this worked quite well for me this time around.

Hey James,

Thanks for the second read, it's a rare treat when someone revisits your material.
I reviewed your notes on the previous draft.
I worked on Link, but tried to do so in subtle ways for this round.
I'm pleased you didn't pinpoint anywhere you felt obvious changes.
In my mind, the alterations just blended in with a note like that.
There are many tweaks in Link's voice throughout this draft.
This was a fresh rewrite from stem to stern, all new pages.
I've learned so much about format from SS members, this script needed a do over.

As to pacing, I owe that to the valuable format lessons I've learned here.
I like to tell my story and display character traits through action scenes.
I want to show as much as I can and tell as little as I need to, ideally.
To do that, I needed to way improve my format skills.
This draft of Red Sun is a decent reflection of what I've learned.

You pointed out the lack of distinctive goons last draft.
I underestimated how "lazy goons" can detract from a read.

In addition to naming nameless goons with affectations, there were two big changes.
Mace the sniper got his own voice this draft and I think it helped a lot.
Not only the way he talked, but toning down the gun waving I think helped.
There were several beats of gun waving I removed and this tension developed.
Anyone can draw at anytime, but instead there's this low level banter.
I played with that and found this familiarity with the characters I liked.
The "We can kill each other anytime, but until that moment, why not talk?"

And then there's good old Whiskey, he's a new creation for this draft.
Yards better than "Train Goon #2", he was a ball to write.
He popped in my head as I wrote and I just ran with it.
Ever see "A Christmas Story"? Whiskey is Scut Farkus. "Yellow teeth & green eyes".
Slimeballs like him help me show the audience Link's better qualities.
And I fell in love with the beat where he laughs at our heroes with his dying breath.
These two supporting characters I think really pick up the overall tone of the draft.

I'm glad this draft worked better for you.
I'm eager for a progress report on your new script.

Keep writing and rewriting!

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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Angry Bear
Posted: May 14th, 2011, 3:13pm Report to Moderator
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Brett,

I just finished your rewrite of this script. Took me a long time, I know. I haven't really been into reading or writing lately. Not sure what that's about. I read about five pages per day of your script and I did not take notes. My bad!  Sorry.  Anyway, that has nothing to do with the quality of your script. Just like I said, I've been/still am in a slump.

I read my own comments to the previous draft. Geez, do I come across as a cranky old cow or what??  

A lot of the things I complained about I did not see or notice this time around. Either you made some big changes or I was not paying proper attention this time.

I think this script reads pro to me. I can't tell exactly what you have changed, but it reads well. The characters have depth to them and I know I cared for them a lot more this go around, but I can't tell you exactly why. Only you know what the changes are.

If I didn't know who wrote this, I would definitely not be surprised if someone said it was a pro script.

What's a "Scandinavian Tsunami"?

One micro nitpick…a colt is a male horse no older than 3 years old. Some think four but in the horse business we generally agree it's 3. After that it's a stallion. Why do I mention that? Kuroda gets on the "chestnut colt". This would mean the horse is younger than three. Most horses are not "broken" (hate that expression) until that age since they are still growing and you don't want to ride them while they are. That will give them problems later on. In other words, I don't think Kuroda would be riding a young colt that at the most have just been "started". Told you it was a micro nitpick!  

Anyway, I'm sorry I could not be more helpful with better comments, but I think it's pretty good as it is.

Pia


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CindyLKeller
Posted: May 15th, 2011, 1:55pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Brett,

I found this in your signature. I plan on reading it either Wednesday or Thursday when I'll have some time off of work.

Cindy


Award winning screenwriter
Available screenplays
TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy
ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: May 17th, 2011, 11:40am Report to Moderator
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Taking a long vacation from the holidays.

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Quoted from Angry Bear
Brett,

I just finished your rewrite of this script. Took me a long time, I know. I haven't really been into reading or writing lately. Not sure what that's about. I read about five pages per day of your script and I did not take notes. My bad!  Sorry.  Anyway, that has nothing to do with the quality of your script. Just like I said, I've been/still am in a slump.

I read my own comments to the previous draft. Geez, do I come across as a cranky old cow or what??  

Hey Pia,

I really appreciate you taking the time to give this a second look.
Rereads by peers is doubly helpful for me, so thanks a truckload.
I admit, you were hard on me, but that draft was written before I joined SS.
This draft was written a scant three months after I joined the site.
Good peer reviewers like yourself have made all the difference for me.
Your initial review helped drive me to improve my craft.

Quoted from Angry Bear

A lot of the things I complained about I did not see or notice this time around. Either you made some big changes or I was not paying proper attention this time.

There were hundreds and hundreds of tweaks throughout the script.
However, I didn't remove or add an entire scene, no obvious changes.
I enhanced scenes, added beats and colored supporting characters mostly.
I sat down with a split screen of the old draft and started with fresh pages.
It was a good way for me to apply what I've learned here on SS.
So, you were paying attention, I was just trying to meld the changes into the story.

Quoted from Angry Bear

I think this script reads pro to me. I can't tell exactly what you have changed, but it reads well. The characters have depth to them and I know I cared for them a lot more this go around, but I can't tell you exactly why. Only you know what the changes are.

If I didn't know who wrote this, I would definitely not be surprised if someone said it was a pro script.

Wow, thanks. I've been trying to sharpen my overall description skills.
I took your previous review to heart about readability, you were right.
I've put a lot of effort into making my stories a smooth read.
When I read a tight script, I trust the writer when they take a risk.
I suspend disbelief when I know they can put together a good sentence.
So, I'm trying to emulate that theory as much as possible.

Quoted from Angry Bear

What's a "Scandinavian Tsunami"?

A fancy way of saying, blond hair, blue eyes and a big temper.
She's got the curves and the attitude to match.

Quoted from Angry Bear

One micro nitpick…a colt is a male horse no older than 3 years old. Some think four but in the horse business we generally agree it's 3. After that it's a stallion. Why do I mention that? Kuroda gets on the "chestnut colt". This would mean the horse is younger than three. Most horses are not "broken" (hate that expression) until that age since they are still growing and you don't want to ride them while they are. That will give them problems later on. In other words, I don't think Kuroda would be riding a young colt that at the most have just been "started". Told you it was a micro nitpick!  

Anyway, I'm sorry I could not be more helpful with better comments, but I think it's pretty good as it is.

Pia

Ahh, good point, I'll remember that.
I feel like this script is in a decent place.
I'd only come back to it if by some miracle there was reboot interest.
Thanks for all your comments.
Best of luck with all your endeavors.
It's time to take the training wheels off and write an original feature.

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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CindyLKeller
Posted: May 21st, 2011, 4:55pm Report to Moderator
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I didn't forget about the script. I'm just short on time and feeling bad about not having read it yet, so I thought I'd drop in and let you know it will be this next week.

Cindy



Award winning screenwriter
Available screenplays
TINA DARLING - 114 page Comedy
ONLY OSCAR KNOWS - 99 page Horror
A SONG IN MY HEART - 94 page Drama
HALLOWEEN GAMES - 105 page Drama
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