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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Series  ›  Brothers in Arms Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: November 21st, 2009, 3:34pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Brothers In Arms (Pilot) by Chase Smell - Series, Drama - "Pilot", in the series premiere, circa 1972, squad leader Lance Corporal Bryan Reddick's team executes an enemy patrol. Later, Reddick is promoted to Lieutenant, Baker is promoted to Sergeant. On assignment, the Vietnamese enemy soldiers ambush the squad. 9 pages - doc, format


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cloroxmartini
Posted: November 21st, 2009, 5:09pm Report to Moderator
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By simply using the title Brothers in Arms, you set a tall order for combat films/tv because it's been done over and over. Case in point is Band of Brothers done by HBO.

So hurdles are set automatically. What you have in the first page of an MS Word doc is a chance meeting of two patrols, one US, the other Viet Cong. The US patrol wipes out the Viet Cong patrol, then we cut to the US base with everyone happy and shining shoes.

I'm guessing that english is not your first language. That's one hurdle you'll have to get over because the Viet Nam experience engrained in the American experience. To touch that, you need to touch it with proper english. Needs work. And smoking cigarettes and playing cards is more the WWII type of activity, where smoking pot and listening to Jimi Hendrix is the Viet Nam norm. To change that image is a tough one. You may have to embrace it, but then again, it's been done every which way to Sunday.

Another hurdle is the way you tell the story. You're telling it with cameras. That is one hurdle you can clear very easily by getting rid of what you think the camera should be doing. Unless you're the director, that's not your job. Getting the written story formatted and written correctly while still conveying a good story, is. Needs work.

The dialogue you have does not create emotion or tension. In this case, no dialogue at all could work fine. Since show downs have happened since the first cave man spotted the first cave girl, you need to mix it up and try something new in order to grab attention. Since Viet Nam has been done over and over and over and over, that's one tall hurdle and so far you haven't cleared it in order to hook this reader.
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marvink
Posted: November 25th, 2009, 6:43am Report to Moderator
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Chase, I'll have to agree with Cloroxmartini about the title of the piece, it was previously done. I don't think just having it set in Vietnam is problem, you just could use a little more action perhaps. I think this is fairly well written and could be good with some work. I also thought it was strange that you posted the piece in word perfect. You can go to acrobat.com and convert your word perfect to acrobat pdf format. Just a suggestion. Good luck with this. I have a piece posted here that starts off in Vietnam myself called "Delayed Justice". Again, good luck with this., Marvin.    
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JackAction
Posted: December 5th, 2009, 10:24am Report to Moderator
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I could not get into the script as I found myself lost in camera positions, When doing a second draft, just describe the scene, things ou can see and hear, leave the camera work out. I am far from an expert and far from the one who should be addressing anyone's work as I too am just a beginner when it comes to writing screenplays, however, I will gladly critique if it will help the writer in an obvious manner.
Please do a re-write and let me know when it is done, I would love to try reading her again.
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