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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Thriller Scripts  ›  True Moderators: bert
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  Author    True  (currently 3124 views)
Don
Posted: February 17th, 2006, 6:14pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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True by Clive Davies-Frayne - Thriller - A naive young man is introduced to Bucharest�s hellish world of vice and drugs, where he falls in love with a strange young prostitute. What he doesn't know is that his every move is being manipulated and watched by the person he believes to be his best friend. Hunted by the police and half of Romania�s underworld for a murder he didn�t commit, his only chance of escape is to figure who is lying and what is true. 121 pages - html, format


{
Script removed at the request of the author

Don


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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

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Don  -  February 27th, 2006, 5:58pm
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film_utopia
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This is a second draft of this screenplay, which I originally intended to direct myself, but now I am developing as a calling card - spec script.

My primary aim with this draft was to get the overall structure of the screenplay right.  

I'm looking at another rewrite of it probably in the spring, once I've got two other screenplays projects finished.

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film_utopia  -  February 18th, 2006, 6:57pm
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film_utopia
Posted: February 25th, 2006, 11:05am Report to Moderator
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Well, I didn't get the feedback i was hoping for; but, I did get a producer ring me up and we're now discussing optioning. So, a pretty good week all in all.

I would have liked to have seen some feedback, because as any writer knows you can't read your own work fresh of the page. So, any reader's take on the script is valuable.

I'm not sure why my screenplay didn't attract any comments, when almost all of the others posted this week did ... but thanks for hosting this for me Don, much appreciated. Normally I'd suspect the logline, but it was the logline that brought the producer to me. ..

It's a mystery ...
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film_utopia
Posted: February 25th, 2006, 12:54pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted Text
People who read the works of others tend to get read in return.


That's what I figured ... Unfortuately, I posted the script the same week that I had seven, eighteen hour days on my freelance work.

I just got my first full night's sleep last night.

But, i wasn't grouching - just observing.  i really though I was talking to myself. LOL


Quoted Text
I'm not trying to be mean


Never thought for a second you were. Any writer that can't take being told how things are isn't going to survive too long in this industry.

Thanks for explaining me how this works ... there must have been lots of writers that have come here, posted their scripts and then left without ever realising that. That's pretty harsh ,,, maybe you regulars could try explaining how it works to people early in the week.

it wouldn't have made any difference in my case; but as writers we get enough people in the industry not achknowledging our existence without doing it to each other.

Just my opinion.

Oh ... God, I must be tired to have forgotten this. There's something else I find odd about this.

I've been screenwriting a long time now and I read screenplays because there is always something to learn in another writer's approach to the work. So when i read I don't do it because I'm doing the writer a favour, I do it because I'm a writer who is interested in my craft.

By sticking to this "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" approach it means that the group becomes self serving ... I pat you on the back because you pat me. There are real dangers for any writer travelling that path. As a writer there are two things I don't need and one that I do: teh two things I don't need are 1) People who tell me how wonderful I am (unless they've got a cheque book to back it up) .. and 2) People who savage my work because it makes them feel powerful.

The one thing I do need: is people who understand writing and have the skill to give contructive criticism ... and who do it because the act to analysing ascript is a learning proces for themselves , as well..

The idea that I'm doing a writer a favour by reading his or her work ... It just never, ever occurs to me to think like that.

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film_utopia  -  February 25th, 2006, 1:12pm
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George Willson
Posted: February 25th, 2006, 3:36pm Report to Moderator
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Doctor who? Yes, quite right.

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The reason a lot of people won't read an anonymous script is not knowing that the writer is around to receive feedback. But another thing that hurts is as Bert said, the writer is only here to get reads on his work and not to contribute to the community. We are far more likely to read someone's script that we know as opposed to someone whose only posts are requests on their own script thread to read their script. You call it a "you scratch my back and I scratch yours" arrangement, but that's our world. We all want something out of posting to this site. We're writers and we want our scripts read just like you do. Is it too much to ask that you return the favor that someone might extend to you?

That being said, you can get a lot of very good reviews from someone people aroung here. Some of those border on very professional in nature in improving your work. If you send a script to a pro reader for feedback, it won't be free. All we ask is for a read in return. Right now, we don't know if we'll get that.


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film_utopia
Posted: February 26th, 2006, 2:42am Report to Moderator
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OK. We could discuss this and never get anywhere further, because you guys see the world one way and I see it another. You see it from the perspective that by reading someone's script and giving them notes that you are doing something that only benefits their development as a writer ... reading someone's script is something that you do only to get your script read.  I don't see it like that ... when I read someone elses script I'm benefiting from reading it, I benefit as a writer by reading other people's scripts ...

In fact, the best way to develop as screenwriter is by reading other people's screenplays and ironically it's one of the things that very few screenwriters bother to do. And the important thing is to read outside of your experiences and tastes ... so you get a feel for how other people do things. Some writers are very visual - the Coen Brothers leap to mind - some are very literary - Bruce Robinson is a good example of that kind of writer.

It's a perspective thing ... it's not a criticism ...

So, what I'm going to do, is go to one of the other unread scripts ... read their script and post a comment for them.  I don't expect them to read mine in return   ... if they want to read mine that's their call.

Just as it is with you guys ... if you want to read my script read it ... if you don't, don't ... but don't read it just because I read yours.

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film_utopia  -  February 26th, 2006, 4:46am
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dogglebe
Posted: February 26th, 2006, 3:04pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from film_utopia

Thanks for explaining me how this works ... there must have been lots of writers that have come here, posted their scripts and then left without ever realising that. That's pretty harsh ,,, maybe you regulars could try explaining how it works to people early in the week.


This topic of conversation pops up probably two or three times a month.  And atleast once a week, someone's only posts are "Would someone read my script, Phlegmdogs?" followed by "Why won't anyone read Phlegmdogs?" and concluded by "You guys suck.  I'm leaving."

Look up the series, Street Scriptures.  It was written by some jackass who promoted himself better than God.  Unfortunately for him, that's all he ver posted.  He didn't read anyone's work and copped an attitude whenever someone said something to him.  It's actually a funny thread; only his posts remains (kind of like his head on a pike).



Quoted from film_utopia
By sticking to this "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" approach it means that the group becomes self serving ... I pat you on the back because you pat me. There are real dangers for any writer travelling that path. As a writer there are two things I don't need and one that I do: teh two things I don't need are 1) People who tell me how wonderful I am (unless they've got a cheque book to back it up) .. and 2) People who savage my work because it makes them feel powerful.


This is not a back-patting club.  If I give antone an 'attaboy,' it's because it's deserved.  I've praised people and I've probably scared some off.  When I review a script, it's my honest opinion.

And then there's Balt....



Quoted from film_utopia
The one thing I do need: is people who understand writing and have the skill to give contructive criticism ... and who do it because the act to analysing ascript is a learning proces for themselves , as well..


I enjoy reading scripts; I find it very educational.  Sometimes I see a description or a story telling technique so good that I'll use it.  Sometimes I'll see something so awful, it scars my very soul.

At this time, however, I don't have much time for reading.  Some of my work is being produced and I'm working on shooting scripts, script revisions, and casting.  I'm actually going to audition for the role of Steve in my script, 'Suicide.'  And then there's my other responsibilities in life.  Things were so much easier when I took the subway to work; I'd print out scripts in the morning and post reviews at night.



Quoted from film_utopia
The idea that I'm doing a writer a favour by reading his or her work ... It just never, ever occurs to me to think like that.


Look at it this way.  Ten people want to you read their scripts.  Two of them wrote reviews of your scripts.  Another two are active on the board and seem to write good reviews of scripts they read.  The other six...well, all they write on the boards is:  "Would someone read my script, Phlegmdogs?" followed by "Why won't anyone read Phlegmdogs?" and concluded by "You guys suck.  I'm leaving."

Who would you read?

You mentioned in another thread about an 'inner circle' (my words, not yours) who read and critique only their own work.  There is one.  And do you know how to get in it?  Be active on the board.  Critique other people's work.  Having some good scripts also help, but critiquing others is just as important.  

I look forward to future scripts by certain people.  These people  are good writers and good critics.  I'd like to think that some people look forward to my scripts.  The point is, I made it to this inner circle and it wasn't by sitting around and asking people to read my script.


Phil
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tomson
Posted: February 26th, 2006, 3:56pm Report to Moderator
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I've read five feature length scripts here that were written by non regulars, but I didn't know. I'm as far from a professional as one can get, but I took my time and did my best. I'm a slooow reader so each one was at least five hours of my time (I don't have a lot of spare time).

Incidently, Those five scripts were all boring and hard to stay concentrated on. All feature lengths I've read, written by the regulars here have been really, really good. I'm not a dummie and I learn from my mistakes so I will stick to reading stuff by regulars.
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film_utopia
Posted: February 27th, 2006, 4:39am Report to Moderator
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Er Guys ...

Every group defines it's membership .. it welcomes in those that conform to needs of the group and repells those who don't. That's humanity for you.

So, it's fairly obvious that I'm never going to fit in here ... which is kinda sad, because I've got a lot to offer any screenwriting group. Apart from the fact that I'm an award winning writer, with a completed feature credit and two other feature scripts optioned ... I'm also a producer who runs his own production company and I am a well established director who has worked all over the world.

I've got my second feature as writer/direcdtor going into production this autumn, I'm discussing the option of the screenplay that you guys decided wasn't worth reading with a producer today ... a producer who found the screenplay here, and finally ... actually, I also very generous with my time. I read people's stuff all the time.

Now, I put my screenplay here because I was planning a rewrite ... I know that it's structurally strong, you know, three acts, forty-five sequences, story-arc for each character ... but what I needed was a fresh pair of eyes on it. Just somebody to read it and and say ... you know the bit where Victor kills the jailer, why does David leave with him at that point ... he has so much to loose.

I'm not going to get that here. Like you guys said, you like to feel you were going to get something out of it ... well, now you know what was on the table ... but just like I didn't know that the rule was you read our scripts first and then we'll read your, you didn't know that I was in a position to option and or refer your scripts to other producers.

So, everyone looses.

One good thing came out of this though ... Wesley, who wrote the Lost Girls got feedback on his first screenplay and left with more confidence than he came here with. He seemed like a nice guy. I hope it works out for him.
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Martin
Posted: February 27th, 2006, 5:40am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from film_utopia

I'm not going to get that here.


Clive, you asked why nobody had commented on your script, Bert gave you an answer.

That doesn't mean that nobody will review it unless you read theirs first. Your script has only been on the site for a week. If you're eager for feedback, a review exchange could get your work critiqued quicker. Otherwise you might have to wait a little longer for that detailed critique.

You've chosen to defend yourself by boasting your credentials. Fair enough, but nobody was attacking you or your ability as a writer. They were merely answering your question.

As for the script in question. I read a few pages and it's a decent start. I'd be careful to avoid the passive voice in your descriptions. It makes for a quicker read if you keep things active.

I have a 'to read' list as long as my arm but maybe I'll get around to reading the rest at some point.
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film_utopia
Posted: February 27th, 2006, 10:25am Report to Moderator
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Actually I just wanted to apologise for my recent posts.

I get iirritable when I've not had enough sleep and last week was one of those weeks. I can't remember any production i've ever done where I didn't come out of it and pick a fight with someone ... i should know better by now.

I also hate it when I get into that "Don't you know who I am" nonsense ( i only ever do that when I'm dog tired). It's all true, but at the end of the day irrlevant. It doesn't make me a better writer, just one who has been really lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

You're right about the passive voice and that's on the top of my list for things to fix. It's a habit I picked up when i only used to write scripts I was going to direct myself and the shift from that to writing spec scripts is a fairly steep learning curve.


Quoted Text
As for the script in question. I read a few pages and it's a decent start.


Thanks for that. Actually the biggest problem with the opening is that it still retains too much directorial  input ... In the first draft it was written like a shooting script, every single shot laid out ... the second draft was supposed to remove all of that, but I just couldn't let go of the opening sequncest. It's a fatal flaw in a spec script ... and one that I'm sure cost me options with at least three major production companies.


Quoted Text
I have a 'to read' list as long as my arm but maybe I'll get around to reading the rest at some point.


Thanks for that, but I think I'm done here. It's bad enough waltzing into town, starting a pub brawl whilst trying to take the moral high ground, without compounding my shame by hanging around afterwards to demand free drinks.

Sorry for wasting everyone's time. Not your fault that I still can't schedule a production where I get enough sleep. LOL
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Kevan
Posted: February 27th, 2006, 12:24pm Report to Moderator
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film_utopia or Clive...

After reading this thread and some of the comments made by the regulars here I was fascinated to read your script.. So I have, it took me 2 hours but this was broken in between 2 smokes and a coffee..

Great story, best thing I've read apart from Peeping Tom by Leo Marks.. Outstanding premise, great characters, really well-developed, great tempo and pace and I really like the ending. Oh, before I forget, the set-up in the plane is cute too..

Overall, this is one wicked screenplay which I was able to visualize and could see the damn thing being produced, well done..

British too uh?

Here's the harsh criticisms:

Get rid of the FLASHBACKS, you dont need them at all.. You have a FLASHBACK within a FLASHBACK - are you aware of this? If you have two FLASHBACKS then come back to the immediate scene your character is in then go to a second FLASHBACK or create  MONTAGE within the FLASHBACK and use subheadings to indicate same.

Your PARENTHETICALS are outrageous, who showed you how to do those? Theyre disgraceful! You have action in your parentheticals so much so that you nearly take up half a page with one parenthetical which is actually several paragraphs of action tut tut, very naughty this!

If you do use parentheticals then use them sparingly, Im afraid your script is littered with these unnecessarily. Get rid of all of them and write them as action.

Some of your scene descriptions and or actions are way too long and need to be edited and sparse make them a Hell of a lot shorter, more concise..

A lot of your actions describe stuff in a literal sense but this cannot be filmed. How can we film thoughts and feelings? This writing style is for short stories and novels and not for screenplays. Be more accurate with your descriptions and action. Make it so it reads as though it can be filmed, even the boring stuff should sound as if it can be filmed with a camera. You have a lot of stuff in your screenplay which cannot be filmed with a camera and it shouldnt be in there. Im sorry to harp on about this but this is basic screenplay stuff and something you really need to work on.

There are occasions where your characters go off on one when speaking dialogue. This is because they have too many lines.l What you need to do is reduce your quality 5, 6, 7 and 8 liners down to 3, 4 and 5 liners. Any more and they need to be drastically reduced

Youve used DUSK, DAWN etc in some of your SLUGLINES dont Use only DAY and NIGHT.. Use a device in your scene descriptions which inform the reader of the time of day.. This is not a shooting script but a spec script. Moreover, you have added SCENE NUMBERS in your screenplay and this simply isnt done in a Spec Script. Remove them..

Once youve completed your re-write and produced a half-decent spec of this story then theres no reason why you cant produce your own SHOOTING SCRIPT from this for yourself.. If anybody asks to see if youve already prepared one earlier.

I cant stress this stuff enough.. I expect George Willson to find more stuff than Im prepared to crack my whip about.

Theres a lot going for your TRUE screenplay, the story and characters are top-notch, I think you have a winner here but you MUST get to grips with Screenplay FORMATTING and the specifics needed for a SPEC SCRIPT but unfortunately you have not displayed at all in your draft available to download.

Id like to guess to use a screenplay formatting program. Can this program print to Adobe Acrobat PDF file format? I would personally consider your screenplay more professional to read in this format. I would be able to see the page count and see the inciting incident and reversals at page counts rather than them just hitting me in the HTML version you uploaded to SimplyScripts..

Reduce the shite, reduce the dialogue, reduce the action. Place action descriptions on separate lines, dont bunch your action descriptions together. The idea is to make your actions decriptions read like separate shots so separate them. If you bunch these together then your writing comes across as prose not shots.

If you follow my advice you ought to be able to reduce the page count of  your screenplay down to 90 pages. I would argue this is the correct length for a SPEC SCRIPT. 100 pages at the most but 90 would be a good count.

Apart from your poor formatting, which let you down, you have a fantastic screenplay here which is HIGH CONCEPT and I reckon it would sell if you improved the stuff which let the script down.

If you need any help on stuff you can email me personally, my email address is in my avatar. If you email me, and, as you live in the UK, then you can telephone me, as I live in the UK, and Ill offer more help to get this screenplay to a correct SPEC FORMAT and on the road to printing and having it bound so you can send it out.

If you can't find my email address in my name then ask Don who runs the SimplyScripts web site and hell give you my address..

Well done, fantastic story with excellent characters, a great ending - I enjoyed the read..

Kevan
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tomson
Posted: February 27th, 2006, 1:00pm Report to Moderator
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Hey this is great.

I think we can all learn something here just reading this.

Kevan,
thanks for reading mine earlier.
I feel honoured now.

I'm sending a kiss and a hug from sunny Florida.
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Kevan
Posted: February 27th, 2006, 1:27pm Report to Moderator
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Hey TomSon

I'm honoured.. I've gone all flush...

Your screenplay is wicked too.. Excellent story and should be entered into competition..

Email me if you'd like some help also, no problem..

Thanks for the kiss from Sunny Florida, my heart's kinda beating a little faster.. Hehe..
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Kevan
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I noticed this TRUE screenplay has been removed from these boards and I've gotta say I very upset about this!

If Clive has removed the screenplay because he has had genuine interest from a production company then fair play to him.

But if I find out otherwise, that he has removed his screenplay because of the bullying that has gone on here I shall make a formal complaint to Don about this behaviour. It simply isn't on picking on a guy when he first joins these boards..

You people know who you are without me repeating your names...

You wanna lighten up you guys, Jeez, we're meant to be helping each other not jumpin down each other's throats!

Come on, grow up!

TRUE was a bloody good screenplay, I can't believe he removed it before I downloaded a copy..

To say I'm disappointed is an understatement...
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