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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Screenwriting Discussion    The 2019 Writers' Tournament  ›  Image Problem - WT Moderators: Mr. Blonde
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  Author    Image Problem - WT  (currently 2858 views)
Posted: June 3rd, 2019, 11:15pm Report to Moderator

So, what are you writing?

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Image Problem by Frank MacCrory (FrankM)  writing as Star Witness - Short, Horror - A pop band of teens reach the cusp of superstardom, but a deranged fan threatens to ruin everything. 13 pages - pdf format

Writer interested in feedback on this work

Visit for what is new on the site.

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

Revision History (3 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Don  -  July 19th, 2021, 4:24pm
revised draft
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Posted: June 4th, 2019, 4:20am Report to Moderator
Old Timer

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Image Problem

Okay, okay… I like the first two pages, but directly said, it fell apart from there. You spend a lot of work on the girls and I imagine it must have been hard to keep an overview but the whole other structure of the 'story' is directionless to me. There's just no balance yet or any clarity about what the story is. The criteria, the horror aspect, haven't delivered either. On a positive note, there were some fine interactions between the girls and the script's beginning was fine.

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Matthew Taylor
Posted: June 4th, 2019, 10:41am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

Shakespeare's county
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Hello writer

WARNING: I'm getting horror genre fatigued.... hopefully I don't take it out on you lol

Quoted Text
Three sixteen-year-old girls RUBY, SOPHIE, and TARA stream in
wearing brightly-colored costumes passing before a concert
poster of their four-girl pop band, Star. The fourth member,
ARIA (16), walks in drinking from a water bottle.

I had to read that a couple of times - a rewrite can make it easier to read

on the first two pages I have given up following who is saying what - I don't think it matters to be honest, which makes me think - is any of it going to be relevant?

Jeez, you have twice as many characters as there are pages - You should heavily cut these, I have no idea who says what or where they are, what they are doign - Trying to tell a story with this many characters in 5 pages is tough, and you are not accomplishing it.

I have no idea what is going on, I don't think the characters know what is going on - If you (the writer) know what is going on, it's because the majority of this story is still in your head and not on paper. - the dialogue and action is all over the place, the revelation is unclear - for example, Ruby says "Mom" at the beginning of her dialogue on page 5 for absolutely no reason - her moms not there, she's dead already (I think)

Who was the killer? why? what Junk food place are they talking about? what decision does Sohpie have to make?

Ok, you need to cut this WAY down - lose like 70% of the characters - stop trying to do so much in such a small space. Focus this story, chop the deadwood and you could have something really good here.

Also lose stuff that is not important to story, like the mention of a movie coming out and the script writer being an ass - literally no point to it.

Comedy? where was the comedy lol



Two steps to writing a good screenplay:
1) Write a bad one
2) Fix it
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Posted: June 4th, 2019, 10:44am Report to Moderator
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pg. 4 - the silent alarm at the receptionist desk seems too convenient to be there, and how does Tara’s mom know it was there?
pg. 5 - “There is a deranged fan of Star…” I had forgotten that the band’s name is Star, and this line had me wondering. I think you should choose a more profound name for the band, and re-introduce it in an action line or dialogue sooner.
pg. 5 - “You don’t have any daughters, do you?” You should make it more clear who Tara’s mom is speaking to.
pg. 5 - the dead lab tech description was too confusing for me, and I thought it was Sophie’s dad who sees this.
pg. 5 - The ending is very confusing, and sudden shift towards the band solving a mystery was kind of funny.

I like the concept, though I feel there is much room for improvement. Almost none of the comedy worked for me, and the horror elements weren’t particularly scary.
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Posted: June 4th, 2019, 10:51am Report to Moderator
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A real chore to get through and no pay-off. Yet another script that fails to hit the genre-fusion stipulation.
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Gary in Houston
Posted: June 4th, 2019, 10:51am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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His one is a bit all over the place in terms of story, pacing, tone.  It really doesn’t make much logical sense for Ruby to be the deranged fan, but not many horror films make sense.

I’m not sure you met the criteria that required a psychiatrist’s office - you just sort of ran everyone in there in the end. Also not sure of the second genre — if it is comedy, it was very light on the humor.

I think you had the genesis of an idea, but it probably needs a reworking. Maybe have everyone to start in the doctor’s office talking about their problems and we get some exposition through flashbacks.

Best of luck,

Some of my scripts:

Bounty (TV Pilot) -- Top 1% of discoverable screenplays on Coverfly
I'll Be Seeing You (short) - OWC winner
The Gambler (short) - OWC winner
Skip (short) - filmed
Country Road 12 (short) - filmed
The Family Man (short) - filmed
The Journeyers (feature) - optioned

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Private Message Reply: 5 - 22
Posted: June 4th, 2019, 11:33am Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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You introed a lot of characters that are not in psychotherapist office. Then you kept adding the characters with the introduction of an intricate backstory which wasn't very clear to me at first. Not that it's very clear to me now. Maybe if I read it like three times.

Then you kept adding the characters. The plot didn't get easier to get. At the bottom page of 4 you decided to finally take us to the Dr's office.

Hey, our entries are alike. This one made the issues in mine apparent. Now I know what to do to fix mine. (that maybe a bread crumb, sorry)
Anyway, cut and simplify. Sounds easy but it's so hard.
I think I knowwho's behind it.
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Pete B. Lane
Posted: June 4th, 2019, 5:43pm Report to Moderator

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I like the general idea of a girl band discovering bobble heads made in their likenesses, but that's about it. It's confusing and convoluted, I had to reread sections.

It seems the writer had a bigger story that simply doesn't work in five pages. A frustrating read.
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Posted: June 4th, 2019, 6:00pm Report to Moderator
Guest User

To attempt something like this in under 5 pages is downright foolish, and the proof of that statement is on display right here.

WAY, WAY too many characters, some named, some not.

Look at your opening passage - 4 lines, 4 characters intro'd and confusing as all Hell.

Story - None, as you can't tell this story in 5 pages.

Characters - so many that there's no time to get to know anyone.

Dialogue - not terrible from some, but nothing memorable.

Prose - not good by any means.

Criteria - No comedy here whatsoever.  Horror is there, Psychiatrist barely there, and bobbleheads nicely used.

Even at 12 to 15 pages, this is way too big a concept to pull off.
e-mail Reply: 8 - 22
Posted: June 4th, 2019, 9:12pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

A man who has taught his mind to misbehave

Sydney, Australia
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Hi writer,

I’m not a fan of capitalising dialogue, and don’t think there is ever a good enough reason to do it. A personal preference thing, I know, but still.

These characters are completely indistinguishable from each other, it makes it really hard to root for any of them.

This felt a lot longer than 5 pages, it was quite a slog to get through

Just way too many characters and not enough clarity of what is actually going on.

Sorry but this one didn’t work for me on any level.

All the best.

Private Message Reply: 9 - 22
Posted: June 4th, 2019, 9:44pm Report to Moderator
Old Timer

No sh*t, there I was....

Tucson, AZ
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Hmmm, the psychiatrist surely didn't play much of a role in this, unless I lost it in all the teenage girl angst banter. If that's what you were going for, you nailed it.

Not much horror and weak humor. So many characters that I didn't keep track or care for any of them. It was a plodding read to the end.

This was a tough challenge and you made a valiant attempt. There's always NEXT week!
Private Message Reply: 10 - 22
Scar Tissue Films
Posted: June 5th, 2019, 4:58am Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

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This was a strange bag of cats.

The core premise seems decent. You could imagine it working well as a teen horror.

I think you basically picked a story that needs more than five pages to tell because you've got a lot of set up, then it all just went totally random and as mad as a box of frogs.
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Posted: June 5th, 2019, 12:30pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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Yeah, everyone pretty well covered things.

I was able to (barely) hang on to the story. One of the band members kills off the parents because of their lack of concern for their daughter's well-being.

The bobblehead use was very good.

As everyone else pointed out, it's just too ambitious to have this many characters in a short. That was the fatal decision.

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature
Wait Till Next Year - Disney-style family sports comedy/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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Posted: June 5th, 2019, 3:52pm Report to Moderator
January Project Group

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There's a lot of this I like and there's some good lines too...

But, I struggled to differentiate between the girls so the last couple of pages lost me.

Loved how you used the bobblehead - nice, different, approach.

But thought the psychiatrist was a definite tag on,

Decent effort.

Anthony Cawood - Award winning screenwriter
Available Short screenplays -
Available Feature screenplays -
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Posted: June 5th, 2019, 7:41pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients

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Hi writer

Don't get discouraged. This was a tough challenge and none of the scripts really succeeded(I have a few to read still).  I don't sense anything in your writing that indicates your next script might not hit it out of the park. This one didn't hold my attention. But I hope you stick around for the next week of this. You won't be the only one behind in the scores!
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