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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    My Work In Progress  ›  'The Eastern Theatre' - wip feature (I'm new!) Moderators: bert
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  Author    'The Eastern Theatre' - wip feature (I'm new!)  (currently 344 views)
JackH
Posted: April 18th, 2019, 5:54am Report to Moderator
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Hello there.

I'm 19 and have been writing for about five years. Mostly poetry until I started writing fiction in prose last year and now in screenplay at the beginning of this year.

This is my second attempt at the format (my first being an adaptation of my unfinished novel). So...

Logline: Jack Baines, a young soldier troubled by doubt and suspicion for those closest to him, is plunged into the war in Afghanistan.

Any criticism is welcome. I really want to improve in this format.

THE EASTERN THEATRE: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ccmyp03ck80b93d/screenplay%20-%20THE%20EASTERN%20THEATRE%20.pdf?dl=0


"Yes, man is mortal, but that would be only half the trouble. The worst of it is that he's sometimes unexpectedly mortal - there's the trick" -- Mikhail Bulgakov.

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JackH  -  May 1st, 2019, 9:47am
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: April 18th, 2019, 6:21am Report to Moderator
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Hi Jack

Welcome to the boards - Stick around, get involved, read and reveiw others works to get them in exchange. It's a helpful place so would benefit you greatly.

I had a quick skim through - I read the first 3 pages very quickly, which means the read was nice and easy - My visuals were good - you could spend a little time setting the scene/tone - are they training under burning sun? pouring rain?

I know nothing about the Corporal - but I am guessing since they are not named, they are not a major character so I don't need to know anything.

Format wise - from my quick read no glaring errors jumped out at me, so you have obviously done your research - RECRUITS doesn't need to be capped everytime, just the first time.

Good luck to you - Hopfeully you kick around the boards a while

Matt

EDIT: the logline could do with work though - I would omit the name, and give us a clue as to the protags goal and what is at stake.
EG. A young soldier, dropped into a ferocious warzone, must battle with paranoia and self-confidence if he is to make it home alive.

The above was a quick example, and I;m not that great at loglines - Anyway, we know the protag "young soldier", we know the antagonist (External - enemy soldiers, Internal - Paranoia/self doubt), we know the goal (get home alive) and we know the stakes (death) - oh and I havn;t read the story so I don't know what the story is actually about - my logline was for a generic story.

Hope that helps in some way



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Matthew Taylor  -  April 18th, 2019, 6:36am
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JackH
Posted: April 18th, 2019, 6:30am Report to Moderator
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Thanks man.

I'm not sure how qualified I am to be reviewing or criticizing other people's work, given my limited experience in the format, but I'll give it my best.

Cheers.


"Yes, man is mortal, but that would be only half the trouble. The worst of it is that he's sometimes unexpectedly mortal - there's the trick" -- Mikhail Bulgakov.
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Matthew Taylor
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Quoted from JackH
Thanks man.

I'm not sure how qualified I am to be reviewing or criticizing other people's work, given my limited experience in the format, but I'll give it my best.

Cheers.


You don't have to be "qualified" - This is a community of screenwriters at all different levels/stages of career - any feedback is appriciated.

If you are not comftable - stay clear of commenting on formatting until you are - instead, focus on the story - keep it simple, what you like, didn't like, any plot holes you find that need plugging, what made you laugh/cry/scared, what didn;t land for you, did you enjoy/hate the ending, what are your thoughts on the characters like/dislike .... basically like you would about a movie you just watched at the cinema.

Just keep it constructive and respectful and you are all set


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eldave1
Posted: April 18th, 2019, 9:58am Report to Moderator
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Welcome to the site, Jack - best one out there.

Read the first ten - impressive for a 19 year-old for sure.  I found the scene descriptions juat a bit sparse. But solid writing for sure.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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JackH
Posted: April 18th, 2019, 10:52am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Matthew Taylor
EDIT: the logline could do with work though - I would omit the name, and give us a clue as to the protags goal and what is at stake.
EG. A young soldier, dropped into a ferocious warzone, must battle with paranoia and self-confidence if he is to make it home alive.

The above was a quick example, and I;m not that great at loglines - Anyway, we know the protag "young soldier", we know the antagonist (External - enemy soldiers, Internal - Paranoia/self doubt), we know the goal (get home alive) and we know the stakes (death) - oh and I havn;t read the story so I don't know what the story is actually about - my logline was for a generic story.

Hope that helps in some way


Yeah, I haven't really practiced much with loglines.


"Yes, man is mortal, but that would be only half the trouble. The worst of it is that he's sometimes unexpectedly mortal - there's the trick" -- Mikhail Bulgakov.
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JackH
Posted: April 18th, 2019, 10:59am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1
Welcome to the site, Jack - best one out there.

Read the first ten - impressive for a 19 year-old for sure.  I found the scene descriptions juat a bit sparse. But solid writing for sure.


Thanks for feeding my ego. It's already pretty enlarged.

As far as scene descriptions, how would you recommend improving them? Or is it simply a matter of more detail.


"Yes, man is mortal, but that would be only half the trouble. The worst of it is that he's sometimes unexpectedly mortal - there's the trick" -- Mikhail Bulgakov.
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eldave1
Posted: April 18th, 2019, 8:27pm Report to Moderator
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Just a little more detail either in the header or description. e.g.,

EXT. NEVADA DESERT - INFANTRY TRAINING GROUNDS - DAY

tells me a bit more about what are recruits are facing.


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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LC
Posted: April 18th, 2019, 8:54pm Report to Moderator
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Welcome, Jack H.

Hints and tips for navigating the site:

https://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1124159895/s-0/

Add to it with a question if you're stumped on anything.


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JackH
Posted: April 19th, 2019, 6:39am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from eldave1
Just a little more detail either in the header or description. e.g.,

EXT. NEVADA DESERT - INFANTRY TRAINING GROUNDS - DAY

tells me a bit more about what are recruits are facing.


Okay, that's a really good point, because if you were imagining a Nevada Desert type of location then that's way off! Thinking about it now, I give no real indication that it is set in England.

Thanks for the tip.



"Yes, man is mortal, but that would be only half the trouble. The worst of it is that he's sometimes unexpectedly mortal - there's the trick" -- Mikhail Bulgakov.
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JackH
Posted: April 19th, 2019, 6:41am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from LC
Welcome, Jack H.

Hints and tips for navigating the site:

https://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1124159895/s-0/

Add to it with a question if you're stumped on anything.


Thanks LC, and nice to digitally meet you.

My logline not grab you, huh?   Gotta work on that...


"Yes, man is mortal, but that would be only half the trouble. The worst of it is that he's sometimes unexpectedly mortal - there's the trick" -- Mikhail Bulgakov.
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eldave1
Posted: April 19th, 2019, 3:12pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from JackH


Okay, that's a really good point, because if you were imagining a Nevada Desert type of location then that's way off! Thinking about it now, I give no real indication that it is set in England.

Thanks for the tip.



My pleasure


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: April 30th, 2019, 4:41am Report to Moderator
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Good morning Jack. Hope you are well

First - please see the disclaimer in my signature  

OK, I like war movies, so I'm looking forward to this one.

You either have military experience or you have done your research - the bayonet training feels authentic. It is a highly charged, angry experience - I think you capture that mood somewhat

I really hope it has some relevance later on - IE he has to USE this training at a key moment. If so, I would extend this slightly - make this more visual, you only mention once that the recruits thrust the bayonets into the dummies - you can be more descriptive here and really, show them being angry, their screwed up faces intent on killing, the sweat, the exhaustion that comes with repeatedly stabbing with a bayonet - you can break up the Corporals long dialogue with brief moments of this action - JHMO of course

Jack Baines seems a little old to be a recruit - it's not unheard of obviously, but it's not the norm - I wonder if his age plays a part in this.

"YOUNG WOMAN -- HANNAH (25)" Don't think you need to introduce this character as YOUNG WOMAN immediately followed by her name and age. Just the name and age will do.

I can't copy and paste from your script - is it protected from doing so? I'm trying to pop examples into my reply but it's not letting me - anyway, I'll soldier on (pun intended)

When you get feedback, you will probably see the word "unfilmable" mentioned a lot - These are things that you have straight up told the reader, but someone viewing a finished movie would have no idea. I would try to avoid these if I were you, the adage "show don't tell" is a good one to go by.
Case in point - "Mid 40's - family member/friend" - the viewer has no way of knowing this character is a family friend unless you show us that dynamic - but you can so easily show us this relationship rather than tell - additional point, is he a family member or friend? why include both?

OK - time to contradict myself (and annoy other reviewers around here). You will also see the term "asides" thrown around - some people love them, some people hate them - It's your story, you decide how to tell it. These are also classed as "unfilmable" and is basically the writer talking directly to the reader (I would argue that a good aside IS filmable, but leaves it open to the director/actor to portray the mood/tone from it)
They are used to expand on something you have shown us to add emotion, tone, mood, whatever - Example from 500 days of summer - "Tom makes copies. Making copies sure is dull" - Here, the writer gives us the action "making copies" then sets the mood "Making copies sure is dull" - that's the writer telling us the character is bored - he could show it, of course, yawning, leaning, general looking bored. instead, the writer tells us and leaves it to the actor/director to portray that mood.

I don't mind asides to be honest - if they are done well. you will be able to tell the difference - some feel shoehorned into a script in an attempt by the writer to add a "voice" - others feel more natural and genuinely add to the reading experience. They can also reduce the word count by conveying to the producer/actor the essence of the scene without over-describing everything.
With most things, if used too much they become annoying.

I've gone off on a tangent - Anyway, research them and make up your own mind - I haven't actually seen an aside in your script so I'm not entirely sure why I am talking about them.

WAIT - I have a better example lol


Quoted Text
The players are taking their seats. Slowly, Andrew walks in.
Eyes the DRUMS. Takes a deep breath. He can do this...

Carl is seated in the alternate�s seat. The drum throne is
empty. Just waiting for Andrew...

Andrew sits down. WE MOVE IN CLOSER ON HIM -- as he adjusts
his seat, lays his music out, gets his sticks ready...


Alright - Whiplash is not a spec script - even so, the tonal asides add to the read in my opinion. But as I say, read up on them and decide for yourself.

OK - in light of the above I will again refer you to the disclaimer in my signature lol

Back to your story...

Eurgh my find function isn't working on your script either lol - never mind, I was trying to search to see how many times you use the term "we see" - Anyway, these are unecesarry, if you describe it, we see it no need to use the words "we see" or any varients such as we hear.

VARIOUS SCENES: - you then describe the scenes in one big block of description. I would break these up into their individual shots - I.E

SERIES OF SHOTS
A) HOMELESS PEOPLE sleep in dank corners.
B) DRUG DEALERS linger in the shade.
etc etc...

OK - I spent so long discussing bloody asides I have ran out of time to read more - I'll revisit later

All the best

Matt


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JackH
Posted: May 1st, 2019, 9:38am Report to Moderator
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Hey Matt.

I really appreciate you reading through my script. Look forward to hearing more impression.

If it helps I'm perfectly happy to exchange emails and I can send you a PDF file or something. That way it might make the critique a little easier.

I do have some loose 'military experience', being a 19yo on their way to joining the military (being on bases, etc).

As for the opening scene -- the bayonet training -- it does have relevance, but largely thematic relevance. You are absolutely right though, about being more detailed. Being a first draft I'm just exploring ideas, you know how it is. In fact, I look back on most of this draft and think "wow, what utter shite I've written.

There's a whole battle scene in the script that you will find, but it's all going to be transplanted come draft two as it's so horribly off theme. More explanation on that if you come to it though.

Yes, you're right. Jack is a little old. Another thing that I've made notes on for draft two is to show the demise of industrial Britain that has long since occurred -- implying that Jack is a kind of down-on-his-luck product of unemployment, blah blah blah...!

I also DO NOT use 'we see' at all (I think), which is something I learned the hard way in writing my first screenplay where it is writhe.

PS: Whiplash is a great movie!  

Hope to hear from you soon. Let me know if you have anything to be critiqued, otherwise I feel guilty.


"Yes, man is mortal, but that would be only half the trouble. The worst of it is that he's sometimes unexpectedly mortal - there's the trick" -- Mikhail Bulgakov.
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: May 1st, 2019, 9:43am Report to Moderator
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I did find ONE "We see" - which is what prompted me to find more. But if you already know that they are not needed, then you probably just missed that noe - no big deal

I'll try and read more before I bugger off on my holidays

Matt

Oh and I have nothing for you to critique at the moment - Everything I have on here is an old draft, haven't had the time or energy to rewrite them yet. Choose someone elses script that takes your fancy and read/review that instead


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