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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Short Scripts  ›  Thanks for the Hands Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: August 2nd, 2013, 4:59pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Thanks for the Hands by James McCormick - Short, Sci Fi - An idealistic surgeon gives a mutilated prisoner a new set of cybernetic hands but soon wishes he hadn't when he learns of the man's macabre compulsion. 12 pages - pdf, format


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Chris Ramos
Posted: August 2nd, 2013, 7:43pm Report to Moderator
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Hello James!

It's a good story overall, but I have to say it's a bit long. Some dialogue isn't necessary, but is good writing. I wasn't really surprised by the ending.

The formatting is great, the writing is good, and that's all I have to say about that.

Keep writing!

--Chris Ramos



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Alex_212
Posted: August 3rd, 2013, 12:30am Report to Moderator
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Hey James,

Don't really have time to do a read ATM though noticed the FADE IN: missing and please use FADE OUT: instead of THE END.

Also your page numbers should b added and always put a standard copyright clause on the cover page.

Hopefully I'll get back for a read some time.

Alex


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stevemiles
Posted: August 5th, 2013, 10:34am Report to Moderator
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James,

despite being a quick read I can’t help but think you went to rather elaborate lengths to set this up -- almost as if it's part of a larger piece.

I’d consider making Reeve’s character a surgeon/doctor from the outset as the sudden switch from Councillor to surgeon felt a tad abrupt -- especially given the amount of care taken in establishing the premise.  Sure there’s a better way to do this.

Writing wise you need to work out the kinks in the character spacing along with the page breaks mid dialogue -- perhaps a software/PDF conversion issue?  Also give the reader a FADE IN/OUT and number your pages, it helps when referencing.

‘A breaking sound’ -- I’d try for something more specific. Like ‘a CRACK of bone.’

I liked this well enough -- kind of a cheesy Tales from the Crypt vibe to it.  I just think there could be a simpler way to deliver it.

Hope this helps.

Steve.


My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:


http://stevemiles80.wixsite.com/sjmilesscripts
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JamesMcCormick
Posted: August 6th, 2013, 7:42am Report to Moderator
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Hi guys,

Thanks so much  for the feedback - didn’t expect any comments so soon.
I always thought fade in and out was optional, but I’ve learnt a lot from being on this site already – will start using them.

Chris - yes, I do need to tighten the dialogue up.

Steve – I agree – he needs to be a doctor/surgeon from the beginning – originally he was (the original story was about a surgeon who volunteers to work in an off world mining colony – but as it got more political he morphed into a councillor – will change that back

Regarding the formatting – could anyone help me please? I’ve had this problem before, I write in final draft but when I convert it to PDF it sticks in a blank title page at the beginning no matter what I do– the only way around this is to change it to RTF or word first and then to PDF, only trouble is formatting gets messed up – it is fine in word or RTF but not in PDF. Anyone got any advice about this?

Once again, thanks for the comments - will take them on board.

James
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stevemiles
Posted: August 6th, 2013, 4:45pm Report to Moderator
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James,

I'm not familiar with Final Draft and conversion issues -- I'd try posting in the questions and comments section of the boards, see if anyone else here knows a remedy.  


My short scripts can be found here on my new & improved budget website:


http://stevemiles80.wixsite.com/sjmilesscripts
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JamesMcCormick
Posted: August 8th, 2013, 6:45am Report to Moderator
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Will do Steve

btw - could you tell me what software you use?

thanks
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spesh2k
Posted: August 8th, 2013, 6:56am Report to Moderator
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Do you have Final Draft 8.0? If you do, while the file is open, go to DOCUMENT and scroll down to TITLE PAGE.

After you write out the title and whatever other info on that page, hit SAVE (just to be safe). Then go to FILE and scroll back down to your document/script. That will bring you back to your script. SAVE again.

Then go to PRINT and choose CUTE PDF as your printer. Check mark INCLUDE TITLE PAGE and hit print. Then SAVE the PDF to your desktop or folder or flashdrive.

-- Michael


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JamesMcCormick
Posted: August 9th, 2013, 2:33pm Report to Moderator
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Hi Michael,

Yep - Final Draft 8

Will give it a try

Thanks for the advice - much appreciated

James
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StevenClark
Posted: August 12th, 2013, 2:22pm Report to Moderator
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Hey James,

Have this a read. I hope you got your formatting issues resolved. They really detract from the reading of the story.

Not a bad little tale. But as another commenter mentioned its an awfully long set up. Could def be trimmed down. Your action lines read a bit awkward, and at times it was difficult to follow along. Your characters didn't really stand out. That's an issue you might solve be giving them better descriptions. Make them jump off the page, and give them more color. Same with the prison. I had trouble imagining it in my head. But remember to keep it short and sweet.

IMO, you need a better payoff. The strangling at the end was easy to figure out. Maybe have that happen earlier then let's see what the Prisoner does on the outside? Just a thought.

You've probably been told this already, but be sure to check out other scripts. I'm sure you already have.

Best of luck! Hope to see more from you in the future.

Steve


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