amateur offerings weekend

UPDATE: It’s a close race so make sure to vote! It could determine the winner!

Unless you’re a 50 Shades fan (and because you’re on a blog about writing, I’m assuming you’re not) or one of the 50 people who heard about the thwarted terrorist attack Clint Eastwood made a movie about, you’re not going to the movies this weekend. And that means two things. One, YOU’RE GOING TO DO SOME WRITING! But close behind that at two, you’re going to read some amateur screenplays and vote on your favorite!

We’ve got a wily bunch of entries this weekend that take us from Wales all the way to a galaxy far far away. Although some may say that is Wales. BADUM-BUM! I’m just getting warmed up. Try the veal parmegean. But seriously, you know how this works. Download the scripts, read as long as you stay interested, vote for which script you liked best in the comments section, and if you have some time, give the scripts you didn’t like some constructive criticism on why you stopped reading and what they could’ve done better. We’re in the business of helping each other on Scriptshadow. So be generous with your wisdom.

By the way, there’s a reason I say, “Read as long as you stay interested.” Because if you stop being interested, the script has failed. So it’s helpful to the writer to know where exactly you stopped caring. That’s invaluable advice writers never receive. It’s also a good learning experience as writers yourselves, parsing out where you lose interest in a screenplay and understanding why it’s happened. Because if you know why someone else’s script stopped being interesting, you can apply that knowledge to your own writing.

Anyway, winner gets a review next Friday. And if you believe you have a screenplay that the world will fall in love with, submit it to Amateur Offerings! Send me a PDF of your script, along with the title, genre, logline, and why you think people should read it (your chance to pitch your story). All submissions should be sent to Carsonreeves3@gmail.com.

Title: STAR WARS: THE NEW REPUBLIC (EPISODE IX)
Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy
Logline: As Rey searches for the answers to her past, the Resistance makes one last attempt to defeat the First Order and restore peace to the galaxy.
Why You Should Read: Like many people, I walked out of “The Last Jedi” scratching my head — not only asking “What’s next?” but also “What’s missing here?” The answers came to me pretty quickly, and all of them were centered around who these characters were and the potential within them of what they were capable of achieving. — This script was also a personal challenge. I gave myself only 4 weeks to write it, from concept to completion. It’s been a wonderfully maddening month! I had tremendous fun writing this, and perhaps above everything else, that is what I hope is conveyed.

Screen Shot 2018-02-08 at 8.06.21 PM

Title: Lili & Will
Genre: Black comedy, Drama
Logline:When a 13-year-old social misfit hacks into the financial life of his reclusive 70 year old neighbor and finds she’s being short-changed at her home office job, the two embark on an epic journey to seek justice from the shady for-profit “university” that’s been cheating her for decades.
Why You Should Read: The short version? Lili & Will is dark and funny and has loads of heart, with two very cool parts for an “actress of a certain age,” and pretty much any kid from “Stranger things.” The enhanced version? I’ve been working on this thing for years, and even though lots of people said they loved it, no one ever loved it enough to open a checkbook. At first I shrugged this off to “Nobody wants to make a POKER movie.” Yes, for years this script was about two characters on their way to a poker tournament, and nothing at all like the logline above. But then I got a NOTE I never expected — that my characters were GREAT, but they were drowning in technical b.s. about card playing that bogged everything down. I was DEVASTATED by this, knowing I would have to change pretty much EVERYTHING. But for the first time in my life, I buckled down, took the note, and actually did the work. NEW third act. NEW plot. NEW character arcs. NEW pretty much everything. Anyway, this is the result. I hope you enjoy it.

Screen Shot 2018-02-08 at 8.01.47 PM

Title: Hideaway Hills
Genre: Thriller
Logline: Behind the gates of an exclusive community threatened by wildfire, a woman must choose sides when secrets about her new marriage are exposed during a home invasion by three desperate intruders who owe money to the wrong people.
Why You Should Read: Hideaway Hills placed first at the LAIFF for January 2018 and was the 3rd place winner at HIMPFF for the same month. An earlier draft made it as a finalist in the San Francisco Indie Fest, and an even earlier draft made it to the second round at last year’s Austin Film Festival. – After years of frantic scribbling, I’m hoping to have finally produced something worthwhile. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Screen Shot 2018-02-08 at 8.07.27 PM

Title: Sleeping Giant
Genre: Dark Comedy
Logline: An introverted doctor takes a road trip across Wales with his mischief-making millennial brother to scatter their father’s ashes, and dispose of the dismembered body hidden in the car boot.
Why You Should Read: I come from that part of the UK that isn’t England, Scotland or Northern Ireland. If you need to consult with our Google overlord about that statement consider this script an irreverent, dramatic and darkly humorous education on the glorious land of Wales. I’ve received great feedback on the characters and dialogue in this script, and if nothing else, I believe it’s original. While I don’t think it will be to 2018 what Jane Wick scripts were to 2017, I have the lofty ambition of it one day being that Netflix hidden gem you tell your friends about. I’ll trade reads and feedback for my eternal gratitude. Cheers.

Screen Shot 2018-02-08 at 8.03.20 PM

Title: Dead Man’s Switch
Genre: thriller/action/drama
Logline: A former hacker evades a group of mercenaries while hunting down one of her own to prevent a plot that would bankrupt the crypto-currency market, a move that could bring the entire global economy to it’s knees.
Why You Should Read: Shades of Nikita, part Bourne, hints of Die Hard, and a dash of Salt, Dead Man’s Switch was a fun script to write that was inspired in part by the Arab Spring, the war on Terror, the Crypto-currency boom, and the desire to write a spy/cyber thriller mash-up. It’s both it’s own thing and and familiar enough to make it accessible. Please enjoy, and let me know what you think would make this script better!

Screen Shot 2018-02-08 at 8.05.02 PM

  • jaehkim

    Star wars. Really?

    • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

      Fuck you.

  • https://twitter.com/bfgbrimelow NEIL “BFG” BRIMELOW

    TLJ was hot garbage, we all know this and I’m pretty sure most of the SS community could have written a better script. BUT, guess what, we’re not, and 99.9998% of us will NEVER get the opportunity to write ANY “Star Wars” script.

    When I was younger, I was DEAD SET on making a Star Wars fanfilm, so I poured thousands of dollars into a fanfilm,and it turned out terrible. It had its moments, and I learned a LOT of lessons, but all of my friends told me I should have “just made a real film.” And they were right. Because, no matter how awesome a derivative fanfilm is, it will almost NEVER lead to anything more. Kathleen Kennedy isn’t going to go, “Wow, Neil made a really awesome fanfilm, I really need to hire him for my next big project!” Not going to happen. The directors who were hired to direct the current line of SW films were hired because they made a name for themselves and brought their own vision to the Star Wars universe.

    So, I vote NAY on “Star Wars: The New Republic” and YAY on “Lili and Will.”

    • DB Stevens

      Nah, don’t sell those lessons short. You had energy and that was your passion. That’s just how it works. If you made a “real film” it would have sucked about 80% more than your terrible fanfilm, because you wouldn’t have had the passion in it.

      Sure the big studios aren’t combing through fanfilms, but that’s not who you need to impress. It’s your peers who are at the same level who will see it and partner up or just make a contact in the industry, or even just a friend to keep you motivated. So it’s never a wasted effort.

      Besides, now you put those lessons in the skill-growth bank and maybe can even cannibalize some of those scenes or ideas for your next “real film”.

  • klmn

    Now I’ seeing the first pages. Didn’t show up until I refreshed. Strange.

    • carsonreeves1

      The first pages should be up. You don’t see them? Does anyone else not see them?

      • klmn

        They’re above the scripts. Okay.

  • James Michael

    Am I having a tumor or did the writer of Star Wars EP IX spell C-3PO as THREEPIO and R2-D2 as ARTOO on the first page?!?!

    I’m still excited to read this script because I’m interested what someone else will do with it (and found the opening crawl intriguing enough) but come on… if you’re going to write a star wars fan film can you please get the spelling of two of the main characters correct. And not even the spelling, but the names in general… come on… come on…

    • carsonreeves1

      As much as I hate Rian Johnson’s script, I would probably write something that had the opposite problem. It’d be too familiar, too formulaic. I’m too much of a fan. I wouldn’t want to disturb the mythology. :)

  • Poe_Serling

    AOW – Giants Who Dream… Edition

    Okay, I cracked open all five of this week’s featured projects. After reading a
    few pages of each…

    My VOTE goes to:

    Scott S.’s SW script

    I don’t know much about the ins and outs of this particular cinematic universe,
    but I know it will be a great conservation starter around here.

    I also like the can-do attitude of the writer.

    First, just coming up with an idea for this particular project and posting it here
    on the site.

    Then deciding to go for it and putting in the necessary time/effort to churn out a screenplay… all in fairly short time period.

  • Justin

    Freakin’ excited to read “Star Wars: What The Last Jedi Shoulda’ Been.” I feel like it might be controversial just because of the nature of the script, but I’m just hungry for some good writing. Luckily I have a chunk of spare time in my weekend, so I’ll be on a AOW binge-fest.

    Good luck to the writers :)

  • Scott Serradell

    I really have nothing but gratitude in my heart right now. Many of you have been supportive of my updates for this project. I can’t thank you enough, as well Carson for featuring it. Additional thanks for those who choose to check it out.

    I fully realize there’s a certain level of absurdity of spending so many hours for what is essentially a ‘fan script’. I really have no defense other than I was inspired to write it and chose to strike when the iron was hot.

    Going a bit further: As someone who has grown up with these stories I felt (as many others have) that things have “gone astray” with these new movies — And so my aim was to re-direct the arcs of these characters with something more akin to the mythical broad-stokes of Lucas’s originals. Whether I was successful or not, I’ll leave to the jury…

    But I treated this as any other story: I fell in love with these characters, put them through hell, and “redeemed” them in the end by making them something more bright and true. If I am allowed a request in all this, judge my work with this in mind.

    But also, being Star Wars, I saw a story that was big, exciting, mysterious, intriguing, dramatic, adventurous, and above all, fun. I hope you do too. Thanks.

    • Poe_Serling

      “Whether I was successful or not, I’ll leave to the jury…”

      If the reviews turn out just so-so… you can always blame the particle accelerator
      from The Cloverfield Paradox.

      ;-)

      • Scott Serradell

        If things really go south I’m going to put MYSELF in the particle accelerator and hide in a time period of my choosing…

        (Perhaps a nice 1970’s alpine melodrama … Being fed grapes by a buxom enchantress named Helga…)

    • A Man is No one

      Why didn’t you start the script with a vehicle in motion?

    • Lucid Walk

      I’m glad you wrote this, Scott. Can’t wait to read it. I still remember the Star Wars week we had a few years back.

      I wouldn’t mind a weekend of just fan scripts; I could finally submit my “Last Airbender” remake.

    • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

      Buddy, I can’t wait to read this. The first page looks AWESOME!!!

    • RS

      I wanted to write a KARATE KID sequel but got mostly discouragement. Friendly discouragement, because there is no point to it really but for fun–or maybe someone sees it as a sample. I never did it, so I salute you for going through with it, despite many reasons not to.

      • Stephjones

        I wrote a script loosely based on KARATE KID…
        Title; PLUCK
        Logline; The rescue of a baby chicken brings a tender young woman under the tutelage of a miyagi-type mentor who helps her gain confidence by training roosters for cock-fighting.

        • RS

          Cock fighting. I applaud your courage. Not very PC, but it does seem to follow the KK template. I wanted to write a script where Mr. Miyagi has died. Daniel returns to LA for the funeral. He is divorced and kind of down and out. He hasn’t seen a teen son he has for a few years. Jonny attends the funeral as well, and he is a successful financier (and still a hell of a fighter). Daniel’s kid gets involved with some bad people and Daniel has to fight to rescue him. Jonny of course helps Daniel get back in shape and even comes with him to some sort of final showdown against the lead bad guy. I might have actually gone through with it, just for fun, but then someone told me about a comedy series Macchio and Zabka were doing about Daniel and Jonny as adults. Yes, a comedy series. I looked it up and it’s true, and that killed any interest I had in my take.

          • Stephjones

            Yes. Having the phrase “cock-fighting” in the logline creates a knee-jerk response there’s no getting around. But, I wanted to have two, very different worlds collide and to represent a character you’d expect to be despicable in a sympathetic way. It was a fun challenge.

          • RS

            It’s an interesting juxtaposition. Sort of an innocent, young girl/woman gets involved in the dirty world of cock fighting. Cynic in me sees managers or execs, however, thinking this is the equivalent of a script about beating dogs. How can you present it so you don’t get that response?

          • Stephjones

            No idea. I wrote it a few years ago. At first I thought it’d make a nice cheap indie filmed in the Caribbean (it’s set in the us virgin islands where cock fighting is still legal) but I’ve moved on, although i really like the story world I created.

          • RS

            Email me at s t e i n b r c @ m s n . c o m. I get the Inktip newsletter and they frequently put out leads that this might fit the bill on. Just this week there were a few this might be a match for if you want to take it out of the trunk.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpjCroELCew Carmelo Framboise

      It is exciting and inspiring just having you talk about it. I am at work but I am so pumped up to reading it!

    • BoSoxBoy

      Don’t underestimate the “fan script” aspect. It’s the writing that counts. My script in the last AOW (Ice Cream) came in second, but the writing caught the attention of a hot prod co. They asked to see everything I’ve written, and wanted to know if I was open to assignments. Good writing is never a waste of time.

      • Stephjones

        Great news! Congrats!

        • PQOTD

          Seconded! Fingers crossed for you, BoSox!

      • klmn

        Great news. Hope it works out for you.

      • Thaddeus Arnold

        Congrats and sorry about your Pats!

        • BoSoxBoy

          Ha! Thanks, but in the interest of confusion, when it comes to football, I actually root for the Bears. And when I golf, I swing right handed, and putt left handed. I’m a mess!

          • Pugsley

            Ha! Big Bears fan myself! Do you think Nagy is a good fit for the Bears? And will Trubisky take the next big step this upcoming season?

          • BoSoxBoy

            I like the Nagy hire, and I can honestly say I never liked the Fox hire, even from day 1. I’m just glad as hell they didn’t put their eggs in the McDaniels basket. What a disaster for Indy.
            As for Trubisky – I have total confidence in him. With a good game plan, he’ll make a big stride from last season to next. .

          • RS

            Are you actually in the Boston area? Me too. We should start a Boston Script Shadow chapter.

          • BoSoxBoy

            Hey- I’m in Chicago, but have ties the Boston.

      • Thaddeus Arnold

        If you get a call from JJ saying he wants to use some of your ideas I will hate you forever! JK

      • Justin

        Love this streak of great news. Hopefully it gets you far into the industry!

    • PQOTD

      Yay for getting this ‘un finished, Scott! Knowing how Carson felt about Rose, he’s no doubt relieved you didn’t write ‘Star Wars: A Rose By Another Name’. If she makes an appearance, he might refuse the review if you win the weekend. That’d be a first.

      • Scott Serradell

        Thank you PQ. I don’t know, Rose elicits a lot of negative reactions for some reason (I didn’t think she was THAT bad) which is all a bit of the shame because the actress who plays her comes off (in interviews) as a very charming and attractive young woman. Same for John Boyega (young man in his case.) They actually would make a cute couple.

        • PQOTD

          True – she and Finn do work together as a couple! I didn’t actually think she was that bad, either. The whole side-trip to casino world was ill-conceived and the blame for it sort-of got pinned on her as if she was some sort of sacrificial lamb.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FpjCroELCew Carmelo Framboise

      I read it like crazy. I read to page 55, cause that’s all I had time for. I want to read the whole darn thing. I want to see what happens. It has so many great elements that with minor tweaks this could be a great SW episode, Scott!

      DISCLAIMER: I liked episodes 7 and 8. Yes, both of them. A lot. They did things I really, really liked, and enjoyed and took me to emotional places other SW episodes didn’t dare take me.

      I loved the Resistance’s secret weapon plot and idea, I loved that the characters where all true to themselves and each had their unique voice, maybe even more augmented than in episodes 7 and 8, I loved what is going on with Kylo’s head, with Snoke and Luke. I liked that you incorporated the Knights of Ren into the story but I need a bit of a foreshadowing for their appearance. Or did I miss it? I also liked having Coruscant as a setting. Clever.

      Maybe it is sort of suspence or a battle at the beginning is much needed. Also, Rey just “randomly” going to that building in the lake is a bit, well… random, at least storywise, and I would like to see just a bit more of her when we cut to the Resistance, instead of a lot of Finn and Rose. Finn and Rose work together but take up a tad too much “screen” time.

      Then there is Jorga. I liked him. But also I am a bit bored of old creatures knowing everything but not explaining it to anyone. I am not sure I need that in this universe once again (after Yoda), and I am not sure it helps the drama in the story.

      A bigger picture question here is, who is the protagonist and what is their goal. Or, what is the premise. This must be a bit more clear. A tad.

      The whole Kylo thing is really interesting. I too am struggling on how this should go. On one hand you have a complex character but on the other, he is not that powerful. I mean if he doesn’t control his feelings he is breakfast for Rey. Unless she can’t control hers of course.

      At the midpoint all seems lost. I love that! What the heck could happen so that our heroes prevail?

      My two main ideas for episode 9 have been the revelation that Rey is a clone – a Skywalker clone. So, her parents really were nobodies since she didn’t have any. And you know what a great WOW moment could be? Rey meeting another Rey clone… She is not the only Rey in the universe. Boom.

      The second idea is that Kylo has a “girlfriend”, making Rey jealous. When I say girlfriend I mean commander, helper, apprentice, princess, someone who is female, is beautiful, is smart and if Kylo’s plan succeeds will be his queen in ruling the Galaxy. This could unstabilize Rey, quite a bit.

      Also… Tyrnavos? I guess it is not an accident that you honored a Greek town with excellent cheece!

      Two notes:
      Page 30 “we are not to late”
      Page 51 “please god, no” Is there a God they pray to in the Galaxy? This sounds a bit off.

      • Scott Serradell

        Thank you for your kind words Carmelo. I’m glad you liked it thus…

        You asked about the protagonist and I had the same question starting out: Who’s story is it anyway? What has already been established from TFA and TLJ? (Abrams has said the Force “awakening” referred to both Kylo AND Rey.)

        In the end I opted to have two: Rey and Finn. Though Kylo has an interesting arc I felt, since he was kind of doomed to start with, so I tied his story with Rey’s. And Poe, though fun to write, was not a character I could take seriously.

        So now having two protagonists meant more set-up time in the beginning; the first 20 pages is almost all exposition. Fine for drama but probably a big no-no for a Star Wars story (many criticisms here point out that I didn’t start with a space battle. Believe me, I wanted to.) But without that the rest of the story — action and all — couldn’t happen (or happen effectively.)

        Jorga is a nod to someone very specific (Jorga=Jorge=George…as in George Lucas.) Also, Jorga (like Ben-Chu, the temple, the planet Aggo) are all homages to the works of Hayao Miyazaki.

        What has bugged me in the last two movies is you have these “kids” running around, using the Force, lightsabers etc. but there’s been no teacher (I think it was supposed to Luke in TLJ but they went in another direction.) So I included someone to set the record straight on a few accounts: A.) Who were Rey’s parents, and B.) What the Force really is. If Luke was the last Jedi, then the whole Force thing had to be reset and set off in a new direction. That’s how I saw it at least.

    • Scott Crawford

      Maybe it’s FATE that a “fan fiction” script appears on AOW the same weekend as a Fifty Shades movie opens. Lest we forget, Fifty Shades began as TWILIGHT fan fiction. James just changed the names and other details.

      A bit more history… Hitchcock was adapting a Bulldog Drummond (a sort of racist James Bond) novel called “Bulldog Drummond’s Baby” (the baby is his young son) when he decided it had changed SO much, it should be an original: THE MAN WHO TOO MUCH.

      Sam Raimi wanted to do a Shadow movie. When he couldn’t get the rights, he created Darkman instead.

      Some scripts were written as sequels but became standalone movies: French Connection III became NIGHTHAWKS; Dirty Harry 5 became CODE OF SILENCE.

      The reverse… three of the four Die Hard Sequels were NOT originally written as John McClane. Die Hard 2 was based on a book, 58 Minutes. Die Hard 3 was based on the spec script Simon Says (originally to star Brandon Lee). Die Hard 4 was based on the script WW3.COM, which in turn was based on the magazine article A Farewell to Arms.

      Spec script End of the Line/Dark Territory became UNDER SIEGE 2. There were plans to turn The Ten by Scott Rosenberg into THE ROCK 2. Cliffhanger 2, on the other hand, was written as an original script, with different character names, in case Stallone didn’t want in (I think he DID but they went with a remake script instead).

      So… where does that leave The New Republic? I think if you turned this into an original (difficult, but it can be… HAS BEEN done), you’d have two things: an original script to flog AND a great backstory (“It started as fan fiction but, you know, people LIKED it, so…”).

      And finally, don’t never forget that George Lucas originally wanted to do Flash Gordon. He didn’t think he could la7nch an ORIGINAL space opera…

      • brenkilco

        Nighthawks was going to be French Connection III? Interesting.

        • Scott Crawford

          With Hackman and the guy who fucked Brando.

    • Stephjones

      Good luck with it, Scott. Hope it gets you some recognition as a writing sample.
      I won’t weigh in cause I’m not that knowledgeable able about the issues you’re trying to address but wish you well!

    • jbird669

      I can’t wait to read it. Congrats!

    • jbird669

      Scott, question for you: on page 4, Kylo says he senses fear in Darcy. Who’s that? If it’s Hux, his first name is Armitage.

      • Scott Serradell

        Oh crap. I didn’t think he have a first name (and thought I had looked that up) so I gave him one. But you’re right. Damn.

    • Adam McCulloch

      You’ve clearly got a whole lot of talent, Scott. And 4 weeks? You’ve got some speed too.

  • RO

    Congrats to the AOW selection. Going to try and read all of these scripts. Just finished Scott’s Star Wars.

    My notes as I read:

    pg 1 – saw Rose is pregnant with Finn’s kid and literally spoke outloud in a sardonic tone
    “oh god…”
    pg 4/5 – Hux’s dialogue is cheesey even for Star Wars.

    Also, keep your text active. IE: KYLO SCREAMS, not KYLO SCREAMING.

    Pg. 11 – okay, so we have a plan where the Resistance will attack the first Order. But how
    will that win the war? Where is the crux

    Pg. 13 – all ready grounding Poe before the movie really starts… okay…

    Pg. 14 – Finn committing to a relationship and having a child with someone whom he doesn’t
    know why they like him? That’s effin’ reckless!

    Pg. 16 – Why would know Rose is in love with Kylo? Rose hasn’t met either of these characters.
    It’s almost as if you’re making fun of the character of Rose in this script. I like that
    mentality for all the wrong reasons.

    Pg. 28 – Ideally you want conflict between Kira and Finn but they’re too compliant.

    I need to stop making notes now. I have a feeling I’m going to crap all over this.

    Just finished the script. The good: It’s more focused with character direction than TLJ. The ending is sweet but is more of a shell than something as a whole. Don’t buy the love story between the two leads.

    But overall this story is a mess. The characters are in the right places for the set pieces but their actions involved in those set pieces seem unchanged by their presence.

    Props go out to Scott for giving it a shot. But this script feels more like it was written to be better than TLJ instead of being a great SW story.

  • Malibo Jackk

    One of the problems I have with reading the first page of a typical AOW script
    is that I usually find myself saying — I wouldn’t do that — or I would do it this way.
    Meaning that if I were writing it…
    It always trips me up. Interferes with the read.
    While it could be just a difference in style, it’s much less a problem with professional
    scripts and even a rare few AOWs.

    The most common problem with AOW scripts is that the writer is all wrapped up in
    TELLING the story.
    Why not DRAMATIZE it instead?
    (I just told you the secret of screenwriting.)

    Does anyone remember the opening scene of STAR WARS?
    Why was that dramatic?
    Well – There was action. There was mystery (who’s shooting at who). And there was
    spectacle (look at the size of that ship!).

    —-

    Like the ideas in the first page of Scott’s script.
    But it’s less effective because we’re being told vs dramatized.

    I hesitate even mentioning the following because I know others will disagree.
    Instead of giving our minds a chance to work – you set about telling us everything.
    Where is the mystery?
    And what’s more interesting – the person’s face or a funeral?
    Show us the funeral. Let us put two & two together. Then show us person’s face.

    And what’s the most interesting part of the last scene?
    To me it’s the robot. Start with that.
    What he doing? Who’s on the table?
    Make our minds work a bit. Before you show his face.

    Otherwise, we’re just reading.

    • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

      Great advice to be used on a later draft. Remember, the writer really cracked this out fast. In early drafts you, as the writer, are really just trying to establish beats, ie. what happens. So, yeah I TOTALLY agree with you, I just think that if given the additional draft process that would happen. AND I think Scott would do it. Hopefully with some Disney cash involved!

  • BMCHB

    Great achievement, Scott – 4 Weeks! Look forward to reading this.

    Just WRT to the opening funeral scene – narrative reasons insist that it’s not the most “exciting” but I think you can still sex it up Star Wars style.

    How about:

    – open with a PAN/TILT to a Moon set against a star speckled black sky/night.

    – What appears to be a huge starship RUMBLES into frame, crossing the screen like the Star Destroyer in SW: Ep IV

    – then the sound of LASER FIRE

    – Then REVEAL we actually have a POV from the ground looking up at Leia’s land cruiser-style/size coffin hovering over/passing us as Rebellion/Resistance troops give her a 12 Blaster Salute.

    Homage and more immediate, perhaps?

    Best of luck this weekend!

  • Malibo Jackk

    Short on time.

    SLEEPING GIANT
    Logline made me laugh.
    Will take a look.

    HIDEAWAY HILLS
    Logline sounds like four stories.
    When someone asks you what your movie is about – it’s best to give one answer.

  • Lucid Walk

    Working the night shift at Warner Bros, then I’m birthday-partying in Vegas over the weekend, so I’ll be preoccupied from any reading.

    I predict Star Wars will be reviewed next week, and the second-placer will be reviewed the following week.

    My money’s on Sleeping Giant. It sounds funny, it explores a different part of the world (at least in the movie industry), and “Big Leboswki” was the first thing that popped in my head.

  • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

    Read to page 21 of the Star Wars script. Will read the rest tomorrow.

    Initial reaction: the author does a good job of capturing the cadence of the past characters, but lacks an engaging plot that fans of this series are used to. This feels like a fan-boys script. Did like the re-introduction of Snoke as a devil that torments Kylo. Nice touch.

    All the “Star Wars” movies I remember start fast, with a compelling conflict. Immediate action. This script, however, lacks that.

    That said, JUST for doing this script the author deserves immense credit. So rack it, my vote is for this script. All for bravery.

  • Ashley Sanders

    Cool beans – early Amateur Offerings!
    At work so can only read the first pages today.

    I thought Lili and Will had a really great first page, the best AO first page I’ve read for a while. If it doesn’t turn out to be the strongest script I will be surprised. Look forward to reading more.

    Hideaway Hills and Sleeping Giant also kept my attention with their first pages. Happy to keep reading and see what happens.

    Dead Man’s Switch sounded like it would be name-checking a lot of military hardware. Which I guess is fun if that’s your bag but it’s not really mine and the logline left me exhausted.

    I’m currently a bit sad about Star Wars (it took me a full month to stop being angry about the last one) and just can’t bring myself to wade through more yet, but congratulations to Scott, it’s an interesting experiment and a huge accomplishment to complete a script so quickly.
    Will post again tomorrow or Sunday when I’ve had a chance to read more – but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a three horse race for me this weekend.

    • Stephjones

      Thinking your instincts are right about Lil and Will. Read 5 pages, then stopped because I wanted to know WHO wrote it. Loving it so far. Will keep reading.

  • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

    OFF TOPIC: (but since we were talking about this movie only a couple days ago)
    https://twitter.com/CharlizeAfrica/status/961692096519262208

  • Scott Crawford

    I’m here, I’m here. Votes! Votes!

    • PQOTD

      Early AOW’s caught me on the hop… Will get to email them shortly – obviously Scott already knows, but I best check first for who else does.

    • Ninjaneer

      My Vote: Episode IX

      • Scott Crawford

        Any quotes I can use?

        • Justin

          “It’s a ninja-riffic script.”

          • Scott Crawford

            “Five ninja throwing stars!”

          • BMCHB

            “EPIXnay On The Hombre” – Great album!

            Whatever happened to The Offspring? :-)

          • Jim

            New Offspring album out this year.

    • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

      My vote: “Star Wars: The New Republic”.

    • klmn

      My vote: Star Wars: The New Republic. 2’nd place: Lili And Will. This was close – maybe C should review ‘em both.

      I read ten pages of each.

      Star Wars: Easy to read. In contrast to other commenters, I don’t think it’s necessary to open with a big action set piece. I applaud Scott for writing a character-driven SW script. The transitions should be on the right.

      Dead Man’s Switch. I don’t really buy the genius hacker as terrorist genre, or this script (at least from the pages I’ve read). A few nights ago, Live Free Or Die Hard showed up on my cable. I hadn’t bothered with it when it played in theaters, and I switched off the tv halfway through.

      Hideaway Hills. “Charm the wallet out of Fagin’s pocket.” Kind of an obscure reference. Oliver Twist? I wonder how many readers will get that. It looks to have all the elements of a suspense movie, but I don’t feel a connection. Maybe there’s too much going on.

      The Sleeping Giant. Lost interest after the hemorrhoid conversation. P9 “402,000 miles.” Do British odometers register miles? I would expect kilometers.

      Lili And Will. I like this, may read more later. The flashback on p9 – I wonder if that should be your opening, then flash forward to Will’s later life. Good writing here.

  • James Michael

    I read the first 10 pages of Star Wars Ep IX and although I was actually enjoying it, I’m not sure if that’s because it was a good first 10 pages or because its star wars and I’m going to find it readable not matter what…

    Really my main issue with this one (and I’m sure this will be brought up by others) is that the first ten pages of this scripts isn’t a star wars film. There, I said it. Yes you have the opening crawl and you have the characters and the planets and star fighters and all that, but that doesn’t make it a star wars script.

    Where’s the opening action sequence is what I’m trying to say. That’s what star wars is. A big opening action sequence. Whether it be a shorter set piece (much like TLJ) or a longer sequence (Star Wars) this is kind of required in a star wars film I think.It’s a shame too, because I was liking the whole Kylo Ren losing his mind thing, and Hux planning a take over and all that. I just think you need to redo your opening.

    • Scott Serradell

      As I mentioned to Carmelo above, I struggled with this too, because I agree: It’s Star Wars — It NEEDS a big and exciting opening. But it was a lot of balls to juggle getting the set-up for the mid-point: Where Finn/Poe are attacked, Kylo is ambushed, the Resistance destroyed, and Rey to get back and save Kylo. My fear was that if that stuff wasn’t established before hand then — when we DO get to the action pieces — we, the audience, would have no emotional investment.

      Good criticism. Thanks.

      • James Michael

        I hear ya Scott, like I said I was actually enjoying it. I liked the way the story was going, I liked the writing and all of that. I’m just a purist I guess. But either way, nice work on the script — especially considering the 4 week caveat!

  • Lucid Walk

    OT: Anyone else reading the early reviews for Black Panther?

    Best MCU movie ever, best villain ever, strongest female characters, a ‘turning point’ for Marvel just to name a few.

    http://whatculture.com/film/black-panther-reviews-10-critical-reactions-you-need-to-see

    • Omoizele Okoawo

      I hope it’s true. If love to see a movie that have The Dark Knight some competition as the best hero film but I’ve been burned before.

    • Justin

      I heard from strong Marvel and comic book fans that the reviews are overpraising the film. Apparently it’s good in the “new” sort of way (like Winter Soldier was), but nothing to be in awe of. Which isn’t a surprise since all their films are done by the “Marvel formula.”

      I’m looking forward to watching it, but at this point I’m more excited for the official Venom trailer than I am watching any Marvel film.

      • Biju B

        The Venom teaser trailer didn’t do much for me. The percentage of down votes it received on youtube says it didn’t do much for the fans either.

        What did you think?

        • Justin

          Well, they just recently finished shooting from what I heard, so I’m not surprised by the quality of the teaser. Plus, it’s a teaser, so most of the things people complained about makes no sense.

          I thought it was okay — the voiceover was a bit too cheesy for films nowadays. But Tom Hardy is a great actor, so at the very least, the movie will be entertaining.

          • Biju B

            Yes, the Tom Hardy factor is what I am counting upon as well. He is a picky guy and hope Venom delivers it for him and the audience.

  • RS

    Since Carson mentioned it, here is my review of The 15:17 to Paris…https://blastmagazine.com/2018/02/09/1517-paris-movie-review/

  • sen9am

    Hey everyone, I’m the writer of SLEEPING GIANT. Surreal and exciting to see my script included in the mix. Thanks for the opportunity, Carson and best of luck to the other writers. Looking forward to any feedback coming my way.

    • PQOTD

      Liked your ‘WYSR’, sen9am. Doesn’t this particular part of the UK have the longest place name in the world? I’m not even going to attempt to pronounce it. You might get points if you can!

      • Llan

        I can pronounce it:

        Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

        See? Nailed it.

        • PQOTD

          That felt copied-and-pasted, but nice try. :)

      • sen9am

        Glad you liked it! Hopefully with that, the logline and the first page, I’ll be able to entice some readers.

        I had to learn to say it after getting so many requests from my non-Welsh friends. Top points are awarded if I can pronounce it without inadvertently spitting on them. What a consonant minefield.

        • PQOTD

          Just in case anyone’s wondering what we’re talking about…

          • Frankie Hollywood

            Damn, he nailed it. Wonder if the founding fathers, and mothers, had a few pints before deciding what to name their town village?

            Oh, nevermind. After a quick Goo search I see it was, “The long form of the name was invented for promotional purposes in the 1860s.” Still, the weatherman deserves a pat on the back.

          • klmn

            If I heard someone say that I’d wonder if he was choking to death.

          • PQOTD

            I wonder if he got it in one take?! (Probably, but you never know.)

        • Ashley Sanders

          Talking of things Welsh (I went to college there back in the dim and distant and frequently go back on my hols). Love it there. Anyway, I am very much enjoying REQUIEM currently 3 epiosdes in on BBC iPlayer. Very mourneful and atmospheric and makes good use of the Welsh landscape. I would happily watch it even without the supernatural elements. Very nicely done so far I think. And for our American friends, coming to Netflix sometime soon I believe, presumably after its BBC run – keep an eye out for it. Good telly stuff.

          • sen9am

            I’ve been looking forward to getting into Requiem. Shall give an episode a watch this weekend! ,

          • PQOTD

            Will defo keep an eye out for ‘Requiem’.

            Speaking of the BBC (bless it!), I saw the first ep of ‘Hard Sun’ the other night. When I find time to download and binge on the other 5 in the first series, if they’re up to par with ep 1, it’ll be 5 hours well spent.

  • Nick Morris

    Gotta say, if I leave the theater in December 2019 having just watched an Episode 9 that resembles Scott’s version, I’ll be pretty damn happy.

    Scott takes everything that THE LAST JEDI set up and runs like hell with it in the best possible direction. There’s some really nice character development going on here (particularly for Finn and Hux) that the franchise sorely needs at this point.

    Something that sucks about the Disney era SW films: they lack George Lucas’ imaginative visuals (though I still feel Johnson delivered more in this regard than Abrams did).

    Scott’s script takes us to interesting new worlds and introduces whimsical characters and creatures that we’ve never seen before. It expands on the mythology without betraying it and delivers plenty of really fun and wild action set pieces, including a seriously epic space battle. And it’s driven by a much stronger forward momentum than TLJ was, which was my biggest issue with Rian Johnson’s script.

    Things I was most excited to see: Knights of Ren (though I was hoping that one in particular would return before the end), a pissed-off, badass Finn and (finally) R2, 3P0 and Chewie pulled out of the background. I’m frankly quite impressed that Scott was able to deliver such a solid SW script in just 4 weeks!

    I’m flat out busy this weekend but if I can find any time to check out the other scripts I’ll cast a vote on Sunday. Good luck, all!

    • Scott Serradell

      I so appreciate your enthusiasm for what I tried to do here, Nick, and that you saw my choices as trying to fit organically into everything that has come before. It was not easy (I did panic for a short time at the beginning of starting this, as it dawned on me that I was writing something called Star Wars. “Fuck! I must be out of my MIND for doing this!”)

      But–Star Wars or not–this is still a screenplay–a story–that has to obey all the rules and conventions of storytelling (“Thou shall not be boring”, etc.) And that I was able to “pull it off” in four weeks is my proudest accomplishment. I’m beyond happy that you (and a few others) recognize the sheer demon-driven insanity of such a venture.

      Lastly, that last Knight of Ren is still out there. Seemed apt to save one for another installment (and you undoubtedly noticed the cryptic mention of a ‘new master’ — who I deliberately did not unveil.)

      • DB Stevens

        Yeah, good job, Scott. You did the best job possible in salvaging the plot points, character representations, and themes that you were given with Episodes 7 and 8. And you even did a great job in pulling all three trilogies together in multiple places, including that LOTR: RETURN OF THE KING style multiple endings.

        I’d say from a script writing POV, this is a great realistic example of how a big budget assignment job might play out. You’ve got a brand you like, but you’re working off previous stories you might not (we do live in a land of sequels), and you’ve got a limited amount of time to make something you feel good about, that you think will actually make a decent movie for the audience, but that will also get buy in and be appreciated by the producers and people behind the scenes.

        All around, I’m impressed. This is a completely serviceable assignment script that could get into production. So kudos, Scott!

  • brenkilco

    Just checking loglines and first pages for now.

    Star Wars: A Star Wars script by a respected regular. On this site. Hm. No way this loses. Even if we learn the script used to hang out with Harvey Weinstein and once tried to show Rose Mcgowan its font. Plenty of time to check this out later and to try to overcome my natural Star Wars aversion.

    Dead Man’s Switch. Mercs and manhunts and a crypto currency mcguffin. Sounds Segal level cheesy. But OK.

    One of those pointless, sound only openings. ‘It builds in amplification’ Ya mean it gets louder? ‘A dirge of forest’. I have no idea what the writer thinks dirge means. And that makes me sad. ‘A road traverses here and there.’ Does he mean there are gaps in the road or that it’s a switchback road in which case to and fro might be better? And traverse is a transitive verb. It takes an object which this sentence hasn’t got. ‘Hell fire missiles dislodge’. Not unless the plane is defective. Otherwise I think they’re released.

    To be blunt here this many questionable grammar choices in the first couple of paragraphs do not make me confident that this is a writer with a command of the intricacies of the crypto currency market.

    • PQOTD

      Just to be especially nit-picky, confusing it’s with its in a logline doesn’t exactly inspire confidence either.

      ‘It’s’ with the apostrophe is a contraction of ‘it is’, or sometimes, ‘it has’. That is, a noun plus a verb. Example: That lost dog? It’s over there. It’s not smelling so good. It’s been dead a while. There’s no name on its collar.

      See what I did with that last one? It required no apostrophe because it was not a contraction. The collar belonged to the dog.

      In the case of ‘Dead Man’s Switch’, the global economy might be brought to its knees. If it had them. No apostrophe there either.

      ‘Its’ without the apostrophe is possessive: ‘its’ is to ‘it’ as ‘his’ is to ‘he’ or ‘hers’ is to ‘she’. His knees, her knees, its knees.

      Unless we’re Max Landis, we don’t get cut much slack on this stuff. I probably sound like everyone’s 4th grade teacher, but if we want writing to be our profession, spelling and grammar kind-of come with the territory, yeah?

      • brenkilco

        That’s what scripts need. Fewer hackers and mercenaries and evil bankers. More 4th grade teachers.

        • PQOTD

          Yay, 4th grade teachers!

          Actually, I was just wondering if the writer’s first language isn’t English. That might explain the odd phrasing like ‘dirge of forest’.

          • brenkilco

            I don’t get that sense. But if this guy is ESL than I take back what I said. The first page is impressive.

          • PQOTD

            My good deed for the weekend will be to break out my trusty red pencil. I mean, the highlighter on the comments menu in the .pdf. *cracks knuckles*

        • klmn

          Not if they were like my fourth grade teacher.

      • Kane

        I struggle with both spelling and grammar. If I feel like I’ve got a winner, I pay a 4th grade teacherish person to give it a pass. Thing is I wouldn’t do that for an amateur offering because I don’t know if I have a winner yet without feedback. (unless someone knows a good and cheap editor??)

        With that said I don’t tend to focus on the spelling and grammar so much unless it’s something egregious (which a logline its/it’s mistake may arguably be). The thing that made me concerned about this one was that most of the dialogue on page one was written by someone else. Top that with a logline that felt familiar and an opening similar to many other mercenary/hacker/global plot scripts out there and I’m not sure I would be getting any surprises here.

        • PQOTD

          I’ve made the ubiquitous spelling mistake on the first page, (‘D’oh!’) and it’s really not a bad investment to get someone with an editorial nature to cast a critical eye over stuff.

          Many software programs these days come with spell-checkers, too. I don’t know why more people don’t use them. (As per above, I learnt that one the hard way.)

          • klmn

            Of course a spell-checker won’t catch homonyms, like its and it’s. So you need both the spell-check program and a proofreader.

    • Stephjones

      I’d love to read one of your comedy scripts, Brenkilco. Your font of knowledge could gush right up into my wellspring any old time.

      BTW…is it font or fount? Hope it can be either or the joke is ruined.

    • OpenFireFilms

      I wish I had a good excuse for the word choices in the opening page, but I don’t. Suffice to say, I have much to learn and will make better choices next time.

      • brenkilco

        There’s always a temptation to think that the strength of the narrative will carry a reader past any small slips in grammar and style. But like they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression so especially in the early going it pays to double check, and never use a word you’re unsure of, even if it sounds good. Good luck.

  • CCM30

    I was a bit disappointed with the Star Wars script. It reads like some bad fanfiction for the most part.

    I had to stop at around page 20 when we got to a planet of small creatures, at that point so much wasn’t working for me. In fact, the entirety of it read as if they were deleted scenes from TLJ. For a script that intended on being what TLJ wasn’t, it feels like the exact opposite. Almost every scene feels like it was ripped from early TLJ drafts.

    We still have the intercut Force talk. We have beats from the previous films or even previous trilogies. Nothing is subtle and everything is said explicitly rather than shown to us
    — so, so many instances in which the action lines tell us things we can infer by the dialogue and behavior of the characters. It doesn’t seem like the writer is confident in his ability to get across to the reader what he wants us to think or feel or know about something, so he often tells us outright in the action lines or description. This results in weak writing and a lot of unfilmables. Some decisions are just plain odd (like why Rose is pregnant and decides to keep a kid when they are still clearly at war with the First Order? Plus, she was badly hurt at the end of TLJ. Why would they have a kid? Could she even support one?)

    And then Poe. By now, Poe should be a smarter, wiser, respected character. It’s the third movie in the trilogy. Why is he getting grounded over some dumb conversation he shouldn’t have had anyway? Plus, if he was just going to go against the alien general’s orders after the fact, why would he even tell her about the secret mission in the first place? His logic is that they only need a few guys…if that’s the case, just round up the few guys and not tell her. We just have this unnecessary conversation that generates artificial conflict.

    Not only that, but in the entire first twenty pages, there isn’t a single instance of action. The opener is entirely boring. Do we really need this sappy funeral right at the beginning of the film? And nothing exciting follows it or shows up in the entire first twenty pages. It’s all talking and talking and talking. Where’s the big, memorable SW opening?

    It doesn’t seem like the writer is confident in his ability to get across to the reader what he wants us to think or feel or know about something, so he often tells us outright in the action lines or description. This results in weak writing and a lot of unfilmables.

    And then separating the characters again. I want to see these characters build and grow together! I hate how TLJ separated everyone for no good reason after we spent all that time getting them together in Episode 7. Now we’re separating them again, still playing on notes right out of TLJ.

    As a SW fan, I couldn’t get passed the first twenty pages when so much of it felt exactly like TLJ, when it felt like a melodramatic fan-fiction, when it was honestly kinda boring and had nothing exciting or compelling to offer, etc.

    The script plays on so many of the things I didn’t like about TLJ, that I was truly surprised that this script was in fact intended to be what TLJ wasn’t. It completely falls flat on its face in that regard (from how far into it I read).

    Much of it, if I haven’t said already, is very on-the-nose. Hux and his cohorts should just act and behave suspiciously. You don’t have to come out and tell us explicitly that they are trying to get Hux to become supreme leader. There are many instances like these.

    If there are better things in the script to come, they should come way sooner, since unfortunately I never got to them.

    Hope I have some more time to get into the rest of the script but from what I was able to read, it wasn’t as good as I expected. Seems like it improves later on so I’d like to finish it eventually.

    Congrats on putting this together in just a month, but it definitely shows that was the case. Still, much respect for what you were able to accomplish.

  • Kane

    My vote is for “Lili and Will”. I hate flash forwards, but I enjoyed the first page. It is funny, sets up a mystery and I’m curious to see why Will deserve the treatment. Lili seems a bit spry for 70 but I’ll give it a chance.

    • Wijnand Krabman

      Agree, but I don’t see any urgency in its logline. i fear this has no legs.

      • Kane

        The WYSR gave me the same feeling.

  • Wijnand Krabman

    Star wars, I don’t like star wars. Like Grendl said before the arc is completed there is no point to go on. Although the writing is not bad at all you confuse me with the Kylo’s nightmare, you write in the past letting me think this is a flashback. I think it’s better to write in the present. I see this win.

  • Jedi

    I don’t know all that much about Star Wars as a whole, so I’m curious where this fits in with the timeline. Is this story suppose to take place instead of The Last Jedi movie? Or is it suppose to be a sequel to The Last Jedi?

    • Scott Serradell

      After THE LAST JEDI. It’s meant to conclude this new trilogy.

  • Randy Williams

    Disappointed that my Horror pilot submission wasn’t thrown in the mix this week, but I’m relieved, as well, not having to go up against an iconic Star Wars script with a huge Star Wars fan base here.
    Not a Star Wars fan, but I’m going to start with it because I do learn a great deal from the repeated discussions here on Scriptshadow of Star Wars franchise story elements. I’m sure there’s a lesson here, as well.
    Good luck, all! be back with my reviews.

    • Poe_Serling

      What’s your potential horror series about? Or is that hush-hush until it
      shows up on AOW?

      • Randy Williams

        It’s called “To Catch A “Z”. Each episode is sort of a Twilight Zone -like look at humans and their reliance on and battle with sleep. I submitted the first and am working on the second.

        • Poe_Serling

          Twilight Zone? Hmm, never heard of it.

          ;-)

          I got a feeling that your pilot could create a bit of buZZ if featured
          on an upcoming AOW.

          Maybe Carson will consider having an all PILOT edition sometime
          in the near future.

          Toss in klmn’s rasslin’ one and a few others from the familiar
          avatars around here.

    • Frankie Hollywood

      I’m also bummed Carson didn’t choose my pilot this week (mine’s sci-fi). Maybe C will nosh on some Tide Pods next week and in a hallucinated state he’ll throw together a TV PILOT AOW. I do believe that’s what it’s gonna take.

  • OpenFireFilms

    Writer of Dead Man’s Switch here. Very happy to see it on the Amateur’s contest and thank you for your time to read to any and all feedback you’re able to give. I’ll be working a lot today and tomorrow, so, I’ll only be able to pop in sporadically, but will do my best. I really like this script and thought it kind of fit the current zeitgeist. Enjoy (I hope) and thanks again for the opportunity!

    • PQOTD

      Congrats on getting into the mix, and hope you get some terrific feedback!

      • OpenFireFilms

        Thanks. Same here.

  • Erica
    • LK

      Don’t worry, that car is the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.

      • PQOTD

        ‘Cos, you know, red always goes faster, too.

  • Biju B

    I seem to have made it early today. Here goes:

    Star wars:
    For a world as big as star wars, and the possibilities therein, the first 11 pages felt a bit ‘small’ – for lack of a better word. Leaving aside which side we are on, for better or worse, TLJ did shake things up.

    Rather than struggling with his inner demons, I would have liked to see Kylo do something big to enforce his credentials as supreme leader especially after the way Luke humiliated him at the end and also when he knows that the resistance is at its weakest ever. Just destroying an inconsequential planet to show off a new Destroyer gun feels… well… inconsequential. Haven’t we seen similar scenes so many times already before?

    Finn and Rose having a baby?! Does the story really ‘need’ to go there at all?

    What would have motivated Leia to appoint Finn in charge of the resistance? He had wasted his time in the entirety of the last film chasing after a ‘lock picker’ (I really didn’t buy into that character to be anything more) that led to the resistance being almost wiped off at one go.

    ‘distain’ should be ‘disdain’.

    And… I will stop before this gets too long. Kudos for getting the script done and dusted so quick. As for your writing, I am definitely going to finish the read and can’t wait for your next one. Good luck Scott.

    Hideaway Hills:
    Not a very interesting logline. Made it to page 6. Most of the action lines feel clunky and do nothing to elevate the scenes. Celia is very one dimensional. Dialogues are bland. The opening feels very generic and the story predictable. It’s a pass for me. Congrats on making headway in the festivals. All the best.

    Sleeping Giant:
    Questions from the logline – who does the body belong to? If it’s the father, how did they get the ashes already? And if someone else, please mention who for us to care.

    ‘INT. FORD ESCORT – DAY – 1997′ – Is this a flashback? Then ‘1997’ has to be SUPERed.
    ‘It’s Summer but a deluge of rain’ – how do we know it’s summer if we are shown raining?
    ‘rain descends through the gray’ – How do you show that when we are ‘inside’ the car.
    ‘smart and introverted ‘ – pray show and not tell.
    ‘ upcoming formation of hills’ – when exactly did Ifor start driving? I thought the car was parked until I read this line.
    ‘Samlet sees what his father ‘ – didn’t know he was Ifor’s son. So this line doesn’t make sense until that relationship is already established.
    ‘ CONTINUOUS – 1997′ – No need for 1997 again as it’s a ‘continuous’ shot as you mention.

    OK. Made to half of page 3. The problems with the action lines is not helping the read. I like Ifor and his lines. May read further if time permits. All the best.

    Dead Man’s Switch:
    About the logline: With most of the developed world not yet having anywhere close to properly defined regulation in place for crypto currencies, combined with the fact only a handful of exchanges worldwide allow it’s trading, the claim that bankrupting the crypto-currency market would bring the global economy to it’s knees is too far fetched to buy into – unless – there is something in the story which exposes some hidden fact about crypto currencies to this effect. If so, it should definitely be hinted at in the logline.

    ‘dirge of FOREST and MOUNTAINS’ – never seen a dirge of them before :/
    ‘ A road traverses here and there’ – I LOLed at this which I am sure I was not supposed to.
    ‘missiles dislodge from the Drone’s pylons’ – Drones got pylons??
    ‘ His calm demeanor …’, ‘These guys could be from …’, ‘They’re who do… ‘ etc. – Quite a few unfilmables there
    ‘all right’ should be ‘alright’

    Page 8 does it for me. Expecting a better action sequence to start an action movie with and also the writing need to be tighter. Check out the Star wars script above. All the best.

    Lill&Will
    The most interesting logline of the bunch. Read to page 16. I chuckled quite a few times. Interesting bunch of characters. Good pacing despite the minor flashbacks. Very well written. Will read through the end and also gets MY VOTE.

  • BoSoxBoy

    Thanks, Jessie. Going with the flow, wherever it leads.

  • Cuesta

    I was going to vote Dead Man’s Switch, because I basically only read action things, otherwise I get bored, my atenttion span is very short; but, after reading a couple pages, thematically, it’s not for me. Sorry to the writer.

    So my vote goes for Star Wars. It’s cool and well done. Although I don’t really like that fanfics of popular franchises compete with new products of amateur writers, I think that’s bit of a cheat, imo.

    • DB Stevens

      Agreed, they are sort of two different things. But with the amateur specs there’s no differentiation between those that are written with the idea of them being turned into movies, those that you’d need to film yourself, or those that are only written to showcase a voice that would never really work as a movie, so I think the integration of a “sample assignment” showcase should fit in too.

      So yeah, vote goes to Ep9:TNR.

    • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

      Scott said he was going to do it, AND he did it in record time. It’s quite an accomplishment. Writing sequels isn’t as easy as you think. You still have to be interesting.

      • Cuesta

        I don’t think it’s easy. The “unfairness” I had in mind was because the popularity of the ip or characters.

  • S.W.

    Does anyone have the TRON: LEGACY script in PDF format? Or know where I can find it online? Thanks. filmprod952@yahoo.com

    • Scott Crawford

      No, only the Richard Jeffries one.

  • Kizak

    Have you guys been watching Altered Carbon? I gotta say I’m impressed. A lot of sci-fi on television can often have a bit of a cheap ‘look’ to it, especially when trying to create big, bold exotic worlds, especially in comparison to things up on the big screen.

    However, this show really nails it. Production design, visual effects, costumes, everything is far better than I would have expected. And Joel Kinnaman has never really been on my radar before this, but he really works well here.

    • -n8-

      Meh. Looks good. But boring af.

  • Randy Williams

    STAR WARS: THE NEW REPUBLIC (EPISODE IX)

    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    I’ve seen the first Star Wars movie, and that’s about it. I’m familiar with the original cast and a few from discussions on here. Some, like Hux and Poe, Finn and BB-8, I’m totally unfamiliar with.

    I suppose there’s the assumption that I should know these characters but I think the writer quickly and deftly sketches out their characteristics here so that, with the exception of BB-8, who makes a quick entrance and exit (“sliding” its head away?), these people are no longer strangers to me. Loved that.

    I’ve seen lots of discussion of Rey here on this site, most agreeing that she’s a welcome addition to the universe. I get to know her here, and I can see why she’s endeared herself.
    I find the alpha male angst of Kylo Ren very compelling but Rey really shines here as someone I’d want to follow when she seeks the island of her dream.

    The description, I thought had a great energy, and put me without too much detail into places. I loved some of the description of a character’s inner emotional status, but I felt there was just a bit too much of it, when either trusting us with their dialogue or some physical business given to the actor would suffice in explaining their inner thoughts.

    So, we have a few things to look forward to, the raid to steal the weapon with Kylo and Rey discovering her birth place and each scene that advances these goals ends on a nice sort of cliffhanger. So, it keeps me turning pages.

    Again, I don’t know this universe very well, and perhaps Luke has to make his entrance there on pages 18-19 and maybe that conversation is vital to the story. However, for me, it felt inorganic and a bit forced and over dramatic coming after everything else. I thought some of the same material can be presented with Kylo’s conversation with Hux in the same scene.

    I didn’t understand why some dialogue in the next scene was surrounded by <<<>>>

    Is Ben-Chu a new character from this writer’s imagination? I really loved him and was charmed by everything here in this ancient place scene. What about Jorga? Coming from it blind, it felt there like I wasn’t ready for a new odd character just yet, wishing to let Ben Chu sink into my memory much longer.

    What, with the fan base, I can see this getting some votes, but it’s a page turner, without that. I read to page 30 and would read more if time allowed. I’d have no problem considering it for my vote, not being a Star Wars fan, I recognize some good story telling here..
    But others to read!

    • Scott Serradell

      Thank you Randy. To clarify the <> dialogue was to indicate an alien tongue (seemed less tedious than writing ALIEN SPEECH every time.)

      And yes, both Ben-Chu (and Jorga) are my creations.

      • DB Stevens

        BTW, Scott, your space-naming was totally on point. Every person, planet, ship, or alien sounded like a Star Wars thing. That’s actually harder to do than most people think.

      • Randy Williams

        Excellent job creating these new characters. I want a Ben-Chu action figure!

  • Poe_Serling

    The Sleeping Giant

    Not really my cup of tea (story-wise), but I gotta say I felt that the writer really gives
    the reader an intimate snapshot into the lives and surroundings of the handful of
    characters that populate this particular slab of real estate in the United Kingdom.

    I got a hunch that others that tilt toward these kind of stories will give it more than
    a little consideration when it comes time to pull the voting lever.

    A full circle moment for me…

    Wales

    Just yesterday I watched an interview with Anthony Hopkins chitchatting about
    growing up there, etc.

    • sen9am

      Hey Poe! Shame the story wasn’t your cup of tea but thank you for your honesty. Hopefully you’re right and it gets some votes!

      For a tiny place we have quite a few legendary exports! Although the country itself isn’t often represented in films, which is part of the reason why I tried to make the setting function as a character in this script. Really pleased to hear you thought I did a good job of that aspect at least.

  • jbird669

    1) 50 people who heard about the thwarted terrorist attack Clint Eastwood
    made a movie about

    Carson (assuming this statement was not in jest), do you not consume much media? Ads for this are all over the TV this week. I’m not trying to be snarky. I ask because I’m talking to a friend who has local production contacts and we’re exploring making a web series. You have a prominent website, and yet you say you didn’t see trailers for Greatest Showman (which in my market was attached to TLJ) and now this, which is all over TV (I watch a lot of TV on Netflix, etc, but I’ve seen it advertised quite a bit). This will help us with marketing it.

    2) Looking forward to reading the Star Wars script!

    • Midnight Luck

      I’ve been to about 7 movies in the last 2 weeks, and that Clint Eastwood movie The 15:17 to Paris, or something, had a preview trailer before 6, if not all 7 movies.
      It’s out there, in huge fashion….

  • Jaco

    Quick glance at the logs, WYSR, and first page.

    Star Wars: 4 weeks? While the feat in and of itself is pretty cool – I fear that the script will be undercooked and the first page certainly shows that to be true to my eyes. The opening scroll doesn’t really make a lot of logical sense and then the ensuing two scenes are devoid of anything unique or interesting. Sorry, not for me.

    Lili and Will: Kind of an interesting concept. But . . .the first page. To start, why all the wasted white space at the top? Second, the very first sentence is awkward – read it out loud . . . I know what you’re going for here – but it falls flast. Then . . . the VO. This killed the opening for me. Have the fight happen on its own – much more interesting. Not sure if you have Will doing this throughout the movie . . don’t. Pass.

    Hills: Concept’s interesting – I think I’ve seen a few wildfire scripts out there where it serves as the backdrop for something else . . . home invasion, robbery, etc. My first thought reading this is – why do I care how the fire starts? Answer – I don’t. Unless there’s an arson investigation thrown into this story – it doesn’t work for me. Plus – like many amateur scripts, the sentences here don’t read clean. Probably would vote for this on concept alone – but we’ll see if the others do any better.

    Giant: This seems like it could be interesting, unfortunately for me, the first page doesn’t really offer anything new. Couple friends in a car saying things that don’t really matter and don’t propel the story forward. Seems like there’s an attempt to front load a lot of info that would be better served being ladled out over the course of the script rather than dumped right in our lap. Pass.

    Dead Man: I used to do it all the time – noises over black. Sometimes it works – here it doesn’t. Lose it. Dirge of forest? What is that? I always thought a dirge was some sort of sad song as opposed to a descriptive adjective. Another page with some awkward phraseology. Nothing happens here that we haven’t seen before . . . while it might be cinematic to see a drone firing missiles and crashing into a side of a mountain – it’s certainly no dramatic. Pass.

    Put a vote in for Hills – decent concept and has shown promise by doing well in some second/third tier contests.

    Good luck to all the writers moving forward.

    • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

      If you’re inspired and have a vision why should it take long to write anything? Clearly Scott Serrandell loves this series. And I for one admire ANYONE who has THE BALLS to take on a difficult task like writing a sequel to someone else’s work.

      Point of clarification, for the women out there who were thankfully born without ballles and have something wonderful down in the region instead, I appreciate your efforts too. Balls was meant in a daring fashion which can be achieved by either gender.

      • Jaco

        I’m not suggesting there’s any time limit on how long writing should take. However, in my experience, the less time one takes in writing a script, the greater chances that it isn’t going to be stellar work product.

        As far as the rest of your post . . . it’s definitely right in line with your history of debasing and humiliating yourself with absolutely no self-awareness whatsoever.

        • Jacked

          You swan around here with a mighty high opinion of yourself. You’re really not all that. Maybe you should come back down to earth every once in a while. He’s certainly not the only one around here who debases and humiliates himself. A little self-awareness would do you good.

          • Jaco

            Lol. Thanks, Mom.

        • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

          Buddy, most times I’m just having some fun! Relax. Though if you need some one to pick on, I’m game!

          • Jaco

            Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

    • H B

      Hi Jaco, Glad you find the concept interesting for HH. Thanks for looking. Heather

  • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

    Finished reading “Star Wars: The New Republic” by Scott Serradell.

    Was VERY IMPRESSED by Scott’s handling of all the characters in this story. Very nice balance in going back and forth between characters. A noticed a lot of scenes ended with good cliffhangers. Could see the characters I knew and loved come to life in his story. Scott’s definitely got the pulse down.

    Thought this story need more, and better articulated action scenes. Stop leaving so much to the imagination–and describe what is happening on the page.

    Why are all the CUT TO callouts formatted like on the left margin? That’s wrong. Should be formatted off to the right. I was tripped by some other slugline formatting errors too. Might wanna revisit that, if you continue to want to hone this script.

    Like the introduction of the knights of Ren, would have liked them to have some more screen time, and explanation.

    Overall I was very impressed by Scott’s effort. He took on a VERY DIFFICULT undertaking and came up with a workable end to the Star Wars saga. Though the story could have been better, but Scott’s effort isn’t fall-off-the-cliff bad, it’s o-kay. And if any of us looked our self in the mirror and thought we could do better, we would be hard pressed to do so.

    So, you got my respect, pal. You did it! You wrote a workable “Star Wars” story.

    • Scott Serradell

      Thank you E.C. for recognizing my efforts. As for the action scene thing, you’re right, I probably took my foot off the pedal too much (especially towards the end.) I was finding out that actions scenes of that scope are much harder to tackle and unless you have them painstakingly choreographed beforehand you can easily get lost in the tedium of writing them (and I swear if I ever have to write the word “Laser” one more time I’m opening my wrists on the keyboard.)

      As for the CUT TO in the left margin, it’s one of those cheats I’ve read before (read anything by William Goldman; also Tony Gilroy’s first “Bourne” script) that works nicely to keep the momentum of the eye moving down the page. I used it sparingly and found it useful, especially when cutting quickly between a tight area of different scenes. So, it’s not exactly wrong and perhaps not exactly right but it can be an effective short-cut for reducing script clutter.

  • Levres de Sang

    Late to the AOW party, but excited to see how this all pans out… (Also hope to get to these myself.)

    As for first impressions, I’d say THREE of the five have impressive first pages!!

    Star Wars: The New Republic (Episode IX) — Liked the 77 original, but not a fan of the subsequent franchising. That said, Scott’s opening crawl gave me shivers! Superb title as well. And 4 weeks… Incredibly well played, Sir!

    Lili & Will — Subject matter, logline and genre didn’t sound too promising, but I have to say that’s a GREAT first page! The V.O. totally works IMO. Why does it work…? Not only is it executed cinematically, but character and voice make it so.

    Hideaway Hills — Not a fan of home invasion stories, but fire is hugely cinematic. And thankfully this side of things predominates on the first page. Loved the Pre-lap, too. Again, it demonstrates a cinematic sensibility. Good job so far!

    • H B

      Thanks Levres de Sang. Glad you like it so far.

      • Levres de Sang

        Main thing I’m wondering without having read any further (it may well be Sunday before I do) is whether wildfires and home invasions are compatible? At a glance one could be forgiven for thinking they’re something of a tonal mismatch.

        • H B

          The fire is symbolic of the truth closing in on Celia. She ignores the signs until it is right upon her. It serves as a catalyst for events in the third act. The home invasion is a tool to the truth and not a thing in and of itself. You’re making me really think about this. I love it. Methinks I need a better logline to make the story less generic sounding.

          • Levres de Sang

            Yes, the logline certainly suffers with the generic-sounding “must choose sides”; but mostly I think the ‘threat’ to Celia should come from within the gated community itself (and maybe it does!) As I say, I’m not a fan of home invasion stories and wonder if that “tool to the truth” might be better served by something more organic. An overly dictatorial neighborhood committee, perhaps?

          • H B

            Hm.. interesting idea to mull on. I guess I was taking people down the path of what they would believe is a generic home invasion movie but, if they read it through, events and people don’t turn out as expected (I hope). But sometimes that’s asking a lot to say, Bear with me on this.

  • Poe_Serling

    Lili & Will

    Again, not the sort of story line I would ever search out or probably watch
    if I were flipping through the channels.

    But here’s the thing…

    I thought the first page is definitely an attention-getter and provides quite
    a memorable introduction to the main characters.

    After the slam-bang opening, the strip joint scene went on a bit too long
    (six or seven pages in length) and took away of some of the earlier
    momentum (at least for me).

    Hard to imagine a young teenager serving up drinks in a bar setting…
    even if it’s a dive. But who knows.

    Overall, perhaps an updated take on Harold and Maude starring Ruth
    Gordon and Bud Cort..

    Good luck with it.

  • BMCHB

    MY VOTE: Sleeping Giant

    I enjoyed this the most. It has Logline and formatting issues as do all the offerings this week. That’s never a dealbreaker for me, easy to correct.

    This was the one I found myself moving my lips to, speaking the dialogue aloud in my best Welsh accent. There is a lovely lyricism in the dialogue that I fear may be missed without readers knowing even the “standard” Welsh accent.

    Best of luck to the writer and the others.

    * I reserve the right to retrospectively withdraw my vote if Wales defeat Ireland in the 6 Nations! ;-)

    • sen9am

      That’s such an encouraging note and one I am particularly proud to receive.

      Don’t worry; I’m sure Wales won’t pose a threat to the Irish this Six Nations. England, on the other hand…

      Thank you for the feedback and vote.

  • PQOTD

    Hello Heather, and it’s always lovely to have writers stop by and say hello. :)

    I think everyone’s checked in this weekend now. That’s rare, but very welcome. Hopefully we get some terrific feedback, insights and discussions.

    • H B

      Thanks PQOTD. I was amazed to be included this week. Thanks! The Good, the Bad and the Ugly are coming my way. But that’s why I’m here.

  • Adam McCulloch

    My vote: Lili and Will.

    Title: STAR WARS: THE NEW REPUBLIC (EPISODE IX)

    There’s two things I’m not a fan of, Star Wars and fan fiction, so I’m afraid this screenplay was never going to interest me. I don’t know what happened in Star Wars beyond the first two movies so my feedback therefore is on this screenplay as a standalone idea. In the logline I don’t know who Rey is and why we should care about her past. Her desire to search for her past seems to be unrelated to the Resistance and their attempt to restore order. I was lost on the first page because there are so many assumptions about characters that I was not familiar with. I guess my feedback in probably easy to dismiss but if you’re relying so heavily on a reader’s knowledge of pre-existing story then you are not allowing your own substantial screenwriting talents to shine.

    Having said that, I wonder if it might be worthwhile for Carson to review a spec episode of an existing TV show. From what I understand, writing a spec for an existing show is one of the ways to break into a writer’s room so it would be interesting to hear his take on how to and how not to do it.

    Title: Lili & Will

    The logline seems overly long. It’s also not specific enough. What does “seek justice” and “epic journey’ look like? Beware of cliches in loglines. Often they are place-markers for a more specific choice. Also “short changed” doesn’t sound like big enough stakes.

    Initially I also thought that the story was being told from the perspective of the wrong protagonist — after all it’s the neighbor who the inciting incident happens to and whose life is turned upside down — but the first page is so damn good and fills me with confidence so I decided to read on.

    I felt that the opportunity you have with the voice over is to easily set up the story but you don’t use it well beyond page one and by page 15, I was wondering when the story was going to start. The voice over shows that the character arced when he says he kind of deserved it. I want to see Lili and Will much sooner. She’s a great character and they are a wonderful odd couple. The whole Plymouth Roadruner scene (nice stuff) currently happens on page 28 and it feels like it needs to be closer to page 10. The whole bully thing seemed like it wasn’t needed. I’d suggests getting straight to Wills weakness and need: he thinks he can steal money from Lil and then realizes there is a bigger prize in helping her steal back the money she is owed or something.

    Overall I felt that this screenplay has some really nice moments between Lili and Will and some good voice kind of like a darker version of Malcolm in the Middle and for this reason I’m going to give you my vote. I can see it getting made.

    Title: Hideaway Hills

    The logline seems confused and too vague. I’d suggest that the wildfire is an unnecessary scene agitator. The woman choosing sides sounds very passive and the home invaders appear to have a more interesting story. I’m thinking “secrets about her marriage”- how bad could it be? But “owing money to the wrong people” and being in the shit so deep that you decide that a home invasion is the only way out? That’s a better story. In terms of both stakes and tone, these two stories don’t seem particularly well paired.

    If the woman is your protagonist then all you really have in the logline is “After secrets are revealed about her marriage, a woman must chose sides.” From this you can clearly see how vague it is. We need to know what the secrets are action she takes to remedy it.

    The first page doesn’t fill me with confidence. I’m guessing that the car and driver will not appear again in the script. It also doesn’t seem particularly original, both in the choice of car and the assumed personality of the driver. I know that sounds harsh but one of the other contenders this week also has a car scene and it’s clearly well thought out: a Plymouth Roadrunner in the correct colors and with the nose cone and tail is a great choice for the character.

    Read to page 23. I wasn’t bonding with any of the characters and felt that the home invasion needed to happen on page 10. I skimmed forwards to see when it happens and appears to only get started on page 43. I think you need to choose who this story is about.

    Title: Sleeping Giant

    I think the dismembered body needs to be the focus of the logline rather than tacked on at the end. As it stands it’s not integral to the concept and there are non stakes or urgency. What happens if he doesn’t dispose of his father’s ashes or get rid of the body?

    I didn’t mind the first three pages in the car and the introduction of Floyd and Ifor. It wasn’t clear that Ifor was killed by Floyd and, at first I assumed that this was the roadtrip we were already on. So then for 27 pages I felt like I was still waiting for the story to start. Maybe look at having Ifor killed in a non-car related way so that when Floyd returns to make amends, there is no confusion about the roadtrip. There were way too many characters to introduce for a story that is ultimately going to put two people in a car.

    Title: Dead Man’s Switch

    The logline seems too long and the mercenary bit is not really relevant. “One of her own” is not specific enough. If it were her boss then that would be more interesting. I also don’t see what the inciting incident is here that brings her out of retirement. It also needs to be more specific. What does “hunt down” involve? Is she killing him or finding him in a cabin in Vermont or finding him on Facebook

    Having said that, I can see why you added the mercenaries. Without them the story sounds like there will be a whole lot of computer screens and scrolling numbers. The first page doesn’t fill me with confidence partially because of the misuse of the word “dirge”. I know it’s a small thing but it’s these small things that make up an overall impression. The first page also doesn’t have any context for the philosophy and feels disconnected as a result. It’s kind of like starting a novel with a quote: sure it might be a nice quote but you haven’t established the context and it therefore doesn’t have the impact it should have. It also suggest to me that the writer is trying to borrow thematic heft from another source and the screenplay itself might be lacking.

    I don’t mind the idea of tackling new technology but I think much of your audience are still trying to work out what crypto-currencies and block-chain really are and how they effect their lives. It’s therefore hard to create stakes using them.

    Read to page 18. I was surprised at how much action the script had. As I noted previously, I thought there would be lots of screens so this was a pleasant surprise but the action didn’t seem to have focus. I wanted more set up for your protagonist so she is separated from the rest of the bunch. I ended up losing interest because there was too much action.

    • sen9am

      Thank you so much for taking the time, Adam. It might be that I look at shuffling around the order of the set up slightly so that I don’t have to start at that particular scene.
      In an earlier draft I went straight into the present day road trip but an important note I received stressed that I hadn’t done enough to establish the dramatic situation or to make readers invested in the characters or the journey. Maybe the pendulum has swung back too far the other way now though. Cheers for the read.

      • Adam McCulloch

        I thought there was a lot of good stuff in there and I really like the guy who killed the father coming back to make amends. If you simplify the concept to that then you really have a winner. Our hero having to go on a road trip with his father’s murderer is gold.

        Where do you see the stakes and urgency working? Why would Ifor have to scatter his father’s ashes? Maybe he has to scatter them at a specific place during the eclipse or he doesn’t get his inheritance. Maybe his father had his head cryogenically frozen and Ifor has to get it to the lab before it thaws out?

        I’m not sure what the solution is but I think the idea has great potential. I hope you get some great feedback and the next draft goes really well.

  • Myster82

    I read between 1-10 pages of each script

    Star wars New republic

    Fair play to Scott for tackling this one – and doing it in a month. Big achievement. I found it hard to read it objectively, for obvious reasons. Going into a script with prior knowledge affected the read. Also, as a star wars fan, I found myself constantly saying “That’s good, ooh I wouldn’t have done that, I would have done this). Kinda ruined the read. Also, unlike the other scripts, you don’t have the hard task of setting up the characters as we already know them. For these reasons, it doesn’t get my vote. Might not be the best reasons, but it’s all I have. However, this shouldn’t take away from scott’s achievement. Two thumbs up.

    Will and Lilli

    This is a no from me. The writing is good, but it just feels a little cliché at the moment. Not just the dialogue but some of the action. The first five is just stuff I’ve seen in many other films. The old record skip beginning (yeah, that’s me), and also the young kid who hangs around gentleman/strip clubs cos his mother works there. Strippers showing attention to him as a four year old reminded me of the beginning of What Women Want.

    However, reading other comments, people seem to dig the first page, so what do I know. Don’t listen to me. Most people don’t.

    Also there is too much time dedicated to a poker game involving minor characters. Considering as it’s just a bunch of guys exchanging meaningless banter. Would have been good to see Will activing doing some shit. Setting him up properly. You don’t really have many pages to set up a story, so feels a waste spending so much time of a poker game that he is just watching and commenting on.

    Hideaway hills

    I couldn’t get in to this one. Opening with Charity balls don’t really interest me. The action lines are good, and there are early signs that shit is going to go down, which is ideal. I think the dialogue could be a lot more interesting.

    Sleeping giant.

    This script appealed to me the most based on the logline and WYSR. Cool title too.

    I had my doubts about the script when I read the sequence in car, but once it gets to the present day it picks up the pace and gets a lot funnier and interesting. I almost wonder if you even need the opening sequence? I think it would be better to start in GP surgery.

    If you are set on keeping the opening sequence, I think it needs to be a lot funnier. At the moment the comedy comes from Ifor laughing at his own jokes, where I think it needs to come from the conflict between the characters and the dynamics. Also, I think Samuel needs to end on bad terms with his dad. Maybe a big argument before the death. Just so the scene is a little more hard hitting – and it will give Samuel a proper wound. At the moment, as much as Samuel is a bit of a moody bastard, he does apologise for being a disappointment, and Ifor dies on okay terms.

    Dead Man Switch

    Read the log line a dozen times. Still don’t know what it is really about. Read a few pages. Still don’t know.

    The quotes on the first page felt a bit jarring. I think it’s a bit too early for characters to be quoting at each other (I guess the quotes are related to the theme). I like to know what is going on first before I’m giving clues of what themes I should be looking for. Also, two characters quoting back at each other bumped me from the script. In real life, I’ve never seen someone recite a quote only for someone to reply with a quote (unless they are quoting from a film). Felt like a really weird and clunky exchange.

    My Vote goes to: SLEEPING GIANT

    • sen9am

      Thanks Myster82 for your vote but most importantly your great feedback.

      There did exist a draft in which I didn’t have that same opening, but I found it was too disruptive to place anywhere else in the narrative. It starts a bit hard hitting and I’m glad you’ve found it gets funnier and more interesting as it progresses. Obviously though I want to be grabbing audiences from the get go, so I will think that over.

      A very interesting point about Samlet’s wound as well. Hopefully it’s developed enough as it stands but that’s some great food for thought if I want to add another dynamic.

      Greatly appreciated!

    • H B

      Sorry that you couldn’t get into it Myster82 but thanks for your thoughts.

  • Randy Williams

    HIDEAWAY HILLS

    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    Read the whole thing. I usually do with thriller entries. I love being surprised with a twist.

    The writing here is very clear, an easy read. However, it is very studied. We get lots of weather, little details on locations, details on character actions. It’s easy to see how this adds up to a 118 page script. Now, not to say that the details don’t often set a nice tone, or give me cool visualsvto enjoy. I thought they often did. Loved the Halloween decorations, for instance being set ablaze from the wildfire. I’m just wondering how others might react to such detail.

    I thought Santa Ana winds were warm? The point seems to be made more than once that the wind makes Celia cold.

    Immediately, with the introduction of the three “hoods”, I’m curious how these two worlds will meet. Many movies have done this “Crash” type thing. I thought the writer nicely kept me turning pages to see this clash. It’s a personal thing, however, but I find Latino characters mixing Spanish and English to be very annoying. It almost feels at times it’s the writer showing off their knowledge of a few Spanish street terms. Rosie is particularly annoying to me. Not that I’m supposed to like her.

    Page 29. I find it hard to believe a wealthy woman has to rattle down the metal shutters herself on her business. They have people for that.

    It’s telegraphed so obvious what Lewis’ preference is for porn. So, there’s that surprise that I’m not looking forward to. And it strikes as odd that one of the hoods gets a creepy vibe from him. Why?

    Everything is set up so realistically. This is what that added detail imbues for me. The home invasion when it happens is too realistic to be entertaining. The family has already been outed both in terms of scenes and by any thoughtful analysis as dysfunctional. I’m thinking, OK, these hoods are actually going to be the impetus to get this family squared away, good or bad. That could be entertaining but there’s only one thing they do to enact that and that’s revealing what’s in the safe. And I already knew what was in there.

    Once that reveal occurs, Celia’s response seemed totally unrealistic. During a home invasion its the family against foes. I don’t care if the invader tells me my brother raped my dog, until the invaders are on the other side of a locked door, my brother is my ally.
    Stopping to cry over some objects and photos seemed odd.

    Speaking of odd, wouldn’t the first place someone would look for someone in a bathroom would be behind shower curtain. I can’t sleep if I’ve come home late and haven’t checked behind it.

    Loved Rosie seeing the message from Barry’s friend on the phone. Wanted more twists like that.

    Page 80. Felt a call to sympathy for this hood here and it’s not his story, so, no.

    The fire. I thought it never really felt like a real threat. Part of it is the family’s own reaction to it. They never seemed worried about it. For instance, like if they had prepared some family heirlooms to take. Loaded up a car with things, just in case. Had a drill they had practiced. Maybe use those props and that drill later in the story.

    • H B

      Hi Randy, Thanks for the congrats and thanks for the comprehensive notes! Wow. I really, really appreciate it. I will absorb your notes and look at the points you have made for the next draft. So I’m curious, was it obvious to you the type of porn Lewis is into?

      I struggled with developing Lewis’ character… from making him totally likeable and thus the revelation is a shock to leaving clues… but don’t want it to be too obvious, of course. I haven’t had criticism on the detail, though I guess someone has commented that my sentences can be clunky.

      Ha! Duly noted on the bathroom curtain. I know what you mean.

      I think of Celia’s reaction to the revelation and willingness to team up with Dante as being protection of son against Lewis. But these are things I need to look at because it is important the reader goes with me on that. Celia shivers more for internal things than the warm wind. It is at odds. Dante’s subconscious recognizes Lewis as a sexual predator. I think of predator and prey recognizing themselves. But maybe it doesn’t come across well here.

      The fire. It should feel tense as it is closing in. Hm.. will give it some thought. Like the idea of props etc Celia prepares a bug out bag and parks her car for a quick exit but there is probably more I could do there. As she’s packing heirlooms asking Lewis if there’s anything he needs from the safe could be a good moment.

      Thanks again. These notes are a great help.

      • Randy Williams

        It was obvious to me first, in that he was looking for a specific image and was satisfied when he hit on it. This implies something out of the ordinary. Then, the use of flash drives. Coupling that with having just seen what type of work he does with children, then you can easily make the connection.

        As for Celia’s reaction. I still hold on to my feeling that in a home invasion, getting the invaders out in the chief focus. Again, I feel your story could be elevated by the trio exposing much more in that home than just Lewis’ secret. And it doesn’t have to be something as big but giving Celia and Barry some meat to chew on to complete some arc? Letting Celia stew in the revelation might give the audience some suspense, like why doesn’t she do something right now to Lewis when she has the weapons at hand? Then, maybe after it’s over, have her exact her revenge in her way. Maybe even we never see it, but they discover the body of Lewis after the fire and we put 2 and 2 together? Overall, the audience needs to think more.

        I really think the family needs to prepare for the fire. It gives us the feeling that they are prepared for anything, and then, this home invasion happens and they are not prepared for anything that comes along with that. Maybe they’ve got a car loaded in a separate garage that includes things that Barry or Celia could use against the invaders and one of them has to sneak to that garage to get them? Love your idea of Celia asking Lewis if he wants something from the safe.

        I agree with Brenkilco’s notes, particularly shortening Act One. And your nuts and bolts skills are off the chart. Wish I could write like this. But, some things need to be more in our face and some less obvious?

        • H B

          Great notes again, Randy, and thanks very much for the compliment. So, I’m going to look at the presentation of Lewis in the first act. I like the idea of being more prepared for the fire, after all that is Celia’s character and, as you say, that would juxtapose nicely with an event she couldn’t prepare for. From your notes, something came to me….she’s a pharmacist, she wouldn’t just let her first husband die a slow horrible death in pain, would she? But her son wouldn’t know that. Even maybe to Lewis (sarcastic) “Let me end your suffering”. I appreciate your help. If I can ever reciprocate, please let me know.

  • Scott Crawford

    For no, no good reason except there’s a script called Hideaway Hills (this song plays around my head a surprising amount of time):

  • brenkilco

    Hideaway Hills. Read to page 27. I appreciate the clear prose and the detailed description. I’m often the first to criticize scripts that start off with an artificial bang, so the deliberate pacing and carefully constructed sentences make for a nice change. Everything here is OK. I can see this as a made for cable or Netflix feature. It’s entirely professional. But nothing suggests it’s going to be special. A home invasion drama where the victims are a dysfunctional family- not sure I want to know just how dysfunctional- with the threat of an encroaching natural disaster. Neither the potential thieves nor the affluent types are particularly interesting. And as we approach what would be the half hour mark it’s all still predictable setup. I think the first act needs to be shortened. Still, the nuts and bolts skill might get my vote.

    • H B

      Thanks Brenkilco for taking the time to read and write some notes. Agree about the first act. I need to get to the break-in sooner. Sorry you didn’t find the characters interesting though! Breaks my heart. Ah well, that’s what I’m here for. Thanks again.

  • Poe_Serling

    D Man’s Switch

    I took the time to read through the first few pages… several times in fact.

    Predatory drones, Hellfire missiles, explosions…

    Sorry. Just not my genre.

    To be perfectly honest, when I check out the new stuff on the various
    streaming services, I never even click on the action section to see the
    list of pics available.

    Here’s hoping some of the boom/whap/thud crowd weigh in with their
    thoughts and helpful suggestions.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • AstralAmerican

    My vote (in rare form): SLEEPING GIANT
    Runner up: SW: TNR

    While I’m only 31 pages into SLEEPING GIANT and hope to finish — and this film could not be any further from my initial interests based on the logline — I found myself thoroughly engaged with the story, found the writing top-notch with a protagonist you can’t help but feel sorry for (couldn’t help but picture Martin Freeman in the role — although he’s probably not Welsh; in fact, it reminded me of the FARGO TV series). The writer has managed to do something I cannot for the life of me figure out how to and that’s tell a simple story while keeping it entertaining with a particular charm. And maybe it’s because the wife and I are fans of simple films (rarily) like THE TRIP (Steve Coogan) trilogy. To sum up the obvious, consider me a fan!

    STAR WARS: THE NEW REPUBLIC

    Read it in its entirety. Scott is legendary for this one, as writing something like this is no easy feat despite the critics of his effort and it already being an established IP. And something like SW always gets my attention right out of the gate. However, like mentioned elsewhere, TNR reminds me too much of TLJ which I was not a fan of. So therefore was not satisfied with a lot of decisions made within this story, including the relationship of Finn and Rose/Rey and Kylo. I would even daresay — and apologize in advance — that it was cowardly to go the obvious route with Rey and Kylo vs. Rey and Finn. You want to rattle some cages…? Shake up the SW world and fandom…? Have Rey bear Finn’s children (gasp!)! I do appreciate Scott giving Luke some dignity despite his desecration in TLJ. And Finn, Chewbacca, C3PO and R2 no longer relegated to the background. Loved the Ben-Chu character (very, very similar to Groot though?). As Carson is a big SW fan, he should automatically review this one as I am curious as to what he would think — also hating TLJ. I realize the approach Scott felt he had to take based on Rian Johnson’s abomination. Just wish more chances were taken, more darkness injected, and Rian Johnson’s garbage discarded like he did with TFA — therefore taking the story in a new direction.

    LILI & WILL

    Thought the first several pages started out great, except I am the wrong audience for this as I am not into Poker/gambling films. But the writing was professional, clean, and a breeze for me until I stopped when Will schools the Russian mobster on “king-nines”. The world of Poker and mobsters just doesn’t excite me enough to continue.

    Great job to all, and thanks for sharing!

    • sen9am

      Woah thanks so much, AstralAmerican! I’m so glad that despite the logline being far away from your initial interests you decided to take the plunge anyway. I’m a huge fan of both the shows you mentioned, and I love a downtrodden protagonist.

      I hope if you stick with it the whole script proves as good as you’ve found the first act. Thank you.

    • Scott Serradell

      Well thank you for checking it out and I really appreciate your acknowledging that simply because it based on existing material it somehow makes it an “easy” write. There’s already a built-in expectation and, especially being Star Wars, folks seem to take it very personally. I’m equally appreciative that your criticisms are for my story choices as opposed to just my subject matter.

      As for my relationship choices I can only say it was based on what I could do with the characters. Finn and Rose were established at the end of TLJ so I continued it. But I knew I needed Finn to grow up really fast because I was going to put him through hell.

      As for Rey and Kylo it’s already been two movies of this “connection” between them that, for some reason, was still unexplained by the end of TLJ. It’s not that Rey and Finn would be a bad choice but (IMO) just not the right one. I wanted her to end really big, as in important. So in having her redeem Kylo, redeem the Force, AND carry on the Skywalker legacy meant different choices.

      And funny the Ben-Chu/Groot thing. I see where you’re getting that but I wasn’t thinking that at all (Ben-Chu’s totally a Miyazaki nod.) But hey! If GOTG is going to steal from Star Wars I say steal from GOTG.

      • DB Stevens

        I actually thought that character alignment choice was really well done. Going through with putting Rey and Kylo together, especially full out romantically, was pretty bold. You effectively showed sex with Space Hitler, or maybe worse, Space Mengele!

        And you made it work by not actually saving him but still somehow managing to redeem him showing him a victim of his own psychosis but getting forgiven in the Force Afterlife.

        • Scott Serradell

          I’m so thankful DB that not only that you’ve seen my efforts but that you’ve also been vocal about them. It’s not that my decisions were the absolute best or could not be further strengthened, but I tried to realign this new trilogy with what came before it (especially since Lucasfilm has said this last film will be the last of the Skywalkers.)

          • DB Stevens

            No problem, Scott. You did a great job, and I understand the self-imposed limitations you set for yourself. I’ve done the same thing in the past as a passion project slash showcase vehicle slash self-test for assignment work (with mixed results).

            I tried to make a Wonder Woman script that fit into the WB Universe when the only context was Man of Steel. So I tried to make it more sci-fi based while still keeping the comics mythology while trying to make it a bit more fun but not too Marvel-like. The one change that I was proud of was eliminating the romance angle and making Steve Trevor a single father with three girls. It was WW feeling his love of his girls that kinda sparked the “man’s world isn’t that bad” climax.

            I think a lot of people just watch the final product and think “these movies are crap, I could do that easy” and they don’t understand how hard it is to fit into this weird box (more like dodecahedron) with all this established lore, studio expectations, responses to the latest fan backlash, etc.

            A few limitations can lead to greater creativity, but the volume of limitations with these assignments is a giant handcuff that gets no respect from the more avant-garde class of writer.

      • AstralAmerican

        In all honesty, I feel like I betrayed you as I’m hardwired to vote unequivocally for this type of stuff. And you did nail it per the Disney era of SW, it’s just… I might be officially spent on the SW universe. That’s a difficult realization for me to come to, because epic worlds/alternate galaxies/aliens and androids/spaceships and laser guns are what excite me the most. But nothing in recent memory has inspired me — although GOTG 2 and THOR: RAGANOK were good times.

        But also, over the years I’ve seen plenty of these AOW weekends as more of popularity contest depending on if a “regular” submits (at least two come to mind) — and I refuse to participate in that nonsense.

        Back to TNR, I totally understand the Rey/Kylo decision and it would absolutely prove the safer — probably more logical story-wise — bet.

        Re: Ben-Chu vs. Groot — Again, loved Ben-Chu and wouldn’t change a thing. It just immediately sprang to mind, yet I understand. Some scenes in my pilot-in-progress are HEAVILY inspired by 70’s Shaw Bros. Shaolin Martial Arts films. I’m not dissing your choice with Ben-Chu at all. In fact, he’s the next Chewbacca!

        Lastly, I wasn’t criticizing your work — or didn’t mean to. I was only referring to my own expectations vs. what was probably necessary for this third chapter. My only critique (namely opinion) dealt with Rey/Kylo vs. Finn/Rose. To beat a dead horse, Rose is neither memorable nor (I daresay) all that pleasant to look at. And for Finn, who is supposed to be this larger than life character, to end up w/ her just doesn’t settle well w/ me.

        And you, or someone else can answer this, but WTH happened w/ Finn be able to wield a lightsaber and almost hold his own against Kylo…? That bit from the trailer alone made me want to see TFA — a brotha holding a lightsaber against the main villain?! Sign me up! Yet, shit was totally discarded in TLJ…

        Talk about blue balls!

        • Scott Serradell

          Totally cool man. Don’t even sweat it.

          BTW, if you ever need another a pair of eyes to read for your sci-fi project, you know where to find me.

  • JakeBarnes12

    Remember when in the original movie as soon as the crawl fades a massive freakin’ space ship fills the screen in pursuit of a much smaller craft and then the smaller craft gets boarded and there’s a big shoot-out and then this big tall dude all in black strides on board and tortures some poor bastard for information before snapping his neck and then…

    That’s how you write a fuckin’ Star Wars movie.

    • DB Stevens

      Agreed. But it is the only one of the original trilogy that begins with spectacular action. The other two start with ships doing basically nothing but setting up the plot. Same thing with the prequels. Only the third one starts with a big action scene. I think a finally movie in a final trilogy that needs to deal with a huge real life death is ok to start with a whimper.

      That said, if this was the script heading into production, it would probably be spiced up in a rewrite and turned into a space funeral like Yondu’s from GOTG or something a little more visual

      • JakeBarnes12

        That excuses a boring expo-fest, does it?

        • DB Stevens

          Haha, I don’t know. Kinda I guess. I think the entire sequel trilogy is boring so I feel like that’s a good enough way to deal with the cards we were dealt.

        • DB Stevens

          Or Scott could say “Well, it was really the only way to be true to the scene.” Hahaha.

  • JakeBarnes12

    Title: Dead Man’s Switch

    Genre: thriller/action/drama

    Logline: A former hacker evades a group of mercenaries while hunting down one of her own to prevent a plot that would bankrupt the crypto-currency market, a move that could bring the entire global economy to it’s knees.

    Number one noob alert: the multiple genre post. A thriller is not an action movie is not a drama. They all work differently.

    The “it’s” has already been covered.

    Idea is trite. Take that and ask if you can find an interesting twist on the vanilla.

  • JakeBarnes12

    Title: Lili & Will

    Genre: Black comedy, Drama

    Logline:When a 13-year-old social misfit hacks into the financial life of his reclusive 70 year old neighbor and finds she’s being short-changed at her home office job, the two embark on an epic journey to seek justice from the shady for-profit “university” that’s been cheating her for decades.

    Take out “drama.” Screams that you’re insecure that it’s not funny enough.

    Could be shorter, don’t know why this should involve an “epic journey,” but this could definitely work. Nice one.

    • Stephjones

      Re: drama screams that you’re insecure that it’s not funny enough.
      Hah. Did the same with my Adventure comedy. I submitted it to Carson for AOW as an Adventure “Dramedy” because I felt it wasn’t quite funny enough. Doesn’t matter now as apparently hell will freeze over before it makes the cut.

  • JakeBarnes12

    Title: Sleeping Giant

    Genre: Dark Comedy

    Logline: An introverted doctor takes a road trip across Wales with his mischief-making millennial brother to scatter their father’s ashes, and dispose of the dismembered body hidden in the car boot.

    Okay, I cheated. Read the first page too. Very familiar “gentle comedy” (i.e. not funny) about rain in Wales. Is there a more obvious joke to make than about British weather?

    One of those loglines that teases you with a mystery rather than telling you what the movie’s actually about.

    Could work.

    • sen9am

      Hey Jake! I was definitely going for the most obvious joke available as it’s a dad cracking dad jokes while trying to break the ice with his sons on a boring road trip.

      Thankfully that’s as far as the dad jokes go in the script.

      The logline absolutely tries to capture the reader’s intrigue, and I was hoping the strong contrast between the two brothers also proved compelling.

      Cheers for having a look.

      • JakeBarnes12

        The problem is that re: lame Dad jokes you’ve gone for the most obvious, first-thought-out-of-my-head, zero-effort-involved one.

        This tells us nothing about the Dad’s character because the joke is so generic. ANY lame Dad could make that joke.

        This is your first page and you don’t want to be hitting your reader with the trite, obvious, and non-character-revealing.

        My suggestion is that you dig deeper into the Dad’s character and his relationship with his son. Real families have their unique personal histories, their little foibles, their own annoying jokes.

        Every mediocre writer out there is doing generic.

        If you want to stand out, put in the extra work and find something idiosyncratic and specific.

        Grabbing the reader starts on page one.

        • sen9am

          It certainly does, Jake! Although it’s a lame dad joke, there was depth in its intention. In the eighteenth century, ‘Welsh’ was an epithet for inferior quality, so a ‘Welsh comb’ was to brush your hair using your fingers. Hence, rain being Welsh sunshine in this instance. As well as being an embarrassing dad, I wanted to convey that Ifor is au fait with niche historical facts.

          Not arguing that it’s a lame joke that would be better omitted, but I did want to confirm that a great deal of thought and effort has gone into establishing the character dynamics in this script, and I wouldn’t want a potentially duff line to suggest otherwise. I certainly wouldn’t want to be a mediocre writer doing the generic.

          Cheers buddy:)

      • brenkilco

        The line about the pilgrimage rate of exchange is just as boring to the sons. But is actually an interesting factoid. And shows us what interests the Dad. Better than the lousy rain line. Even when you’re conveying boredom you should try to be interesting.

        • sen9am

          A fair point, brenkilco!

  • JakeBarnes12

    Title: Hideaway Hills

    Genre: Thriller

    Logline: Behind the gates of an exclusive community threatened by wildfire, a woman must choose sides when secrets about her new marriage are exposed during a home invasion by three desperate intruders who owe money to the wrong people.

    This logline would work better if there were also a meteor speeding towards Earth.

    • brenkilco

      Hey. watch the spoilers.

    • DB Stevens

      Too much stuff in loglines is a constant struggle it seems. It pops up every week. I actually think this is often not just a logline problem as much as a story problem.

    • H B

      That made me laugh. I had a shorter one, then spent a ridiculous amount of time making it longer. Not my forte.

  • Randy Williams

    DEAD MAN’S SWITCH

    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    I read to page 60. It’s a fast, lean read and I got that far without realizing it. I’d possibly read more. It’s a frustrating script for me. On one hand, I love the energy of the writing, the characters are compelling to me except for Jade’s husband, (more on that later) and the action is sufficient to please me. It feels “current” as well. Rarely, do we get that here on AOW.
    On the other hand, I think the story structure is all wrong. The audience is not allowed to think as much as they could. Backstory on characters that tell over dramatic scenes that reveal is all over the place especially concerning Jade.

    Love the opening images and the voice overs. Gave me the confidence I’m in good hands and smart ones at that. Much of the 60 pages is smart. It gave me an American Hustle meets The Disciple Program feel. I loved the ragtag group of cyber terrorists. The tone is set to have some fun with them and that I did. I’m rooting for them which I’m sure that is the intention of the writer and he has succeeded there.

    Then we meet the bad guys. They have a goal and you don’t want them to succeed. Bulls eye, there, too. I LOL’d with this description. Maybe I shouldn’t have. “This guy is a monster. He’d kill and rape anyone without a thought…in that order.”
    There’s lots of little juicy lines like that.

    Then the raid, all done very nicely. Loved the panic room. The interrogation was full of tension and lots of squirmy moments. Well, done, I thought. Josephine is on the run and the writer has done enough to make me care for her, so naturally, I’ll keep turning pages to see what becomes of her.

    Now, this is where the script started to go off the rails for me. We get some chatter about crytocurrencies. All good. Then, we immediately see Josephine and are told that she is now Jade. First of all, I didn’t like her name. Jade seems like some generic name out of some old paperback spy novel. Second, I wasn’t allowed to think at all. BOOM! Josephine is now Jade, accept it. And accept it with the visual that she’s watching TV. Yawn. And she’s watching TV with a stock market ticker on the screen after we’ve just had a discussion on crytocurrencies. So, I’ve kind of been filled in immediately on what she’s been up to and why she’s sitting in a luxury apartment.

    Then, we meet her husband, and compared to everyone else that has graced the screen before him with all their energy, he seems like warmed over oatmeal. Which is fine, because it gives the audience an understanding that Josephine/now Jade, is perhaps seeking some normal, quiet relationship. He’s like the fish out of water in this tale, but for me, I thought the fish out of water needs to be tested right off the bat with something. Here, we get some chit chat and going out. I think we need to love John but put him through the hoops right away.

    This is what I’d suggest if someone asked.

    1. Opening to Josephine’s escape and her pals’ interrogation. Energy here is great.
    2. After that, open with a brand new story as though we’re watching another movie. It’s about crytocurrencies and we meet the players. It’s involving, teaching us about the currencies because I, and I’m sure many of us, still have no idea how it works. We meet Jade, although she’s picked another name from a library book that doesn’t sound so cliche and we DON’T recognize her as Josephine so quick. She’s actually in the middle of a dramatic scene instead of watching TV. This new movie is fascinating and we sense some subterfuge going on and there is. THEN, you break that little movie in the second act, a cliffhanger, and you return to
    3. Big bad mofo Jeremiah and company. (Jeremiah is a great character, I thought, Btw.) actors will be in line to play him.) So, you set these guys up again. Some new intel has come through. Josephine is on the radar.
    4. Then you go back to Jade and the little movie to complete Act 3, and that’s when we are convinced that Jade is actually Josephine and it’s the worse possible time for us to recognize this and the worse possible time for Josephine’s crytopcurrency participants.
    Meanwhile, John is tested mightily as the fish out of water here.
    5. Then whatever else you have in store for us?

    Good stuff. On another weekend could get the votes.

  • Poe_Serling

    Last but not least…

    Hideaway Hills

    What instantly stood out to me about this script as I scrolled through the
    pages – the writer’s attention to detail.

    All the little touches about navigating life in the LA area were pretty spot
    on in my opinion.

    I also liked how the Halloween motif was established from the get-go
    with the pumpkin-colored vehicle.

    And as a reader, it’s a good road sign that at least writer put a lot of
    thought into their work.

    Now for the unwelcomed guests showing up out of nowhere…

    There’s a long tradition in cinema of the same sort of scenario from
    classic pics like The Desperate Hours with Bogie to the fairly recent
    Trespass with Nic Cage/Nicole Kidman in the thriller section of most
    streaming services.

    So…

    To have your project elbow its way to the front of this crowd, a writer
    really needs to take advantage of a fresh angle/unique setting/etc.
    or probably a combo of story elements to do so.

    Keep tapping away and continued success with your script!

  • http://dlambertson.wix.com/scripts Eldave1

    Hideaway Hills held my interest the most – so my vote goes there. The writing overall was real solid and I liked the premise (kind of a dark version of “The Ref”).

    A couple of minor early notes/nits:

    RADIO ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
    … reports that the Black Canyon
    fire is only ten percent .

    And then they turn the radio off. I do they’re disinterested rich foks – but really? The thing is burning a few miles from their home, they got to take the freeway there and there not interested at all in traffic patterns, evacuation zones, etc. Just didn’t buy it.

    HEAD VALET (V.O.)
    Hey, new guy! Hurry up. Can’t keep
    these rich pricks waiting.

    Unnatural and to on the nose.

    Like I said – minor issues.

    The major issue for me was that the First Act lags story and it takes until page 44 – when they bust in the house – that’s nearly 45 minutes of film time before our major conflict starts. Just too long of a wait IMO – If you could find away to make that happen by page 25/30 I think the story would pace much better. Just my opinion.

    Congrats

  • Jack madden

    STAR WARS

    I read 84 pages, right up to cue Barry White music with Kylo and Rey…

    Overall, I enjoyed it. I went through it at quite a speedy pace which, considering there was a lot going on and a lot of text shows good skill from the writer. I didn’t particularly make any decent notes I’m afraid as I was pretty engrossed in the reading. Got some random points all the same, for what they’re worth:

    1. Seems you’ve got three overall storylines a) Rey following her dream– then into Rey/ Kylo affair b) Poe trying to nab the Harbinger c) the betrayal and downfall of Kylo. All storylines were quite easy to follow and I didn’t really find myself lost or wondering wtf was going on etc.
    2. Seems you’re touching on a theme of ‘who am I?’ to some degree e.g. Rey finding out she is of Jedi parentage; Finn’s lack of self-worth to be a leader, a father; Kylo at odds with his parentage, true identity etc.
    3. I’d strongly urge you to bold your scene headings as you have a lot of CAPS in the action lines and I was thrown a few times.
    4. I’d also put a CUT TO every time we move from one sequence/ storyline to the next—I’d also put this on the right hand side and keep your CUT within the same sequence on the left. I think it just makes for a smoother read personally. Our brain registers the Cut on the right, we know we’re into another storyline before we read the scene heading etc.
    5. Kylo finds out Leia is dead—he couldn’t care less, yet he is still haunted by Han’s death? Was a bit of plausibility disconnect there for me. Might work better if it’s at least a ‘hard to tell’ if Kylo is remotely concerned.
    6. P10+ Poe and Kira. I think it might work better if Poe is annoying/ flirting with Kira as the talk about the Harbinger is going on. We sense sexual tension/ history between them before she is given the promotion. I think her rebuffing him before she gets promoted adds a bit more spice to the scene for when she rebuffs him minutes later with new authority, if that makes sense?
    7. P13—Finn talking to himself, ‘what’s wrong with you Finn’. Rose would still sense something is wrong, without the self-talk. I’d lose it personally, it’s a bit weak.
    8. The Jorga/ Ben chu stuff is a good contrast from the action stuff that follows—all nicely done.
    9. Finn going to dark places due to tragic circumstances is a good addition.
    10. I’m wondering if ‘destiny’ should come into play a little more, thematically. Does Rey believe she is destined to be with Kylo the way he believes they are destined to be together, is this something she should question etc. Is destiny set in stone or merely just a strong possibility etc. I guess, I’m saying that there needs to be slightly more plausible/ understandable/ relatable connection between Rey and Kylo, especially if you want it to be a believable romance. There is a connection, yes, but I don’t fully buy it as a romantic connection is my point. I mean, does Kylo actually have a sex life? Is there any way he could reject a woman’s advance—and we take this as a sign he is saving himself for Rey, he wants her sexually etc. I think that whole relationship could do with some sexual tension—not necessarily between them , but we see that they have needs.
    11. Captain Swann is a really enjoyable character.

    That’s about it really. Sorry, I didn’t have more to say. I’d have read more, only I want to take a look at the other scripts. Really great effort Scott.

  • Randy Williams

    SLEEPING GIANT

    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    Read 25 pages. There’s much I like about this. It reminds me of many BBC series I’ve watched. Comfy and charming intimate looks at relationships against a backdrop of tradition and damp scenery. I love BBC shows they have here on PBS. I was just watching “Capital” which i loved. I have a huge fan crush on Robert Emms, so that was a big part of it.

    I was immediately endeared to this family here and as we jump in time to Samlet and other players, I’m still on board. I laughed a few times and marvelled at the ease with which the writer has me visualizing these scenes so clearly in my head.

    Would I read more? There are two things that give me pause. One, is the repetition of the horny Gay man making advances towards the doctor in some way. I thought the second at the car park was very funny but the first, with his patient, had more distinction for setting us up for Samlet as he is today. I’d drop the car park. Second, there is little of the flavor, for me, that sets the location as vital. This could be anywhere. I remember a number of weekends back we had a script set in Great Britain, I’m thinking Manchester, but I could be wrong. A band seeking fame. There was a particular goofy unwarranted optimism and language to their dialogue which really stood out. Samlet and company could be living in Omaha.
    I wonder if you should replace this in the states. Have Samlet traveling to some iconic monument here to deposit his father’s ashes?
    A giant Sequoia Tree, perhaps, now fallen and asleep.

    Good stuff. I can seeing it getting some votes.

    • Jack madden

      That’s a good point about location. Presumably, it would come into play a bit more once they’re on the road (I never got that far). As for dialect/ dialogue—in fairness to the writer, if he was to add in a lot of Welsh colloquialisms, it really wouldn’t translate. You mention the script about the band from Manchester, I remember it, you liked the dialogue, cool but ironically, it was absolutely nothing like the way people from Manchester speak, so it’s a tricky one sometimes, especially with humour.

  • Jack madden

    SLEEPING GIANT

    Read 30+ pages.

    Some random points:
    I think you’ve got the makings of a decent story, all the elements are there, for me personally what is killing your script is the tone of your comedy, it’s a bit all over the place. And it’s lacking in comic craft/ technique. I’ll try and explain what I mean:

    Reality/ tone.
    1. The office (UK) is closer to reality than Peep show, and Peep show is closer to reality than Fawlty towers. Once you have your reality, you have to stick with it. We’d have more empathy for David Brent than Jez, and we’d have more empathy for Jez than Basil Fawlty—all down to the reality on show. I dunno if you know those shows, (I’m presuming you do) but I’ll labour the point with some movie examples…
    2. The Hangover is closer to reality than American Pie, American pIe is closer to reality than Something about Mary… The farcical electrocuting the dog scene from ‘Mary’ wouldn’t work in the Hangover, nor the office, nor Peep show, but it would definitely work in Fawlty Towers because it’s of a similar reality. I’m just making a point that your reality isn’t as clear as maybe you think it is.
    3. Question: when the owl gets the gerbil, what if the gerbil broke the fourth wall and looked at the camera: oh fuck! Before the owl nabbed it –is that the reality you want to show? Because as it stands, you could probably just about get away with that type of gag. It all depends on where you’re at with the reality of your humour, if any of this makes sense?
    4. The best way to overcome this is to compare your story with whatever comedy movie you think the reality is similar to.

    Craft.
    1. When Sam’s wife is on her knees in bed, we find out she is talking dirty to Luke at exactly the same time Sam finds out—this is a big mistake. If we find out before Sam, as he is getting undressed, you can milk the scene for much longer and the ‘funny’ will be far stronger. The comedy in that moment lies in the dramatic irony, the comic gap–us knowing
    what’s going on, but Sam yet to find out.
    2. It’s the same thing with Mr. Morris and the gerbil. You’re blatantly spelling it out to us. Morris only needs to say ‘Gerbil, hey?’ and raise his eyebrows. Because of where Sam is, it’s obvious what Morris is insinuating, rather than have all that dialogue. And you can also add a comic gap—we know what Morris is insinuating but Sam doesn’t. From that moment
    on, anything Morris asks him about the gerbil will create humour—i.e. Morris is (in subtext) asking him what is it like to fuck a gerbil, but Sam thinks he is asking something innocent, trivial, the comedy is in the misunderstanding, not on the obvious.
    3. The same when Sam is saying he isn’t a homo, it’s all on the surface. There has to be depth in situations like that otherwise it’s just schoolboy humour.
    4. And it’s the same with most of the other gags/ humorous moments—it’s all on the surface.

    Anyway, as I say, the story is pretty decent. The story itself will fail or succeed on the dynamic between the two brothers, but seeing as I only read 34 pages I can’t really comment on that. Good luck with it dude, I know it sounds like I have shat over it a bit, but actually the makings of a decent story is the hardest bit, and you’ve already got that.

  • Randy Williams

    LILI & WILL

    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    Read 15 pages till the Star Trek dialogue block.

    The first line made me LOL. That’s a good start. It sets the tone. I’m along for the ride

    I think voiceovers from kids are a lot easier to accept than adults. Kids, don’t or are unable to express a lot of what’s going on in their heads? I thought the voiceover worked well. It doesn’t hurt that the writer imbued his character with some of the funny that the description does so well.

    I liked the relationship between mom and son in spite of her career. Even though he would rather have her be a ” sound board operator”, LOL, he accepted her as mom.

    Reading this gave me a “The Goldbergs” vibe. The writers of that show, wow. Loads of talent. So, I felt a lack of real feature drive with this, although I know I didn’t get very far. However, the logline itself somehow gives me an episode vibe instead of something to hang a feature on.

    I’m not so anxious to find out why Lili and Will are fighting because it doesn’t represent a shift for me. I found them at odds in the beginning of the flashback. Most of what keeps me turning pages are relationships.
    The concept of a kid coming to the rescue of an outcast has been done many times before but usually in conjunction with some other plot. Like Home Alone.
    I can see it being wholly entertaining here with the writer’s skills but it just seems small at the moment to me.