amateur offerings weekend

As I’m sure all of you are running off to watch the new Bond film this weekend, you’ll have to tell me if my script review was correct or not. If you’re like me and staying farrrrr away from that Octapussy, here are a few amateur scripts to read and vote on. We’ve got selections that contain something for everyone: magic, the devil, poems, a writer even drops the gauntlet! So start the downloading and the evaluating. Oh, and PLEASE open your comment with your vote! And if you can, let us know how far you read and why you stopped.

And if you want to submit your script for future Offerings, e-mail carsonreeves3@gmail.com with your title, genre, logline, why we should read, and a PDF of the script itself! Let’s find the next Unlawful, which finished on this year’s Blood List!

Title: Otherside, INC.
Genre: Action/Adventure Comedy
Logline: While working as henchmen at a magical security firm, a young witch and her rakshas friend must overcome interspecies politics, supernatural bureaucracy and a handsome jewel thief to stop a product-launch from snowballing into the apocalypse.
Why You Should Read: Through most of Thor: The Dark World, Supriya believed she was watching an anti-imperialism tale that would end in Thor returning the Dark Elves’ sacred magical relic, restoring balance to the world, and learning why appropriating another culture’s artifacts is wrong. After Ibba finished laughing at her, they decided Supriya’s misconception would make a great film. Otherside, INC. is the result. Combining their love of genre adventure stories with their day jobs as marketing hench-women they created a supernatural satire for fans of superhero blockbusters and office comedies alike.

Title: Dan Demonic
Genre: Adventure/Comedy? (writer did not say)
Logline: Years after the Devil himself has conquered Earth, an ornery demon and his equally belligerent sidekick are mistaken for the saviours of mankind. Together, they must rediscover their own humanity in order to save the world.
Why You Should Read: Writers like Max Landis have long lamented the death of non-IP in Hollywood- especially in an era when franchises are king. In writing Dan Demonic, I set out to not only captivate an audience with a thoroughly original and engrossing story, but to create a world that could support multiple films within the same universe. Things were tried and rules were broken, but Dan Demonic is a script I’m proud of for its unerring commitment to craziness. If stories about demon strippers, undead Nobel Prize winners and 50-storey flying dogs don’t appeal to you, stay away from this one. However, I hope that those who do give this Guardians of the Galaxy-meets-Beetlejuice hybrid a shot come away from it entertained and enthralled. That would be the biggest compliment of all.

Title: The Iliad
Genre: War epic / Sword and sandal
Logline: A gritty adaptation of Homer’s epic, following the exploits of the (anti)heroes and gods who fought in the last days of the legendary Trojan War.
Why You Should Read: Longtime lurker, never-time poster. Hopefully a few people have read / are familiar with the ILIAD and its impossible to adapt content. I appreciate any (except the bad) feedback. Thank you.

Title: American Funeral
Genre: Horror
Logline: “An agoraphobic 12 year old who suspects his mother and siblings of murder also suspects that he’s gonna be their next victim unless he does something about it, fast.”
Why You Should Read: I noticed that on Monday you said that ELI is the “last” horror script that you were going to be reviewing (I presume for the year) but before you do that I was hoping to take it on in “The Gauntlet” with my horror script AMERICAN FUNERAL. From your review of ELI, I noticed that it has some similarities with AMERICAN FUNERAL. Both scripts have preteen boys as the protagonists. Both boys have “disabilities” that prevent them from leaving their “homes.” And both boys discover some shocking truths about themselves and their families.
However, one of the scripts here is a pro script that made it to the top of the Blood List while the other script is by an unknown writer and it’s still trying to worm it’s way on to the Amateur Friday list. But I have faith in my boy Dougie and I believe he can take on little Eli. So, I’m dropping the gauntlet!

Title: S M A R T H O M E
Genre: Drama, Mystery
Logline: While visiting Tokyo on business, JIM STARR gets trapped in a dangerous Smart Home with a mind of its own.
Why You Should Read: Please help me. I’m stuck in this Smart Home and I can’t get out. I don’t know if it’s an iOS system failure or was hacked by a human out for blood? Oh, God. I hope this message goes through, the Wi-Fi fades in and out. On purpose. I’m being cooked alive. HELP ME! Is anyone there? Is anyone reading this? Hello? Did it go through?? Please! The house knows things about me that may or may not be true. I don’t even know anymore…[DISCONNECT].

  • Malibo Jackk

    A WYSR that refers to themselves in the third person.
    A submission without a genre.
    A Cliff Notes version of The Iliad.
    A logline in quotes.
    Another that capitalizes its character’s name.

    What’s not to like?

    (Ok. I’m just being bad.)

    • Scott Crawford

      Read 10 pages of The Iliad and gave my opinion of it. BUT… really put off by the other pitches. Some people like to skip the WYSRs, but I think they’re part of the submission, so I do read them.

      OTHERSIDE, INC.

      Difficult logline to get into, but the WYSR doesn’t help. What’s it all mean? And, I know people have different opinions, but I liked Thor: The Dark World. Is the writer having a dig at it? A hugely successful movie.

      DAN DEMONIC

      Good logline, good WYSR. So why no genre? Might give it a try, it’s not the worse.

      AMERICAN FUNERAL

      Logline in quotes. Not the worst offence, but still. Comparing the script to Eli? Again, is the writer trying to say he’s done better than the winner of this year’s Blood List?

      S M A R T H O M E

      That title was tricky to type. Logline’s pretty good, not super original, but I’d give it the benefit of the doubt. I would give it the benefit of the doubt if it wasn’t for the annoying WYSR. I appreciate that the writer wants to show off his personality, but it doesn’t match the tone of the genres he has chosen. Drama AND mystery? I would have guessed horror or horror comedy.

    • Poe_Serling

      Malibo-

      You’ve been in a scrappy mood as of late. Are you still fuming over the trick-or-treaters that egged your beachside hut when you ran out of cans of Corona to put in their goodie bags? ;-)

      • brenkilco

        You mean the TRICK-OR-TREATERS.

      • Midnight Luck

        can you get cans of corona?

        • Poe_Serling

          At Target you can!

          • Midnight Luck

            Can you?
            I can pick up a can?
            Can I?

            Only at Target.
            I thought that was one of those things about Corona, that they only came in bottles. Either Coronitas or regular Corona.
            Never seen a can, at least that I can remember.

            Can can.
            I like saying that.

          • brittany

            Lol, they sell them at gas stations all over the place where I live.

          • Frankie Hollywood

            Latest News from the PAGE Awards
            http://pageawards.com/ezine/logline_screenwriters_ezine_issue45.pdf

            “Bronze Prize winner Brittany Lamoureux has been signed by Andrew Kersey of Kersey Management”

            That’s AWESOME. Congrats on getting repped.

          • BellBlaq

            Heck yeah, I was wondering if she was ever gonna say anything!

          • brittany

            Thanks, Frankie! Appreciate it!

          • Midnight Luck

            seriously? not sure how I missed that.
            Maybe it is because I like PACIFICO, not Corona, so I never paid attention…..

          • Midnight Luck

            Big Congrats on being Repped. That is Huge!
            Way to go.
            Hope you will share with us what happens.

          • brittany

            Thanks! It’s been a whirlwind experience so far. Andrew is great to work with and he’s circulating Pet right now, so hopefully we get some bites. Will probably take a few weeks to hear anything back, so it’s a waiting game for now. Isn’t it always? Ha. He’s also got me brainstorming for my next horror project so it’s been busy, busy, busy lately. But that’s a good thing. A very good thing indeed. I will definitely keep everyone updated on the progress.

          • Midnight Luck

            I am so happy for you.
            I can’t wait to hear what happens.

    • ThomasBrownen

      I wonder if AOW submissions are a little low right now. Everyone got their scripts all polished up and submitted for the Scriptshadow 250, and now they’re tired out or starting to work on their next script. Maybe?

      • Scott Crawford

        See what you mean. They’ll be people who missed the 250, or those who got in but have new scripts finished. Give it time.

        I think it’s better not to do it every week, though.

  • Levres de Sang

    Fairly certain American Funeral is a new title for one that’s landed here before. I just remember all that “Inhale. Exhale…” from the opening. Maybe Citizen and Randy can check their AOW archives?

    • Randy Williams

      Just finished the script. Don’t recall reading it before since I’ve been here. However, it is a short script, a bit thin on plot. “Inhale, exhale”, I’ve seen used before with kids to express their anxiety levels, also in settings with some oxygen deprivation.

    • Citizen M

      The writer had a Twit-Pitch entry three years ago: “A family struggles to regain normalcy after an exorcism leaves the mother dead”

      Doesn’t seem to be the same script.

      • Levres de Sang

        The author also had a script (possibly the one you mention) on AOW earlier this year, but looks like I’m wrong about American Funeral. Sure I’ve seen that “Inhale. Exhale.” somewhere, though!

  • Scott Crawford

    Based on the pitches, I would pick THE ILIAD. PD adaptations are all the rage and there’s a good chance the writer has spent some time researching and developing the script.

    THE ILIAD (read 10 pages)

    In a good mood this morning and started out really liking this. Lots of description, not so much talky-talk. That’s what I like. Written like a professional (as far as I’m concerned).

    But by about ten pages it hit me. Not enough personality. Where’s the quirkiness? Where’s the twist? This may be, as Malibo Jackk pointed out, the Cliff Notes version of the story. I know how the story ends.

    Title is a problem. The Iliad. Should be “Achilles and Patroclus” or “The Last Days of Troy”, anything to say that this is the writer’s own.

    Word count: 23,162. But only 93 pages. TOO MUCH description and not enough dialogue (rare that I’ll say that).

    I’ll let other critique the title page.

  • HRV

    Think I’ll take a look at Otherside Inc. first.
    Re: Dan Demonic logline. The world must be pretty bad to see the devil as its savior.

  • Scott Crawford

    DAN DEMONIC (read 10 pages)

    Two pet peeves.

    1. Starting with black and then V.O. Not wrong, as such, but EVERY single amateur script starts like this and it’s beginning to get a bit tedious. Just my view.

    2. No period/dot/full stop after the page number.

    “Numbers should be followed by a period.”

    http://screenwriting.io/what-is-standard-screenplay-format/

    This script was not written using professional screenwriting software. Not even the free stuff.

    OK, the script. Writing is pretty good… but… I haven’t got a clue what’s going on. Not quite right, I have LOTS of clues, but it all seems all over the place. When I read the first ten pages of a script, I expect to have a sense that the write knows where he’s taking me. I don’t get that feeling here. Maybe the script gets better, but I stop at ten pages and have no strong desire to continue.

    • Levres de Sang

      The OVER BLACK opening is a bit of a peeve of mine, too; but mostly because a lot of amateur writers don’t seem to realise just how LONG they’re keeping us in that literal dark. Not a comment on the above script, by the way. Just a general observation.

      • brenkilco

        Agree. either the voiceover over black or a static shot had better be riveting(love Scorcese’s voiceover intro to color of money and the I believe in America line before the Godfather fades in) or whatever you’re fading up on had better be worth the wait.

  • Randy Williams

    AMERICAN FUNERAL

    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    Hardly ever read a script on here without stopping for a breath. I didn’t need to “inhale” here at all. Bare bones description, “farmhouse”, “pick-up truck” “wood floor”. The reader fills in the details. A family back home from a funeral, obviously ready to attack life with a fresh step, maybe even with optimism that a death can sometimes bring. This is a good start to drop a reader into, I thought.

    Very much into the head of the boy here. I felt sympathy for him right away. He has a goal and there are obstacles in his path, but also the suspicion that his goal might not be the best thing for him. The whirlwind entrance of Papa Milt shakes up his world, giving him hope but also a threat. Really loved the energy of this character, that scene at the table. That moment when Milt discovers the plastic knife against his rib cage is stunning. I know I’m in for some ride.

    The early flashbacks were frightening, the begging of the “thing” to be killed.
    Later ones did not build upon this horror, for me.
    The flashback on page 85 with Lee took away from some of the momentum of the fast-rising action for me. Also felt, Lee should never have been shown but remained a mystery.
    Overall, these flashbacks were more an expression of the boy’s confusion than any clue to what was behind this creepy family for me. I’d long figured that out already.

    And that is what left me a bit torn about the script. I love the characters here. They perfectly embody how a family protects their own within the walls of a house, even protecting the worse in themselves and using it against each other. That trap so nicely evoked. But what it lacks for me is what the second half of the logline promised…

    “unless he does something about it fast”

    I thought the boy didn’t do much but react.

    Even in the end, it was his mother who decided what should be his fate.

  • Scott Crawford

    S M A R T H O M E (read 10 pages)

    Title tedious to type. Title page is great!

    V.O. over black? Again? Absolutely NO need since we’re only fading up on airport.

    Script is desribed as Drama, Mystery, but so far reads like a sitcom. I was born in 1978 and I struggle to identify with what these characters are talking about. I’m on page 6. and I have NO IDEA where this story is heading.

    Think about Die Hard. Think about it a lot. Opens at an airport. We don’t know that the story is about a skyscraper taken over by terrorists BUT we do know that John McClane doesn’t like flying, that he should take his shoes off, that he’s a cop, and so on.

    What have we got here? Lots of stuff about phones and booking tickets. Lots of references to fancy things.

    Page 9. and we’re in the S M A R T H O M E. So. Many. References. Imagine I know nothing. Imagine. TELL ME WHAT AN UBER APP IS. Don’t assume I know, describe it.

    Fridge starts talking. With no introduction.

    Too much talking, not enough description. Stop at 10 pages.

  • Scott Crawford

    AMERICAN FUNERAL (read 6 pages)

    Crazy title page. No period after page number.

    Lots of uses of the f-word… IN THE SCENE DIRECTION. Not a prude, but it’s another pet peeve of mine.

    Truth be known, this isn’t my type of script, so I’ll respectfully pass to others for more constructive criticism.

    But I didn’t get it. Got lost around page 6 and stopped reading.

  • Scott Crawford

    OTHERSIDE INC (read 8 pages)

    Title should be “Otherside, Inc.” as Carson has written above. But title on title page is “Otherside INC”.

    Scenes are numbered. NOT PROFESSIONAL. Would be deleted by many just for that. Out of respect, I read more.

    As the diamond gets brighter, its spinning faster, Alex takes aim, SHOOTS.

    CRACK!

    Hit, the gem flares NOVA, swallowing Alex, Sam, the room, and Chris’ SCREAM of protest in a burst of WHITE.

    FADE UP, OVER A TINNITUS BUZZ:

    Not bad, but… correct me if I’m wrong, you can’t FADE UP, if you haven’t faded out of anything.

    Writings not bad, quite funny.

    SHANE
    Don’t even ask me what I had to do to get them.

    REKHA SAXENA
    I won’t.

    SHANE
    The phone menu at Southwest Ley Lines is an unofficial circle of hell. Officially.
    (Leers at Wallis)
    Who’s lunch?

    REKHA SAXENA
    Too high on the food chain for you. Play nice.

    Funny writing. I haven’t a clue what’s going on. About page 8. I’m losing interest. Stop reading.

  • Randy Williams

    SMARTHOME

    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    Did not know what to expect here. Genre is labeled, “Drama, Mystery” and yet log line evokes a thriller which is what I WANT it to be.

    Tone starts off a bit comedy, romantic-comedy. Okay, there’s the “mystery”.
    Not really liking this protagonist very much. Drops too many name brands which I have
    no idea what they are, but we get to the house very quickly which is good. I’m intrigued with this house and in a foreign land which is even better.

    Could use more description here on our first meeting the house. The house should be a character in itself. Really set us down in it.

    The pizza business came too fast for me, a reveal that the house may be smarter than I think. His favorite toppings made it too comedic. I think these reveals should build.

    There is absolutely no tension for me yet. The business with the joint could have added to that. He says Japan has severe penalties for drug use so why not do something like this. Instead of immediately having the patio door locked on him, let him go out with the joint to the patio, take a few draws, leave the joint on an ashtray and go back in for something, closing the door and in coming back THEN, the door won’t open. The joint then is left on the patio, and he can see it but can’t get to it! Meanwhile pedestrians, a cop? can be seen through the shrubbery or fence passing by. TENSION.

    When he speaks with his family via the television monitor, you could add some tension here. Perhaps the wife is distracted, running back and forth between speaking with him and nursing a kid. Maybe the kid DOES have pneumonia. He is trying to get her to help him contact the management but she’s distracted. Also might give us a feel that maybe the wife is behind all this, at least open us to that suggestion among many down the line. Again, I’m thinking in a thriller mode. Maybe not what it’s going for here.

    Finally, there is too much discussion from the computer voice and the protagonist on what the various capabilities of household items are instead of SHOWING them. The toilet, for instance. How much more fun to SHOW what it can do then the protagonist going over a list of what it can do.

    I’m out on page 20. I’m curious how it ends, however, and will get back to it later.

    • Scott Crawford

      “Too many name brand”. Thank you, Randy! I thought I was the only one.

  • Scott Crawford

    Winner: THE ILIAD

    Only read 10 pages but wouldn’t mind reading more. Not super original, and too much block text to read, but it IS well-written and, in my view, very professional.

    The rest… couldn’t follow what was happening, too much talking, bad formatting.

    • Erica

      I did like the first scene of this one but it screamed HIGH BUDGET. Not saying it’s not doable, but very expensive and not really a big audience that would buy tickets.
      The first thing I though of was Ron Howard’s new film “Int the Heart of the Sea”. Looks really good but very expensive.

  • Randy Williams

    DAN DEMONIC

    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    Also thanks to Carson. Reading all these in Spectre Vision is so much fun!!

    and this script really benefits from Spectre-Vision. It has lots of vision.

    Very much a comic-book adventure. In what I read, lots of creative visuals from the mind of someone with an obvious imagination. I even cranked up Hozier’s “From Eden” on YouTube to get the whole effect.

    Perhaps too much vision on page 2. That list of visuals, some very broad. Distill, perhaps to bite-sized pieces.

    page 13. Really love the Etsy reference. LOL. Lots of funny and endearing description so far. “Tendrils of smoke from Schoenborn’s flambeed skeleton…” Love that.

    page 19-20. Thought LIz should keep her deductions about Dan to herself. SHOW us how she is approaching him. Really like the turn here. Makes me want to keep reading to see how their relationship, if any, develops. Gives it a romantic tinge.

    page 22-23. The dialogue is a bit awkward here.Dan is introduced in the bar as respected and kick-ass but he starts to sound weak here. Give these pages another run, I think.

    page 27-28. Again, I’m feeling Dan is starting to shrink into just another weak smuck. Perhaps let him treat the bird much harsher? Make his dialogue more biting? That bar image is fading fast.

    page 33. More “world building” with what these creatures are in the limo for me dilutes the tale.

    I like the skills on display here. I think young audiences, the market would eat this stuff up. I see video game tie-ins. But as a story, it becomes diluted away from what I think is its strong point. Dan Demonic and all his wickedness, benign and otherwise, and that human female on his tail who may change him and this world for the better.

  • walker

    George Kaplan is a pseudonym for Roger O. Thornhill.

    • Poe_Serling

      Perhaps it’s Cary Grant’s daughter testing the AOW water with her adaptation of Homer’s epic poem. ;-)

      • walker

        Great exchange in the dining car where EMS sees CG’s monogram: R.O.T. She asks, “What does the O stand for?” and he says, “Nothing.”

        • Scott Crawford

          An attack on David O. Selznick (also stood for nothing).

        • brenkilco

          And that seemingly silly, monogrammed matchbook gets put to good use later on. Did people actually have monogrammed matchbooks back then?

  • scriptfeels

    my vote:
    To be decided…

    Not sure how much time I’ll have this weekend to read, give feedback, etc. But i’ll be sure to list how far I got and why I stopped for now.

    Off the bat, smarthome and Dandemonic interest me the most, with the iliad as well.

    Will update throughout the weekend.

  • S_P_1

    A month ago…. (previous post)

    That even made me start thinking about some writers gaming the selection process for AOW and AF. It’s already apparent of the padded votes some scripts receive. But the unknown one time submitter never to be heard from again, gets a positive coveted coverage review.

    There’s no benefit to being an active registered poster.

    All you need to do is type your script and focus on WSYR and logline.

    11-7-15 AOW

    Why You Should Read: Longtime lurker, never-time poster. Hopefully a few people have read / are familiar with the ILIAD and its impossible to adapt content. I appreciate any (except the bad) feedback. Thank you.

    Why You Should Read: Please help me. I’m stuck in this Smart Home and I can’t get out. I don’t know if it’s an iOS system failure or was hacked by a human out for blood? Oh, God. I hope this message goes through, the Wi-Fi fades in and out. On purpose. I’m being cooked alive. HELP ME! Is anyone there? Is anyone reading this? Hello? Did it go through?? Please! The house knows things about me that may or may not be true. I don’t even know anymore…[DISCONNECT].

  • Randy Williams

    OTHERSIDE, INC

    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    Whats a “moldering ceiling?

    This is definitely a smart beginning. The reference to satire in the WYSR should not be ignored if you come looking for pure escapism. At least that’s how I read it. Got to page 16 with the Jehovah’s Witnesses joke and decided it’s too early in the morning to have to think so much.

    Very charming, some funny lines and nice bites at humans, besides the Witnesses. LOL @ “signing for Fedex” .

    A bit more visual flair perhaps while world building dialogue is in effect and getting to the goal of recovering the diamond a little sooner than page 16 perhaps?

  • brenkilco

    None of these are really my thing so I think I’ll be lazy and wait for commenters I trust to weigh in before trying one. This blog is generally macro in its approach. We don’t’ get down in the technical weeds much. Maybe because it would make the discussion sound too much like a high school English class. But after reading the first scene of The Illiad I’m thinking that maybe occasionally we should. Not that it’s badly written. But this first scene is a single, silent shot. And it’s fourteen lines long. Granted it’s a nice evocative image. But the scene is fairly densely packed, easily the equivalent of half a page for a writer who favors the speedcentric, twitterese style.

    So as an exercise.

    ‘ Well below the surface. The world a dark, nebulous blue. A gleam in the darkness. A lifeless figure sinks past us, arms outspread, clad in bronze armor, then another and another, followed by a long wooden ship, its great sails spread like a shroud.

    The deathly, slow motion parade continues: oars and debris and an endless stream of bodies all descending into the depths.”

    OK you say, the script’s version is better. The gradual reveals, a nicer sense of rhythm etc. Fine, but here’s the question. Is it ten lengthy lines better? If cutting half a page reduces the quality of your prose by ten or twenty per cent is it a tradeoff you should be willing to make?

    I’m not advocating for bad writing. Generally hate that borderline incoherent, breathless, half sentence, drag your eye down the page stuff you get in so many scripts. But I
    think I have to admit that in screenwriting words are to a certain extent your enemy. The catch is that just using fewer may make things even worse. The object is always to be searching for the one word that can take the place of three or four, the carefully crafted sentence that can convey as much a paragraph. Economy not brevity.

    • AstralAmerican

      Yikes! While I’ll appreciate your concise version, you just slightly described/revealed a similar scene from my sci-fi “Star Wars” epic. Except instead of the sea, I have warriors, armor, limbs/appendages and spaceships “raining” down in space.

      • brenkilco

        Hey in a world where we get new Spiderman origin movie every couple of years, on a weekend where we get a new James Bond movie that’s just recycling old riffs, why worry?

        • AstralAmerican

          True, but wouldn’t it be great to be the first who conceived of BULLET-TIME or Zak Snyder’s SLO-MO/HYPER style of action? If of course, they are the first to employ the techniques so many others have come to follow.

          • brenkilco

            Well I’d say both owe a big debt to Peckinpah who was sort of stealing from Arthur Penn who got his slo mo action ideas from Kurosawa who……

    • klmn

      I agree with you. I’ve got a lot of stuff to do before a storm rolls in, so I’ll wait for some of the regulars to ID the best scripts before I start to read.

  • Randy Williams

    THE ILIAD

    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    Now I see why Carson posted the entries so early this time. We needed extra time to read the first five pages of this. Sorry, jk.

    Sword and Sandal war epic. Already Im tuning out but gave this a shot. The beginning visuals quickly granbed me. Striking, haunting. Contrast. One can imagine the sound filling the theatre as well. The integrity of the writing pulls you along by imparting a confidence. I marvelled in the power of the setting, the positions of the characters. But with so many character introductions and me not having any prior knowledge of this story, it all becomes background noise I wanted something to strike through.

    I have a feeling this will get some love here today as reports, no doubt delayed from reading this come in. Good luck!

  • Midnight Luck

    CHOICE: NONE
    If I have to choose, I chose SMARTHOUSE, but ONLY because it’s the closest thing to a competent screenplay exercise, but that is all it is, a first time screenwriting exercise.

    Yikes. What the hell is going on?
    This is going to be rough.
    I am not going to sugarcoat it. This is a treacherous poor week.

    DAN DEMONIC: made it to 1/2 way down PAGE 2.
    OTHERSIDE, INC: made it to top of PAGE 2.
    AMERICAN FUNERAL: bottom of PAGE 2.
    THE ILIAD: again bottom of PAGE 2 with ENORMOUS effort.
    SMARTHOUSE: Yes! made it to top of PAGE 5!

    Seriously people, are all these like your first try? Without editing? Without having someone else proof? or even look at it?
    A “0” at the top of the Title page? I swear everyone uses the wrong font, no one uses Final Draft or any other regular screenwriting software as far as I can tell.

    Giant FAT chunks of action lines, no pace, no breaks, on and on and on with overly purple prose, and invented words, and “cute” description and dialogue?

    Really, is this the best people can do?

    Every single one of these reads like an Amateurs maiden voyage into what they think is a simple feat : SCRIPTWRITING.

    Do all the writers not care enough about what they are doing or the readers to spend time working on their English writing skills? Working on characters? Figuring out how to write a compelling scene, interesting dialogue? or god forbid a story?

    I don’t think a one of these scripts was vetted, because NONE of them would’ve made it beyond a page 1 read, except maybe SMARTHOUSE. Yet that one is a mess of cliche’d unending dialogue, doesn’t give us any feel for where we are, doesn’t utilize any effective storytelling, OVERLOADS us with “hip” dialogue. and WHO GIVES A SHIT that you can “create” a cool drink with all the uber-bullshit name dropping of rare, or cooler-than-you brands? Come on. Don’t try to impress us with all this bullshit. It just pisses us off. We don’t give a flying fuck about your supposed “high end fancy” drinking knowledge.
    This is utter bullshit:

    JIM
    It’s a version of the New Orleans
    “Vieux Carre”. Instead of brandy,
    add Banks 7 Island gold rum. Some
    Rittenhouse 100-proof rye and sweet
    vermouth. Peychaud’s and Angostura
    bitters. Please round the whole
    thing out with Amaro CioCaro and an
    orange peel. Not candied, real.

    seriously, I say this with love: fuck off. OK, maybe not love, but at least care. Well, no I don’t even care that much, I say it with worry, or just plain….no, just, whatever.

    Jesus, seriously, this whole group of scripts piss me off. No one is even trying. Does every single writer just say “fuck it”, blaze their own trail, believing they are the one that will be “discovered” because they are so unique? without really working at it or trying?

    Seriously. This is a weekend of disaster-class writing.

    Each one of you needs to stop writing IMMEDIATELY, pick up 100 screenwriting books, attend a few classes where teachers and students rip you a new asshole, be locked in a room with a thousand scripts, study study study and more study, BEFORE you ever write another word in a script.

    And to think I was excited to see what was going to be offered since we missed a week. And this is what we have? This is the most anyone can offer?

    I am OUT.
    Painful.

    For anyone who made it this far in my rant, Here’s a funny breakdown of how to write good:

    • Kirk Diggler

      Here’s my guess. After the 250 scripts that were accepted in the SS250, we’re left with Slim Pickens, and Slim has his bags packed and is headed out of town and has left 10,000 monkey banging on typewriters in his stead.

    • Randy Williams

      The fancy name dropping is actually a clue. Very nicely paid off in this script. I can see why it turns people off and I commented on it. But the writer is really smarter than that.

      • Scott Crawford

        Fair enough, Randy. But not everyone got that far. You have to bear in mind the impact of your setups, regardless of how well they pay off. The branding and name dropping helped put me off the script.

    • Scott Crawford

      The formatting errors this week go beyond titles not being centered. It’s REALLY bad, and like you said it’s because 1) people are not using pro writing software (even the free ones) but instead trying to craft the whole thing on word and 2) they haven’t shown the script to others for proofreading, editing tips.

      Trouble is, a lot of times, outside of AOW, people won’t want to read other people’s scripts because they know they’re not going to be very good, or they don’t like the logline. Tough world.

    • wlubake

      As such a regular contributor, have you ever entered a script in Amateur Offerings, ScriptShadow 250 or the like on here? I don’t recall seeing one of your scripts before. I’d love to see your work get its moment in the sun.

    • Wijnand Krabman

      I think, it’s nice when a screenplay is well formatted. More important is that the story readable, compelling and vivacious is. If the writer thinks it is better to jot it down on a roll of toiletpaper, so be it. For me only Iliad was despite it flaws readable. I only tried american funeral and smarthome.

  • fragglewriter

    I only read one script, and that was S M A R T P H O N E , due to the genre and WYSR.

    The script grabbed me from the first page. I liked the mixture of comedy, mystery and containment. I loved also how the writer incorporated new technology to keep me interested instead of the generic house in the woods. But then I reached page 43, and was ok, a shift is coming. On page 69, found myself reading faster. Not because it was getting more intriguing, but I need something the environment or character change. By page 74, my caring for Jim has already plummeted. On page 79 there is a late twist, but I just didn’t care anymore and that meant not caring between the exchange of dialogue between Jim and Brooks. I’m not sure of the revelation on page 83. Page 85, are you Joel Edgerton? Nash Edgerton? Or just a fan of the Edgertons?

    This is a great concept for a movie, but a shift needs to come earlier than page 69. The back and forth dialogue with Jim and the House got stale really fast. Other than Jim wanting to escape the house, the mini goals in-between were really good, but the introduction of the Bartender on page 43, needs to have a payoff.

    Also, I found the computer programming to be a cheat, as the reasoning behind such seemed a first thought. I think you need to not go for the first choice and push it a bit. Maybe have it glitch a bit beforehand to break the monotony. If that happens, then it won’t feel so much as cheat.

    The script was a fast read and just needs a few more tweaks.

    • Randy Williams

      I think the audience will expect a shift where Jim really devises a plan to fight back but that also will have to meld with what the final reveal is. Some purposeful misdirection on Jim’s part.
      Agree the programming especially the “mind reading” was a stretch.

      • fragglewriter

        I was exhausted with the continuous fight back plan. I think after the first few, he should try to understand the computer, and use that to his advantage. Simply looking for the computer’s memory is expected, but using to its advantage is what will surprise the reader.

  • Midnight Luck

    I am staying so far away from SPECTRE I will be lucky to catch it in the background of a SEARS electronics department while on “Mute”.

    feel free to tell me if it is any good.

    • Scott Crawford

      It is good. Actually, it’s great. AND it made more money than Peanuts!

      What movie are you looking forward to? Star Wars? Hateful 8? Tell us!

      • Midnight Luck

        The Big Short
        Trumbo
        Spotlight
        The Lady in the Van (looks british and kooky fun)
        Joy (though worried, as I didn’t like American Hustle)
        The Revenant (maybe, I think)
        Carol (again, maybe)

        Honestly, there aren’t very many I HAVE TO SEE coming out.
        I will still see a ton of movies, but none are “Absolutes” in my book right now.
        I don’t actually care about Star Wars, Hateful 8 looks like it could be pretty bad. I am not sure what is happening with Tarantino, but he seems to be getting a little to impressed with himself. The dialogue in the trailer was so staged and poor. So cheeky it came across as being clowny.

        Seriously, I look through the roster of films to come, and I don’t have any that jump out that I must see. None of them engage me really. I hope JOY is good, I hope REVENANT is good, but I don’t have very high hopes for them, sadly.

        In the last two weeks I have seen in the theater:

        MARTIAN
        BRIDGE OF SPIES
        OUR BRAND IS CRISIS
        SCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE
        STEVE JOBS
        ROOM
        BIG STONE GAP
        SICARIO
        BLACK MASS

        and of these, the best was (surprisingly) SCOUTS VS. ZOMBIES and BRIDGE OF SPIES, though Spies was only decent, not great, and Scouts was pure fun, without having much to it.
        All the rest were serious letdowns. (don’t get me started on BIG STONE GAP)

        week before that
        SLEEPING WITH OTHER PEOPLE
        THE INTERN
        99 HOMES
        A WALK IN THE WOODS

        —-and a ton of others I can’t think of off the top of my head right now.

        I do sincerely wish there was a movie I just couldn’t wait for. But so far, I am coming up empty.

        • Dan B

          I hope Joy turns our good, the script was great. Although every trailer makes the movie look like hot garbage, I’m hoping they release something that reminds people that this is a biopic with comedic elements.

          • Midnight Luck

            Yes, it feels like another director who has fallen in love with the reviews and their own quirk.
            I have loved some of his movies like The Fighter and Three Kings, but wow I was shocked at how much I disliked American Hustle, it was exactly as you say “hot garbage” or more a hot mess. As I found it seriously messy and disjointed.

        • klmn

          I’m looking forward to Hail, Caesar – the new Coen Bros. movie, but it doesn’t start until Feb. )

          Thanks to Scott for sending me the screenplay.

        • Kirk Diggler

          I have to say that i loved “Steve Jobs”. What a great performance from Fassbender. Winslet was solid as always, though her accent was hardly there in the early part of the film. Jeff Daniels….yeah, even Seth Rogen was really good. Really surprised by how good it was.

          • scriptfeels

            Jobs was a solid film. I had watched Frank the night before and wasn’t very familiar with Fassbender beforehand, but both films were very memorable for me.

    • Dan B

      I liked it, but Bond is a lot like Chile or a Bloody Mary, everyone sort of likes it a certain way — so the new Daniel Craig movies really resonate with some people while others who miss the Camp of the Roger Moore days are upset.

      Although, I feel like in Skyfall and Spectre they have tried to set up some of these tropes from the original bond movies – Q, Moneypenny, he finally seems set on a Martini shaken not stirred.

  • Lucid Walk

    THE ILIAD

    OT: Skyfall > Casino Royale

    I maybe the only man on this planet who hated Casino Royale. No Q, no Moneypenny, no gadgets, no cars with ejecting seats, no cheesy one-liners, no memorable villains, no nothing! It was’t until Skyfall when all these things were fixed.

    What disappointed me the most about Casino Royale was the realism. Bond is supposed to be campy, fun and exciting. Not dark, gritty and believable (something I usually go nuts for). Speaking of nuts, was I the only one laughing during the torture scene? When I think torture, I think Jigsaw and one of his “games,” not a guy getting his balls whacked over and over again, as excruciating as that may be.

    Look, I am all for movies breaking tradition and taking new directions, like what Nolan did with Batman. But if I want to watch a spy movie that’s dark, gritty and believable, I’ll turn to Jason Bourne. Because no matter how many times I watch it, no matter what anybody tells me, I will never favor Casino Royale. And I can live with that.

    • scriptfeels

      I liked skyfall better as well. But i think they were both better than quantum of solace

  • obviousplant

    And yet in all that time you’ve only made four comments.

    Need some water, perhaps?

    • Midnight Luck

      I find it amazing how many of the new commenters, and the AoW entries, say they are “long time followers / first time commenters”.
      I would say it is a good 70-90% of these people say that.

      Like somehow hundreds or thousands of people follow this site forever (7 years let’s say) and never managed to have ANYTHING at all to add or contribute or say to any posting by Carson, any script, any poster’s comments, any Thursday article, or anything at all.

      Give me a break. Tell us another ridiculous tall tale why don’t you?

      It makes them “seem” like they are longtime contributors so people will take them seriously. But they aren’t. Even if by some chance 1 of these people were being honest and truthful about that, what does it say about them?

      It says they really don’t care about the site, they don’t actually care at all about scriptwriting, and just want to post before their script is put up, or they just happen to begin posting when their script makes Amateur weekend.

      I call bullshit on all these people.
      What a cowardly way to join a group or try to get your work in front of people.

      • Scott Crawford

        I can say I get a lot of emails from people who enjoy reading the reviews and the comments but who don’t want to comment themselves it seems. People from all over the world. I’d LIKE them to comment.

        I understand some people are worried about being mocked for their opinions, or for not having English as a first language, or whatever. But if you don’t try you won’t get better.

        I won’t call them cowards. Just friends we haven’t met yet!

        • Midnight Luck

          Well, that is a very kind and PC way to say it.
          “Friends we haven’t met yet”

        • Ana

          You’re the best Scott!

      • Citizen M

        There are a couple of blogs i follow religiously where I’ve never made a comment. Others where it took me years to make my first comment and I might make one comment every few months. Everyone has a different pattern.

        And criticizing commenters is a sure way to drive them away. Where are valued contributors like Bodhicat and Carlosd today? Somewhere where they are appreciated and don’t have to put up with the snarky put-downs they experienced here, probably.

        • Midnight Luck

          Maybe I am mis-remembering, but I believe Karlosd and Bodhicat were beloved.
          I don’t recall people getting snarky or running them off with comments.

          I do agree, everyone has their own pace, I was mainly commenting on the number of people who appear when their script goes up, furiously comment during that time, remark on all the years they have been on here but never commented, and then vanish as soon as the weekend is done.
          That is where I don’t buy it.

          But hey, so be it.
          People are free to do whatever they want.

        • Dan B

          This was before my time… why were they put down? Did they submit a script with a slightly off center title page?

          • Citizen M

            LOL. But seriously, I don’t know why people stop commenting because they don’t say why, they just stop.

            My theory is that every now and then we get a troll who delights in proving his cleverness by making snarky comments against the most established commenters, and they decide they don’t need the aggravation and go elsewhere.

          • Kirk Diggler

            I’ve heard from several long timers who just felt that Carson has run out of things to say, so they stopped posting.

            There are a few that I can think of that had verbals run-ins with some of the more, shall we say, ‘pugnacious’ posters, and decided it wasn’t worth the hassle if they were going to be attacked.

            Then there are the ones who give a lot of feedback on AOW in the weeks or months prior to their own script appearing, then go the way of the dodo once they get their AOW slot.

      • Dan B

        Reminds me of: “Long Time Listener, First Time Caller… Listen I’ve been a Chicago Bears fan for 20 years…” — which is what I hear every Monday morning on my commute to work…

      • Howie428

        I’ll admit I got a bit irritated at reading about the “Longtime lurker, never-time poster.” It’s equivalent to starting your pitch with, “I’m here to be a freeloader!”
        I’ve thought for a while that people who routinely read and comment on Saturdays should be able to get their scripts included on a Saturday whenever they have new material to submit. It used to be that regular commenters had a good shot at picking up a Friday slot just for participating. As it stands, contributing doesn’t seem to factor very often.

      • Nabil

        Oh, I’m delighted that you’re able to describe people like myself so accurately. Care about the site? No way. I only sign up to the newsletter and read every article daily, every comment and discussion because I hate this place.

        You’re right. I absolutely don’t care about scriptwriting. I just come here to read the ranting of the regulars, but your grendl impression is lacking.

        Perhaps consider this; these first time commentators, like myself, are rather introverted. Maybe they’re using the site as a learning tool, just as I did. Perhaps they don’t comment because everything that they wanted to say has been said.

        Is your real problem the fact that their scripts get picked more so than regulars? Tell me, how many regulars are there and how many scripts can they produce on a weekly basis? They should all be super fantastic, right, because they comment everyday and that means they care about screenwriting.

        Don’t you see that a first time script entry/commentator, like my own in January, contributes by sending in their script to be mauled to pieces by the community here, all in the interest of learning?

        Maybe they’re actually focused on writing their script rather than critiquing one?

        Your attack isn’t warranted. I can see how it may be irritating to you but to generalise all of those that simply don’t comment but contribute in other ways, is extremely silly.

        “Tell us another ridiculous tall tale why don’t you?”

        Well, dear, isn’t that why we’re here?

        • Midnight Luck

          no, but you have completely missed my point.
          I don’t really care about any of that other stuff you bring up. I don’t care if newbies or longtimer’s get more or less scripts on AoW.

          The issue is, no matter where you are presenting your work, no matter who you are going to have read it, you MUST, and I mean MUST, get it ready to the absolute top of its ability. You MUST make sure everything about it is ready to go. Spell check, sentence coherency, all errors removed, intense and thorough editing, removing any and all extraneous or needless bits.

          And here is where the fly-by-nighters fail.

          Just about every one of the long time readers who have had a script critiqued do about a 1000% better job of preparing their scripts for presentation than the newbies.

          Not sure why there is such a difference, but writers who come on here and just fling out a script and see if it sticks, invariably seem to have cranked it out overnight while on a bender and never bothered to edit, proof or give it to another person to check.
          So they are loaded with problems. To the point they are almost unreadable.

          These newbie writers have ZERO care or thought for the reader. And that is absolutely BACKWARD. You MUST always consider the reader. How they are going to interpret your script, the professionalism of it, the characters, the story, the logline, the title, EVERYTHING.

          And what I see time and time again, are scripts where someone just seemed to slap in the pages. The insane number of mistakes and the carelessness, along with the incomprehensible story and setups and dialogue is just shocking.

          With some forethought, as well as editing, and especially with having a trusted reader go over and critique the work, BEFORE you send it out, you can cut all these issues down to almost ZERO. Story is the only thing left that you yourself, the writer, will have to figure out on your own, if it works, where the holes are, and if it flows.

          But at least 90+% of the other problems and red flags will be handled.

          And that is the problem.
          The writers I am speaking of, they don’t spend the time, they don’t care enough to think of the reader, and (amazingly)don’t care enough to put their best image of their own work forward.

          • Nabil

            Now your complaint is the quality of the scripts, something which you didn’t once mention in your previous rant.

            Perhaps I “missed your point” because you didn’t actually specify what you now claim to be your point.

            The fact that you “don’t care about the other stuff” that I bring up is interesting.

            Is it because it actually answers and counters what you actually wrote in the previous post?

            I mean, you come into this conversation with one point and then change it to “no actually, what I really meant is, it upsets me that the quality of their work isn’t good enough.”

            The quality of your argument isn’t even good enough, so you changed it!

            Let’s recap, just so you and I, and all those other “cowards” who won’t respond or communicate with you know for sure where your rant was directed.

            You said that you were annoyed about the lack of contribution from first time commenters that disappear.
            You said that they don’t care about the site or screenwriting.
            You said they only post to get their work noticed.
            You said that this was “bullshit” and that they were “cowards”.

            I countered these points. You didn’t oblige.

            Now your argument isn’t the same. I address this because it is the exact reason why people stay away from commenting on communities such as these; the attack mentality.

            You should either gracefully accept and admit that your comment was made in error or continue to change the argument and claim that anyone that counters your argument is “missing the point”.

            Either way, I’ve said what I have to and will continue to lurk in the shadows, learn from the many wonderful regulars here (as well as Carson) and hopefully better my last offer on AoW.

            Regards,

            Nabil

          • Midnight Luck

            I guess I struck a nerve.
            So which script in the pile was yours?

            Obviously you have no interest in listening or discussing anything. You would rather fight and attack, just because. (and YOU made it personal, trying to put me down while referencing Grendl. I haven’t said anything personal about yourself)

            Enjoy the trolling.

  • Eddie Panta

    DAN DEMONIC

    PAGE 4
    -Grammatical errors throughout
    -Extreme overuse of adverbs
    -Extreme overuse of LY adjectives
    – incorrect and overuse of semi-colons.
    -Overuse of long words like: “disproportionate” and “arrangement”: and “perfectly-preserved.” Descriptive words/phrases that shouldn’t be hyphenated.
    -overuse of hard-boiled jargon that doesn’t fit the era: “rough-shod”?

    From the script:
    BOOM.

    The front door thunders open, and building joists creak under the weight of the newcomer.

    But that’s the rub. While frightening at first glace, Dan is comically disproportionate. In addition to his arms, thighs the size of bookcases dwarf a cinched-in waist.

    But it’s too late; the front window EXPLODES inwards, and a
    tropical-colored LUMP skids across the floor.

    Questions:
    Does Dan have a dwarf cinched in his waist?
    Can doors thunder open?
    What is a tropical-colored LUMP?

    • Dan B

      My guess on question one… Dwarf is being used as a verb, as in his huge thighs make his waist look small or tight in comparison.

      Thunder Open is probably not the best wording, but I can get the picture of what’s happening… maybe because the term thundering or thunder is used all the time in sccreenplays.

      The LUMP? Yeah I dunno

    • Scott Crawford

      It wasn’t my favorite writing but it was OK. I like the effort he puts into his writing so I’m sure he’ll improve over time. We all do.

    • Zero

      I don’t know if it’s that bad. The ‘tropical colored lump’ is described right after – where it says ‘not a grenade…’.

      Of course, it takes the author six lines to get across that HARRY is a cat-sized bird with yellow and green plumage. It could use a little more pop than that, but if I can get it across in eleven words, the author should be able to do it well in one or two sentences.

      But while the writing does indeed need tightening and proofreading, I don’t think it’s enough to distract a lot from the story.

  • Scott Crawford

    Whoa! Excellent summary!

    I agree with you, I don’t have a problem with people using “swears” in scripts, as long as they use them appropriately and proportionately. And that it matches the tone. Here it jumped out at me. No need to apologize, Eric! You’re a great contributor (despite your scary avatar!).

  • Dan B

    Quick note on Otherside…

    The Character Alex is described as a lady-explorer. Okay, maybe it’s just me but I thought all three explorers were guys entering the temple, and by your description you were implying that Alex is a ladies man or something. Wasn’t till later when you said “her” that I realized that this was a female character. My tip is, if you’re going to use that description, maybe don’t use a unisex name. Or if you love the name, change the description.

    • Citizen M

      Now that you mention it, “lady-explorer” does sound a bit pervy.

  • Scott Crawford

    Somonson, email me at mr.scottcrawford@hotmail.com and I’ll send you a link.

  • Frankie Hollywood

    Just a quick note on one of my pet peeves. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE NEVER use androgynous/unisex names. Like “Alex.”

    You may have spent months (if not years) on your script so everything makes perfect sense to you, but the reader is brand new to it. And confusing them with names that could go either way is a very realistic way to annoy them.

    One of my best friends in high school was a guy named Alex, but in one of today’s scripts Alex is a woman. And I once read a script where the woman was named Sam and her boyfriend was Francis (no lie).

    Here’s a list of names to avoid like the plague (and, yes, ironically Frankie is #13 – but I’m not a character in a screenplay). http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/there-are-922-unisex-names-in-america-is-yours-one-of-them/

    Even if your character is transgender or it’s a coming of age story where the character is struggling with his/her sexual identity, using a unisex name is then “on the nose.”

    PLEASE AVOID UNISEX NAMES. They only confuse/annoy readers.

    • FX

      Well, there’s nothing wrong with unisex names (I have a character called Alex) but I agree there should never be any confusion. A name like Alex leans more to male than it does to female, so I would follow that and use it only as a male name.

      And using any unisex name on occasion is fine, as long as you make it obvious that it is specifically either a male or a female.

      The problem comes when using unisex names for multiple characters in your script at the same time. Alex is going out with Sam, and Sam is friends with Frankie, who was in a relationship with Casey, whose cousin is Reese.

      That gets confusing fast.

      • Frankie Hollywood

        “And using any unisex name on occasion is fine, as long as you make it obvious that it is specifically either a male or a female.”

        I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

      • Marija ZombiGirl

        But WHY use a unisex name that confuses/annoys the hell out of maybe that ONE reader you want to impress when there are literally thousands of perfectly good and even beautiful names that Beloved Reader will just register once and for all and not think twice about later on?

        Pet peeve? No, just common sense. It is important to choose the right name for a character and I will spend time to search and write down several names until I find the one that clicks for whatever reason. Also, you won’t run the risk of Beloved Reader confusing your Alex/Sam/Chris/Whatever with the half dozen other Alex/Sam/Chris/Whatevers that they’ve read about this month or even this week. Or maybe it was the previous script that is already in the Pass stack.

    • Citizen M

      I am seriously considering stopping reading at the first unisex name. It takes needless mental effort to remember that a male name actually refers to a female. If we saw the character on the screen, we would immediately know their gender. Names should be as distinctive as appearance to give the reader the same experience as the viewer.

    • Greg

      Alexandretta… Alexandretta! Of course! On the pilgrim trail from the Eastern Empire. Frankie you did it!

    • Citizen M

      I regard Alix as the female version of Alex.

      Wallis is the female of Wallace (as in Wallis Simpson for whom a king abdicated his throne)

  • http://www.linkedin.com/pub/brett-martin/52/702/72 ElectricDreamer

    Much props to this week’s candidates. Only two scripts kept me reading to page 20…

    My Vote: SMART HOME.
    Honorable Mention: AMERICAN FUNERAL.

    DAN DEMONIC and OTHERSIDE INC. shared a lot of the same problems for me. First and foremost, The Absurdity Rule was broken big time. Having absurd characters in an absurd setting gives the reader nothing to latch onto in your tale. BEETLEJUICE has Lydia. GotG has Peter Quill. Yesterday’s Cthulu jamboree spec, MONSTER PROBLEMS, has Joel. Either your setting or one of your characters need to ground the reader. Both scripts had voracious world-building. I get that the writers love their genre staples, but all that eye candy was mired in exposition-stuffed backstory. Lastly, both of these scripts feel much more like cartoons and less like live action features. My early writing was like this. Out at 15.

    THE ILIAD has some stout visuals and grammar. Tight sentences. I don’t recall much of the Homer poem. Despite a beefy character count, I kept reading. However, the lack of a clear protag in the opening pages wore me down pretty fast. The action was exhaustive at times, but I wanted to know more about the kidnapped queen. She was the only character that caught my interest. 93 pages feels thin for the subject matter to me. 20% in and the dust is still settling from the prologue battle. I’m out at page 17.

    The two scripts that I did choose happen to share a big problem: Genre Identity Issues. SMART HOME is ripe to be a contained thriller Man vs. Tech blowout. But the script reads like a road trip comedy. And AMERICAN FUNERAL is begging to be a rural indie flick full of close to home peril and mystery. But the script reads like a dustbowl drama. I never felt any threat or sense a hint of horror on the page.

    However, both these scripts are taking decent conceptual stabs at the Great Contained Concept Pinata in the sky. And for that they deserve props. They both also have pretty obvious protags. The housebound boy is more sympathetic, but the quippy Tokyo traveller is more proactive on the page. In the end, it came down to voice for me. FUNERAL assaulted me with purple prose and alliteration in the prologue. While HOME was a fast read filled with modernity on every page. I think that voice should be read by Carson.

  • Frankie Hollywood

    Good call/eye.

    I would also say that phonetically they also sound too much alike. How about a Michael or a Desmond. And I always like racially diverse casts: instead of Alex make her Akiko and instead of Sam make him Santiago. No one’s gonna get confused by those.

  • carsonreeves1

    There’s truth to this statement. I think a lot of people here put a lot of time into the craft and they don’t like seeing basic mistakes, forgetting that some writers are just beginning and are going to make basic mistakes (I’m including myself in this).

    With that said, it’s good to have your writing being held to a higher standard, as you don’t learn a lot if people are too delicate with you. But I agree that the community could be a little more “Here’s what I think you can work on” as opposed to “That sucked, what’s your problem?” In short, let’s help each other out guys!

    • klmn

      Plenty of commenters here give props to what works as well as pointing out what doesn’t. Some even read multiple scripts in their entirety (I rarely do).

      But it’s a thankless task. There is little upside to commenting here, other than the few fellow commenters you make contact with through email..

    • lesbiancannibal

      Yeah but there’s righteous anger.

      It’s like if someone wants to become a chef and they cook you a meal.

      If they serve you raw chicken, you’ve surely got the right to say ‘come on man, at least learn how to work the fucking oven before you invite me round’.

      Opening a script and finding it littered with poor spelling and grammar is the equivalent of a would-be chef not even bothering to wash their hands before preparing your meal.

      I think people kicked off a little at the poster above because his syntax is very similar to people who come on in support of their mates, usually from a screenwriting class. Maybe that’s why, because he’s also studied screenwriting in college, so he writes his feedback in a certain way.

      I am also a lurker and rarely post, mainly because I haven’t submitted a script to AF yet so don’t feel it’s all that fair to tear down other people’s scripts.

  • Citizen M

    My vote this week is a tie between DAN DEMONIC and SMARTHOME.

    OTHERSIDE INC

    Read to page 20. I had two main problems. A) Nothing much seemed to be happening; and B) The characters knew stuff I didn’t. Then there was the always-irritating female with a male name (Alex), plus assorted extraordinary creatures with ordinary names. It may be hipster-ironic, but it doesn’t make the read any easier. Names have to take the place of actually seeing the character. Make them as distinctive and informative as appearance. Also, scene numbers are not needed.

    I was put off by the very first scene. Destroying and stealing cultural artifacts I associate with ISIS. Indiana Jones has conditioned us to think of archeologists as good guys. These are too bad to be good, and not bad enough to be bad. I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about them.

    Wallis joins the company because she has a certain skill. What is it? She knows, Rekha knows, they talk about it, but I don’t know. That makes me feel left out. That’s not what you want a reviewer to feel. You want us to feel engaged.

    Spend some time describing the creatures. I confused minotaur with centaur (a minotaur is a man with the head of a bull). I had no idea what an ifrit was (a giant winged smoke creature). Scripts are no fun to read when you have to stop and google stuff.

    A boring office scene remains a boring office scene if you replace the boring people with strange creatures. It’s not funny either. You need things to be happening. Situations set up that we know the dreadful outcomes of if something isn’t done. Here a gem is missing. What will happen if it’s not recovered? I have no idea, so I don’t feel the need to read on and find out what happened. Nor do I care anything for the Wu brothers, because i know nothing about them. If their precious gem is missing, so what?

    Is the scene with Rekha’s parents necessary. It seems like padding to give a bit of color. If they’re not part of the plot, drop it. It’s slowing things down.

    DAN DEMONIC

    Read to page 33. Easily readable and lots of fun, the world is quickly set up and efficiently described, but I’m getting a bit tired of demons Dan and Harry. Their constant bickering seems to be getting us nowhere. The writer seems more interested in world-building than in story-telling. I want to see progress on getting the wormhole machine fixed. And what was the Courier carrying that was so important? Don’t keep us in suspense for so long; we lose interest.

    Warning: Do not google “African Great Tit”

    THE ILIAD

    Read to page 10. Heavy going. Lots of exposition, not much action resulting from characters’ choices. I’m not sure how the viewer will know who is a king and of what land. Maybe it’s not important. I don’t know the Iliad. I need more background that I’m getting from the script. Where exactly are we, in modern terms? And who is fighting who? We have kings of Argos, Pylos, Salamis, Mycenae, Sparta, Ithaca, Troy, and Lyrnessus. Who is allied with who? What are the issues? Perhaps just focus on one or two key characters and their motivations, rather than the whole picture.

    AMERICAN FUNERAL

    Read to page 15. The writing is far too novelistic. Too many unfilmables. You need a more graphic way to demonstrate agoraphobia. It wasn’t until I reread the logline that i realized that was why Dougie was scared to go outside. Maybe it would be better to start with Nancy and co going off to the funeral, and her reciting the rules to him before she goes. Then when he’s alone he breaks the rules. That builds tension, because we know punishment will follow discovery, and also we want to find out why such a weird set of rules. As it is, I’m not feeling any threat to Dougie.

    S M A R T H O M E

    Read to page 26. I’d like to read on but i have to go. The first scene at the airports was confusing because i couldn’t figure out if the ticket agent was in the airport, or Jim was talking to her on the phone. Interesting use of modern apps, although the millenial comparisons were overdone. Windows 8 has become Windows 10, otherwise it seems bang up to date. I know the Japanese are crazy about gadgetry, so the smart home didn’t seem too way out. I’m guessing this is set a little bit into the future. I’m not aware that the stuff described is available now, but it’s close. It’s Kafka brought up to date, with an uncaring call center and a vengeful house with no escape. I just wonder if there’s enough material for a full-length movie.

    • BellBlaq

      Warning: Do not google “African Great Tit”

      I read this and immediately thought of the “Hottentot Venus.” Is it worse than that?

      • klmn

        I think it’s a bird.

        • BellBlaq

          Now idk how to feel about that.

          • klmn

            Of course I had to Google to see what the warning was for. Google – being a directory service – will direct you first to porn sites that presumably pay for the prominent listing.

            Wikipedia – being a noncommercial encyclopedia – gives better results.

  • harveywilkinson

    A lot of the comments make me fear that the Scriptshadow readership has an alarmingly poor grasp of and/or pays no attention to what types of specs are commercially viable in the current market. I’m speaking in particular to a lot of comments which reflect an opinion that a straightforward retelling of THE ODYSSEY has any commercial potential whatsoever.

    There is no appetite for a straightforward historical epic as a spec. None. I’m happy to stand corrected if someone can cite me the recent studio purchases of SPEC scripts which are straightforward, without-a-twist retellings of familiar historic stories.

    The “historical” specs which actually have sold at a high (i.e. studio) level take a familiar story or character and add zombies and werewolves and vampires and time travel or some combination of the above. At the very least they will take a revisionist historical approach to a familiar character or story and make it a speculative origin story or flip the perspective — Noah’s arc from the perspective of the pair of giraffes or whatever.

    Otherwise the more faithful/straightforward historic epics which make it to the screen do not do so as specs, they do so as the product of a powerful filmmaker willing it into existence. Aronofsky’s NOAH, Spielberg’s LINCOLN, etc…

    The way to gauge the commercial viability of a spec script is to see if it similarly-situated scripts have sold AS SPECS in the marketplace. Straightforward, faithful, without-a-twist, Cliff’s Notes-style renditions of ancient historical events do not sell as specs and should not be considered commercially viable as specs.

    I don’t mean to knock the writer’s choice to write this script — I’m more alarmed by the number of commenters who seem to think it has commercial potential. God knows it’s hard enough to get any traction whatsoever in any form in this industry as an unknown writer, I find it alarming when writers make it so much harder on themselves by not working hard to understand the industry — in particular the spec market.

    • Scott Crawford

      It’s not about selling, it’s about getting reads. Hardly any script sells, even the good ones, but not very many scripts even get read. A script based on the Iliad or King Arthur or Dick Turpin or George Formby: Nazi Smasher is more likely to get noticed than yet another zombie apocalypse story.

      More to the point, one has to write what one knows or likes. I’ve gotta believe it’s better to write something that means something to you than just something you THING someone else MIGHT want to buy.

      My PROBLEM with The Iliad (this script) is that it lacks a personal twist, a focus, a writer’s voice. But I didn’t know that until I started to read it. And I only started to read it because I am drawn towards well-researched historical scripts (over the others).

    • Howie428

      There may be some truth in what you’re saying, but I feel obligated to point out that you have an alarmingly poor grasp on what faithful historical epics are… The Odyssey includes a cyclops, a witch-goddess, a six-headed monster, and a giant sea beast, among numerous other such fantastical story elements. Not really comparable to Spielberg’s Lincoln. It’s more comparable with say Clash of the Titans.
      The Iliad is a more grounded story, but still not a dry bit of history. Hollywood has not found it difficult to cowboy it up enough to make movies based on that stuff, like Troy and 300. You might be right that selling a spec based on that material is unlikely, but selling any spec based on anything is unlikely, so it’s fair game in principle.

      • Scott Crawford

        The Iliad doesn’t include the Trojan Horse. David Benioff put that in Troy from the Aeneid.

        This weekend’s script focuses on the actual story Homer told. Just checked the script, ends the same way. No Trojan Horse.

        • Howie428

          True, The Iliad is a slice of the overall story that covers only a few days. Even Achilles’ heel injury and corresponding death doesn’t make the cut!
          However, both of the Homer books are, as I understand it, believed to be derived from oral story telling traditions. Travelling story tellers would accept payment and housing in return for retelling these famous stories. The two books are documented formulations drawn from the much wider traditions.
          In our modern world it might be the equivalent of picking two movies from the Marvel Universe and only having those to represent the whole. Within each there would be call backs and hints that would remind people at the time of other stories they may have heard.
          For example, The Odyssey does mention the Trojan Horse, but doesn’t tell the story in any detail. The assumption would be that it serves as a trailer, and you’d have to pay the travelling story teller another admission fee if you want to hear that one!

  • Midnight Luck

    I am saying that there are so many people who say they have been coming on here for 4-7-whatever years, and then magically appear and disappear right when their script gets chosen for AoW. That to me is cowardly.
    They come on, chat like crazy for about a week around when their script appears, say they are always on the site for x number of years, and then disappear forever when their script didn’t do what they wished.
    That is what I am calling bullshit on. That the people are on here for all those years and have never had a thing to say.
    So, if you are a TV focused writer, I am confused why you think all the rest of what is discussed doesn’t pertain to what you write?
    A script is a script is a script. And yes some of them have their own unique differences, as TV scripts do, but basically they are still the same. Same “rules” apply.
    There is a ton of info to learn and gather and question on here, even if it does focus mainly on Spec Feature Screenplays.
    I just don’t see how or why that would make you not want to discuss or come on here at all for 7 YEARS! that is an incredibly long time to never have a thing to say on a site you theoretically enjoy coming to.

    That’s the disconnect I don’t understand, feel free to enlighten me.

    We are here to help, and yes, even I am. I just have a difficult time candy coating things. I don’t believe being easy on a writer so they “feel good” or don’t get their feelings hurt HELPS them in any way. It is rough out there and painful, and if a writer can’t take a commenters opinion on a blog like this, well, they are never going to make it in the real world.

    It is nice to meet you as well, and I am sure the more people we get on here asking about TV specific writing, pushing the TV scripts, the more we will actually have of that. If you don’t speak up, nothing will change, so we need your voice.

  • Scott Crawford
    • Dan B

      Wait… those are four separate fucking movies???!!

      • Midnight Luck

        I believe there is no sex involved.

  • Daivon Stuckey

    I wanted to make this small list of better names to consider using in your script, for your main or supporting characters. These names are NOT unisex, they are not super common, but they are not so weird that you will never see them.

    Lorelei
    Victoria
    Patrick
    Nathaniel
    Carmen
    Cynthia
    Dennis
    Elizabeth
    Theo
    Vera
    Eli
    Zeke
    Gale
    Decker
    Isaac
    Harvey

    The names of the characters from my 250 script: Margo, Laurel, Ivy, Cyprus, Christian, Ashley

    Seriously STAY AWAY FROM THE UNISEX NAMES.

    • brenkilco

      Pat and Nat are unisex. Theo is often short for theodore but is also a woman’s name. Gale and Gail can cause confusion.

      • Daivon Stuckey

        I didn’t say Pat and Nat. I said Patrick and Nathaniel. I’ve never heard a woman named Theo, and who the heck would name a boy Gale?

        • Caivu

          Gale Gordon and Gale Harold, both actors. Gale McGee, a former (and late) U.S. Senator.
          Gale Boetticher, short-lived meth-cooking partner of Walter White.

          • Citizen M

            There must be a joke there. “Gale, Cale, and Dale walk into a bar…”

          • Daivon Stuckey

            Up, you got me with the Breaking Bad.

        • brenkilco

          Gale Gordon was Lucille Ball’s blustering boss on her sixties TV show. And I had a female music teacher in grade school named theo. And a guy named Nathaniel would have to be an awful dweeb to want to be addressed as Nathaniel. Probably why the hero of Last of The Mohicans calls himself Hawkeye.

  • ripleyy

    OT: I was wondering if someone could very (VERY) kindly give me feedback on the logline I’ve written down below? I’ve been chipping away at it repeatedly and it’s driving me nuts.

    There’s even upvotes for those who can tell me if the logline itself is/is not interesting or if it makes sense/doesn’t make any sense! So if you’re really into your upvotes, this is your chance to make me and you happy.

    “An actress moonlighting as an amateur archaeologist goes up against her own father to find a legendary jewel that can make any wish come true”.

    • ThomasBrownen

      I got a little confused about what an actress would have to do with being an archaeologist, and “goes up against” seems a little vague. Good luck with it!

      • Frankie Hollywood

        Agreed. I’d drop actress (unless it’s vital to the story, even then maybe it’s not needed in the logline) and replace it with some type of conflict with her father.

        “An amateur archaeologist goes up against her *backstabbing father to find a legendary jewel that can make any wish come true”.

        *conniving, abusive, ex-con, seedy/shady, etc.

        • ripleyy

          To answer you both (you know, two birds and all that), being an actress is important. Personally I would rather add “struggling actress” but I fear that I’d make the logline too thick to digest.

          Even though she is a low-key actress, I can get rid of it and focus entirely on the archaeologist portion and leave the actress stuff for the script.

          As for Frankie, good logline. Her father, while an antagonist, is not an evil man. Although the whole point of a logline is to get butts in seats, so I would be happy to add something like “backstabbing” just to peak interests.

          (I gave Frankie one upvote, but I want to imagine it’s more akin to 1-THOUSAND)

          • Frankie Hollywood

            HAHA. Speaking of UP votes. I have no idea why mine keep disappearing. No matter what browser I use (Chrome, Firefox, Explorer) every time I refresh the page they’re all gone. WTF?

            Disqus has no idea what’s going on (they’re not very helpful), and it only happens on Scriptshadow. Maybe Carson doesn’t like me awarding Gold Stars.

          • ripleyy

            I think Carson is stealing your upvotes :(

          • Wijnand Krabman

            what’s the point considering the upvotes? A place in heaven?

          • Dan B

            Leave the actress part in the script if it’s important, but I don’t think it adds any intrigue to the log line. Just my opinion.

          • klmn

            The actress stuff may be important for the script, but it might not be for the logline. If you can include why it’s important, that’s a plus.

          • ripleyy

            Absolutely and that’s why loglines are important. There WILL BE important information, but there is also the sacrifice as to include it into the logline or not. You bring up a really good point.

          • klmn

            Actually, the whole point of a logline is to get your script read.

      • ripleyy

        Upvote for you, good sir!

        • ThomasBrownen

          Thanks! But my motives are more shallow than that. I’m working on a script right now… and I’m here procrastinating!

          • ripleyy

            I know the feeling. I’ve currently locked myself in a room similar to the one Brie Larsen found herself just to get into the mood and get some long overdue writing done.

    • klmn

      Your logline shows some conflict, so it’s good on that score.

    • Midnight Luck

      An actress and her father find themselves on an archeological hunt, where they battle each other for a legendary jewel capable of making wishes come true.

      • ripleyy

        Really like the wording of this one!

        • Midnight Luck

          Thank you.
          But it is still missing something I think, do these wishes affect the father and daughter specifically? Is there irony? A theme?

          • ripleyy

            Shakespearean would be the best way to describe it. The father abandoned the young woman when she was a baby after the mother died during childbirth. He has since resented her through grief, and his action to leave her has seen her be a foster child (hence her being an actress, as it is her escape)

            The theme would be loss and how to forgive, as for him he needs to overcome his grief (the Jewel would bring back his wife) and for her to forgive him (she is an emotional wreck). An adventure, sure, and it has the humour and wit to save it from melodrama (that I can assure) but mature never the less.

            If they can overcome both their problems, then they can save one another and if not, well…

            Though there is no irony (sadly. I did try) there is theme. I have worked hard to get everything right behind the scenes. All I need to do is get the logline right and write it. :)

          • Citizen M

            It’s unclear what the main problem is. Are they racing each other to locate the jewel? What are the stakes to the one who doesn’t find the jewel?

            “An actress races to locate a fabled jewel that will grant wishes. Her opponent, her own father who abandoned her and wishes her dead after his beloved wife died giving birth to her.”

            Too clunky, I know.

          • ripleyy

            I’ve since found a fault in the story since I put this up regarding the jewel and the stakes attached to it, so I’m glad I got this up.

            As for your logline, I like it.

          • Wijnand Krabman

            agree, why are they racing against eachother thy could cooperate and share the jewell.

          • Emotionoid

            An amateur archaeologist and her estranged father race against each other to find the legendary jewel which can grant any wish.

          • ripleyy

            Yeah, I need to think more about stakes. That’s the one thing I’m gonna have to think a lot more. :)

          • brenkilco

            I don’t get the problem here. If his aim is to get the jewel and resurrect Mom, why is the daughter determined to thwart him? Also tough to mix a mature, study of grief and forgiveness with a story that promises a treasure hunt for a supernatural thingamabob.

          • ripleyy

            Hence the fact that I have decided to go back to the drawing board. I thought it worked personally but I’ve now realised that it might not.

          • klmn

            A jewel with the power to grant any wish divides an archaeologist and his daughter – she wants to bring her mother back to life, he wishes his daughter dead.

            My attempt. Best I can do.

    • Dan B

      Number 2 works better — the first one seems busy with the extra detail about her being an actress.

    • Eddie Panta

      Short, character based loglines should strip down as follows:

      SUBJECT must decide whether or not to do the last thing in the world they want to do when it becomes a matter of life or death.

      You can swap out the stakes, above it’s, life or death ( survival)
      But it can be, to save a marriage, or loved one.
      Or
      To prove her father wrong..

      But is this an event based story, a legend that becomes a reality..?

      the logline doesn’t promise a world in which “wishes” come true. The hook, supernatural hint wish fulfillment, is fairly broad.

      There seems to be a battle, but no sign of past-tense or present tense conflict between father and daughter. Lacks adj the suggest attitude, type of father. another label besides archaeologist, one that implies past tense struggle..

      A battle of the sexes ensues when a failed actress takes on the role of an archaeologist to beat her father in a race to find —, a legendary jewel that can grant any wish

      Consider:
      Coming up with a name for the JEWEL i.e. American Indian
      Include a rule about how the JEWEL works– any wish is too broad.
      Change: can make any wish come true, to… grants wishes to….

      • ripleyy

        The name of the jewel is very simply named “Vivienne” ( but could and very well might change, but the name is less important until everything else is fixed)

        I agree that “any wish” is broad. Good work and plenty here for me to chew on. Perhaps any desire might work better. A but more flavour to it.

        • Eddie Panta

          I guess my main question is: Why are both the daughter and father believers.

          Also, nine times out of ten, I believe the story would go something like: After the death of an eccentric and infamous archaeologist, his actress daughter decides to pick up where her father left off on the hunt for a legendary necklace believed to grant any wish.

          Not clear on which character is the crazy one, or who the task will drive crazy…The Father or the Daughter?

          Clearly, the father daughter conflict seems to be a harder approach, but that part of your story needs to come through on the logline.

          • ripleyy

            The father is an archaelologist, which is why the actress decided to be one herself. She has idolised him, and when they finally meet, the feeling is not mutral. The father isn’t so much crazy as in a little delusional.

    • BoSoxBoy

      Taking some liberties with the details of the story, but feel it needs some conflict and excitement–

      “A woman estranged from her family goes on a secret archaeology mission to find a mythical jewel with magical powers before her ruthless father finds it first and carries out his plan to [insert devious intent].”

      • ripleyy

        Really liking “ruthless” and very well could be the word I’m looking for. As with conflict through the logline, it’s always a little difficult and getting down to the conflict in the story would turn the logline into a paragraph. Excitement is another thing that is hard.

        There are so many elements inside the script itself that it would need to be a post for another day when it’s complete.

    • Paul Schellens

      It’s all background and very little story at the moment. ‘goes up against’ is all we have as a story hook. Some others have suggested using ‘races against’ which is definitely more active. How about ‘races around the world’, ‘races against the clock’, ‘battle of wits’, ‘exotic location’ etc. Why is your story fun/a must see?
      Also, is there any irony that you can use?

      • ripleyy

        “Race against”, admittedly, is a lot better. And the story is unique as it’s an “Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider set in space”, which to me was the hook. It puts a spin on the genre.

        • Paul Schellens

          Space archaeologist. That’s great. That HAS to be in there.
          I think a good logline makes you start imagining some cool scenes, and that makes you want to know more.
          The first cool thing that comes to my mind when I think of ‘Space Archaeologist’ is a dig at the site of the pyramid on Mars to find out more about the species that seeded life on earth. Crazy. I know. But with no other info, that’s what our brains do – fill in the gaps with stuff that interests us. (And I tend to like more plausible, grounded stuff rather than Guardians of the Galaxy type fare.)
          So, maybe you need another clue or two to point our imaginations in the right direction.
          But it sounds fun! Good luck.

          • ripleyy

            Yeah, I think space archaeologist is cooler than what I had the job as, but you are correct that she goes off to planets and finds alien civilisations and stuff like that :) I just need to dig – no pun intended- a little more and see what I can find. Although the pyramid on Mars is very cool! So who knows

          • Paul Schellens

            Now I’m getting curious. Are these alien species all extinct? i.e. so that an archaeologist is required? If so, are ALL other alien species extinct and humans are the only ones to survive? The MUST ANSWER question then becomes, how do we avoid the same fate? Is the jewel the key? The irony being that if you can get any wish, you end up destroying yourselves?

            Sorry if that’s in the complete opposite direction of where you’re going. But it’s just an example of what people might assume given limited information in a logline. It’s a real challenge and I’m no good at it myself, but trying to get better.

          • ripleyy

            Well in the “universe”, humans inhabit a solar system with extinct alien civilizations and archaeology has become so popular – and there are so many ancient civilizations and ruins to explore – that it’s considered the “cool job”. It’s reached celebrity status.

            Perhaps the jewel could be as simple be a key to something else? That it’s just one part of a much larger picture. Getting it will unlock another portion of the story.

            Yeah, loglines and the lack of information is a problem but I didn’t want to overwhelm people with so much information. The next time, I’ll give more information so it helps people get a better sense of what the story actually is. That’s my bad.

          • Greg

            Keep in mind the most famous Space Archaeologist of all time is Jean Luc Picard.

    • Stephjones

      A wishing stone offers hope for an estranged daughter who wishes for the love of a father who wants the same stone in order to wish she’d never been born.

      • ripleyy

        This one is really good. “A wishing stone” is actually a lot nicer than “Jewel”. Plus, the fact he wishes she was never born is an excellent angle I never thought about before. It really works. Thanks!

    • charliesb

      A few questions.
      Does this story take place in the present day?
      Does the daughter need to be an archaeologist?

      • ripleyy

        It is an adventure in the vein as Tomb Raider, set in a galaxy. The reason for this is because there is only so many times someone can go after El Doroado, you know?

        • charliesb

          It does sound a little like RISE OF TOMB RAIDER, except that the father is still alive. I like that it’s set across a galaxy, but I do think your main character should not be an archeologist at all. All her (limited) knowledge should come from observing her father as a child. And going into this treasure hunt she is completely in over her head, and has to use her wits and ingenuity to get through it.

          Good luck with it!

    • S_P_1

      (Name) while researching the Oscar bait role of Jane Goodall, becomes a target of an investigation for her estranged father international archival thief (Name).

      Under 30 words.

      I couldn’t find any instantly recognizable female archaeologists, so I went with famous female scientists.

      I tied an important career achievement (Oscar) with a police investigation and a father she never knew who steals cultural and scientific antiquities.

      Although I don’t make mention of the supernatural aspect of a jewel you can infer it as a legend of a famous gem.

      This triangle of drama can be complicated by the actress developing feelings for the lead investigator. The investigator already having a family. The father having remarried and actually raises his wife’s child. The father knowing his first wife had an affair and questions whether or not he’s the biological father.

      • ripleyy

        This is actually a pretty good, alternative way, of putting it. We can strip away the archaelologist angle and have her searching for this actress. Very noir. Thanks!

    • Erica

      I liked both as they would intrigue me to read or watch the movie. I did feel Laura Croft jump at me.

      What a about something like:

      A out of work actress discovers her estranged archaeologist father is seeking a legendary jewel that can grant any wish, she purses the jewel herself in hopes to bring back her mom.

      Just throwing out idea’s that can be built on.

      • ripleyy

        I really like this. Have the father be the archaelologist and her, just a lowly actress. The only thing I need to go back to is the Jewel aspect. It just doesn’t seem to work but I really like the wording of this logline.

        Plus, the Lara Croft angle is what I’m going for. So glad someone picked that up!

        • Erica

          Glad you like it, I can’t wait to read your script.

  • Howie428

    I’m voting for DAN DEMONIC, even though I’ve got some hesitations on it.

    I got about ten pages or so into each of these and made the following notes…

    THE ILIAD

    My initial response to this was, “Cool subject, but what can you add?”

    The opening visual is great. I’m surprised you’ve given Achilles an early negative attitude. The read feels thick and while it touches the expected bases, I guess I’m not seeing an x-factor that sets this take apart. Instead, in my mind I’m picturing a re-edit of Troy, Brad Pitt and all.

    AMERICAN FUNERAL

    It’s like that title page is designed to tweak noses…

    “Full force fear and fucking trepidation…” – This is not a visual of anything. Then descriptions like “Knees knocking” don’t do anything either until you tell us whose knees they are.

    “It‘s a somber place. It has that a feel that a home gets when a loved one is dead or when love is just fucking dead.” – The odd narrative aside can be fine, but they need to be done well and backed up by the events around them. For me this one doesn’t have that.

    “What the hell happened up here?” – Perhaps you could describe something that would allow me to know or even become curious, instead of wasting my time and your page space.

    The first ten pages of this largely consists of a heavy breathing, bladder challenged kid walking about a house. There’s a bit of mystery established, but unfortunately not enough to keep me reading.

    DAN DEMONIC

    Fun opening page.

    Twelve pages in and I’m seeing the beginning of an interested two handed story. The world here is fun even if the demon side of it feels a bit consequence free. They fight each other and destroy stuff, but it doesn’t matter at all.

    The girl’s story is more compelling, but we haven’t seen much of it yet. I’m a bit worried that we might be jumping into the middle of the story when we arrive at the five years later. They already have their plan and seem to be surviving okay as they wait for the ingredients to do it.

    I read on to page 25, and even though it would be challenging to get this made, it has a fun setting and a couple of cool characters. I’m a bit surprised to see Dan kill someone this early since I had figured on a big part of his relationship with Liz being based on his need to kill her even as they presumably become pals. By fulfilling this need early on it feels like you might have taken the spice out of his character.

    OTHERSIDE INC.

    The teaser open has a big fun side to it, even if we’re not clear what’s going on and the tone makes it seem frivolous.

    That’s followed by an extended intro to the company that the newbie seems unfazed by. If she doesn’t get bothered, why should we? It reminds me of the M.I.B/R.I.P.D thing, and for me what you have here isn’t funny enough or fresh enough to standout in that crowd.

    S M A R T H O M E

    The idea of this is fine and there is a relaxed jokey tone to the opening. However, so far I don’t care much about the lead.

    Also, it feels like the story launches into its core really quickly, which gives it the feel of an extended sketch.

    Everyone is talking the same way and there is no Japaneseness coming through even though this is set in Japan.

    The early bits in the house have some fun, but I’m feeling like I’m waiting for stuff to start happening.

    Whenever I see a character forced to talk to himself it makes me wonder whether he/she could use some company. In this case it feels like this would be much easier to work with if you had a group of stuck travelers agree to share this house.

  • HRV

    Read the first 20 of Otherside Inc. Citizen M already expressed the same thoughts I had, so I won’t repeat them.

  • Paul Clarke

    Obviously Alex is a man who explores the ladies – hence ‘lady-explorer’ ;)

  • BellBlaq

    My Vote: American Funeral
    And that’s simply b/c since the writer said they wanted to be directly compared to ELI, I think Carson should oblige them.

    My runner up is DAN DEMONIC b/c I actually enjoyed reading that one (for the most part).

    That said, I read the first 15 of each entry and one thing stood out to me about 4 out of 5 of them: I barely had any idea what was happening. Yes, you’re supposed to write a story as if the audience is stepping into a life in progress, but as a writer, you still have explain that life to the audience.

    I really wanted to do like last time and give extensive notes for the first 30 of one entry (preferably one whose writer’s active on the board today), but my impressions were so negative, I felt like I’d just come off as mean. But I’ll still give my overall impressions and starkest concerns, for what they’re worth.

    THE ILIAD
    Too much going on. Too many characters. Too many activities to follow. Malibo Jackk described this as a cliffnotes version, and he’s right. Pick a character and follow that character within the scope of the epic. Direct us to one distinct storyline. Also, your dialogue left a lot to be desired. In an epic, the characters need to be epic. Movie like this are supposed to showcase great monologues and speeches. In the first 15, nearly none of your characters spoke more than one sentence at a time, and some of them weren’t even complete sentences at that. These aren’t daft, middling people; they’re KINGS, PRIESTS and WARRIORS. Represent them as such in every way.

    OTHERSIDE INC
    Like with ILIAD, there’s too much going on and I can’t make heads or tails of it. I have no reference points. It’s like the writers just made up a bunch of stuff and said, “fuck yeah, man, we’re awesome!”
    There’s no such thing as too much imagination, but there is a such thing as not enough context. Also, your characters lack consistency and basic realism. (I forget the character’s names, sorry) The guy who broke his leg somehow became impervious to pain. The girl starting her new job went from being (rightly) anxious and freaked out to totally at home, like she’d worked in that madhouse for years. And on a similar note, who’s the protag in this script? It’s impossible to tell in the first 15. We’re given no personal insight into anyone.

    DAN DEMONIC
    I found this goofy and fun. I could see the story you were going to tell after the Act 1 setup. It kind of reminded me of the SOUTH PARK movie. And that short-lived TV show REAPER. I don’t think I have anything productive to say about this one from the first 15. Sorry.

    AMERICAN FUNERAL
    I feel like the writer for this one wants to set up a mystery–what’s up with Dougie–but the story doesn’t come off mysteriously. Instead, it comes off confusingly. I’ll use an example from a terrible movie: THE FORGOTTEN. In FORGOTTEN, there’s a child who’s existence is systematically removed from the memories of everyone who knew him. So to set up that mystery, on Day 1 we see a photo of the family–mom, dad and child. On Day 2, mom passes the photo, and the child is no longer in it. That’s a mystery. Before and after.
    In FUNERAL, it seemed like that same mystery would go more like this: “mom walks through the living room, passes a family photo… but there’s something off about it… something MISSING… maybe a forgotten child…?”
    That’s not mystery, that’s confusion.

    SMARTHOME
    Where’s the ambiance? Where’s the background (noise and movement)? The first 15 pages are pure dialogue. And I get that people do this–OUT OF SIGHT had a great, dreamy sequence where the leads simply talked and nothing else happened around them, it was all about them, but that was dreamy, this is simply barren. If your script’s going to be mainly dialogue, it needs to be excellent dialogue. This doesn’t have movie dialogue, it has “writer’s voice” dialogue, meaning I can tell it’s how the writer talks in real life. Now, that’s great for the writing, and getting us in tune with your “voice” (like I said), but the speech needs to be elevated when the characters speak it. But, you know what? Beyond that, this isn’t a “talky”-style movie anyway, so regardless, there still needs to be more actual stuff happening around the characters for us to look at while we listen.

    Ok, now I feel like I should say something good about everyone (for a little bit of balance)…

    ILIAD: I think your action and scene descriptions were clear and easy to visualize.

    OTHERSIDE: Your wackiness, creativity and energy are great, popping right off the page!

    FUNERAL: There is a ton of mystery and horror to be mined here. The ideas are good (and scary) ones.

    SMARTHOME: This is an interesting and marketable idea. Very timely. A lot of people should be interested in seeing something like this.

    • S_P_1

      My vote for comment of the week.

      Yes, you’re supposed to write a story as if the audience is stepping into a life in progress, but as a writer, you still have explain that life to the audience.

      Your script breakdowns are becoming a AOW highlight!

      • BellBlaq

        Then maybe I should be more mindful of typos going forward :)

    • Randy Williams

      I noticed your vote was overlooked in the informal tally of votes last time. I hope that never happens again.

      • BellBlaq

        It was probably my own fault for commenting first, then editing to vote.
        I’ll lead with the vote from now on ;)

  • Jeff D

    Doing a live stream review right MEOW: http://www.twitch.tv/final_boss_editing

    • Randy Williams

      LOL @ your trying to pronounce, “rakshas”.

      • Jeff D

        Haha curse my Texas pronunciation skills!!!

  • Magga

    Man, the commenters are brutal this week. I read to page 15 of Smarthome so far, and I like it OK. No idea why the protagonist being so specific with drink orders is a problem to some. I did get confused about who Jim was talking to at the airport in the first scene, and he seemed to get used to the smart home quite quickly. I’d love if the script started in the smart home, maybe have the bellboy take him into the room, with language issues making it unclear what kind of place this is. Have him slowly discover the cool things about the home, then gradually have little things go wrong. Some of the humor falls flat for me, but it’s good enough that I’ll give it another 15 pages at least. I like the costumer service gag.

    It’s a good concept, too, and limiting it to one location would give it a stronger gimmick and lower production costs, unless it goes huge from here.

  • Zero

    I’m voting for Dan Demonic this week. For me, it was between the two adventure/comedy films. I looked at Otherside Inc. – there are notes below – but I just lost interest, despite wanting to like it.

    Notes on Otherside Inc.:
    One of the biggest issues in reading this was the places where things didn’t make sense or the grammar mistakes that made things not make sense.

    Examples: not putting SUPER before the location line in the first scene [with Cordillera Blanca Mountains], using ‘belay’ instead of the more common ‘rappel’, giving the reader no indication of SAM WALKER’s appearance/demeanor/attitude, the ‘gem flares nova’, and the ‘pink-mustachioed SEDAN’.

    When writing a script, especially a fantasy or science fiction script, you have to make things both as specific and easy to understand as possible.

    I started to lose interest once it switched to ‘WALLIS’ and her story [isn’t Wallis a guy’s name? I’m okay with the occasional female with a male name, but there’s already a female Alex]. I wanted to see what happened to the treasure hunters.

    Also, it was surprising once the sphinxes started talking. You name them, but don’t give any indication they’re moving.

    Lastly, is there any reason not to use the term Rakshasa?

  • anti-FX

    With the thousands of names available that aren’t unisex why choose one that is? Think about it.

  • Caivu

    *Opens The Iliad*
    *Sees title page: the ILIAD*
    *Closes The Iliad*

    • Frankie Hollywood

      Yeah, but was it at least CENTERED?

      • Caivu

        Looked okay to me, but maybe my eyes are just bad.

    • Caivu

      Okay, more seriously (and constructively):
      I made it through five pages. The most obvious issue I see here is the wall-to-wall writing. Six-line paragraphs are common. And this opening is an action scene for the most part. Is all this detail and wordage really necessary? You’re adapting The Iliad, after all, you need all the space you can get.

  • Frankie Hollywood

    “So my script with the male lead Alex is now too confusing for anyone to read?”

    Lol. Let’s not get too overly dramatic, it’s not a personal attack. Like I said, it’s just my opinion.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Rushed for time
    but am liking SMARTHOME.

  • Jeff D

    VOTE – OTHERSIDE INC.

    Live review and read is here: http://www.twitch.tv/final_boss_editing/v/24605339

    Here are line by line notes for the 2 we reviewed:

    11.7 Amateur Friday

    Dan Demonic:

    –P1 – watch your sluglines in the opening — a bit non-traditional

    –P1 – Good opening — “The venture into the unknown” — mystery

    –P1 – remove italics here doesn’t fit in context

    –P1 – Clarify — is this a scene element — OR is this a new vignette (FREEZE

    is a bit jarring — I’d just say the scene freezes in a still)

    –P1 – Consider simplifying musical queue unless THIS song is important

    to communicating the story beat it drives

    –P1 – these are pretty active stills, do we need a still here? Or just

    a music over a moving scene

    –P2 – a bit of a stereotypical view of devil, and we don’t really have

    much description here — I’d clarify the LOOK of the devil in the scene

    –P2 – don’t even mention credits in a screenplay — your director will

    take of all this for you :)

    –P2 – still shot dynamic seems a bit jarring — could we cut?

    –P2 – “S*** is real now…” this is telling us — show us in a scene

    –P2 – really think whether we NEED to see the cataclysm –> is this necessary

    or will it factor in to how the characters go through their journey??

    –P3 – meet out hero… (not necessary your story should focus enough

    on him for us to know it’s the hero)

    –P3 – how do we know the sins = their uniqueness — maybe there’s a

    drug abuser covered in crack… I don’t know

    –P3 – why not now — I thought teenage demon was our hero? But be sure

    to introduce DAN in caps in the action — it is a bit jarring

    –P3 – clarify what the conflict is in the scene — not super clear

    –P4 – SHOW DON’T TELL it seems like the things you’re communicating in scene

    are in dissonance with what’s happening in scene so it feels like a lot

    of action is unmodivated

    –P4 – (re: shovel) move this to action line — avoid parentheticals

    –P6 – don’t break out pieces of scenes –> I’d try to represent it in

    the action lines etc.

    –P6 – cool image with the tricicle — I’m guessing he ran over a kid or something

    and that’s his guilt on his back

    –P7 – good conflict, and showing exposition, but make sure this is in

    context for the story –> it seems like some rando picking a fight which

    we’ve seen before in bar scenes.

    –P7 – seems like an out of context speech — didn’t seem like he even

    wanted to fight at all?!?

    –P9 – a lot of jumping around — we need to kick off the main story earlier

    Dan hasn’t done much besides a weird speech — if he’s our hero, kick off

    his story then do the sub-plot bits

    –P9 – how will you EXPRESS on the screen this revelation about her hope?

    GOOD:

    –very creative / visual world –> cool dynamics with the demon traits

    –Solid dialogue — good voices etc.

    IMPROVE:

    –Get to the story quickly — or at least give us a clear arrow toward it

    –remove the snapshot stuff, and trim the beginning

    –Make the hero likable somehow — he seems a bit random — just gives

    a weird speech and wants to beat ppl up.

    –SHOW us a lot of these character insights you write in — everything

    has to be visualisable on screen, and it’s your job as the screewriter to

    think through the visuals for us.

    Otherside INC.

    –P1 – Don’t need to number scenes until screenplay is in production

    –P1 – I’d write out “IS” — phrasing in para 1 seems a bit verbose / writerly

    I’d just stick to the facts and be clear

    –P1 – SHOW me how it’s undisturbed for millenia — cobwebs / ancient skeletons

    –P1 – a bit of a cliche entrance, but conflict, so I’ll bite!

    –P1 – I’d remove actor references since it pulls us out of the story into

    the real world?

    –P1 – I’d spend more time coloring each of the characters since the intros

    seem almost identical for all 3

    –P2 – banter is fun, but make sure it’s communicating the important stuff we

    need to know to grock what’s going on

    –P2 – good setup with ring — nice coloring on characters early on.

    –P2 – Militia part is a bit odd – are they “bow and arrow” natives?

    and did they just kill a bunch of them for fun?

    –P3 – trust your readers to figure this out from you SHOWING us — take out

    the first “Leg is broken” bit.

    –P3 – a lot of stuff happening – I’m looking for something unique about

    this world and why it’s different.

    –P4 – how does it look like the death star??? –> turrets? a trench

    with a thermal exhaust port right below the main port?

    –P4 – it RIPPLE YO…

    –P5 – the transition to the fantastical is a bit jarring (you want the

    tone to agree — this is indiana jones to harry potter jump–> we need to

    establish magic from page 1-3)

    –P5 – beware lots of characters – do we need 3 explorers who we now have tpo

    remember? and now 3 guards?

    –P5 – dialogue is funny, but it seems super fluff — it still needs to communicate

    the story to us, the readers (the banter is fun, but don’t let it distract)

    –P5 – we’re pretty far in, but we still haven’t gotten to the main part of the

    story or what’s going on…

    –P6 that hook scene with the explorers STILL HAS TO DRIVE STORY — EXPOSE

    A PROLBLEM THAT NEEDS RESOLUTION / A GOAL ETC.

    –P7 – good to know we’re in present day, but I’d just throw this in a slugline

    just in case INT. TREASURE VAULT – DAY – PRESENT

    –P7 – focus less on the world — we kind of get it at this point, and start

    driving to the story

    –P8 – big line of dialogue — keep em under 4

    –P8 – laughs: “What a” –> this is where you’d use a parentheticals

    –P8 – 11 characters in 8 pages is WAY TOO MANY

    –P9 – no action breaking up the dialogue –> talking heads that are discussing

    something we have 0% ideas about what it regards # GET TO THE STORY!!!! no more

    exposition / also this is 0 conflict

    –P9 – these “Wallis” scenes have no conflict – don’t rely on just your hook

    to carry readers forward

    –P10 – long line of dialogue but little direction (tells me the character is

    devout, but does this character matter–> I’ve just me 12 characters that don’t

    it’s time to get focused)

    –P10 – Be sure to have movement and action in your scene and the “hi – how

    are you” moments should be trimmed

    GOOD:

    –world was creative and well built — strong mythology brought in

    –dialogue was bantery and witty

    IMPROVE:

    –trim down the # of characters, and the ones you keep develop a lot more

    and you’ll find the dialogue smooths out a lot

    –all the characters except your main character were cool and unique (is

    Wallis your main character?)

    –tone shifted 100% from adventure to boring office (even magical offices can

    be boring)

    –GET TO THE STORY!!! — and have conflict. — and fewer characters

  • scriptfeels

    OT BOND:
    I just came back from watching spectre. Loved it. Great set pieces. Great fight scenes. Much better than the last mission impossible imo. Less comedy than the previous bond, and a darker tone as a result. Christolphe waltz made the film for me. His introduction scene is filled with suspense and the bounty hunter who chases bond is a monster as well. If you’re a bond fan, don’t miss out on it! The person I went with liked it better than the last one, I personally liked them both a lot. I haven’t read the script, so I don’t know what was changed, but I think its [x] worth the ticket price.

    • Scott Crawford

      Some of the dialogue was changed, some of the violence cut, and there’s no torture scene (instead they play poker). There’s also no mention of… something.

      If you want a copy of the script, mr.scottcrawford@hotmail.com

      • scriptfeels

        thanks for the offer, I’ll pass for now. Appreciate it though.

  • scriptfeels

    Is the title page centering like a scriptshadow meme now. I feel like it’s been brought up every weekend since that weekend when none of the scripts were title centered lol.

    • Erica

      The centering of the title pages off slightly is a quirk of adobe PDF and should not be a reason not to read a script ( not at you scriptfeels). Just to those invisible poster who bring it up seriously and not in a joking/fun manner like Caivu did.

      • Citizen M

        Scripts intended to be printed out need a wider left margin to allow space for the traditional three punch holes and two brads binding.

        Scripts that will only be read on-screen should be centered on the page.

        What will the reader of my script do — print out or read on-screen? I don’t know. So do I leave a wider left margin or not? I don’t know. What does my software do? I don’t know. I just close my eyes and press “make pdf”.

        Curse you, whoever raised the centering problem. It has given us a new area of concern, as if there aren’t enough already ;o(

      • Caivu

        Exactly. If “Name” (as said poster tends to go by) were just complaining about the titles not being centered, that’d be one thing. Still nitpicky, but eh. But instead they act like the writers who don’t have centered titles are all cretins who can’t figure it out, when the actual cause seems to be a slightly wonky program.

    • Caivu

      The obvious solution is to just name all of our scripts “Centered” from now on.

  • scriptfeels

    In my experience with certain scripts, I can’t read through a script without looking up words or rereading sections because of wording, grammar, sentence structure, etc. When i try to read scripts that are dense or have confusing sentences I get lost with the story. I haven’t read the AF yet, but I can understand why a reader will take detailed notes regarding mistakes and typos and such when it affects the read and gets in the way of the reader understanding the story. I think pointing out what hurt the read for the reader will hopefully help the writer strengthen their script and help the flow as a result. Just my thoughts, but I think stop and go feedback can be constructive. If i speed through a script before taking notes, I’ll have to retrace my steps and recollect my thoughts compared to taking notes while I’m reading through it. Any suggestions on a more constructive layout or method for giving feedback to writers?

  • scriptfeels

    So is Alex a woman or man? I haven’t picked up the script yet, but “lady-explorer” could still apply to either genders. Doesn’t have to apply to a straight male.

  • Caivu

    Well, if you say so.

  • Jeff D

    I agree with both. I think when the story is really going amazing, I’ll take almost no notes, and the stream usually just becomes a table read (which I still think can be as constructive as notes for the writers). For my own scripts I ALWAYS do table reads since hearing dialogue and flow can expose a lot of areas to improve.

    The challenge comes up when there are spelling or flow issues that jar you out of the read. At that point, I like noting down where it stopped the read and why it did because I’m already bumped out of the flow, and those are the spots the writer may want to revisit no matter what structure issues occur overall.

    Depending on how intensive the edit will be, I’d sometimes do a full read-through to find structure issues first, but usually in AF there are enough line by line areas for improvement and flow, that I’ve ended up focusing on a more in the flow notes as we’ve done a few of these. Love the comments tho, and probably a good challenge for me to continue to reevaluate my approach!

  • peisley

    Otherside, Inc. needs a clearer logline. Maybe chop it down to just “a young witch” preventing… then describe (succinctly) the product and how it’s going to trigger the apocalypse. Dan Demonic — I thought demons weren’t human, so I don’t know how they can find their humanity. I could be wrong, but the thought may occur to others. Smarthome is something I’ve heard before. Not that it can’t get somewhere. Change the main character to a woman? It could be fun to play with the still prevalent image of women as the main housekeeper (not how I perceive them, btw) and her being trapped in that environment.

  • Erica

    Just wanted to post this little gem.

    • Citizen M

      2:19 Brie Larson: “Please don’t describe your female characters as ‘broken but beautiful’. *laughs* Please. Please! *more laughs* I’ve read it so many times. I think as little description as you can give to your– about the way your characters look physically, unless it’s something that is just incredibly important to the story…”

      • Erica

        I loved that part!

      • Midnight Luck

        Brie Larson is awesome.
        Then again so is Sarah Silverman.
        Same (awesome) but different (style).

    • brittany

      I will do anything Michael Shannon tells me to do, lol.

  • Howie428

    No, I’m not saying that, as can be discovered from reading what I said.
    I’m saying that people who submit should consider participating in the selection process. And I’m saying that people who do participate should be able to get their work included in the AOW scripts.

  • Poe_Serling

    Another great post, g!

    “… it isn’t the same thing as coming up with your own ideas, stories, characters etc.

    That comes from sitting in silence and thinking, nothing more. In fact the loneliness one feels in such cases is actually incentive to creating stories. Writing is often an attempt to connect with humanity even if it is on a computer screen or blank sheet of paper.”

    That nugget of wisdom is worth repeating.

    And the wonderful thing about this very simple bit of advice?

    It’s worked a million times over in creating unforgettable novels, films/screenplays, and so on.

    A classic example: Sly Stallone.

    One of the most famous Hollywood success stories ever. Stallone has spoken on numerous occasions about his early struggles in New York to be a writer/actor:

    “My place was so small I could reach out and touch both sides of the room. I wrote on an orange crate. I had no phone. The windows were painted black. But somehow, every day I felt one step closer.”

  • Midnight Luck
  • Wijnand Krabman

    My vote: the Iliad, in remembrance of my history teacher who told us forty years ago about the odyssee. Very well written, I did the whole script. Problem to repetitive and not a clear protagonist. You could of course have chosen an other story than the trojan war, that’s done befor.

    • Scott Crawford

      Writer of Iliad, “George Kaplan” (is the title a pseudonym too?) has lots of potential and I would like to see more from him in the future. Whatever he calls himself!

  • brenkilco

    Though it might be comforting to believe it, Gone With The Wind Was never rejected by anybody. Mitchell wrote it for her own amusement, reluctantly showed it to a Macmillan exec visiting Atlanta and the rest is history.

  • GoIrish

    was there a newsletter this week?

    • Dan B

      This post seems to be a few months late

      • GoIrish

        Yeah – realized after the fact that the script titles weren’t for this week.

      • BellBlaq

        A year, actually! Hahaha, that’s so random!

  • Rommer

    This has to be the most split AF I’ve seen in a long while. Vote counts by my eye:

    Smarthome- 4.5 (there was a tie, I split it in two)
    Dan Demonic- 3.5 (there was a tie, I split it in two)
    Iliad- 3
    American Funeral- 2
    Otherside- 1

    Someone want to double-check that? 252 comments and not a whole lot of clear choices.

    • Scott Crawford

      Not counted myself, but it sounds about right. Fell sorry for The Iliad. Maybe the writer could take onboard some of the criticisms and submit a rewrite later.

      (Reminds me, shame none of the writers put in a word this weekend. I’m sure they’re there, but it seems a shame they haven’t checked in.).

      I guess Smarthome for next AF, then Dan Demonic for the one after that?

    • Levres de Sang

      In light of the above, Carson might want to consider recent runner-up, THE HINDENBURG ALIEN. It received somewhere in the region of 12 votes when it lost out to Small Slices.

      • Eddie Panta

        Good call.

      • Scott Crawford

        I’d go along with that.

      • Malibo Jackk

        Double feature:
        THE HINDENBURG ALIEN
        SMARTHOME

    • Malibo Jackk

      2 votes for none.
      And 1 vote for Leatherface.

  • klmn

    Many of us – if not most – use dedicated screenwriting programs. I use MM Screenwriter. The formatting for the script and the title page is in the program.

    If you have a problem with that, it’s your problem, no one else’s.

    • Citizen M

      My software came with pre-set margins, but I can change them if I want.

  • Eddie Panta

    OT RANT
    SPECTRE-VISION vs. The Effectiveness of Flawnessness

    Bond woke up like dis. He was born thirty. His feelings don’t count. He used to be a stone-cold poker player, a pillar of indifference, someone woman wanted to lean on, men wanted to be while full well knowing, even as a kid, it’s simply impossible. But therein lies all the fun, now taken away by Skyfall and Spectre…

    The traditional Bond is a character, who like the DOS EQUIS MAN, was created to personify an impossible ideal.

    As sacrileges as it may seem to one of the pillars of scripting stories, Bond should NOT have a flaw, should not bare any backstory, and at the same time, bare the burden of ego. Bond has no insecurities, he’s never had an awkward moment; his only liability is that he is completely selfless.

    MAD MAX was a man, shell-shocked out of his feelings, only capable of revenge. The new MAD MAX was handicapped by a “goal-driven” female counterpart.

    Perhaps the real Bond did in fact die on that bridge in SKYFALL when his underpaid female boss yelled out the obligatory “TAKE THE BLOODY SHOT”! Bond was resurrected an inverted stereotype, the “real” Fleming Bond has been killed off. As the Bardem’s bad-guy explains: “Mommy was very bad.”

    Perhaps the studios would like to think that there was never a woman who watched a Bond move and not laughed or liked the part where Connery as Bond, smacked a bikini bottom, or wished that they weren’t the target of his cool, distant wink. But that’s simply not the case. Audiences are intelligent enough to separate fact from fiction, except if their name is Halle Berry.

    The orig. Bond films never turned a viewer into a sexist any more than it turned someone into a superspy.

    Now it’s more acceptable, and perhaps, more contemporary if a fiendish, pervy, cry-baby billionaire, permanently afflicted by his past, smacked women on their backsides.

    Bond has suffered the same fate as many comic book heroes, who have sunk
    into the ‘gritty” depths of reality, then propped back up as heroes who, even after inconceivable selflessness are incapable of adapting to societal norms.

    SEE: SLATE.com’s SPECRTE ARTICLE: “The attempts to humanize 007 have long felt inspired by Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies,”

    The writing was already on the wall when in Casion Royale Daniel Craig’s Bond was allowed to be shown strapped to a chair getting his balls whacked “big-time” in true 2005 torture porn style.

    Bond should continue exist as the WWII imagination he was meant to be. Bond was born of “the greatest generation” from a time when sacrifice freed the soul. When men were super heroes that saved the world, or at least is was in reach.

    BOND should occupy an unrealistic space devoid of ego. A spot where feelings have no place in reality, where the shell-shocked loss of ego lead to victory.

    • Paul Schellens

      That ball-beating scene was SO off. Can you imagine Sean Connery in such a scene? NFW.
      And the scene in Skyfall, when Bardem kills the girl on the island and all we get from Bond is a wise crack. WTF?
      They’ve lost the plot.
      I couldn’t stand Pierce Bronsan’s bond films either. Other than Jinx and that stupid invisible car, all I remember from those was the same scenes of him running through machine gun fire and not getting a scratch. That is a pet peeve of mine. People escaping unscathed by running with a ducked head away from machine guns. Ughhh!

      • Eddie Panta

        Old School Bond

        • Paul Schellens

          There’s something appealing about someone acting totally inappropriately, but yet getting away with it.
          Chevy Chase built a career out of it.
          Who wouldn’t want to be able to do whatever you want for a day and get away with it?

    • Read More Fleming

      The ball-whacking scene from Casino Royale is taken almost verbatim from the novel, Fleming’s first and arguably best James Bond book. One of the few Bond scene in the last twenty years, in fact, to be so completely faithful to the original material.

      Dislike the scene if you want, but to suggest that it strays from the original conception of the character and the series is factually incorrect. Many of the best Bond scenes hinge on some element of torture that literally threatens Bond’s manhood. Where did you think that laser was aimed in Goldfinger?

      • Eddie Panta

        Admittedly, it’s been a long time since I read Fleming, I do have the old paperbacks somewhere, I’ll have to check that one and report back, considering your handle, you’re prob right, but that scene is still at odds w/ the Bond movie brand, even though there’s always been torture scenes , they never went that far with it, to me, the scene, even if in the orig. material, still wreaks of a torture scenario popular in movies from that time. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for the tip.

  • Midnight Luck

    You are so boring.
    Same conversations.

  • Caivu

    Did a non-centered title kill your family or something?

  • Malibo Jackk

    OT
    “The ladder of success in Hollywood is usually agent, actor,
    director, producer, leading man. And you are a star if you sleep with
    them in that order. Crude but true.”
    — Hedy Lamarr

  • Citizen M

    I checked the scripts on the image that illustrates this article. (They are all the same script, BTW, only the color differs.) They are indeed centered on the page like your Star Wars example.

    So Carson’s in the clear. Whew!

    I checked my software (Sophocles Beta). I never changed the title page default settings for margins. They were 1.5″ left, 1.0″ right. IOW, my title page centerline was shifted 1/4″ to the right. I have now made the title page margins equal.

  • Citizen M

    SMARTHOME is dead center. The others are shifted over to the right.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/dd91980899ed5cc0a48131c5742e02a0ab5938e4e9d2197c1f7ad682e7828186.png .

  • http://soundcloud.com/the-colonel-mc The Colonel

    OTHERSIDE gets my vote, what a wild screenplay. The authors are fantastic writers, and there’s more detail in the first 10 pages than in most screenplays. I agree with others here that I need more of a grounding principle in the first 20 pages, an “easing in” to the world you’ve built so it’s not so overwhelming.

    Also, I have to wonder whether you’ve really got too movies here: one supernatural “Men In Black” four-quarter comedy, and an office comedy. Said another way: I think all the supernatural elements might be lost on the office comedy. You clearly know your shit about about the supernatural stuff–I would have rather seen those elements operate on their own terms rather than being shoe-horned into the more conventional office setting.

    Really clear, really dense writing. I could use a bit more about the characters (and a few less generic white-folk names, I had trouble following them), but yeah, what a world you built. Great job.

  • Erica

    I write scripts not software. If I click on my profession software that I purchased to turn my final draft script into a PDF, I expect that the writers of that software to get it right.

    Now that being said I think as someone else pointed out, it could be accounting for the 3 hole punch part of the paper and when you set it to print pdf, this is how it sets up the page.

    And nope, I didn’t take it personally.

  • Matthew Garry

    My vote: The Iliad

    Even though there is plenty wrong with it (repetitive beats, uneven pacing, countless dei ex machina, too much focus on cinematic flourish, etc) there’s also something right with it: the dialogue.

    Every single scene where two or more characters talk there’s conflict present, even (or especially) when it’s family members on the same side of the war talking. Add to that every scene entering late and leaving early, and you’re left with minimal and effective talking scenes.

    I’d encourage every writer who wants to improve their dialogue skills to read some of the dialogue scenes. The style might not be to your liking (although, it being an ancient epic, it worked for well enough for me), but notice how nearly every line advances the character and/or steers the scene towards conflict (or hints at conflict through subtext).

    As for the writer, you might want to familiarise yourself–if you haven’t done so already, with Shakespeare’s excellent “Troilus and Cressida,” which also features the story of that final battle of Hector and Achilles. Notice how it creates and builds up anticipation for that event as the story progresses. That’s really the engine of your story, not the endlessly gory battles being fought around it.