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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Sci Fi and Fantasy Scripts  ›  Boss Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: June 8th, 2011, 9:11pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Boss by Darren J Seeley - Sci Fi, Fantasy - A new species of crocodile has an edge over everyone, even man. Crafty, abnormally fast and intellegent, its venomous bite is the least of your worries...now it's loose.  86 pages - pdf, format


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Electric Dreamer
Posted: June 20th, 2011, 10:53am Report to Moderator
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Hey Darren,

I was a little surprised no one touched this thread all month.
I would've gotten to your script sooner, but I was prepping for PitchFest.

Read through the first third, 29 pages, this morning.
I'll continue as my work schedule allows me to.

Seemed to me your slug spacing was a bit whacky in parts.
Mini-slugs were three carriage returns and full on slugs were four lines.
Didn't check to see if this was the case throughout the script.
However, that makes an 85 page feature script even shorter.

Basically, this feels like "Deep Blue Sea" with crocodiles.
While I do like that film, I didn't feel your script capitalized on that premise.
I don't understand why Boss is so special and what the venom is about.
In DBS, we know the shark is special, through some expository scenes.
Those scenes played fine for me, since they are introducing an outsider to the setting.
That effective device got the audience up to speed with the plot.
Here, we don't have that "walk through", and I felt pretty lost on the page.
I don't understand the goal of your croc experiments and I'm in the second act.
There must have been some good intention to start with somewhere alone the line.

No one character stood out to me or came across as particularly likable.
The scene at the bar with the two military dudes felt extraneous.
We could've just met him when he gets enlisted to help capture Boss.
I was surprised at how dialogue heavy the pages felt for an action/horror tale.

I'd like to know more about Boss's escape, it seems pretty random.
Did someone make a mistake he capitalized on?
If not, then why didn't he escape sooner?
Or did Boss listen in on a chat and learn the experiments were to be terminated?
I feel like there's a catalyst missing to instigate the escape.

Sorry, Darren, this one's not grabbed me yet.
But, I'll press on and see how you take this in the second act.

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

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is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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B.C.
Posted: June 20th, 2011, 3:34pm Report to Moderator
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I'm sure I've had a gander in the sci-fi section since June 8th, but don't remember seeing this. Weird.

I'll give this a read in the next 7 days.
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DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: June 20th, 2011, 7:08pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks ED & BC for your interest.
The month has gone by on Boss for the most part for two reasons:

1- It was posted on SS shortly after the recent OWC

2- There were other sci-fi sps and/or older threads that were commented on (including one of my own comments on another)

Deep Blue Sea happens to be a fave movie of mine; I personally think it's Renny Harlin's best film (even though I have a guilty pleasure in Cutthroat Island) But I was very close to dumping Boss, which is not a "new" script of mine, just a "new" script here at SS (an old, old dinosaur draft still exists on Trigger and this version is also on Talentville) - I'm just attempting to make it salvagable.

The intent is to hit the following marks:

- A mutant crocodile is nicknamed Boss. There are debates on whether or not there was gentic tampering, but it turns out not to be the case.  He is not a "giant" crocodile but more swift and agile. He could even run on dry land between 20-40 mph.And I can't stress science fiction enough. He also has a venom in his bite that puts other reptiles (specifically crocs and gators, some lizards) under a form of mind control/telepathy.

- Professional and/or personal relationships between the characters. While Perry still trusts Joe, the other members of the team don't, for they feel he broke a few rules by having a relationship with Salome and the friction in the breakup, along with the captivity of the animals (and, again, a belief that Salome was genetically tampering with the crocodiles) left the team, so they don't really want him back. Salome's not too thrilled with it either.

- No more than five main locations.

- No self-awareness from any character. Again, ED, you mention Deep Blue Sea. As much as I enjoyed the film there is one place where LL Cool J broke character: "Brothers never make it out of situations like this". Maybe it's the fact that he's also a hip-hop rapper turned actor (one of the better ones, I might add) but it's the kind of thing that makes me cringe in lesser films, where the "hip" character "knows" he/she is in horror-thriller film.

Like I said, I almost gave up on this - for I felt the superior killer crocodile film was already made in recent years. That would of course be Greg McLean's 'Rogue', which features a pre- Avatar/Clash Of The Titans Sam Worthington becoming chow for the beast  


More to follow.


"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
my scripts on ss : http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1095531482/s-45/#num48
The Art!http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-knowyou/m-1190561532/s-105/#num106
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: June 21st, 2011, 10:55am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from DarrenJamesSeeley
Thanks ED & BC for your interest.

Like I said, I almost gave up on this - for I felt the superior killer crocodile film was already made in recent years. That would of course be Greg McLean's 'Rogue', which features a pre- Avatar/Clash Of The Titans Sam Worthington becoming chow for the beast  


More to follow.


Seen Rogue, pretty spiffy film. Rahda Mitchell is a good little actress.
I think that was the director's follow up to Wolf Creek.
There's another croc flick, I believe is based on fact, called "Black Water".
It's a nasty Aussie film that came out a couple years ago.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0816436/
Have you seen Black Water?

Well, reading pages 29 - 58 today.
I liked the p. 50 action sequence, got me fired up for the script.
Honestly, it's the first scene that really popped and got me into the story.
It would be cool to get that on film, heavy CG work on those smart croc goons.
This almost feels like an act one break at times.
Then we have our group stranded in the preserve being hunted down.
Not a shabby set up for an act two survivalist horror script.
They get to the preserve and act three is using that environment to lure Boss in.
That structure I can get behind, it feels like it's got some momentum.

Pages 30 - 50 didn't really engage me much.
I see you citing DBS, I think another relevant comparison is Lake Placid.
Not for the creature so much as the character development.
It's truncated, for sure, but the boiler plate archetypes work.
Same in Deep Blue Sea, yup very worn relationship structures.
But when you're a creature feature, that's typically the best route.
At least, then I know the spread, and hopefully the dialogue elevates the set up.

I don't feel the character interactions coming to life here.
I have a hard time keeping them separated.
The revolving door dating game stuff isn't adding much to the characters.
Look at LP and DBS, super fast set ups in quick expository scenes, efficient.
Nothing original, sometimes not even all that engaging, but always clear.
Archetype clarity is at least as important as character dynamics in a creature feature.

I'll wrap up the third act tomorrow.

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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Dreamscale
Posted: June 21st, 2011, 12:16pm Report to Moderator
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Just want to add to Brett's beginning of his post.

Yep, Rogue is Greg Mclean's follow up to Wolf Creek.  Both awesome movies...both non standard structure...and both highly effective, IMO.

I actually tried to read this, but was not happy or impressed with the writing early on, and as Brett noted, that bar scene definitely needs to go.

IMO, much more detail is necessary early on to set this up properly.  Same deal with Boss's escape.

In DBS, it was apparent early on just what the "smart" sharks were capable of, but I sure don't see anything like that here.


To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
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grademan
Posted: June 21st, 2011, 4:57pm Report to Moderator
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DJS

I thought I would check this out even though not normally a gators gone wild guy.

The first page of the script didnít encourage me to read further. Usually, your writing is tighter.

Awkward wording, odd word choices, passive writing, unneeded words and flat opening dialogue didnít help with curb appeal on this one.

Thought you should know.

Gary

EXAMPLES

Unnecessary words: containment, gas, huge, pale, third, small, right hind

Odd word choices: clutterED, adorn, assists

Passive/awkward writing:
     In the breast pocket of his coat, a small visible piece of garlic.
     Öthat have a biohazard marking.
     A small red tag is attached to the right hind leg.

The second slug doesnít appear necessary?

Should the first scene be an exterior shot of the lab?

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DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: June 22nd, 2011, 7:43pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from grademan
DJS

Should the first scene be an exterior shot of the lab?



No.

It's quite possible that if filmed, the director would in fact show that establish ext. scene, but that's not my department. Unless there is some noted activity going on outside of the lab, let's say for example I moved the canoe attack up and the team wheeled him in to get looked over, thus establishing the facility. That would be one thing. But before the monster breaks out when all is quiet?

Odd.


"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
my scripts on ss : http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1095531482/s-45/#num48
The Art!http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-knowyou/m-1190561532/s-105/#num106
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Electric Dreamer
Posted: June 23rd, 2011, 11:41am Report to Moderator
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Hey Darren,

Rounds three of Boss.

Right off got kind of a biggie boo-boo.
p. 57 You've got an action description masquerading as a dialogue chain.
UNDERWATER
A few of the crocodiles and the two
alligators stare at him through
their glass cage doors. They cannot
join him, they simply watch.


Last I checked, there isn't a character called Underwater in your script.

And again on p. 73, a "new" character called, Crash.
CRASH
The two foot crocodile jumps on a
counter and knocks off everything
in its path: microscopes,
stethoscopes, needles, files, even
a coffee mug filled with coffee.


Dallas coming under suspicion feels a tad random.
Was there set up for that I'm not remembering?
I think I would have liked the chance to sniff out Dallas as a sell out.

p. 71 Love the snake fangs on Boss, nice image.
I want this kind of ingenuity sprinkled more liberally throughout the script.
It's more fun than than the standard betrayal for cash type human stuff.
That's filler at best in these kinds of creature features.
Who cares about human deception, we want more mutant croc gangs!
Gator hybrids are really big on SyFy right now, you should re-tool this one!

Best of luck, keep writing and rewriting!

Regards,
E.D.


LATEST NEWS

CineVita Films
is producing a short based on my new feature!

A list of my scripts can be found here.
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DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: June 24th, 2011, 7:42pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Electric Dreamer
Hey Darren,

Rounds three of Boss.

Right off got kind of a biggie boo-boo.
p. 57 You've got an action description masquerading as a dialogue chain.
UNDERWATER
A few of the crocodiles and the two
alligators stare at him through
their glass cage doors. They cannot
join him, they simply watch.


Last I checked, there isn't a character called Underwater in your script.



Whoops. What happened is that when I recently switched my 'puters, my FD pgm would not "read" some old document drafts, but the RTF files were fine. Problem is I noted in the past if one were to take RTF into Word and do a little fine tuning in Word, that's fine...unless you save that RTF in word and covert it back to Final Draft.

Any of the following happens:

1- extra 0 or E around commas and apostrophes.
2- Sub Heads sometimes become "characters"
3- A font could change lowercase/TNR

I clean it up, but sometimes a few do slip by.



Thanks for the read ED. Wish you had more on the site or I'd recip you.


"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
my scripts on ss : http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?m-1095531482/s-45/#num48
The Art!http://www.simplyscripts.net/cgi-bin/Blah/Blah.pl?b-knowyou/m-1190561532/s-105/#num106
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B.C.
Posted: June 25th, 2011, 10:49am Report to Moderator
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Hi Darren.

After finishing the script in it's entirety I think you have a decent basis for a decent croc-attack B-movie. The genre cliche's are present, and thats no bad thing. Don't take this the wrong way -- but it does have a SyFy feel to it. I like some of their productions, others are downright terrible.

Right then. I do have to ask. Is this a first draft? I have to ask because some of the sentance structure is very strange at times, like it's been rushed and not revised. eg on Page 13:

"The sides of the walls rumble and burst out as the unseen Boss muscles within them. Chunks of dust and wood explode outward, broken wires."

I know what you mean, but its not reading well. There's many examples of this throughout.

On page 2 - 6 we're introduced to the tank and the crocs. There's a good opportunity for tension as they eyeball and eavesdrop the characters - but the scenes held up by ALOT of dialogue. As ED has stated, the whole script is very dialogue heavy, and this is one example. I think you could remove a considerable amount and this would speed up individual scenes.

On page 15 -16 we have the campfire scene with the young lovers. My fave scene thus far and exactly what a movie like this should have. However, it's again spoiled by the characters talking. For example, the girls dialogue when she is talking to the 911 operator. I'd get rid or shorten. I liked the finger bighting that followed -- good work there.

Page 27. You have a character called Russ Meyer. Seriously??!

As ED has pointed out there are some confusing SLUG issues. The scene with the INT. CANOE was one. I had to re-read a couple of times to work out what was happening. I can appreciate alot of the action sequences you have are quite difficult to pull off. However, this is where rewriting to the bone comes in.

I like the idea that boss stores venom from other creatures. Again, exactly what this type of movie needs. I also liked the fact he's intelligient to rip out the tracking chip. Nice touches.  

All in all, this was quite difficult to read, but if you wanted to work on it I think you could have something entertaining. I have to say that none of your human characters grabed me at all. I liked boss and screwball and team croc. They were cool.

BTW - did you ever play Resident Evil 2. You know, the fire extinguiser scene?



Thanks for the read.

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James McClung
Posted: June 25th, 2011, 7:23pm Report to Moderator
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Hey Darren,

There were some ideas here I liked but I think the overall execution was poor. I liked the action and the "character" of Boss is appropriately formidable. Still, a lot of the script seemed like it was covered in a very wishy washy way.

The mind control angle was a little hard to swallow at first but I came around to it. The organization angle and the idea of kamikaze crocodiles, so to speak, really raises the bar, which is good because I think with this kind of story, people would be happy just to see a killer croc on the loose. I like how you chose to mix things up in a genre that people tend not to expect much from.

I didn't like how Boss absorbs venom from other animals. While there seemed to be a logic to the mind control, there wasn't much to this and it didn't jive with the mind control either. Either he infects other animals with snake venom or what have you or he "possesses" them, if you will. It just seemed to be an idea to make Boss look more badass yet really wasn't utilized much in the story.

What effect the venom has on humans as well escapes me. It's explained once or twice but it's a vague explanation and again, really doesn't come into play.

Also, the reasons why these animals were even being studied at all were vague. Boss's evolution does make him a scientific wonder but what the grand scheme of it all was escapes me. I don't understand what Salome wanted to do with these creatures. It all just seemed like afterthoughts to me. I think there needs to be more direction in this sense.

A lot of stuff that needs to be addressed in regards to the background. Either way, the characters should've held it together. They didn't for me.

First off, too many characters for me. Maybe this is a personal thing for me as I tend to have problems with too many characters but here, I just completely lost track. Didn't single out or care about any of them. Joe seems to be intended as the leading man as he's the last man standing and has a history with your supposed bad guy but he really didn't take as much command as he should've. He was just part of a blur of characters with loose backgrounds or no backgrounds at all who just shift in and out of the lime light.

Salome needs the most work. She's built up to be this nasty, manipulative woman but really didn't strike me as evil as she should've have, considering the way the other characters refer to her.

In regards to structure, there's absolutely no build to Boss's escape. He's introduced, hangs around for like two seconds then the next, he's out. I think there desperately needs to be a build up. Boss seems like such a scheming, intelligent creature, it's a disservice to him to skim over the set up so casually. You've got 86 pages. Plenty of room to grow. I'd try to set up the characters a little better as well as why any of what transpires is to happen at all. Why is there a lab full of crocodiles, etc.

The beginning is where the majority of your issues need to be addressed. After that, the pacing is decent, more or less, and the action is entertaining, if a little too sparsely written for my tastes. If everything were a little better established off the bat, I think I might've enjoyed myself a lot more throughout.

Finally, fix your slugs, dude! Come on! I hate to nitpick at the format but excluding INT/EXT just looks sloppy and makes everything else feel sloppy as a result. They need to be more concrete. There's also a handful of just awkwardly written phrases that I think another two run throughs will take care of.

Anyway, good ideas. Execution needs work.


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