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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Sci Fi and Fantasy Scripts  ›  Space Fish Moderators: bert
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Don
Posted: December 11th, 2018, 1:18pm Report to Moderator
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So, what are you writing?

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Space Fish by Hank Biro - Sci Fi, Fantasy - A one-armed young man obsesses over becoming an astronaut after a final discussion with his girlfriend, and turns to criminal actions to fulfill his desire after the space agency rejects him. 79 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 (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  May 11th, 2019, 3:13pm
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: December 13th, 2018, 8:22am Report to Moderator
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Hello Hank

I've seen that you are keen for reviews so I took a quick look - I must stress that it was only a quick look, so I might be missing something.

First impressions - There is a lot of back story here, a lot of him being a kid - Which could make some kind of sense if he wanted to be an astronaut from a kid, but he didn't - in fact, astronauts are first mentioned all the way down on page 21 - That's a long time without getting to the plot of the movie

The first little montage I liked - It built up the relationship between the two quickly and effectively - After that the montages became monstrous, and unnecessary I felt.

I also feel like the timeline is out - In a scene which I believe takes place in 1976 (that was the last SUPER we had) they talk about X-files/Super Mario/Zelda - none of these things existed then - yet they talk about them like they are retro - very confused - In fact, the main characters mom is said to have been named after the computer game character - Zelda didn't exist in the year they are having this conversation, let alone when his mother was born.

But then later there are laser guns? so is the above scene actually in 2076 not 1976? and you have just confused the hell out of me? - Anyway, nothing else indicates to me that this is set in the future, there's even a fax machine.

Anyway, good luck with it all

Matt


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While the Gentlemen Go By

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DISCLAIMER: I am an uproduced amateur, if I comment on your work, please bear that in mind
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henb
Posted: December 13th, 2018, 8:38am Report to Moderator
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Thanks for giving the script a look. The backstory in the beginning is meant to help build sympathy for the main character and to show he is much more interested in becoming a fisherman like his father rather than an astronaut and that he is somewhat obsessed with finding a partner to love.

I will take a look at the montages following the initial one and see if the story flows better without them.

The SUPER states the year is: '76. I intended the year to be 2076 with a mix of old and new technologies and I want audiences to be unsure it takes place in the future until the cafe scene.


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Matthew Taylor
Posted: December 13th, 2018, 8:57am Report to Moderator
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No problem Hank

Yes I did think you might have meant 2076 rather than 1976 - I may have missed the plot twist that this is set in the future in the cafe scene as I only skimmed through, I will go back and read that scene again.

You may have a little too much backstory - 20 pages of it seems a lot to me.

Hopefully someone will come along and give this a more thorough read and review

All the best

Matt


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Mr Repent (In Pre-production)
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While the Gentlemen Go By

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eldave1
Posted: December 13th, 2018, 12:13pm Report to Moderator
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Hank - checked out the first three.

First - a nit issue. Your SUPERs are wrong. It is short for SUPERIMPOSED meaning it must be superimposed over something. e.g., this:

FADE IN:


Quoted Text
EXT. CITY - DAY

SUPER: VANCOUVER, B.C., CANADA

The sun shines super brightly over many tall, modern
buildings.

The streets bustle with traffic and people who wear bright,
breezy clothes.


Should be this:

EXT. CITY - DAY

The sun shines super brightly over many tall, modern
buildings.

SUPER: VANCOUVER, B.C., CANADA

The streets bustle with traffic and people who wear bright,
breezy clothes.

Code

A young boy plays with a steering wheel on his school's
playground.

It's recess and DONNY SPRAT (8), shy, sensitive, imaginative,
no left arm below his elbow, casual clothes, short hair,
African-Canadian, pretends he's the captain of a pirate ship.



If it is recess, then there should be a ton of KIDS there.  Rather than telling us Donny is shy and sensitive (which there is no way to film) - show us in the setting. e.g., playground equipment teeming with kids - playing/yelling. Off in a distant corner by himself we find Donny - etc.


Quoted Text
His classmate, TRACEY JONES (, kind, modest clothes,
Caucasian, notices him.


Don't tell us she is kind. You can't film that. Just show us through actions and words.


Quoted Text
EXT. PIRATE SHIP - NIGHT

Donny is still in his own world. He imagines she's a CREW
MATE on his ship. Rain and lightning crashes down all around
them.


Why would he imagine her? From the scene description - he hasn't even turned around to see her yet?


Quoted Text
TRACEY
Hi.

DONNY
Are you... talking to me?

TRACEY
Yup.

They smile at each other.


Missed opportunity, IMO and a bit boring. She should be asking him what he's doing or better yet why he's not playing with the others. He could ask her the same. AND - perhaps what happened to his arm.


Quoted Text
They play pirates together until the bell rings, then they
say bye and go back to class.


Not really the right way to do this. You need to show them playing pirates.

The RING of the bell

Scampering back to class.

I found that Donny would be uneducated, unintelligent and ultimately tutored by a white girl on the simplest of tasks (pronouncing words) uninteresting and painfully feeding a stereotype. Maybe it's just me. But he'd be a far more interesting character if he were brilliant but always angled for a C (i.e., purposely answering questions wrong) because his introvert nature would hate the attention.


Quoted Text
Francis sees Donny made a friend, then he pulls a photo from
his pocket and looks at it with a sullen expression.


You need to be more specific here. e.g., Donny and Tracey talking or something.


Quoted Text
EXT. PARK - DAY
Donny and Francis sit at a picnic table and play chess.


Donny can play chess but can't do simple math?


Quoted Text
DONNY
Can you tell me something about
mom?

FRANCIS
Your mother was the coolest. She
introduced me to so many
interesting things.

DONNY
Like video games?

FRANCIS
Yes, and all kinds of old and
different movies, and TV shows, and
music.

DONNY
And cartoons?!

FRANCIS
Yes, cartoons too. We even went
fishing on our first date. She
really helped shape me into the man
I am today.

DONNY
(beat)
Why did mom leave?

FRANCIS
(beat)
She wised up to me.


The above is way too on the nose and it screams exposition. This is not a chat they would have all of a sudden. They are father and son - his Mom's not around - they would have had this conversation before.  It needs to be a chat between two people where one would not know the background. As an example, Tracy asking Donny about his Mom.

Sorry - I'm not a fan of the first few pages. It lumbers. But remember - that's just me and I'm nothing but an amateur. Maybe others will disagree. Regardless - hope the comments provide some food for thought.



My Scripts can all be seen here:

http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts
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