Quoted from dejack03
Dude. This would be a kickass movie; even if it does seem like "just another action movie." Keyword there is "seem." I liked it a lot.
Quoted from TobiasMoran
I just downloaded it. I'll definitely check it out. My script "Anonymously Successful" will be up on the site in a couple of days. it's another "conspiracy/government corruption/assassination" type script that I think would be in your vein. I'd appreciate return feedback from you if that's possible bro.
Quoted from TobiasMoran
Hey Guy, I just finished reading it. We're all here to be brutally honest (and we should expect it), so that's what I'll be.
Decent story. It has a real "Metal Gear Solid" feel to it. Immediately I saw Jason as Snake. But it moves way too quickly and too easily. From William (who we don't know anything about) moving from Jason's friend to foe so quickly to your dialogue, which seems very surfacy at times, almost unbelievable at points - I believe you could thoroughly rework this thing into something very good. I would work on a more solid dialogue in certain spots. One thing my mentor always told me was "what would YOU say if you were in that position?" It helps to think like that. For example, if you were on a S&R mission in the jungles of Colombia, being chased by men with guns, would you jump on the chopper and say "Pilot, take off!"...not me! LOL I'd be screaming "Let's get the EEEEEFFF outta here! GO GO GO!!!"...just a thought though bro...
Page 55 - "If anyone was underneath the bed, they would be pretty holy right now, if you know what I mean" sounds really bad...almost ridiculous. Remove that. We don't need to know that. He's also not going to ask any questions about who they are in the middle of a gun battle. He's going to kill, period.
Ashley seems to know a bit too much. Her friend calls Jason "James Bond" and then when Jason leaves for Canada, she calls it his "mission". I'd dumb down her dialogue to make it seem like she's totally oblivious to what he does.
If Jason is not wanted in Canada, then how did he get in so quickly? Once scene he's leaving for Canada, the next, he's taking aim at Sophie. With his background in the military, and being court-martialed, wouldn't arriving at the border set off some inquiries? I'd make his return into Canada covert and silent. I'd sneak him back in. I do know the border patrol here in the states have a military system in place for that very same thing. Does Canada?
Three guys jumping out of a garbage can to kill David? That seemed a little far-fetched to me bro. I'd have them sitting in a black car in the alley. That seems more plausible.
All in all, it all seems to move too quickly and too easily. With William kidnapping Ashley, to Francois' cheesy "prepare to die", and the ending with Jason speeding off in a boat and the TV reporting that "all's well" after the public not knowing anything (it was all well to the public before the covert op, so why shouldn't it be all well then?)....It all seems very amateurish.
With a little reworking, this could be really good bro...Don't stop writing...keep pushing. With some fine tuning, you could turn this into another "Bourne" type joint. it just needs a little work.
Now onto the technical stuff....
1. You have WAY too many "shooting" descriptors. Those are a no-no, and producers/directors HATE to see it. "Dissolve to", "Cut to", "Smash to", "Angle on" and the like need to be removed. Your job as the screenwriter is to show ONLY what you can see and hear. Let the director direct the camera angles and screen sequences. I do like how you describe in detail to give the reader great imagery. But that is not needed. Don't describe what the character is feeling or thinking, just write what the audience will see or hear.
At page 42, I was thinking, "He's really only about 20 minutes of screen time into the script, but he's got 22 pages of description".
2. "We see"....sometimes that is unavoidable, but should seldom be used.
For example, "We see Jason crouched down ready to attack." should be re-written to read:
"Jason crouches, ready to attack."
3. When someone speaks in Spanish/French, just write (In Spanish/French) under the character name. No need to mention "in subtitle", for that's a given.
4. Only use (CONT'D) if you're splitting the dialogue between pages.
5. CAPITALIZE character names only ONCE - when they appear on screen for the first time in a speaking role. If you have two new henchmen appear and they don't speak, you don't need to capitalize them. I see that in Tim Silverman. At the beginning, you show his full name capitalized when he appears on Jason's computer. Then in the mansion, he's "TIM"...at first glance, you appear to have two characters. Same thing with SENTRY...the next speaking line is from SENTRY #1. This occurs several times in your script.
6. "Beat" isn't common anymore. It can be used, but I prefer "pause". That's just me though.
7. "Begins to"....big no-no. On my last script coverage, the guy wrote "how do you begin to walk?" It hit me. You don't "begin" to walk...You just walk. "Jason begins to walk over to"....should be "Jason approaches" etc. etc.
8. Pretty much anything else with "to" behind to should be changed. "Walks up to", "Goes over to" should both be changed to "approaches".
9. When describing radio to radio communication, use "O.S." (off screen) rather than "V.O." (voice-over). Voice over is used for narration purposes only.
10. When describing a title card, simply write "TITLE OVER:" and your description.
All in all, read THIS - http://www.geocities.com/fabdaeclectic/ProperScriptFormat.pdf
Hope this helps.
Quoted from greg
Wow, newbie to the board but not a newbie to the game.
To start, you've got some good writing here. I found the dialogue to be relatively smooth throughout the story. Sure, there were some instances of unbelievable dialogue, such as when Jason is threatening people, but for the most part everything sounded well. Jason's threats though:
"If you refuse to answer it or say you don't know AS an answer, I'm going to drive this knife deeper into your leg." This actually sounded okay, but I think we've heard this many, many, many times in others movies before. Something new, although kind of sadistic, would be to jam the knife in other places of the body if he doesn't answer. I think that really means business.
One instance where it didn't work was when he was mouthing off William on the phone. "Listen you twisted mother fucker! If you so much as breath on her I'm going to rip your fucking heart out and feed it to you!" Jason's a hardass, we know that, so I don't think he'd say "twisted motherfucker." That really seems more like a teen horror type of thing. Maybe something like "Listen you fucking shithole," or something basic or even something super creative. I'm nitpicking here cause again, the dialogue was pretty well done.
The characters I can go either way on. I don't really think you made as much character development for Jason as you could have, or characteristics for that. He seems like Garbiel Logan from the Playstation game Syphon Filter, which is kind of the problem because most video characters don't have big personalities. But on the plus side, this DID seem kind of like Syphon Filter, which is a game I enjoyed very much.
William didn't seem incredibly evil. He's a well-mannered and intelligent guy, so he kind of has a low class evil type of thing. Kind of like John Travolta from Broken Arrow or something. Antoine was an ass, nice work there, and Ashley was the dame in distress which worked as far as I could tell.
Ya know, the story of Canada and the United States going to war is very interesting and I had alot of fun reading this, but on a realistic level, the odds of it is astronomical. There wasn't an instance in the story where the Canadian Government was mentioned, which I really think was crucial to the development of the story. It's kind of like the Sum of all Fears where even though it was a terrorist organization attacking the U.S., the Russian government played a key role.
Technically you have some work to do. The constant capitalization of names really started to be a distraction. Capitalize them the first time they appear and only when they're speaking, that's it. Also, I really liked the mercenary involvement and you had the Spaniard, Asian, African, etc., but again, it got distracting to read RUSSIAN MERCENARY looks at SPANIARD MERCENARY. We know that they're mercenaries, so it would be a better idea to refer to them as RUSSIAN or SPANIARD, or even give them names but they're roles were pretty brief.
Don't describe how the title will appear in the opening credits, that's something that you see in a Kevin Revie script. Drop the angles and center the dialogue. For some reason it was all over the place. By the way, I'd change the title just to MERCENARY. Adding the Soldier of Fortune makes it sound more like a sequel...like Syphon Filter: The Omega Code!!
Overall, the script flowed well and hey, there was action throughout. Your descriptions I felt were well written since I could visualize most if not all of what you were describing. The whole concept of Canada and the U.S. going to war is very interesting, so this made for a fun and enjoyable read. Good job!