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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Drama Scripts  ›  Burn Moderators: bert
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  Author    Burn  (currently 1672 views)
Don
Posted: July 16th, 2017, 12:06pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Burn by Eric Ward - Drama - What price will one man pay for vengeance, when justice fails, and the world just wants to drown out the truth? An adopted ex-street kid, Blue, who is now man and master of 4-wheels, will push machine and madness beyond any limits you thought imaginable, after his brother is murdered, by a well-connected and ruthless thug who knows he's untouchable. 72 pages - pdf, format

Writer interested in feedback on this work



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-------------
You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
- Wayne Gretzky

Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  February 17th, 2018, 1:57pm
revised draft
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_ghostwriters
Posted: February 18th, 2018, 6:05pm Report to Moderator
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I am a writer first and a critic second.

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@Eric,

I don't know how your script ends, but I know how it begins.  

Drama is not my thing, I try to avoid them like the plaque, but here... I read to page 21.  I wanted to get a sense of the story so I could provide you with helpful feedback.  Having said that, before I press on with my notes -- I noticed Don edited the original post to say: revised.

So, what I would like to know... Is this the actual DRAFT you submitted to the comp?   

Because if there's a better version out there....I'd prefer to save my bullets for that one.

Ghost...

When I dive, I go DEEP, only to surface the hub when necessary.


A-CAROLING FOR CHRISTMAS

GHOSTS OF APPALOOSA

RISE OF THE AMAZONS

THE SLEEPING TIGER

THE TIME GUARDIAN

"When I dive... I go deep, only to surface the hub when necessary."

Revision History (1 edits)
_ghostwriters  -  February 18th, 2018, 6:25pm
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Warren
Posted: February 18th, 2018, 7:24pm Report to Moderator
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Had some time so thought Iíd throw something up.

Where to start.

No need for scene numbers. How can scene 1 be "BURN', makes no sense at all.

HOT NOON isnít a time of day.


Quoted Text

DANIELíS FATHER (lower body only) gets out,
locks shut door, walks away. The sun travels a little across
the sky: time passes.


How could we possibly know it's Daniel's father? Are we visually watching the sun travel across the sky? How much time is passing? Donít we always assume time is passing unless you tell us it isnít for some reason?


Quoted Text
EXT. OUTDOOR BAR + ENTERTAINMENT PLAZA - HOT NOON


Lazy writing. If the scene changes make a new scene heading. You canít just group (+) scenes together.


Quoted Text
Young Blue (15-16, shaggy, LA skateboarder street teen)
wearing sunglasses, colorful shirt, using earphones and
iPod, skates around scoping the area out.


Character introductions need to be capitalised. Why say young Blue, we can tell that by his age. Is he 15 or 16? Youíre telling the story. Passively written.


Quoted Text
Church Lady-ish


Lady-ish? Is she not quite 100% lady? Makes no sense.

The punctuation (where itís actually been used), grammar, and general grasp of the English language is quite bad to say the least.

Thatís the first page.

I did read to page 10 to get some grasp of the story. It didnít grab my attention enough to read on.

Personally I think you need to go back to the drawing board with this one. Read more scripts and learn how to write a screenplay.

This is nowhere near competition ready and I can quite confidently say that you didnít place in that competition because you script just isnít that good. It sucks to hear it but itís the hard truth.


To View All My Scripts Please Use The Link Below

My Website

My IMDb
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Dustin
Posted: February 19th, 2018, 3:35am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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Code

EXT. OUTDOOR BAR + ENTERTAINMENT PLAZA - HOT NOON




Quoted from Warren

Lazy writing. If the scene changes make a new scene heading. You can't just group (+) scenes together.


It isn't two separate locations. It's one. It's an outdoor bar and entertainment plaza. The + has confused things. I think it's to be read as an 'and' and not a 'plus'.


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Warren
Posted: February 19th, 2018, 3:40am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dustin
Code

EXT. OUTDOOR BAR + ENTERTAINMENT PLAZA - HOT NOON





It isn't two separate locations. It's one. It's an outdoor bar and entertainment plaza. The + has confused things. I think it's to be read as an 'and' and not a 'plus'.


I guess that either way it's confusing, I don't like being confused when I read a slug considering it's meant to be setting the scene.


To View All My Scripts Please Use The Link Below

My Website

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Dustin
Posted: February 19th, 2018, 3:48am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


Action speaks louder...

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I got stuck on this and had to read it several times:

Code

OLD CAR parks.



It takes time to find a good screenwriting voice.


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TonyDionisio
Posted: February 19th, 2018, 10:42am Report to Moderator
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Damnit, get to the point!

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The logline is vague and confusing as to where the story leads. I'd begin my improvements there for sure.
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TheWarddd
Posted: February 20th, 2018, 1:09pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from _ghostwriters
@Eric,

I don't know how your script ends, but I know how it begins.  

Drama is not my thing, I try to avoid them like the plaque, but here... I read to page 21.  I wanted to get a sense of the story so I could provide you with helpful feedback.  Having said that, before I press on with my notes -- I noticed Don edited the original post to say: revised.

So, what I would like to know... Is this the actual DRAFT you submitted to the comp?   

Because if there's a better version out there....I'd prefer to save my bullets for that one.

Ghost...

When I dive, I go DEEP, only to surface the hub when necessary.


Yes, I think it's last years work, and no I don't think it's a drama, more of a revenge thriller.. but no cheese.

However, the first time I submitted this screenplay it came out on this site listed as a drama. I never originally listed it as a drama. This time I listed it as a drama because I figured it would be listed as a drama anyway.

Thanks for reading, but I'm not touching this project for a while.. there's some high conceptual problems, sure, but nothing that can't be fixed when I'm fully motivated.

I'd be impressed if you can find serious problems beyond small insignificant details.

I'll be sure to give (hopefully helpful) feedback to any projects you may have submitted.
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TheWarddd
Posted: February 20th, 2018, 1:58pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Warren

No need for scene numbers. How can scene 1 be "BURN', makes no sense at all.


I used Celtx. It causes headaches like this. It's fixable, but this time I couldn't be fucked. When you download a script using Celtx it adds shit.


Quoted Text
HOT NOON isnít a time of day.


You think "NOON/HOT" would work? Or is it a "it isn't what it is supposed to be" therefore it's invalid deal?


Quoted Text
How could we possibly know it's Daniel's father?


Because only parents leave their children in cars to die on hot days.

It is there for reference... to inform people that Daniel's Father and Daniel need to look the same, to be the same race, skin colour, etc.

Daniel's Father gets explained away. He has one scene, and that was it.


Quoted Text
Are we visually watching the sun travel across the sky? How much time is passing? Donít we always assume time is passing unless you tell us it isnít for some reason?


Slowlapse.


Quoted Text
Lazy writing. If the scene changes make a new scene heading. You canít just group (+) scenes together.


It doesn't change. I just don't know what exactly a  restaurant that stretches out into an open plaza area is called.

I need a restaurant close to public stairs for the skater stunt.


Quoted Text
Character introductions need to be capitalised. Why say young Blue, we can tell that by his age. Is he 15 or 16? Youíre telling the story. Passively written.


I prefer adding "Young" to a younger version of a main character. The differentiation works better, I think.  

I must've forgotten to capitalize. Oh well


Quoted Text
Lady-ish? Is she not quite 100% lady? Makes no sense.


To you.

A 100% Church Lady wouldn't work here.. any potential actress for this role would need to pull off a stern Church Lady routine without making her role too gimmicky, by going all the way with the Church Lady routine.

There's a line that has to be danced on here. Or I might as well write a rubber duck into the scene as well.


Quoted Text
The punctuation (where itís actually been used), grammar, and general grasp of the English language is quite bad to say the least.


It's more of a shooting script. You only need to know what needs to be done, really.

You understood it just fine. it really sounds like you're trying to troll me here.


Quoted Text
I did read to page 10 to get some grasp of the story. It didnít grab my attention enough to read on.

Personally I think you need to go back to the drawing board with this one. Read more scripts and learn how to write a screenplay.

This is nowhere near competition ready and I can quite confidently say that you didnít place in that competition because you script just isnít that good. It sucks to hear it but itís the hard truth.


I hope your submissions as good as you think you think they are.

Because I'm going to read and review them.

Ignorance won't be my ally, either.
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TheWarddd
Posted: February 20th, 2018, 2:04pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Dustin
Code

EXT. OUTDOOR BAR + ENTERTAINMENT PLAZA - HOT NOON





It isn't two separate locations. It's one. It's an outdoor bar and entertainment plaza. The + has confused things. I think it's to be read as an 'and' and not a 'plus'.


You make sense. Maybe a / would work better.

Thank you for reading.
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AnthonyCawood
Posted: February 20th, 2018, 3:25pm Report to Moderator
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Eric

Warren isn't trying to troll you, he's giving feedback on your script because you indicated that you wanted feedback...

I believe this is also the script you think should have won Zoetrope? If not disregard the bits that don't apply to it as a contest entry.

Here are some thoughts on the first couple of pages, in terms of it as a script and in terms of it as an entry to a screenwriting competition.

1) You don't submit shooting scripts (with scene numbers) to a screenwriting comp, it's a while since I used Celtx but it didn't add scene numbers automatically when I last did - EDIT, just checked... in my version of Celtx Scene numbers can be switched on or off in Format Options.

2) 72 pages is a really short feature length, not sure of the rules of the Zoetrope contest but many screenwriting comps wouldn't accept this length.

3) The point about Hot Noon is that a scene heading has three components, Int.Ext, the location itself, and the time of day. The scene heading is designed to enable producer/film maker to work out locations and costs associated... so the time bit of a scene heading is usually just DAY or NIGHT... some people would use DAWN, DUSK etc but Hot Noon is unusual to say the least.

4) Not capitalising or rather doing it inconsistently for character introductions suggest you can't be bothered proof reading your own script, these things give any reader issues as they may interpret it as you not caring about your work.

5) Stating things in action lines that cannot be seen or can't actually be happening as described also suggests you aren't thinking the scene through fully, e.g. Scene 4 you state he uses LSD... except he's also skating and drinking beer at the same time... so how and what is he doing to take LSD whilst all the other stuff is going on?

6) Think about word usage, e.g. you don't lockpick an ignition, you hotwire them.

7) The idea with dialogue is to make it sound believable for the character you are drawing for us... with Daniel you've given us a 3 year old who talks/reacts like he's older (imho)

Punctuation, the first couple of pages is littered with missing punctuation (I guess technically it isn't littered then!)... there are online grammar checkers that will allow you to fix things like this really easily.

You state that this is a shooting script, and therefore some of the niceties of screenwriting norms have been ignored, so you can take everything above with a  pinch of salt. BUT film making involves a team of people and giving your collaborators a script that reads well and looks professional seems just a common courtesy to me.

Good luck with filming this though, when are you going into production?  


Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/short-scripts
Available Feature screenplays - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/feature-film-scripts/
Screenwriting articles - http://www.anthonycawood.co.uk/articles
IMDB Link - http://www.imdb.com/name/nm6495672/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1
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Warren
Posted: February 20th, 2018, 3:34pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from TheWarddd


I hope your submissions as good as you think you think they are.

Because I'm going to read and review them.

Ignorance won't be my ally, either.


I canít remember talking up my work at any point. I generally submit a script and use the reviews to fix or change it for the better. Something I highly doubt you plan on doing by your answers, but if you are happy with this steaming turd thatís fine. Just donít blame all the other writers that win contests because you think there is prejudice when the real issue is the quality of your work.

I'm more than happy with my standard of writing, but always keep myself open to learning new things. Maybe you should try that sometime.

Your clearly arenít worth the effort though.

More that happy for the reveiws though, gets my scripts to the top of the pile where they have more chance of getting picked up


To View All My Scripts Please Use The Link Below

My Website

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eldave1
Posted: February 20th, 2018, 9:16pm Report to Moderator
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I'm not going to add additional comments since you're discarded a ton of valid ones already.

I will say that the criticisms that you received were valid and you are really doing yourself a disservice to ignore them.

Peeps arenít criticizing to be mean. The script has real problems - many of them.  


My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts

Revision History (1 edits)
Don  -  February 21st, 2018, 12:27am
Typo
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TheWarddd
Posted: February 21st, 2018, 1:45am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from AnthonyCawood

Good luck with filming this though, when are you going into production?  


If/When none of the major screen comps pick it up, after I've fluffed it up to be enjoyed just as a piece of writing and entered it.. I'll figure out a way to make it next year.

So far all I got is "grammar this" "format that". So to my understanding what I wrote can work.. it just isn't a pleasant read.

And thank you for reading. Now owe you constructive criticism of your work.


And no, that other guy isn't on my level yet. He was wrong in many ways.
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Anon
Posted: February 21st, 2018, 9:18am Report to Moderator
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Grammar and format aside. Whether you like it or not - people need to read, visualize and enjoy your script or it will never be made. Unless you plan on financing it yourself.

So take or leave this - but I promise - people will stop reading because of so much stuff like this -

Close-up: MaverickÔŅĹs happy little pimples and all face. Luna
gazes noticing Maverick  sorta not.

The first sentence is clunky. If you want to add flair to your writing, that's good. It shows passion. But it still needs CLARITY. Anything that the reader doesn't understand is a massive red flag. And I still don't understand the second sentence after reading it many times. It doesn't make sense.  

And it isn't just about clear sentence structure. It's about clear scene structure. Scene 11 is 10 pages long. Huge compared to the size of the screenplay. And in that one scene your writing jumps from inside different cars to different exterior locations. It's all over the place and I didn't know what was going on. I couldn't visualize it. And if people can't picture your story - it's game over.

Reading other posts, people are trying to improve your writing. But criticism is only constructive if the writer takes it on board. My advice ... be inspired by the criticism, not angered by it. Use it to hone your craft. Go through your screenplay again and again until no one can say shit about the writing. Then you'll get reads - and people will concentrate on the story.

Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Anon  -  February 21st, 2018, 12:07pm
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