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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    2014 One + 6  Week Challenge  ›  A Journalist's Riposte - 1+6WC - feature
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Don
Posted: August 16th, 2014, 7:35am Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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A Journalist's Riposte by Arty Whale (ArtyDoubleYou) - Thriller - A journalist must fight his way through a team of deadly mercenaries, all while trying to figure out not only why they want him dead, but their more sinister of intentions. 100 pages - pdf, format

Stop The Plot First Ten Pages


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-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky
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DS
Posted: August 24th, 2014, 7:08am Report to Moderator
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Arty: Big congratulations on finishing your first feature.

P1: "A small, military style building, seemingly in the middle of
nowhere. No lights or distinguishing landmarks visible for
miles in any direction."

Don't really need the seemingly. It is, doesn't just seem, doesn't it?

"A helicopter, one with open sides and no doors, descends
towards the ground."

Don't really need the one. "A helicopter with open sides and no doors."

"One the PILOT, the other, a man
known only as...
HESSIAN, 40ÔŅĹs..." Don't think the "a man known only as" is necessary.

"Rotors kicking up a circular dust storm around them.
" Rotors kick up* As this is on a seperate line without anything it continues off of or continues to it just sounds strange.

Your action lines are most certainly good. Thought you could save a few words off these lines here without losing anything and benefiting to the flow. Hope this is of some help, I'll focus on the story now.

P2: Now this could easily just be me, but the "men" in "excellent work, men" somewhat makes it sound like something out of a comic. I'd cut it.

P4: Earlier you wrote this "Catching the occasional glimpse between clouds of the
ground far below." Now you want us to believe that both the phone and Jackson (with cuffed hands) would not be a complete mess when they hit the ground? You really need a more realistic situation here.

P12: If I was you, I'd try to avoid asides. The earlier comment was to establish her ego, does it really need a follow up? If you believe so, I'd go with her taking a peak at the time and then smiling perhaps. I just generally find asides to leave a bad flavour to a script 99% of the time.  

P13: Shouldn't the (V.O) here be (O.S)? Correct me if I'm wrong, but (V.O) = someone talking over a scene/thoughts/letters being read.. (O.S) = Someone talking in the vicinity but not shown/phone/intercom etc.

P14: The tech would work better as just a tech in my opinion. Have someone else co-ordinate the dirty work. Would work better, especially since she's just supposed to be in her early 20s.  (Oop, nvm. Did read forward, can't say I saw that one coming.)

P19: Okay so everyone's got a gun. Why didn't the maid have a gun? Legitimate question, I'd think.

P20: I feel like there's been a slight breach of character here. During the fight with the Maid he seemed like an actual journalist, now I feel he just went overly badass with prior combat experience. Maybe there's some kind of background here, I'll see when I read forward. (Reading forward.. yeah, there seems to be.)

P21: I very much like the journalist notes and Wolfe's actions here. Seems very journalist-esque.

P23: "Wolfe pushes through the front doors, Big Doorman up off his
stool to meet him.
" gets up?

P32: Don't change a character's name in the script, despite the twist it would give away has always been a screenwriting 101 that has made sense to me. As Faraway isn't referenced before we find out she is MI5 I don't see why she couldn't be named Faraway from the start.

All the code-names got tedious to be honest.

Based on what I read certainly a decent result, especially for a first feature. Your writing is good. Sadly the story or the characters didn't grab me to want to read it all in one go, but as you gave me some valuable extensive feedback on my first short when I was almost completely clueless, I want to give this another go later.  If I don't come back to this soon... yell at me in PM. Hope this was of some help. Good luck with the script and future drafts.
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ArtyDoubleYou
Posted: August 24th, 2014, 8:04am Report to Moderator
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Hey DS, thanks for taking a look.

You're right about a few extra words thrown in there every now and then, something I will clean up later. Just didn't give myself enough time to give it a proper going over.

P2 - Yeah, something to think about.

P4 - I think you missed the point here as he doesn't survive that fall. You're certainly not supposed to think he survives it.

P12 - I could show 17 mins 8 secs have passed on a clock, but it would take a bit of thinking about to work out the time that has passed, unless she uses a stopwatch or something. Her saying it just confirms to herself/us how good and precise she is.

P13 - (OS) means off screen, as in they are there, but out of sight. (VO) is right for phone conversations, or that's how I learnt and it makes more sense to me. Others do it the other way round, but I'll always go (VO).

P19 - It is a legitimate question about Maid and the gun, he's just a more hands on kind of guy.

P20 - He is badass, though when I come back to it he might not be so badass.

P21 - Yeah, when I come back to it I'll probably have him do more of the making notes.

P32 - Changing names happens more often than you may think. For me it's no big deal, it adds to the mystery of it. Plus there is a big note about the name change, so it's not like it was changed by surprise mid flow.

As for the code names, I don't see it being any different to it just being names. I'll consider giving them actual names, but don't think it matters really.

But yeah, thanks for taking a look. I only read a short of yours so you certainly don't have to come back to this. I've got a few ideas how to make it better in the future, including making Wolfe slightly more engaging. In fact the whole thing would play out pretty differently. It was definitely good to finish my first feature though, and I was under no illusions about it being perfect. One day though, perhaps it will be.

Churs.
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DS
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Quoted from ArtyDoubleYou
Hey DS, thanks for taking a look.

You're right about a few extra words thrown in there every now and then, something I will clean up later. Just didn't give myself enough time to give it a proper going over.

P2 - Yeah, something to think about.

P4 - I think you missed the point here as he doesn't survive that fall. You're certainly not supposed to think he survives it.

P12 - I could show 17 mins 8 secs have passed on a clock, but it would take a bit of thinking about to work out the time that has passed, unless she uses a stopwatch or something. Her saying it just confirms to herself/us how good and precise she is.

P13 - (OS) means off screen, as in they are there, but out of sight. (VO) is right for phone conversations, or that's how I learnt and it makes more sense to me. Others do it the other way round, but I'll always go (VO).

P19 - It is a legitimate question about Maid and the gun, he's just a more hands on kind of guy.

P20 - He is badass, though when I come back to it he might not be so badass.

P21 - Yeah, when I come back to it I'll probably have him do more of the making notes.

P32 - Changing names happens more often than you may think. For me it's no big deal, it adds to the mystery of it. Plus there is a big note about the name change, so it's not like it was changed by surprise mid flow.

As for the code names, I don't see it being any different to it just being names. I'll consider giving them actual names, but don't think it matters really.

But yeah, thanks for taking a look. I only read a short of yours so you certainly don't have to come back to this. I've got a few ideas how to make it better in the future, including making Wolfe slightly more engaging. In fact the whole thing would play out pretty differently. It was definitely good to finish my first feature though, and I was under no illusions about it being perfect. One day though, perhaps it will be.

Churs.


Just a short indeed, however the advice really helped me a ton, therefore the value of the read increases significantly.

P4 - The fact that he died was certainly clear, however I did misunderstand the scene. I seem to have somehow missed that ALL of it happened in the air. Still completely unrealistic managing to do all that in the air during a freefall in my opinion. And: The phone was later used to get information on the e-mail being sent. I'm not all too sure that it would be in a salvageable state and that the henchmen would have found it so quickly.

P12 - Yeah. I didn't have a stopwatch in mind. Just a peak at a regular clock. It would be kind of an overkill instead of precision in my opinion, because knowing that it'd take exactly 17 minutes and 8 seconds and then delivering at exactly that time on a problem that would apparently take people weeks is incredibly unrealistic. Didn't realise the precision was your intention, I thought it was just her ego. I'm actually liking the idea much less now.

P13 - I have indeed seen it both ways. After looking into this a bit it is one of those things that just varies. It's legitimately interesting how many different usages can be found on this throughout. O.S has always made much more sense to me since with a phone for example, the sound is always different.. you can hear and tell it's through a phone. They're in there, but off-screen. And a voiceover simply is a voice over a scene. The tone there has no difference. It's just someone's thoughts. Because of the varying, the best thing you can do is indeed sticking to your style.

P19 - Ah. The reason I brought it up is because of seeing too many action scenes that take the easy way out in order to generate a hand-to-hand combat scene. It is quite ridiculous when you see two characters who have spent half/the entire movie/episode trying to kill each other both dropping their guns to have a fist-fight. Seen it happen on the screen more times than I want to admit. Nothing like that in your script, however a small question mark did light up in my head.

Good luck with your ideas once again.

- DS

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DS  -  August 24th, 2014, 9:14am
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ArtyDoubleYou
Posted: August 24th, 2014, 9:40am Report to Moderator
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I disagree about it being unrealistic to be able to do all that in the air, it's only the touch of a few buttons, plus it's just a go with it sort of thing. Unlikely perhaps, but it could be done, and it would look awesome on film. And while the phone would be smashed, you only need to find the key parts to get the information from it you need. This also shows how good the bad guys are to be able to do so within a few hours.

The tech being able to do it in that time shows how good she is. She's way better than most of the hackers out there, and she knows it.

I suppose the way to get around (VO)/(OS) would be to use an intercut, but I wasn't confident with the formatting on them so took the easy option. But like I say, (VO) makes more sense to me, whereas (OS) makes sense to others. To be honest it's one of those smaller things that doesn't matter, when I read either and someone is on a phone I know what's happening.

And generally when two characters end up dropping their guns to go hand to hand, it's because it's personal. That's the usual reason for it anyway. It's sort of an action film cliche, plus it makes it more a bit more exciting, otherwise it's just guys shooting guns at each other from a distance.

I'm actually looking forward to going over this in the future, but want to write another script or two in between so I can come back to it totally fresh. I'm sure my next efforts will be better, and I know the rewrites of this will be.

Churs again.
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LC
Posted: August 24th, 2014, 10:06am Report to Moderator
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Arty, I'm looking forward to reading this in the next day or so.  Congrats again.

Just got to say though...

'A Journalist's Riposte'??!! What was wrong with 'Stop The Plot'?

No offense but this new title imh, sounds a bit pretentious. More to the point, it just doesn't seem to fit the 'race against the clock/action' script that you've written.

If someone picks it up your title may change anyway, but for now as a working title I'd go back to the original.


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ArtyDoubleYou
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Yo Lib.

Yeah, I struggled in a big way for a title with this, not many appreciated the original title either. I'm certainly not too keen on this one or Stop the Plot, and I'm definitely open to suggestions if you come up with any. And now you mention it being pretentious, that's all I can see. This was definitely the wrong option.

Let me know what I can read of yours in return. Just message me on here, or my e-mail is on the script so you can send it over that way if you like.
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LC
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Arty, here's my first lot.

Bear in mind I get that this a first draft so it may seem like I'm being picky but I made notes as I went. Discard what you feel is information you already know. Hopefully some of the rest may help moving on to the next draft.

SPOILERS BELOW:

A friend of mine told me quite a while ago that 40's is not necessary.
That this: 40s will do.
So I'm passing it on. I did the ' for ages too, however, The Chicago Manual of Style endorses it too, so I've taken it on. Here's another link fyi: that might help - in particular the section on this use of apostrophes.

http://www.northwestern.edu/univ-relations/publications/resources/styleguide.html

Moving on:

I never wouldíve been onto you. You
wouldnít need to worry.


Beware of redundant lines like that last. It's kinda like saying it twice imh and I think it would be more slick if left at the first sentence. You do this quite a bit. Some of it is probably down to you getting the story down on paper in that first draft but it's a good thing to bear in mind that often one line is punchier than two.

Arty, this is a common error due to the phonetics but I thought I'd include it also fyi:
'would've made' is a contraction of 'would have' not 'would of' page 5.

I suggest you get your
sphincter back in that chair.
page 6

Hmm, even though 'your arse' is overused I'm not sure the 'sphincter' works. Sounds a little contrived.

In a daze, Wolfe vomits. These two words just wouldn't go together. I know what you're getting at though - he's stunned etc. but the throwing up bit I'd assume would be almost reflexive.

Oh dear, shame you killed off Hattie - and on her first date too.  

And, personally I think you should have let Lowenna live longer than this - a shame. She could have added something more I feel.

I think it'd be: One-o-one rather than 'oh', but I'm not one hundred percent.

'elderly couple's bodies' - insert apostrophe.

Moving on:
Really? The waitress picks her nose? Don't believe I've ever seen that before.
Is it really serendipity that he comes across the flyer - Takitoffs on the wall of that diner?

The kind of place youíd never recommend in a million years.
Okay, so why does he come here? Did I miss something. And...
'But he has to eat' But then he doesn't (eat) - so I'm not sure about that aside.

Likewise: In a part of town you wouldnít walk at night.
Can't you tell us more about this part of town?

But da... (If this is Dad) nice touch, but it should be capped.

The guide with capping Mum and Dad - when to, and when not to, is quite easy. If you can replace the 'Dad', for example with a name i.e., JAMES, then it should be capped. If you were to use it in a sentence like: 'Your dad is a good man' then it would be lower case cause you wouldn't say 'Your James is a good man'.

NIKICA - that name's a tongue twister. Not bad though.
p.25 - are you still going for a U.S. script - if so SPELL 'colourful' - colorful.

p.26 'most with head shots,' I'd go for something like 'bullet holes' - 'head shots' sounds like a portfolio i.e., photos.

Can you see when someone's had their neck broken at first glance? "a couple with broken necks.'

Lots of carnage so far...

'Iím so hot Iím on the sun.' Hmm, I don't know... I reckon this'd work if he's a bit of a corny character.

Nice touch with the BOY. p.27

'Boy watches Hessian leave, he opens the bag by his father--'

To avoid repetition of 'opens the bag by his father' - I'd write something like: 'Boy watches Hessian leave, opens the bag... (we know which bag this is already). Might be a nice touch actually if we see Hessian glance back at the boy and see him open the bag and then a reaction off his look.

'If you came for a dance, sheíd be first choice in this place by a mile.'

While this kind of description might be appealing to some - I'm sure for some others you might be risking taking the reader/audience out of the story. I suggest you give us an actually description of her - 'classy' etc.

It's pretty funny the 'bondage' scene - but he's actually going to let them strap him down? Seems like he might wait till the strip joint is closed and follow/find her imh. Of course it wouldn't be half as dramatic or half as funny.

'mummaís' should be 'momma's' - for U.S. p.30

I liked this line:
Weíve all got problems. I donít
like slutty blondes, more of a
redhead kind of g--


I like the humour you've imbued Wolfe with.

It's never a good idea to include details that I call 'negative information' such as:
'A couple of years spent in England, no
details.'
p.31

If we're actually going to see 'no details' written on that screen then okay, but I think we'd more likely see something like: 'unknown' or some other smart euphemism.

I know I'm being nitpicky, but likewise: 'Current job and employers.' - this is too general - write what we actually see on this computer screen given it's a 'detailed file'.

On p. 31, I'd call them 'restraints' - just cause 'clasps' sounds a little benign.

'Wolfe hands over the paper with his notes on.'
Why not 'Wolfe hands her his notes' - ending on a preposition is not great. p.32.

As the script goes on, it has a very BOND feel to it:

APHRODITE
My name is Elizabeth Faraway. MI6.

'opens up a chest' - sounds a little like he's operating or has just found treasure. I'd clarify with: 'opens a wooden chest' or something like that - perhaps it's a safe?

'I adapt myself to the
results provided.'

I like the Professor and I know he's an ex teacher but his dialogue is not exactly rolling off the tongue... yet. I can see what you're trying to do though and I expect you'll refine a lot of this with the next draft.

Likewise here:

PROFESSOR
The results from this experiment
should prove useful to those going
through the same thought process.
Whilst I donít wish to kill you
all, Iíve got no problem with that
scenario. No problem at all.
Understood?


I get what you're going for, it's important for each character to have a unique voice and this guy's a little verbose and self-important. It reads a little too long at the moment. Example:

'the results of this experiment should prove useful.
I have no desire to kill you all... but
I'll have no hesitation in doing so.'

'You come forward' - Given it's more of a demand I'd go for:

'You, step forward.'
or:
'You. Step forward.'
p.35

'If people equal time, you only have
a certain amount of minutes before
we come in anyway. Do the math,
provide your workings. Your time
starts now.'


Huh? (above)
Probably just a slip up considering the deadline.

I like Faraway's character btw.

Oh, now she's dead.

You've a habit of killing off all the likable female characters.  

Bottom of p. 38
WOLFE
Woah, woah. I was just coming out.
I still have ten seconds left.

This'd be funnier still if you left out the 'I was just coming out.' imh. It's good regardless of that but sometimes one line can be more effective like I said, rather than overdoing it and not trusting your audience to get it.

Ooh, Faraway's not dead.   Excellent work. If you'd killed another of your good and interesting female characters I mighta' clobbered you.

WOLFE:
Look, we both want him to live. I
know you donít want to kill him,
itís the only way you get to find
out valuable information.


Suggestion:
'Look, we both want him alive. He has
valuable information'

PROFESSOR
But, I can see you don't value this
mans life.

'I can see you don't value this p.41
man's life.'

Really don't need the 'but', and don't forget the apostrophe.

I think if your BARMAN is going to be called KENNY, as he is further on - you should give him that name on intro. p.40

'Professor flicks his leg back, his foot
slamming into her face--'


I know this a first draft so I won't labor the point but I think some of the action descriptions could pack more of a punch (sorry for the pun) i.e., sometimes they're a little round and about - just give us the gist which is:

'Professor slams his foot into her face' - to create that fast visual.

He grabs one wrist, then the other, pulls Faraway forward,
plants a kiss on her--

Can't the professor at this point just 'grab her wrists. -- yank her...'

Are you getting creative with that one above? (the kiss, I mean?) or is that a euphemism?

The whole action sequence is good but could be tightened up a lot. I'll resist dissecting each line cause like I said, you and I both know you got it all down on paper in seven weeks so...

Jeez, that's one drawn out battle between the three of them on page 41. 'Collateral' (the screenplay) is a great script for analyzing a couple of its action sequences btw.

WOLFE:
How was it for you?

FARAWAY
Finished too quick. Typical. I was
just getting into it.


This, above, is some really nice humour. Well done on that. I do think you could've just had the two of them exchange a look at this point without Wolfe's next line.

I'm enjoying this a lot so far, Arty. Good job indeed.

TBC.


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ArtyDoubleYou
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Thanks for having a look, and I'm glad you're enjoying it so far. Was starting to doubt if anyone would be into it with the reviews I got back from scriptreaders.com and DS's review.

And thanks for all the spelling and grammar mistakes you've pointed out. In particular the apostrophe S stuff as it's probably my biggest weakness when it comes to writing. It's been explained to me so many times but it's one of those things I seem to really struggle with. I'll blame my mum for spelling mistakes though, I was sending it to her for proof reading as I went along, so I'm sure you'll agree it's all her fault. Also, good catches on the Americanisms I need to change.

With the 40s v 40's thing, Rendevous did actually tell me that with my original ten, turns out I should of listened. From now on I'll do it without the apostrophe.

And with capitalising the letters for mum and dad, I should of known better as I remember Babz had a post on here a while back about it. That's how I learnt that rule anyway.

The part about the sphincter I wasn't too sure if it worked or not, but that line in particular was changed from the original line because you brought it up in the first ten. I was just trying to write something totally original, which I guess it is, but will still need a bit of work to get it right.

I certainly don't mind the nitpicky stuff about the info on the computer, it's always good to know how it comes across to others.

It's a good point you make about some of the lines like the 'description' of the diner and the strip club area. It's one of those things where I was just trying to use less words rather then go into too much detail and take up more lines.

As for the waitress, I have actually seen one do that before, I never went back. And the part about him needing to eat, I did plan to make a bigger deal of it throughout the script, that he hasn't eaten all day so he may be getting weaker, but then never went with it so it's a line I could easily lose. And the reason he goes there is cos it's out of the way so he's less likely to be found there. It is coincidence that he finds the flier for the strip club, but I thought as it was such a horrible diner it might be the sort of place that allows strip clubs to advertise. Still something to work on on my part.

You're right with some of the dialogue needing to be shortened. I got the same feedback from scriptreaders too. I just need to trust in myself that the point can be put across with fewer words. I hope that as I become more experienced it'll become easier to do so.

The line you brought up that professor says (if people equal time...), was something that Lee mentioned as well. It was one of those things I knew I was supposed to clear up but never got round to it. It's meant to be him throwing out an equation, people=time, it won't be long for the time to run out, as in he's going to start killing them all.

I'll have to try and find the collateral script. This was my first go at action/fights so just went with what I felt was right, but I'm sure I can clean it up more.

It's funny you bring up the lines between Wolfe and Faraway after the fight, so far it's 50/50 on that bit. My mum hated it, you liked it, one scriptreader liked it, one hated it. I know what it'll change to on a re-write though.

And I'm glad you liked the female characters, I worry a bit whether I can pull them off as well as with the male characters. I wanted Faraway to be a strong character so it's good she's appreciated by another female. I'm happy you thought I'd killed her too, wasn't sure if the way I'd worded it made it too obvious that she wasn't dead.

Think that just about covers your review so far, and thanks again.

Don't forget to let me know what I can review of yours in exchange.
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Dustin
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Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Code

A small, military style building, seemingly in the middle of
nowhere.



Always be wary when using a word like 'seemingly' in a screenplay. It usually either is or it isn't. How do we visualise seemingly? I'd also consider changing the slug here to DESERT, then simply go on to describe the base in the action. Middle of nowhere could be a desert, icy wasteland, or even a jungle of some type.

Code

HESSIAN, 40ís. An American with the type of anonymous face
that just blends in.



The latter part of the sentence doesn't belong. An anonymous face would blend in by default. Unless there's such a thing as an obvious anonymous face. I think you need to find a better description for him. Not only is the sentence awkwardly written but anonymous face doesn't really say anything. Up to you, I remember somebody else pulled you up on it and you argued that it was correct, I think.

Code

His tight clothes cling to his muscular
body, suggesting a man at the peak of physical fitness.



Another lesson for you here in your overuse of 'his'. Don't take this as patronising. I used to make these same mistakes. I'm just trying to help. His tight clothes cling to his... you only really need one 'his' there. You could start with 'Tight clothes...' You also don't need to tell us what his muscular frame suggests.

Code

Seeing the phone is like a punch to the gut for Jackson, he
slumps down into his seat.



Watch for your overuse of the word 'down'. You also use it when people sit. Also watch out for the word 'up'.

Code

Hessian smiles back at him, knowing heís got the upper hand.



You could drop 'back at him' from the above. You could also keep 'knowing' active... knows. Hessian smiles, knows heís got the upper hand.

Your writing is good, but I feel these are all separate rookie mistakes that need pointing out. A lot of writers starting out make the same mistakes. I'm one of them.

Code

BLYTH WOLFE, 50ís. In good physical shape for his age. The
look of a man youíd want with you and not against you in a
bar fight.



If you want him with you, it goes without saying you wouldn't want him against you. You could drop 'and not against you' from the sentence.

Code

MURTAUGH
But thatís my point. A few years
ago you would of made that click,
to heck with the consequences. For
want of a better metaphor, this is
Disney magic, I want hard-core
porn.



I was waiting for an incidence of using 'would of'. It's a common error of yours that you should rectify. It should be would have.

Code

TECH
For ninety-nine point nine percent
of those that could, a week. For
me, seventeen minutes, eight
seconds.



I've heard that before in another film somewhere. Can't think of it right now. Although it wasn't as cheesy as this with the added 8 seconds. Definitely a groan moment from me there.

I'm up to page 10 and I think you have the makings of a good story here. However, it is a longer read than it should be and some of the dialogue will need cleaning up. As you know, I really liked the scene with the guy falling out of the chopper to his death but managing to send the message in time. Best scene of the first ten and enough to carry me further.

Your protag is well defined and there is a nice clash of the two worlds going on... obviously once they meet, things are going to get messy. So well done there. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens.

The fight with The MAID, I found some parts to be unclear, also the fist bump before the fight is a little much. I'm also struggling to believe that Wolfe could turn into a killing machine so quickly. I'm looking at my gf's hair straighteners and I'm wondering how a huge man could be killed with them. Maybe choked to death with the chord... but using the heated irons would cause a lot of agonising pain, but wouldn't result in the type of quick death intimated here.

Code

Frustrated, Wolfe breaks the dead manís nose. Lands a few
more blows to release his anger.



Really? This is our protag. Is he going to rape the corpse next? Final act of humiliation? Such a pointless line of action, I'd cut it if I were you. I can't be the only one who has a problem with a 'hero' abusing dead bodies.

Pages 20-21... Why would Wolfe need to make notes retelling the entire plot so far? He gets it, we get it... why would he need to remind himself?

Code

Taking the dictaphone, he presses record, answers the phone.

A lengthy moment of silence.

WOLFE
What do you want?

HESSIAN (V.O.)
Youíll never know, Mister Wolfe.

The call ends, Wolfe takes apart all the other phones.



So he called him up just to tell him that he'll never know what he's calling him for. I feel he needs a better reason than that, or forget calling. Hessian is coming across as a bit of a dick.

Code

He checks Hattieís pulse, but he already knows.

WOLFE
Iím sorry, Hats.



As Wolfe is actually some type of military-trained person, I don't think he'd need to check the pulse. He could tell when someone is dead. Plus, I was going to mention earlier that I found it odd they were shot in the chest just once each. Two in the chest, one in the head... as they say. The idea is to kill them. One in the chest and there's a chance of survival. I also felt the dialogue is unnecessary.

Code

Wolfe pushes through the front doors, Big Doorman up off his
stool to meet him.

BIG DOORMAN
Arms out.



You could drop the dialogue here... it's an extra... have him simply nod and Wolfe raise his arms or something. I've never had a doorman say 'arms out' to me... it's a nod and I know what he means.

Code

Wolfe lifts his arms, Big Doorman pats him down, pulls the
phone pieces and dictaphone from his pocket.

BIG DOORMAN
No phones beyond this point.

WOLFE
Itís not even put together.

Big Doorman points to a sign, it reads...

No phones beyond this point. No exceptions

.

You could drop his dialogue again here. Just have him point at the sign. This is far more menacing, and doorman like to look menacing. Also saves having to get an extra that can deliver lines. He may look mean as hell but sound like Mickey Mouse.

Code

Before Coat Checker can take the items, Wolfe snatches the
dictaphone back.

Big Doorman makes himself big, flexing his muscle.

WOLFE
Iím writing a book. I need to
interview some of the ladies. Look.

Wolfe presses record.

WOLFE
Let him in, heís a neat guy.

A quick rewind, then play.

WOLFE (V.O.)
Let him in, heís a neat guy.

Big Doorman not convinced.

WOLFE
Iíll be asking permission.

Still not convinced.

WOLFE
Iíve got a wallet full of cash.

Big Doorman pulls the door open, Wolfe takes a ticket from

Coat Checker, goes inside.

Coat Checker takes Wolfeís phone, he shares a nod and a smile
with Big Doorman.



What just happened? If he bribes them then this should be made more obvious. Plus, just snatching the things back would look pretty strange and result in an instant stomping by the entire door team. I'm not sure this was handled very well.

Code

A BOY, no more than eight, frozen by fear.

Hessianís finger tightens on the trigger, then relaxes.

HESSIAN
One of these your father?

Confusion on Boyís face.

HESSIAN
Your father, is he here?

Boy nods, points to Nikica.

HESSIAN
Do you know better than to speak to
the police?

Boy nods again.

HESSIAN
Good. One day youíll understand
this. The bag by your father is
yours now. Hide it before the
police arrive. Sometime in the
future, if you decide to come find
me, make sure youíre ready first.
Know that I will be.

Boy watches Hessian leave, he opens the bag by his father--

Full with bricks of money.



The above is a little melodramatic for my tastes.

Code

The group disperse in all directions. Professor grabs Barman,
holds the gun to his head.

PROFESSOR
Not you. Youíre coming with me.



Be better if he grabbed a stripper. Easier to handle than a man.

Code

Wolfe catches a glimpse of Faraway sneaking her way around
behind Professor.

He raises his voice so she can hear.

WOLFE
Look, we both want him to live. I
know you donít want to kill him,
itís the only way you get to find
out valuable information.



I don't think he should raise his voice. Nor should he speak like he's telling somebody else in the room what is going on.

Code

Wolfe and Faraway each take a side, throwing savage punches,
his head bouncing from side to side from alternate blows.

Face being pounded into a bloody mess, he died six punches
ago, they continue on, expending all their energy.

Faraway collapses, totally spent. Wolfe throws one final,
unnecessary blow, collapses too.



That is a weird image. Them both either side punching his face into a bloody mush. These are the good guys. One of them is a female. They both seem to get off on abusing dead bodies. The blows are as you state, unnecessary.

Code

FARAWAY
Police will be here soon. We need
to get you out of here.

Faraway starts up the car, pulls out onto the street joining
the flow of traffic.

WOLFE
Iíd say the police is a good thing,
isnít it?

FARAWAY
First off, we donít know who we can
trust, whoís watching where.
Second, the Professor in there made
out as if something is on the cards
in the near future. And--


The above exchange doesn't work. Why has Wolfe suddenly become all unsure of himself? Wolfe shouldn't be asking stupid questions just so that we can have a recap on events so far.

I'm at page 44... what was the point in making him a journalist in the first place? He's not really a journalist. He's a trained killer and he only spent 6 years in the marines. Did he see any action? He wasn't part of a special unit or anything. Lots of questions about the protag's back story around about now. I hope these are cleared up later.

Code

At the sink washing dishes, is SINGLE MOM, 20ís. Showing a
few signs of a tough life, but still attractive.



Does it matter that she's attractive? She doesn't even get a name, so I wouldn't think so. Why can't she just be ordinary?

Code

Single Mom struggles to lift her face, her arms flail as she
tries to fight back.

Overpowering her, Mosquito fucks on, emotionless.46.

Arms dropping over the sink, Single Mom falls limp.

Finally excited, Mosquito pounds on.

A few more powerful thrusts and he erupts, breathing rapid,
face contorting.

He slides away, letting her body drop to the floor, he pulls
up his pants.



Seems he and the protag have something in common. I was wondering when necrophilia would rear its head.

I'm at around page 53 and taking a breather. I have found this to be a tough read. The introduction of the Mosquito, seems like an antag created purely for filler. If he is to be the main hitman, or assassin, whatever, then make him so throughout. Introducing him so late, when we've already had similar assassins taken out in the form of The Maid and whoever else, is hard for me to take. Much of the dialogue will need editing and I've found this so far to be a tough read because of the verbose action blocks. You also have a tendency to want to recap. I'm not sure if that is for your benefit or you believe the viewer needs them, but it stands out a mile to me. We don't need reminders... and if we do, then we should have been paying attention.

I'll finish the rest later.


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Private Message Reply: 9 - 17
Dustin
Posted: August 27th, 2014, 8:51am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

Posts
5401
Posts Per Day
2.31
Before I begin with the rest I'd like to point out your logline. He being a journalist is barely relevant, however he being an ex marine is. Going into a story expecting it to be a battle with a journalist and bad guys is far different than going into a story expecting it to be a marine. A journalist couldn't go in all guns blazing and it be realistic. It would take a slower burn.

So, with that in mind, I'm left wondering at your title. It doesn't fit this film at all. Not unless the journalism is going to play some ironic part in it later.

53-54... the meet with the Driver and Hessian... where we learn this has something to do with taking countries to war. We are filled in with a line of exposition with a whole scene created around it. The scene should have more of an impact or maybe even deleted and the line delivered elsewhere. Maybe our hero should discover it first?

Code

FARAWAY
Hessian is in town, and heís
planning something big. We need to
find a needle in a field of
haystacks. Today.



The above could be cut completely. It doesn't add anything to the scene.

The thing with Wolfe, Dragon and Farraday doesn't ring true to me. Dragon has taken everything from Wolfe, Wolfe is now in his lair... and allowing Farraday to have sex with him in the bedroom while he twiddles his thumbs. A real hero would beat the information out of him. Dragon is a bad guy, so it's allowed.

Code

The phone rings, Wolfe answers.

WOLFE
Speak.

DRAGON (V.O.)
Iíve been detected. Tread
carefully.



He already told them they had three minutes... ringing them once the three minutes is up to remind them is unnecessary and wastes even more time for the protags.

Code

MOSQUITO
Yes, Mister Wolfe, we meet again.
Just be thankful that on that day
your colleague was in my line of
fire and not you. You being shot by
the spy and not me is the only
reason youíre still alive. Itís a
shame you never got to show him
your gratitude.



Really bad dialogue, mate. It's both cheesy and exposition.

Code

FARAWAY
I knew it. Iím a spy, Wolfe. Weíre
not known for being dense. Same as
you journos, at least, some of you
anyway. So, between you and me,
whoís better?

Wolfe smiles.

WOLFE
Youíd be stupid to fuck with
either.



I thought the US equivalent to the SAS are the Navy Seals or Green Berets. The British have Royal Marines. It's also a bit of a childish conversation for two professionals to have. A my dad's bigger than your dad type of conversation.

I started skimming form here,partly because it's predictable what will happen. Hessian will fail in his attempt to kill the Chinese president, stopped by Wolfe who gets to live happily ever after with Farraday. At least if they ever fall on hard times her no nonsense approach to getting what they need using her body will come in handy.

Some of the fight scenes can go on for a few pages, almost blow by blow. Try to find a balance... write just enough to keep the story but not too much it ruins flow. Many will skip to the end of lengthy action anyway.

The story is pretty standard, race against the clock to save the Chinese president. I'm still not sure why Hessian involved Wolfe in the first place, but that's my fault for skipping most likely.

Congratulations on completing your first feature.


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Private Message Reply: 10 - 17
Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 27th, 2014, 8:52am Report to Moderator
OWC Moderator


Posts
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Well done, Arty.

Random thoughts:


1. Decent opening. Not blow your balls off good, but no messing around, straight into it.

2. Toss me out like an unwanted penny...would, "Toss me away like an old penny" be better?

3. You can tighten up a lot of the dialogue. That's to be expected, mine's the same.

4. The helicopter move is great. I think the "elaborate password" bit is too much though. Can he have a voice activated password? That will speed it up.

5. Pg 5. "it's all very..nice. Very safe."  Just need it's all very...safe.

6. Wolfe's reaction to Murtaugh seems OTT. Unprofessional.

7.Pg 10. The mystery angle is good, but it's so mysterious that there's nothing for me to care about, so far.

8. Aphrodite Takitoff.  Not sure about that.

9. 16 and 17. Good fight.

10. Page 18...why does he interfere with a murder scene by moving the body? Risky.

Stopping for awhile at page 20.

It's quite good so far.

Rick







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Private Message Reply: 11 - 17
ArtyDoubleYou
Posted: August 27th, 2014, 8:53am Report to Moderator
Been around a while


Onen Hag Oll

Location
Newquay, Cornwall, England
Posts
220
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Cheers for having a look.

You bring up some good points in regards to using a few more words then I need to. Some of them, for example using 'his' twice, is just down to me not giving myself enough time to give it a proper clean up. I didn't finish until a few hours before the deadline, and when I read back through I just didn't pick up on enough of them. If I'd given myself a day or two between finishing and going through again, I'm sure I would of picked up on a few more of these.

I think the would of/have thing is down to how I talk in real life. I always say would of, though when I talk a bit quicker it comes out as would've regardless if it's the right terminology to use. It's another one of those things, like with apostrophe S and then/than, that I always seem to trip myself up with.

The anonymous face thing, I didn't argue as such, but I did say I would clean it up and make it clearer, another one of those things I just never got back to.

The part with the curling iron, I actually got the idea because one of the clients at work cancelled an appointment with us because his daughter had stepped on some and it had burnt into her foot. Like proper burnt through the skin. I just wanted to come up with a unique kill, which is quite tricky to do, but a few of my girl mates that I spoke to said that they can burn through flesh, which is what he does.

Him being a straight up killing machine is a problem I'm aware of. When I come to re-write Wolfe wouldn't be so badass, it's all a bit too easy for him at the moment. I also doubt he'll be a journalist either, I've got a few ideas where to go with him, just not a complete picture yet.

I didn't realise I was recapping so much either as I know you're only supposed to say stuff once where you can. The part with him making notes I'm okay with as it's him piecing it together. But the part in the car you quoted is probably one of those points where I'm not confident in myself enough to trust others don't need to hear it, if that makes sense?

The parts where the good guys keep assaulting the dead was meant to be a bit humorous, it seemed funny in my head anyway. But when you put it like that that these are the heroes, it probably is a bit much.

With Mosquito though, it is just to show what a complete horrible c#nt he is, a man with no morals whatsoever. But with the feedback I got from scriptreaders, I will be taking it out as one of them pointed out that scene takes it to an NC-17 rating, which is apparently a very bad thing. He can quite easily just kill her without the sex stuff. And her being attractive is just to show him being able to pick up a hot woman and still have zero care about her.

Agree that Mosquito could be brought way forward, I should have him as second in command and he runs the rest of the killing team while Hessian takes care of the other business.

The bit with the doorman, one of the clubs I used to go to the doormen always used to say arms out, empty your pockets, or variations of, so it does happen. But it would be more visual just to point to the sign. And he didn't bribe them, just let them know he had money so he wouldn't be in there wasting anyone's time.

I get that this sort of thing won't be for everyone, but I'm still happy with what I managed to do in 7 weeks. And I know how I can make it a much better script with the advice I'm getting. It seems to be a bit of a marmite thing right now.

Thanks for your thoughts, and you don't have to come back to it if you don't really want to.

Churs.
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Private Message Reply: 12 - 17
ArtyDoubleYou
Posted: September 1st, 2014, 7:02am Report to Moderator
Been around a while


Onen Hag Oll

Location
Newquay, Cornwall, England
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@Dustin.

The reason I had him as a journalist is to give him a connection to Hessian and his crew, plus it gave him a reason to know Dragon. Though I do realise I didn't play it up enough, and it is pretty irrelevant. The title and logline are both a mess.

It's noted about the dialogue, one of the things I need to work on most I think.

When I googled the American special forces it just came up with the marines. I did think it was the SEALs, but I didn't really spend long enough checking. And the who's better thing was more just about having a bit of banter between the two of them. I mean, we all know the SAS are the best anyway.

As for the fight scenes, I didn't know what I was doing with them, so just went blow by blow. Quite a few people seem to like it, but it's something I can get better at.

Also, I'd say these type of films are generally predictable, you know the hero is gonna win. It's more likely to be appealing to the higher ups if you get the happy ending, not that this is good enough to make it that far yet.

But thanks for your thoughts, and I'm sure my next feature will be an improvement.

@Scar

1. Yeah, tried not to waste too much time, get straight into the story.
2. I went with toss me out because he assumes he's gonna be thrown out.
3. Yeah, I was trying to keep it as brief as I could, but it's one of those things that I'll get better at with more experience and through re-writes. I hope so anyway.
4. Not sure a voice activated one would work in terms of speeding it up, but maybe a thumb or finger print would.
5. Noted.
6. I was trying to make it seem like he's under pressure, that his jobs on the line. Haven't managed it as well as I would like.
7. Yeah, the mystery stuff will be revealed next time so there won't actually be a mystery as such.
8. Might make a bit more sense when you read on.
9. Thanks, wasn't sure how to write fights but went with my gut feeling. Some like it, some don't.
10. It's a good point, but I imagine it would be hard to just leave your sister dead in the bath. Seemed like the right thing to do though.

Glad you like it so far, it seems a bit hit and miss.

Cheers.
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ArtyDoubleYou
Posted: September 1st, 2014, 7:11am Report to Moderator
Been around a while


Onen Hag Oll

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Oh, and just for those who still have to read this, you don't need to go too mad with picking up spelling mistakes or anything, just a brief what you do or don't like will keep me happy enough. It'll save you having to spend extra time on it, plus I have an outline of the re-write which would play out pretty different anyway.

Churs all.
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