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Some awkward, or just wrong, formatting regarding your dialogue. I got what you were going for, but others may not. Your choice of names threw me a bit, and I had to keep reading to remember that Suds was a girl. Then later, you have a girl named Sal - also leading to more confusion. That said, I have no clue what this story is about. Something about Windows/computers? Whatever it is, itís lost on me. I just had no idea what this was all leading up to, and the end didnít tell me either. Sorry I have nothing more positive to say. But, good job on getting an entry in. This was a tough challenge.
I read this one first only because it had a comment already.
I think this is excellent. Evocative, understated, very well done in general. I think you forgot to introduce Sal, even though it's clear who she is. I look forward to coming back to this for a second read, and I may comment further. Henry
Next day: Okay, I have read this a second time and still like it very much. This a small story set after some non-specific societal collapse. There are hints of what it might have been, which, to me, is sufficient. I've read subsequent comments after my first post that mention various problems -- formatting and so on -- and I don't disagree. All are fixable. What stands out are the (1) dialogue, (2) atmosphere of fear and sadness, and (3) intriguing elements (evens/odds, worship of "great" ideas, God, etc.). There's much to appreciate here.
Quick commentary, then Iím giving you my messy notes given in order of how it is read. Love it, got it, loved it, very happy with this first read. Wasnít perfect, but a rewrite or two and you got a really nice script. Characters, story, themes, all pretty right on. Kudos. Messy notes time. Some are just me rewriting part of a sentence the way I would like it to sound, and others are commentary. Good luck.
So aged and black with grease you can barely tell
wiry and (find an easier word to imagine than slight)
Faded neon ski jacket(once-colored is a kind of drawn out)
Donít realize suds is talking to hen right away, maybe add in line of action to clarify
Deepening evening is awkward phrasing. I know what it means, but two -ing endings in a row is funny to read
Whatís suds provoking with her stare?
Long ways away I believe sounds better than way away
Belly, breasts, provocative- I like the attempt at short writing big impact, but I donít think this was a good place for it.
And decides to tell the story- we know hen decided to tell the story because he is telling the story.
Suds Iím going to fuck you up comment came a little late,
Interesting read but very difficult to follow. I know people frown on parenthetical use but it would come in handy when there are multiple people having a conversation and side-bar comments. I did like your vision of this dismal future and the message of our reliance on technology but it would have been nice to have some indication of what triggered the course of history.
Perhaps I need to read it again to see why they did what they did at the end. Good job getting this done and submitted.
OK, as I've said on another entry, when you intro a character or characters, whether by name or just "whatever", it should be CAPPED.
So...we have literally half a page describing 3 characters passing a van in a ditch - TOO MUCH!
Page 2 - dialogue is so vague, there's literally no way to know what's going on...if anything. New Slug of "HILLSIDE" - OK, we know the setting is a "hillside" - why would you want to repeat that 6 words into the first line? "deepening evening" - WTF?
Next Slug is the same as the prior, but now you use "NIGHT". Doesn't read well and can be done much more effectively.
Page 4 - whenever you use a name or anything used as a name in dialogue, it needs to be offset with a comma.
The double/quadruple dialogue doesn't work as written.
You say, "They leave the hilltop." - meaning, they exit the scene you set, yet you have 2 more action lines and 3 lines of dialogue.
"is sat" - Really? Oh man...so bad!!!
Skimming now, as I have no clue what's going on or why.
Page 9 - here we go again - you say Suds leaves the room, and then in the same passage, she's doing something in the room.
And...again, the same setting in a new Slug, in a new time - this doesn't transfer well to film or read well at all as written.
No clue whatsoever what this about or what went on. No clue what event didn't take place.
Writing is OK, but lots of issues. Dialogue is "unique", but no clue why or what it's supposed to show.
Not for me at all, sorry to say.
To ski or not to ski...that's not even a question.
First of all, I'm a big fan. It's too bad your Pono thing fizzled out.
EXT. ENGLISH COUNTRYSIDE - EVENING
The commonly accepted time indicators are DAY and NIGHT. Sometimes DUSK or DAWN, if you must.
Dusk on a summer's evening. The light is polarised, the air is thick as water and quiet.
A Brit writer. Nice! I hope you can figure out how to film this.
"Undulating." Learned a new word.
HEN is a man in his forties, wearing clothes so aged and grease-blackened it barely tells they were once jeans and a pullover.
Very awkwardly written. You could try:
[...] it barely shows that they were once jeans and a pullover.
That being said, the paragraph would still be too busy, sorry to say. Also, "were once" this and that... Everything is happening now, not in the past or in the future. Use present tense, active voice.
Itís been there a long time
This in in the past, and therefore, unfilmable, unless you want to show flashbacks.
part reclaimed by the elements, covered in weeds and moss.
That whole sentence reads awkward.
Ee is old.
Who's Ee? "He," by any chance? Cockney dialect?
And he's from [the] city.
Or does she just talk like that?
Why's he still alive?
God, he's not THAT old! LOL! If he were 120, then you'd have a valid argument.
Thereís a large fire pit, a stack of wood, rusting sheets of corrugated iron, and a telegraph post.
A little too busy? Important set pieces or incidental set dressing?
Far on the horizon, another fire burns on a distant hill. Obscure movements show that distant figures are pulling corrugated iron to block their fire, keeping it open on the facing side and the opposite side, sending the signal on.
A lot of these action lines are busy, overwritten and slow down the pace. I'm getting a little bored, to be honest.
Thatís all ee can hope.
Oh, I see. Cockney dialect.
Thatís not wankers[,] Suds. Thatís cooperation
Weíll be seen, then what[?]
Or is this a rhetorical question?
Fucking dead bitch. You donít even exist, you dead bitch. Waste of fucking time.
Huh? Who's dead? Is she drunk?
A small isolated two-up two-down cottage.
What does that even mean?
Suds is sat in a rocking chair knitting something, on the edge of the darkness.
Iffy grammar and passive voice.
End of page four and no clue what the event is. If it doesn't pick up by page five, I'm baling.
Brutal and organised.
Itís Adamís Principle all over again. You know that?
Why is this dialogue separated?
And again. I know you're trying to divide it into clean paragraphs, but it doesn't work for dialogue. Separate each paragraph with action or another character cutting in.
Thereís something he canít say, and heís trying to make Hen understand that.
Bisto creeps down the wooden staircase. Every step risks a creak.
Ends in an orphan. Try to minimize/avoid these.
Not my favorite. I don't get it at all. What was the event? Something to do with computers? Y2K? I'm lost. Sorry. Congrats on entering, though.
I think this challenge runs the risk of big world stories that can become less involving. And the parameters of the challenge mean not all stories will translate well to the screen. This one is self contained enough though, that it possibly could, as it's a smaller more personal plight, and character driven.
I like it. You've imbued it with personality and these three characters are clearly on the run from something.
That said, I was in the dark re the specific God/religion v technology millenium event that did/didn't occur.
For sure this needs another draft of two, and a bit more in terms of story/threat, goal - where are they running to/what is the end goal? but you've evoked nicely a certain atmosphere and done well with character voice.
** To reviewers who comment on words used or terms of reference they're not familiar with, etc., please consult Google or some other search engine first: 'scrabble' is not just a word game, it's a verb. A 'two up, two down' is a common form of Brit house design.
We're writers and we come from all corners of the globe. Reading different styles, word usages, character dialogue from other parts of the world etc ., is a lot of the joy of reading and writing. Don't assume the writer is a git and has it wrong.
Just one note to the writer though: I'd personally save: 'is sat' for character dialogue rather than use it in description. Jmho.
Logline needs more. Why is this a brave new world?
A nice opening scene. A bit prosey but that's just my own tastes.
Watch out for parenthiticals. They should be rarer than a rare thing. The dialogue literally should speak for itself, and it does in your case, no need to tell the actor how to deliver it.
Auto Continues do annoy me. I know Final Draft defaults them on but you can turn them off in the options.
Clever trick turning the fire into a beacon. I'd be interested in where you got that idea from!
This is a fascinating dystopian landscape you have here. I don't know what has happened (or not) in this timeline but you are painting a vivid bleak picture. Page 7 and 8 uses a long conversation which feels too on the nose to try and explain it, but it doesn't work as well as the action scenes before it. I'd suggest continuing with the action and just let the audience guess for themselves.
Nice tense moments in the house which leads to Sal's arrival and then there's some sort of stand off and I lost it a bit at the end, wasn't quite sure what was happening or why.
Overall a very decent effort which just seemed to drift off at the end.
I have to say and I'm going to say this for every script in this challenge (so I'm basically cut and pasting this last bit into all of them lol) that well done on entering! This was creatively an extremely challenging outline, one in which quite a few didn't even attempt or dropped out of. To have a completed script in the running deserves a pat on the back and a collective high-five!
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I hated the names. Perhaps you can fix those, especially Hen. And why did they take new names? Even in the Walking Dead, they still keep their names (for the most part).
I kinda picked up on the names as well and I think it's quite clever. Normal names seems to have been lost (or banned) with whatever tragedy befell this Earth. Hen explains his name was Michael but now it is Hen because he likes eggs. Bisto and Suds seem a bit more savage because they grew up after this event. I believe they chose objects they found as names. Bisto is the name of a stock (gravy) mixture in the UK and Suds is obviously from some soap or detergent box.
I do like it, it is different and paints a vivid picture, even if I don't know what event did or didn't occur.
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