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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    My Work In Progress  ›  Gamer WIP Moderators: bert
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Remy
Posted: December 20th, 2018, 1:06pm Report to Moderator
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A bit of background:

I have been hesitant about posting this script because it has been something i have been working on for awhile and i have always been nervous about getting my work proverbially "torn apart" by others.
But, as of right now i have hit a massive writers block and have no clue as to what direction i need to take the script in, let alone if anything needs to be fixed, corrected, or what not. I dont have many other sources to rely on for feedback so here i am.

I wanted to create a script that wouldn't be hard on a budget but can also be made into a feature with relative ease, using it as a culmination point of what i have learned from the short films i have been creating. Gamer has become that project for me. While it is not something that i am in a rush to finish just to film, i do want to try to take my time to make sure i write a compelling enough story that will not only entice the audience but be something that the actors and crew can get behind as well.

Genre: Action/Sci-Fi

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AIT5XkVJxpoB89BGAYHK093j_QA9WXbYs5HVYj3aEnU/edit?usp=sharing

So, suggestions, constructive criticism, and ANY advice would be greatly appreciated and welcomed.

Revision History (1 edits)
Remy  -  December 20th, 2018, 3:04pm
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: December 20th, 2018, 2:07pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Remy

You may be nervous but becoming part of a script writing community and sharing your works for review is the best thing you can do for your writing.

I'm afraid if you want to be a writer you will need to develop a thick skin it terms of criticism. You may agree/disagree with it, but it will be coming your way (as it comes to every writer). Don't take it personally.

My first bit of advice would be to add a log line and genre into your opening post, may make people more inclined to open it up.

I did open up your script to have a quick look, you would benefit from writing this up on screenwriting software so it is properly formatted. Most people will not read the story if it has not been properly formatted.

I do intend to read the actual story, I just don;t have time right now.

Best of luck

Matt



Revision History (1 edits)
Matthew Taylor  -  December 20th, 2018, 2:10pm
My son accidentally posted this reply while I was in the middle of writing it lol
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Remy
Posted: December 20th, 2018, 3:03pm Report to Moderator
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Well, i wrote it in Celtx. That is the only software i know of for script writing that is free. From what you're saying, im kinda inclined to feel that the semester of script writing i took was practically wasted. Plus, when i uploaded it to google docs, it had all the lines messed up so i tried to fix them the best i could.
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FrankM
Posted: December 20th, 2018, 3:25pm Report to Moderator
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It’s possible that Google Docs messed up the Celtx formatting. Try to save it as a PDF (can Celtx export to PDF?) and don’t let Google Drive convert it.


Family feature: Who Wants to Be a Princess? Latest draft (6/2019)
Horror anthology/feature: Glass House Latest draft (2/2019)
Sci-Fi short trilogy: Timmy
Comedy short: Feedback
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GM
Posted: December 20th, 2018, 3:26pm Report to Moderator
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Not sure if you were properly welcomed but welcome.

It looks to be a issue of uploading it. No biggie.

But I do agree that a logline needs to be posted. Practice and for potential readers.

I’ll see what I can get too.

Gabe
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: December 20th, 2018, 5:24pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Remy
Well, i wrote it in Celtx. That is the only software i know of for script writing that is free. From what you're saying, im kinda inclined to feel that the semester of script writing i took was practically wasted. Plus, when i uploaded it to google docs, it had all the lines messed up so i tried to fix them the best i could.


This is what I mean about developing a thick skin -  I merely pointed out that it didn't look properly formatted (I was mainly referring to the scene headings which had been centred) and you have written off an entire semester screenwriting on that one comment.

When, in fact, it turns out you are using proper software, there has just been an issue with converting the Celtx file (for your reference there is another free software called writer duet which is online based if you want to check it out)

If you open yourself up to criticism (which is entirely the right thing to do) then you need to be able to take it, learn from it, let it help you evolve as a writer.

Anyway, I hope I haven't put you off. If you want me to read the thing and comment on the story then let me know.

Matt


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Clark
Posted: December 20th, 2018, 6:36pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Remy,

I enjoyed the read. I think you did well on dialogue and descriptions. (I know the lay out is a thing. I'll let others point that out). Still good though.

I do have a suggestion if I may. If you ever seen the movie “Battle Los Angeles”? (good movie), but my point is, at the beginning they have an opening scene that establishes where they'll be at later in terms of who they're fighting etc. (So we know what's going on).

I think it might help to show us, say whatever they're doing in the game and why and show us why it's important and that the gamers are still dying. It could go into to show folders of people that could save the project. Then continue on as you are. (just suggesting).

Also, others can probably back me up, I read you have like 10 pages to hook a reader of scripts (which is why I think they did that beginning of “battle” If just start out he combs his hair etc etc. The reader falls asleep, but starting out half of LA destroyed gets your attention.

You mentioned writers block and not sure of your direction.

It may help us to know (spitball) just some ideas. What movies or shows do you think are similar to what you want to do in terms of flow and or action/story?

Maybe tell us what you want the ending to be and what you want the journey to be like? That may help us to point out things. Just a quick thought. Alien and Aliens, same concept. Alien was horror/suspense and Aliens was action.

What do you want action? Do you want us to care about one or more characters or the outcome? Something like “Ender's game” (another great movie) where he didn't know what he was playing lean to genocide.

So that helps us to know if just violent fun with us not caring about the characters (like a horror movie) or are we supposed to care?

Also, for me the being hooked up, the world is it more “Matrix” or “strange days” or “inception”?

I watch to many movies and TV, but I'll help anyway I can.

Also, if you get a chance, read my stuff. I got a Bob's Burgers “the space next door” and on this page, “the fantastic four: the heroes within”

I am not afraid to shamelessly solicit readers!
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Clark
Posted: December 20th, 2018, 6:45pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Remy,

Sorry forgot  to address the writers block. I think coming here is a great idea. Also, like I said, look for what is similar in terms of  style for what you want to do. Such as, horror (got horror on the brain). If you look at the original Halloween, by John Carpenter, more psychological/suspense vs the Rob Zombie version of action and violence. (enjoyed both versions). For me, writing and getting blocked, sucks. My handwriting is bad. I spell bad (so good luck to me figuring out later what I wrote). And when I do type it out I cut and paste till I get cross eyed.  

Plus, I have no support in my area. No one to rad my stuff etc etc. So for me feeling alone in this is my big block. Hopefully we'll get you past it all to where you'll become famous and forget all about us!
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LC
Posted: December 20th, 2018, 6:47pm Report to Moderator
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Remy, welcome to SS.

FYI:

trelby.org

screenwriting software is also free, and as Matt said there is a free version of Writer Duet


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Remy
Posted: December 20th, 2018, 7:59pm Report to Moderator
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Hey matt,

   firstly, you didn't offend me in any way and i wasn't putting off the whole semester of scriptwritting just because of that. There were further circumstances that made me question the value of that semester anyways considering our professor quit two months in, improper instructions, so on and so forth. So, it truly is hard to gauge the true value of that lass for what happened during that class.
And yes, Matt, i would appreciate you taking the time to read the script, as well as, provide feedback. While im still learning, i am never one to turn down free advice, especially if it helps me get to where i want to be.
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Remy
Posted: December 20th, 2018, 8:25pm Report to Moderator
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Clark,

   I get a lot of what you are saying. I will try to break most of that down here.

Most of my inspiration is derived from the work of Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, Spielberg, Lucas, and the likes.
I would love to be able to create an action movie that has a psychological aspect that you can watch more than once and take away something different each time. That, each time you watch, you notice something that you didn't notice before.

As far as the end game, I have it in my mind that Mira ends up dying for the "good of the movie" while being the outsider type. While i don't want to copy characters or movies, the best way i can describe her is like Trinity from the Matrix. She has that nonchalant, i can take care of myself attitude.

As far as Miller goes, I wanted the audience to be able to build a sense of empathy from the beginning but not be  hardcore cliche action hero like John McClain or the such. I almost want him portrayed with the skill of the character from "Taken" but who also has to rely on someone else to progress through the new environment he is introduced into.

Antoine is going to be one of those characters that are the supporting kind. They aren't in every scene but the ones they are important. I wanted him to be the one that figures out the major plot in some fashion that exposes the villain or the misuse of the technology

Franco: All around bad guy that is hiding behind a facade. He invites Mira and Miller in under false pretense to use this new equipment only to turn around to use it for other means.


I'm a huge movie and tv fan myself, but im more on the side of being able to produce, film, and edit them. I was never really all that great with being able to create a huge idea from thin air. If you gave me a good script (depending on budget constraints) i would be happy as can be going through pre-production, production, and post to create it.
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Clark
Posted: December 20th, 2018, 8:54pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Remy,

Thanks for the get back. (everyone please excuse above of Ender's game, meant to type lead not lean. See what I have to put up with from me)

That helps a lot. So can you mention more about what the game is?

Have you gotten over the writers block? Any ideas you got put 'em on here I'll help anyway I can.
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Remy
Posted: December 20th, 2018, 9:11pm Report to Moderator
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Clark,

  Well, "the game" is pretty much like a mix between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. In the dystopian future they live in, this type of gaming is banned because of the side effects cause (burned outs) have often killed people or put them into a comatose type state.
So, most of the involvement  of "in game" is considered illegal and is regulated by authorities while the gamers use underground means in order to play and compete against one another for cash prizes.

I wanted to go a route where the original gaming rigs are very hardcore and steampunk style built together from bits and pieces, unreliable and prone to failure. The equipment that Franco presents is far more upgraded which also introduces the use of the nano-technology within the body of the user which also helps accelerate their reaction time, healing ability, and more.


Honestly, i haven't had much time to try to brainstorm any further since starting this posting. My weekdays are usually filled with college classes or taking care of my little one. One of the joys of being a single parent....not much down time to actually think straight.
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Clark
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Remy,

Cool. That clears up a lot for me (thanks). I'm looking forward to reading more. I feel ya on the time. The only time I get most of the time is like maybe 11-12 til 2AM, if the brain fog etc doesn't get me.
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: December 21st, 2018, 5:33am Report to Moderator
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Hi Remy

I am in the middle of reading - I am on page 6 right now, I will read more later. I will give some comments now so I don't bombard you with them in one post later.

I will comment on the actual story later, when I have read more.

OK, so the main comment I have for now is how you are telling this story, namely the action/descriptions - I am not great at explaining so I'll use examples...


Quoted Text
INT - HOUSE - NIGHT
Sean stands in a kitchen with a beer in front of him. He is dressed in a t-shirt and jeans now and is wiping down the counters. There is a knock. As Sean walks through the kitchen he kneels down and places his hand under a chair where there is a hidden holster and hand gun, he leaves the weapon in its place under the chair and continues walking through the house. Sean opens the door and sees General Marks standing in the doorway, with the general are two men in suits. One man is a large man with a body guard look in his late thirties or early forties, this is MIKE. The other man is smaller with more of an actual businessman look in his late twenties; this is FRANCO. Franco has a British accent while Mike has a New England accent. Sean ushers the men into the living room. Mike stands in a corner of the room.


The above is the most extreme example I found in the first 6 pages. I have numerous issues with this, but I will work through them, and hopefully something will be helpful to you.

So, as a reader, I want my eyes to be able to glide down the page with ease. I want to know a lot of information, but in as few words as possible

Having a big block of text like this, makes the read laboured. It is off putting. But don't be disheartened, it is easily fixed, and will come with practice (also reading good scripts will help you to see how this can be done)

For the above scene, I have quickly re-written it below


Quoted Text
INT. HOUSE – KITCHEN - NIGHT

Immaculate. Sean, casually dressed, chugs a beer as he wipes down the counter.

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

Sean storms to a chair in the corner, grips the handle of a pistol affixed underneath.

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

Sean closes his eyes, exhales sharply. He removes his hand from the pistol. Walks into


HALLWAY

Sean cautiously opens the front door. General Marks, flanked by FRANCO (29) sharp suit, well groomed, and MIKE (40) hefty, Cheap suit, stares back at him.

Sean beckons the men to enter.

INT. HOUSE – LIVING ROOM – NIGHT

Pristine. Pictures of his wife and child adorn almost every surface.

                                 GENERAL MARKS
Sgt Miller, this is Franco he’s interested in talking to you about an interesting opportunity.

                                  FRANCO
                              (British Accent)
Thank you General Marks. Now, if you’ll excuse us so we can talk. The general looks confused.


(Note: I wrote this quickly, so it may not be great - I also wrote it in word, so formatting will be off, but you get the idea)

OK so, first, moving the secondary location (kitchen) from the action block into the slugline has already reduced our word count. (Note: In your original version, you move from Kitchen/Front door/Living room with no new sluglines or minislugs)

How mine is written, see how much more white there will be on the page? rather than a big blob of black ink? it helps the reader to glance down the page to see what is going on - and be very clear, professional script readers/producers WILL only glance at first

In yours, there is no description of what the kitchen or the living room look like. Remember this is a visual medium, the reader should get a clear picture in their head. There is also a chance here to delve into character, how does he keep his house? clean/dirty/hoarder/minimalist? In my version, I made him a clean guy - gives us a small glimpse into what he is like.

I also moved the accents into the parenthetical's. This reduces the word count in the action block, but also, remember to write visually (or, in this case, audibly) - Writing that he has a British accent in action, when he hasn't spoke - how would the viewer know that until he speaks?

Use more provocotive words, show thoughts and emotions through action. He is having another beer, is he drunk? if so he staggers to the door, rather than walks.

That's it for now. I hope at least some of that helps.

You may hate my version, who knows.

Matt


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