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Interesting debate but I don't think you spent enough time with that. If you started out with them in their predicament and maybe had the other stuff as flashbacks or something it would work better.
Who are Alan and Tracey Deal and what do they have to do with the story? Why give the dog an age? On first read I thought it was a girl and a dog because of the age.
Big, big blocks of dialogue and action really harmed the read. Almost all of that would be easily trimmed. This could and probably should be a script of about 5 or 6 pages.
Thought-provoking debate though but I think you spent too much time on camera directions that really did nothing for the story and less time on what was important and that is the plot. Good work though, could just use a re-structuring and some editting.
This is officially the third script I've read that raises the issue of dog eating. This one dances around the questions in the veg vs carn debate, but never really tackles them head on.
This script has many things working against it, IMO. To begin with, the opening passage, and most of the other scenes describing the arctic wasteland, uses "we see," "we move" in describing camera movement. In pretty much every screenwriting book I've read, that sort of thing is frowned upon.
Neither Alan nor Clive are particularly likeable characters, which is a problem because at the end, you don't really care whether one or both of them die. They are also both incredibly long-winded. And, I think a lot of the dialogue has real clunky, unnatural feel to it:
CLIVE Because before, you had your fill, and you never went without, so you could sustain your point of view, your attitude - you might just call it your philosophy - and all because - at the end of the day - let’s not get hung up on etiquette here - you got a full belly.
I'm still not sure what exactly they were doing in the arctic wasteland. We see them in the flashbacks, but I never got how they wound up out there.
The main problem I had was that the story never created any real drama. Instead of using cinematic techniques to build tension, we got a lot of talking. A whole lot of talking. Also, when I got to the end, I realized I had no clue who the Warren in "Warren's Choice" was. I had to go back to page one to see that it was Alan's last name. So, it was an odd choice for a title.
The writer definitely has skill, but this one was a total misfire for me.
At least, you didn't go for the Old Yeller ending. It wouldn't surprise me if Lucy (6) the dog killed off Clive and Allen to shut them the hell up.
Thank you Ryan1 for writing an eloquent review so I could be a smartass.
EDIT: Seriously, the long blocks of conversation were a major block for me; making this story hard to get into. I know they were in the middle of the Antartic so talking was probably long winded as an occupational hazard. The camera has nothing to do whilst dialogue is on for that long.
I'm just gonna echo Ryan1's comments. Btw, welcome to SimplyScripts. Your reviews are intelligently written and spot on.
I echo Screenrider's sentiments here. Ryan's comments are full of substance and intelligence.
Regarding this script, I'm just not getting anything from this script and I don't have the desire to continue with the read. Maybe tomorrow.
I'm going to repeat what I said in another thread. I think that many of the scripts are paying too much attention to the theme and not enough to the story.
The following dialogue:
CLIVE (CONT’D) When you have no choice, or when you are forced to choose, then, and when you stick by what you are saying then you can say that it was something that you fought for. Now - it’s nothing real, it’s just an easy ideal - an easy choice. You never had to suffer for it. You never suffered for want of anything. So how can you hold your ideals so high? How come they mean so much more than some wife with a breadline husband buying just whatever she can afford? Do you think she read anything - I mean really, do you think that these people read things and then go I’ll buy this or that based on what I’ve read? They read something ok - the price. That’s all.
I think is way too long for a short. At least way too long for this short. I'm not against long chunks of dialogue, but it's that relativity factor and what works here won't work there.
You have a really strong opening image:
As far as the eye can see, there is white. Harsh, deadly. Arctic winds sweep across and whip up any bit of snow throwing it carelessly, obliviously.
I think this one could have been among the best of the bunch but it fell short in its execution.
First thing's first: I've noticed a lot of people wondering why some of the scripts don't give their characters names. This one is exactly the opposite - why give characters names who don't even speak? It clogs up the page and makes us think you're introducing someone important. The flashbacks were also oddly placed and the dialogue was very, very chunky and rambling.
That said, I did like the direction you took with the vegan suggesting going for the dog and the meat eater defending it. Good switcheroo there. The ending was also very gutsy. I just wish you had taken a different direction to get there.
Lose a lot of the preachy dialogue, and you could wind up with a nice, tight, good script.
Love how the vegan is the first to snap after only a few days without food. But since there is water everywhere, albeit as ice and snow, the two could have filled up their stomachs with liquid and put off the hunger pains for a few more days. I did this myself when I drank only water for two days in order to lose weight.
Pg 1 – “throwing it carelessly, obliviously.” – I’m a bit of an adverb demon myself, but I’m told adverbs are not fashionable. Personally I think the odd one here and there is fine, but putting two in a row might be pushing your luck.
“We pan to the right.” – “We” is a big screenwriting taboo, as is directing the camera. Of course you might know this already if this is a “pisstake”, in which case I’m wasting my time making these comments.
Pg 2 – The dialogues are quite long.
Pg 4 – It’s an awkward read, but the story has some intrigue.
Pg 6 – I like the way you have role reversed them.
Pg 8 – The ambiguous ending is really smart and you didn’t break the golden rule about the dog.
Overall, the story in this is effective and does a nice job of presenting the ethical dilemma. Your formatting has all kinds of issues, but hell you can learn that stuff.
The "we see", "we pan", "we move", "we pass" is kinda annoying. It takes up space and slows down the read. You can take those out without affecting the story.
Whoa, huge blocks of dialogue....and they don't go anywhere. Dialogue are snappy, short, fragmented and go off on tangents, unless the character is making a speech to an audience. BUT dialogue also needs to have purpose. If a character say something that doesn't move the story, then the character better shut up.
By the way, who's Clive talking to?
I finally managed to finish it, but it was a very, very slow read. Sorry, I didn't understand what was going on. The scenes don't match up. Sometimes you're in Antarctica, and then you cut to a modern flat, and then some place else. I couldn't orient myself in the story.
First, cut out the "we"s. Second, shorten dialogue and descriptions that are more than 4 lines long. Third, make sure on every scene cut, the readers can find the connections.
It's a serious attempt, I think, but needs lots of work.
Memwipe - Sci-Fi, Action, Thriller (114 pages) - In a world where memories can be erased by request, a Memory Erasing Specialist desperately searches for the culprit when his wife becomes a target for erasure -- with his former colleagues hot on his trail.
Just realized I had not read this script. But I see the author has not commented on any other scripts even though he is a board member so I won't bother with a review. Except to say it was a massive chore to read and poorly written IMO. Jumping all over the place, characters with pointless last names etc. Apparently there was a story in here somewhere but I failed to find it.