amateur offerings weekend

We’re back like a Shamrock milkshake, baby. For how long, I don’t know. So enjoy it while you can taste it!

To submit your script for Amateur Offerings, send a PDF of your script, along with the title, genre, logline, and finally, why your script deserves a shot, to: Remember that your script will be posted. If you’re nervous about the ramifications of a bad review, feel free to use an alias name and/or script title. It’s a good idea to resubmit every few weeks so your submission stays near the top.

The rules of Amateur Offerings are as such: Read as much of each entry as you can, then, in the comments section, vote for your favorite script. The script with the most votes gets reviewed next Friday. If that script is really good, there’s a chance the review will kick-start the writer’s career.

And with that, here are this weekend’s entries!

Title: Rift
Genre: Fantasy
Logline: A team of Victorian monster hunters must save the universe from their biggest threat yet, themselves.
Why You Should Read: I’m a Benihana chef, mandolin player and a broke as a joke screenwriter living in LA now for two months shy of a year and I’ve written about 10 screenplays. I’ve got about thirty dollars in my bank account so there’s not much there to submit this screenplay to a formal contest which sucks, but I’m living the dream…which is cool. It would be very helpful if you would review it so I could know if I was heading in the right direction and if my diet of peanut butter jelly sandwiches in front of my computer monitor is paying off.

Title: The Keepers of the Cup
Genre: Action/Comedy
Premise: Two die-hard New York Rangers hockey fans steal back the Stanley Cup from vengeful Russian terrorists and travel across the country to deliver it in time for Game 7.
Why You Should Read: When you read this, I can promise you one of two reactions: either you will laugh and enjoy the ride, or you will find this a big swing-and-miss — such is life as a writer. Oh, if it helps, I graduated from USC’s screenwriting program, was named a finalist for Universal Pictures’ Emerging Writers Fellowship for this script, and was mentored by the writers of “Top Gun” and the famous unproduced screenplay “Smoke and Mirrors.” I can also bench 250 and avoid my mother’s phone calls. Honestly, who cares? An entertaining story is an entertaining story. I hope you enjoy “Keepers.”

Title: All Rise
Genre: Thriller
Logline: ALL RISE follows a reprobate judge sentenced to a prison populated with convicts whose lives he’s destroyed.
Why You Should Read: I won the FinalDraft Screenwriting ages ago with a script called “8Track”. My writing partner – Gary Waid – did 8 horrible years in prison for smuggling 19 tons of marijuana. We were both involved with an international smuggling ring. Meanwhile, Gary and I wrote a script a few years ago entitled “Goliath”, sent out by UTA. It’s now a novel, selling at Barnes and Noble and around the world. Great reviews from best-seller authors (including Frederick Forsyth) as well as a covered STARRED review from Publisher’s Weekly. We have another novel coming out in June. “GITMO” is also adapted from my original screenplay which was sent out by APA. Edel Rodriguez is designing the cover this week. Google EDEL RODRIGUEZ NEWS, it’ll blow you away.

Title: Beyond The Front Lines
Genre: Action-Adventure
Logline: Two American spies pose as Nazi Officers to track a German train from the Belgian Congo to Germany’s border in order to discover the whereabouts of Hitler’s secret nuclear program and destroy it before the Nazi’s most notorious female Officer, Belinda “the beast of Berlin” Von Halder discovers their plot.
Why You Should Read: The best way to describe this script is Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid meets Indiana Jones. Like those two films, the script is funny at times but also gives way to some great action-packed sequences. I’ve always wanted to write a WW2 script, but every attempt got bogged down in needless details and maintaining historical accuracies; which always led me back to writing Sci-Fi. So I decided, “to hell with it,” I’ll just write a fictional story, one that would address a very simple theme; a single question to be precise. Does the end justify the means? Will our heroes, US spies, shoot at US soldiers to continue their mission? Will they sacrifice one another if it means “Mission accomplished”? Will they overlook the atrocities of this war and press forward to their destination? I hope you’ll consider reading and I look forward to the feedback… Good Luck.

Title: Stand Tall!
Genre: romantic comedy
Logline: A Vegas waitress, made 16 feet tall, falls in love with the scientist who accidentally enlarged her. She sacrifices her size and fame to save him when he’s kidnapped by a blackmailing mobster.
Why You Should Read: I’m a journalist-screenwriter, a fan of romantic comedy and classic Hollywood. I’ve run the site Carole & Co., named for my all-time favorite actress Carole Lombard, for nearly a decade. “Stand Tall!” blends romcom and sci-fi in a retro yet feminist fashion, with vivid, fun characters — as our oversized heroine says, she would “rather entertain people than attack them.”

  • Scott Crawford

    Votes so far: 0

    All Rise
    Beyond the Front Lines
    The Keepers of the Cup
    Stand Tall!

    • Linkthis83

      Your vacation is over… :)

    • klmn

      Once again, Scott gets stuck with the bookkeeping.

      Log my vote for RIFT.

    • brenkilco

      Tough call this week. The entrants are all above average. I’m going to go with All Rise. I may be wrong but the polish and control of the writing give me the most confidence that the the script has something up its sleeve and will pull things together. This despite what feels like some thumb twiddling in the early going.

    • Ninjaneer

      First Choice: Rift
      Second Choice: All Rise

    • shewrites

      Feel better, Scott. So sorry to hear this:-(

    • Lucid Walk

      Oh, man. Get well soon, Scott.


    • RO

      Out of everything I was able to read. I’m going to vote for Rift. It’s got neat characters and I feel it could be more of a movie franchise or series than the others. The only script here I was able to breeze through was Keepers of the Cup, but its formula and character take are very dated to the early 2000s type of National Lampoon “comedies”. Beyond the Front Lines has a great premise but needs some technical work on the overall mission. This has a great potential for the main characters and the villain to be active players against each other but there are some points that feel unnecessarily passive.
      All Rise just didn’t resonate with me 10 pages in. I got the feeling that I wouldn’t enjoy reading about this horrible person being traumatized in prison.
      Stand Tall! does deliver on the log line. It’s very different in tone from the rest of the scripts which does allow it to stand out a bit. But maybe if it were another week I’d pick it for AOW.

    • Lucid Walk

      So after reading a little, I’ll go with RIFT.

  • bruckey

    Rift sounds interesting.
    Might give it a go.
    Sound’s as if its in the genre of ‘Killing on Carnival Row’

  • Scott Crawford

    I have to say, CR, taking a break from AOW has worked a treat (as I always said it would!) – these sound MUCH more exciting. I mean, there’s some genuine potential movie posters here, some thought provoking concepts, irony….

    … maybe a bit too much going on with Stand Tall! and Front Lines. Very busy loglines!

  • JakeBarnes12

    All Rise

    Logline: ALL RISE follows a reprobate judge sentenced to a prison populated with convicts whose lives he’s destroyed.

    This is a classic example of what I call “half a concept.”

    Notice that the logline repeats the title of the script and then leads into the concept itself with the weak verb “follows.”

    All you’re doing is making the generic statement that your script follows a story.

    Like every other script ever written.

    So when we move beyond that we have no action verb whatsoever, just a bad situation “a reprobate jude sentenced to a prison populated with convicts whose lives he’s destroyed.”

    Now, that man is fucked. Really, really fucked. So the idea is we’re going to crack open the pages to see what happens to this judge.

    Notice the passive nature of the concept; some evil shit is going to happen to our protagonist.

    Your protagonist, both in the logline and in the script itself needs to be DOING something important.

    So maybe this is just a simple rewrite “A reprobate judge MUST STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE WHEN…”

    But that still suggests a script about a character reacting.

    Is that, basically, all there is?

    Instead, your protagonist should have a clear goal that he/she can ACTIVELY strive for.

    If the script has something more to the concept beyond “evil shit’s gonna happen to this guy,” it should be in the logline.

    • brenkilco

      Yes. A line that gives you the situation but nothing about the plot.

    • kent

      Interesting and accurate observation. The first 45 pages is entirely an evil judge gets thrown in jail and gets what he deserves. I stopped because there was no goal or conflict outside the obvious violence. Take that away and it could be a man goes to bingo night and plays bingo.

      • Scott Crawford

        Good analogy!

        • kent

          It came to mind because I saw Get Out last night. It had a great Bingo scene. Good movie, BTW!

          • Scott Crawford

            Opens this weekend here but I’ll be honest, I’m waiting for it to appear on iTunes.

            Take the mutants out of Logan and you’ve still got a decent movie. It’s a good test: ignore the obvious part of your concept (fighting robots, a shrinking ray, a ghost who wins the lottery) and ask yourself what the story is WITHOUT those elements.

            Some scripts just play out their logline; it’s not enough.

          • andyjaxfl

            LOGAN is such a good movie. I think I’ll be typing that for the next six months anytime someone mentions it.

          • Scott Crawford

            It kind of only has one week to shine before Kong came along. I mean Kong is good in its own way, but most people thought it would have a couple of weeks to bask before Beauty came out.

            Will Oscars break tradition and give a March movie a nod (Sir Patrick for best supporting?)?

          • PQOTD

            Let’s hope so. He was terrific.

      • JakeBarnes12

        Yeah hardly surprising.

        Problems in the logline (which after all is the central concept) usually signal problems in the script.

  • Lucid Walk

    Okay. Some quick thoughts before I read anything.

    First, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everybody!

    Now onto the scripts.

    RIFT — I like monster hunter movies. And I appreciate the deep honesty of the query.

    KEEPERS OF THE CUP — Sounds interesting, but I think this is more for those familiar with hockey.

    ALL RISE — Now there’s an ironic logline if there ever was one. However, the query seems more like the writers selling themselves more so than the script. But I guess that’s the point?

    BEYOND THE FRONT LINES — This is the one most likely to earn my vote. The logline’s incredibly extensive, but Butch and Sundance meets Indiana Jones is one hell of a sell.

    STAND TALL! — I got nothing. Sorry :(

    Hooray for the return of Amateur Fridays!

  • brenkilco

    Read the first fifteen of Beyond the Front Lines. Not crazy about the title and technically you cant journey from the Congo to Germany. The Mediterranean is in the way. Had some problems. The setup is awkward. Letters and VO and a newspaper slapping down on a desk. Think the central importance of uranium and that the congo is where Hitler is getting it from could be better established. Does the average fifteen year old know about the race for the A bomb and why uranium is important? And btw the C-in-C wouldn’t be getting info on the situation in Poland from a newspaper. Odds are his desk would be littered with top secret state department cables

    Virtually no description of the Congo location. And the political situation is also left somewhat vague. Would have liked some brief scene setting.

    But my big problems were the behavior of the characters. I didn’t buy any of it. The villainess has the protag under surveillance all the time. But rather than calmly arrest him as he chats with a crooked, local official she lets him walk in order to stage an elaborate home invasion later on risking the possibility that he might pass his info on. Why?

    The agents have bribed the local official who seems just about to tell them what they want but they decide to mortally wound him and hope he lives long enough to cough up the info. Good plan. The whole ridiculous scene seems to exist in order for the agent to perform some sort of pulmonary tracheotomy. Whatever.

    Villains in this sort of thing tend to be over the top and ready to talk the hero’s ear off before opening fire but Brunhildhe here is a bit much. During the standoff with our protag she even has time to go into her marital history. And she shoots her assistants whenever she gets stressed? C’mon. And I don’t think a schizophrenic counter intel agent would be very effective. They’d end up following imaginary people.

    And the hero escapes from his apartment pretty darn easily. Just has to shoot two guys below. Nazis don’t surround places like they used to.

    This has potential but I think the opening needs to establish the stakes more efficiently. And I would like to see more logical behavior from the characters even though I know this is a fantasy adventure.

    • garrett_h

      I’m no Geography Major, but can’t you go from Egypt to Israel? Maybe the train cuts through there? Cairo to Jerusalem sounds like they should have a train on that route.

      Matter of fact, that’s my main problem with Moses and the Parting of the Red Sea story. Why didn’t they just keep walking and go on land instead of running right into the Red Sea and having to part it? That Moses, always showing off…

      • brenkilco

        I’m virtually certain there were no rail bridges over the Suez Canal back then so I don’t think that was a possible route. And even if there had been you would have had to catch a ferry across the Bosphrus in Istanbul unless you wanted to go all the way around the Black Sea and end up in the ass end of Romania or someplace worse. A boat from north Africa would have been the way to go.

        • garrett_h

          Ah right, the canal. Yeah, this one sounds like it has some logistical problems, and needs some more research.

      • PQOTD

        Britain never lost control of the Suez or Palestine during WWII, and I don’t believe there was a train line that ran from equatorial west Africa (where the Congo is) north-east and all the way up through the Sahara. Bren’s absolutely on the money about the logistics. The best way to get uranium out of the Congo to Germany would have been road, rail or ferry down the Congo River to the coast, then by ship or possibly by air.

        Ben could overcome that logistic stumble in his logline by exchanging the words ‘uranium consignment’ for ‘train’. Fixing it in his script might be a slightly bigger problem – I’m yet to find out.

  • andyjaxfl

    My vote: TBD

    From my limited knowledge of WW2 action in the Congo, the allies mined uranium from the Congo, but I don’t see how a train could travel from the Congo to Germany with the Mediterranean in the way. I haven’t read too far in the script yet so maybe that is addressed later on, but either way, the logline isn’t clear because of it. (EDIT: my original post noted that the Germans mined uranium, but I read one of my old WW2 in Africa books and it was the Allies, who also forced the Congolese to produce rubber for the Allied war effort)

  • brenkilco

    Personally I feel honored that the authors of All Rise are participating in the competition. And impressed by their modesty in not mentioning their Tony award or the fact that they were both members of the U.S. Olympic Water Polo Team

    • Scott Serradell

      Very modest indeed. Did you also know they invented toothpaste? A class act, the lot of them.

      • Scott Crawford

        Every so often I need to ask, just in case I’ve gone insane….

        … did he just say he used to be a drug smuggler?

        • Scott Serradell

          ‘fraid so, old boy. I believe the youngsters call it a “ruse”. Like the toupee, it’s an illusion used to spice up something otherwise mediocre.

          • Scott Crawford

            OK, it’s just I was a mercenary in South America in the 90s and I helped kill Pablo Escobar. It’s just… I don’t like to talk about it (the checks bounced).

          • Malibo Jackk

            (Where are all these great scripts coming from?)

          • Stephjones

            Doubt it’s a ruse. They were in the same part of the world I was in during the 1980’s. Florida, the Bahamas and points south were like the wild west back then. I have friends who did jail time smuggling pot. I have friends who supplemented their income just by beach combing.
            During that time the US coast guard partnered with the Bahamian Defense force and zero tolerance was born. Woe to you if so much as a seed was found on your boat.
            Can’t imagine why you assume they’re not telling the truth. Some people do have interesting lives.

          • Scott Serradell

            You might be right. But when I see someone boasting of smuggling 19 TONS of marijuana, I get a little skeptical.

          • Stephjones

            I don’t think of it as a boast. I see it as more of a qualifier for the story they want to tell. Maybe the story is cathartic for the guy who spent 8 years in jail?
            I do agree that it was awkwardly inserted in the WYSR and apparently isn’t doing them any favors.

          • PQOTD

            Yeah, I thought 19 tons was a bit excessive, too. I mean, 19 pounds – even 190 pounds – you could stash within your car but 19 tons must just about fill a 40-foot container load. Now we’re talking about a truck and lots of paperwork to get it across the border, and a need for deep-pocketed buyers. But, hey, maybe it means they don’t like to do things half-assed.

          • Stephjones

            Well, I only briefly checked them out online but I got the impression the smuggling was by boat. We ran a private yacht in the bahamas during the 80’s which could have easily handled 19 tons. Good thing we weren’t smuggling as we were boarded by the coast guard numerous times. Theyd herd us to the stern and hold us at gunpoint while they searched. Good times.

          • brenkilco

            Yeah interesting lives. Take me. After a protracted legal battle I’ve finally acquired full legal title to the Brooklyn Bridge. But due to cash flow problems I’m forced to sell it at a distress price. I don’t suppose you’d be interested?

            C’mon this is a goof. But it turns out a fairly good one considering you’re not the only credulous commenter. Frederick Forsyth. I loved that.

          • Stephjones

            Well, oddly enough, I believe them but am having a really hard time swallowing Mayhem’s claim about the stolen kitty litter scoop. Does she really expect us to believe she spent $13.99 on a scoop when she doesn’t even OWN a cat? And WHY would she leave it in an unsecured vehicle? I mean, I like her and everything, she’s funny and cool and talented, but…come on!

          • Mayhem Jones

            LMAOOOO!!! I clicked your disqus name randomly thinking: “hey, where’s steph been??” and just saw this! HAHAHA! Thanks a lot–you just made me choke on my own phlegm! (I have bronchitis!) ;D

    • Scott Crawford

      It’s another reason to why people who are not involved with SS or other sites should get themselves known. How much easier would it be for someone to write “Hey, this is suchandsuch, I’ve been commenting for some time and I’ve just written this new screenplay.”

      Most people would read that script if it was a well liked person.

    • lonestarr357

      Swam with dolphins.

      Got a handjob from Kate Upton.

      Father is the inventor of Toaster Strudel.

      If I could claim these things and they had a shot in hell of getting Carson to pick my script, you bet your ass I’d mention these in the ‘why you should read’.

      • brenkilco

        If you could claim these things you probably wouldn’t be thinking about Carson at all. Say hi to Kate for me.

      • Malibo Jackk

        Would like to read your Kate Upton script.
        (It gets my vote.)

  • Poe_Serling


    Welcome back, old friend!


    • Dallas Cobb

      I literally almost just passed out seeing this post! So glad this is back!

      • Scott Crawford

        It was just like old times… I was in MacDonalds when I first saw this!

  • kent

    I got to page 45 of ALL RISE. It is well written but nobody to root for. Crothers is getting exactly what he deserves. something unexpected should have happened by now so I bailed. If the point is to get him in with the illegals with an ankle bracelet, I suggest cutting out Angola and find a way to start with him there. As is I found it repetitive. Good dialogue.

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on AOW 2017 Premier!

    Read to page 16.
    I was entertained by this. Not particularly laugh out loud funny for me, but more charming and endearing. I was along for the ride. The mystery box of what the scientist is working on presented in the first ten pages keeps me reading beyond them. I want to see what he has in store for Colleen. Good job there.

    On a technical level, page 4, the intercutting for me lacks enough visuals to get my bearings. Where and what is Maureen doing as she is on the phone? It’s not even clear she is. What is the visual on Larry as Colleen speaks with Maureen? Break it down.

    The writer, himself, admits that this is presented in a retro fashion. The earnestness of the players, (“I’m sorry Vito was brusque with you yesterday”) their lack of doubt and unencumbered reactions to things, (Colleen has just been enlarged to “girl gargantua” (laughed at that) and all she cares about is her date with Bill and a run in her hosiery?) and the sick kid angle (pushed to Lifetime movie heights) really reinforces all that. For me, I’m constantly imagining the difficulty of current audiences accepting all this. So, for me, looking at it from their viewpoint, the script’s tone veers from Cable Lifetime movie in the beginning to Saturday morning cartoon mixed with vintage Playboy cartoons. (“Bigger tits mean bigger tips”)

    So, by page 16, I’ve seen what the scientist is up to and how Colleen is changed by it, and the tonal issues and not having any other hanging items to be concerned about and it’s easy to stop there.

    Find a niche in one of those categories and stick to it, perhaps?

    • Scott Crawford

      Randy, boom bye yae! Randy, boom bye yae! Randy, boom bye yae!

      Good to have you back on AOW.

      • PQOTD

        Eleven hours ago you posted this, Scott. Am I the only one who recognises the ‘boom bye yae’ reference? Especially fitting as we have a ‘Congo’ script this weekend. Rumble in the jungle…

  • Erica

    I love my Romantic Comedies so I started with Stand Tall.

    I found the opening scene to be nothing but a big exposition dump. There just wasn’t anything to draw me into the story here, nothing new or fresh.

    Then we hit page 4 and now there is something, but I’m not sure how it relates to what the logline says yet. I found the dialogue here to be more of exposition dump then a natural conversation. By page 5 I had to bail, there was nothing really pulling me into the story yet. Maybe I’ll go back and get to page 10 to see if things pick up but for now I’m moving on to the next script.

    That opening scene really has to stand out and draw us in.

  • Stevetmp

    Welcome back AOF!!!

  • jaehkim


    your WYSR got to me so i’m going to take a look.

    your writing’s good. feels more novel-ish than screenplay but it’s easy to read, which is important. there are some over written parts though. example –
    “Gunner takes out his revolver. Removing his suit coat and
    wrapping it around one arm, he strikes the window with the
    butt of his gun–the glass splinters.”

    you can just say gunner SHATTERS the window with the butt of his gun.

    dialogue – all the characters sound the same. they all have this proper english, trying to be witty/funny tone about them. this works in novels, but not in screenplays because it comes off as cliche. also, the only place ‘witty’ works is in dialogue heavy, rapid fire sorkins style scripts. a lot of amateurs try to write dialogues this way because otherwise the characters wound be awful boring. this is where you need to spend time on developing character. the dialogue should flow from their world point of views and their clash of ideas and goals.

    characters – the first 10 pages show a lot of action, but I can’t get a feel for who these characters are. they all sound and act pretty much the same. there’s no sense of a past, likes/fears, flaws. there’s no drama/dynamic between the characters. trying reading the first 10 pages of the script without the dialogues. nothing changes right?

    I stopped at page 10. I suggest picking 1 main character and developing that character before moving on. what flaw does this character have? what would need to happen for this person to get over his or her flaw. as for the rest of them, john truby’s the anatomy of story gives a great way to differentiate characters. give them labels – the joker, the warrior, the prince, the rebel, the friend/secret opponent etc.

    • Erica

      While you bring up some good points, I find it very distracting that you never use capitals at the beginning of your sentences. To me that comes off as just lazy. But that’s just personal opinion. After all this is a writing blog.


    Rift: Your WYSR is nothing but a pity-party. Wish you would’ve talked about your script for at least ONE sentence. And is me feeling sorry for you supposed to make me WANT to read your script? Hint: the answer’s NO.

    The Keepers of the Cup: Anyone who mentions how much they can BENCH PRESS in a SCREENWRITING competition is worthy of an immediate PASS. (and why are you using a fake name when your real name is EASY to find? based on THIS script)

    All Rise: Good Lord, you guys must have flexible arms patting yourselves on the back so much. In all that self-congratulatory blathering you say NOTHING about your AF entry.

    Beyond The Front Lines: Congrats, Ben. Now THAT’S how you write a WYSR.

    Stand Tall!: Hmm, on the fence with this one. Logline needs a LOT of work (tell us how the mobsters tie in), but I like and appreciate how your passion (WYSR) is reflected in your script…or so it seems.

    Carson, please do away with WYSR, they’ve gotten ridiculously out of hand. Next week someone’s gonna tell us how their mom is terminal with stage 4 cancer and “Me winning AF is her dying wish.” Ben is the only writer to nail this week’s WYSRs.

    And, yes, I know I can pass over them. But if they’re going to include them, then I’m going to read and judge them.

    • Scott Crawford

      I’d keep them, they’re good practice for when you HAVE to talk about yourself to a potentially interested party. But look what reaction a a bad WYSR has!

      If the title, genre and logline aren’t enough to get people to read your script, and your name isn’t recognizable yet, anything else is going to come off as begging.

    • Randall Alexander

      NO, definitely keep them. I can bench 251 so after a week of feeling sorry for myself, I now feel MUCH better reading that he’s only pushing 250. Weak stick.

    • Master John Moss

      And I’ll judge you. My verdict? Unnecessarily harsh.

      • Scott Crawford

        I appreciate that our anonymous friend can say the things that SOME may think, or half agree with, but daren’t not say for fear of being called a prick. And he only SLAMMED three out of five…

        • Master John Moss

          I was gonna ask if HE was diagnosed with terminal stage 4 cancer, and won’t live to see his dream of becoming a professional screenwriter realized. Decided to take out his frustrations on here.

          • Scott Crawford

            I’m not sure actually, he comments quite a bit under different names but he never goes after the innocent so I don’t mind. And like I said, I kind of agree with much of what he said but I don’t really want to go all vitriol myself.

            After all, these five writers or writing teams have done better than I in actually getting their scripts done and on display.

          • Master John Moss

            I’m guessing that you and I (and a lot of others on here) share the same problem: too much time looking at movie-related websites, and too little time writing movies.

          • Scott Crawford

            I think my difficulty, maybe shared by others, is having too high expectactions. Instead of my next screenplay being entertaining and maybe a little thought provoking, it’s going to be the greatest screenplay ever written and will cure cancer.

            A thought provoking idea. A simple story well told. Action sequences that feel fresh. Dialogue that sounds the way real people talk.

            That’ll do.

          • Master John Moss

            I’m the opposite, maybe. I abandoned outling my last script because it felt too silly. Was titled ‘Super Dude in: Screw You, Earth, I’m Outta Here.’ About a Superman-like character fed up with humanity. A guy who decides to return to his (unexploded) home planet in the hopes of getting back together with his ex-girlfiriend, currently shacked up with a would-be villain.

          • andyjaxfl

            I like the twist on the superhero genre and I’d definitely read it.

          • Master John Moss

            Oh, thanks. Tonally, I was going for a ‘Rick and Morty’-vibe. Currently, my favourite thing in film and television.

    • garrett_h

      I’ve been saying this for as long as I can remember. The WYSR have almost always been terrible. I can’t remember any good ones TBH. But I remember quite a few bad ones.

      Some people argue, “WYSR is like a query letter.” No it’s not. It’s almost always nonsensical blathering, like the bench pressing thing. Or that one about the guy being glad his childhood bully is dead. WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH YOUR SCRIPT?!?!

      The STAND TALL one threw me off too. There’s this whole feminism thing in the WYSR, but in the logline, the female heroine is giving up her identity and her powers in order to help some guy. If she’s feminist, wouldn’t she be doing the opposite? I dunno. It confused me, and immediately I though it was going to be a confused script that I don’t need to waste my time with.

      The WYSRs have done more harm than good for most of the writers here IMO.

      • PQOTD

        Imho, the ‘Why and when I stopped reading’ (hereafter WAWISR) is just as valuable to a writer.

        Sometimes it may just be a simple, ‘the genre didn’t grab me’. If it’s ‘the characters didn’t grab me’ or ‘the premise / setting / dialogue, etc, didn’t grab me’, those are more serious issues.

        Like with ‘Behind the Front Lines’, right there on page 1 barely a quarter of the way down, one of the Americans who’s going to pose as a Nazi to infiltrate their supply chain states the following: ‘Councilman, I don’t know, nor do I give a damn to know, how to speak Kraut.’

        This goes to credibility. The Nazis aren’t going to realise that someone among them doesn’t speak German? Really? I got a few pages further than that, but not many. I couldn’t suspend my disbelief. That’s why BTFL doesn’t get my vote.

        • andyjaxfl

          Your points on WYSR are spot on. I don’t think enough writers use it as intended. Instead of writing a bit on what theme(s) they are exploring and what inspired them, we normally get sales pitches that are a mix of bad humor or pre-emptive excuses for why a reader may not like the script. I see those WYSR’s and I almost always tune out.

  • Poe_Serling

    My vote goes to:


    The logline caught my eye right away and the WYSR sounded pretty much
    like the typical trials and tribulations of an aspiring screenwriter.

    Based on the pages that I read:

    The opening has the female protags and their ‘part body guard, part butler’
    Gunner battling a giant orange centipede in a lighthouse – you don’t see that
    very often.

    For the most part the early action was fast and fun. Then back to the manor
    for the trio’s next adventure.

    Overall, I liked the writer’s playful tone with the script. I think that’s the way
    to go with this particular type of story – monster hunters doing their thing in
    the Victorian era.

  • Scott Serradell

    Happy Saint Paddy’s Day All! Remember to hug a priest (unless he hugs you first. In that case, run.)


    Read to page 25 and would certainly read further.

    There is so much to enjoy here: Thus far it’s fun, adventurous, witty, charming, inventive, and unencumbered. The writer confidently thrusts us out of the gate with the trio of heroes on yet another one of their exploits and, because the characters are so clearly defined, it feels established and believable for their world.

    The exposition and humor struck a nice balance with the action — and all of it had a good pace. You could see clearly how it would all play out. A lighthouse is a also great locale for a giant centipede attack.

    Baroness Whitetower (wonderful name, BTW) is brazen, sharp, daring — a good character, it would seem, for a young actress to dive into. But if you cannot attack her “psychologically” (she is described as “self-assured”) then her wit and capabilities need to be tested physically and/or by outside her control (for example, on page 23 when she is arrested). Otherwise she will come off as too effortless and caviler; she’ll end up redundant and, ultimately, a bore.

    I worry for Victoria, as she seems shadowed by Whitetower and comes off a bit muted. Maybe I need to read further, but I feel she needs another quality (nothing too big, just something defining.)

    TECHNICAL NOTE: Don’t end your pages with JUST a scene heading. If you cannot fit any description for it, just go onto the next page. Also, parenthetical character descriptions do not need capitalization.

    I would urge a title change, something more spirited with the tone. But, so far, this is very nicely done.

  • Sal Ayala

    First Amateur Weekend of 2017. Nice!
    I read through 10 pages of each and settled on

    STAND TALL — because i enjoyed it, and its the script that did the best job of delivering on its logline (within the ten page count). The three main players promised were all introduced — and the story was clearly set in motion.

    I also liked Colleen, and given her and her families situation, and what was to befall her, I felt inclined to root for her.

    A note: Much of the first ten pages was set in either a casino or a club, and i feel like there should’ve been more atmosphere within those scenes. (Cigarette smoke, Lighting, Specific Music)

    2) THE RIFT: I really liked this. It reminded me of Ghostbusters, and as far as the leads are concerned, is what the last flick should’ve been.
    Whitetower was really well written, and poor Gunner :(

    It didn’t get my vote because I’m not at all sure who, or what, the hunters are up against. And the script is called ‘The Rift’, but the rift is hardly established yet.

    Basically. I like the premise and main characters, but it needs a clearer obstacle and more world building, or rather explaining, as it pertains the the title. If the title doesn’t mean much to the story — if the rift isn’t to ‘The Rift’ what the matrix is to ‘The Matrix’ — then maybe a title change should be in order.

    3) ALL RISE: Its a solid concept and a great title. I can totally see the poster. Content wise… I guess the reprobate judge is Crothers? Since he has a BMW and is the main character.
    But in any event, i thought he was very interesting (so many little layers to him already) and the script was really enjoyable. The regional dialogue was deftly written and snappy.

    4) BTFL: I wanted to like this more but a couple things held it back. I did like the idea and the effort made to ground the fiction. And it was a really good read, i especially liked the scenes between the Belgian Councilman and Doc. Great dialogue!
    The action adventure, the Indiana Jones, of the material didn’t really
    register to me until around page 9 when Doc and the Black Coat face off. That scene felt like it was lifted from an indy movie, Harrison Ford and all.

    The two dislikes:
    It doesn’t have a title fit for a pulpy action adventure movie.

    I feel that like Raider of the lost Ark, maybe the script would be better off opening with Doc in peril. Maybe he was in Poland when the Nazis invaded and barely escaped with his life. And then ends up in Belgium. The other spy James, could’ve been in washington instead.

    5) TKOTC: Since so much of the first ten pages of dedicated to Stanley Cup, NHL, and Ranger lore; I don’t think i got a rely great feel for the story.

    What i did read was very well written and visual though. I could see every shot. My favorite scene was the one with Danny and Richie facing down the canadien canucks fans. Funny stuff eh?
    The first given reason, along with the fact that i didn’t like Danny and Richie, is why i didn’t rate this script higher.

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on AOW 2017 Premier!

    Read to page 20. I’m not a huge hockey fan so it was a bit of a chore getting through the beginning montages but visually I can see it having some energy. The pages felt like a movie. One of those funny buddy movies with Vince Vaughn perhaps.
    I really loved the bit with Richie taking the leftover drinks in the stands.
    I don’t usually encourage anyone ever to fight except for self defense but I have a
    dirty secret love for videos of sports fan fights. Particularly in the stands where it’s confined and adjoining fans have no where to go. Ok, call me sadistic. Since this is an “action comedy” I felt the fight could have been more explicit and brutal here. Leave the two pretty bruised.

    I felt it goes off the rails a bit as the heist begins. Killing off “The Great One” as is done here felt silly as though this veered into satire territory. Also, Danny stating early on that they were stealing the cup before the other guys could, doesn’t sound like a reasonable thing one would say. Might it be more interesting if Richie, perhaps, drunk off the leftover drinks just grabs it and starts to make love with it, and getting out of there fast, Danny can’t pull him away from the cup fast enough and they take it with them as they peel away? Pages 16-20, just don’t seem organic to me.
    Lots of potential here, the writer knows how to write funny, and I’d read more.

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on AOW 2017 Premier!

    Read to page 16 where the judge arrives at the prison.

    This is a fast read. The writing seamlessly carries me along. The description taunt and very atmospheric. Much of it is very disturbing, however, and relentlessly so for those 16 pages so it is a bit suffocating, like breathing in the humid summer air of Louisiana itself.
    So, I’m yearning for some oxygen and there is none. There is no sympathetic person to latch onto. A child cries but we don’t follow him. A point is made with the man with the tattoo in the beginning, will he seek revenge?, I wonder, but I don’t know him yet.

    I’d probably read more just for the pleasure of much of the description.

  • GYAD

    Re: Beyond The Front Lines

    That logline is far too long and detailed. Here’s a quick re-write:

    “Two American spies must pose as Nazis in order to infiltrate a heavily protected German train so they can find and destroy Hitler’s nuclear program before it wins World War II.”

    • Scott Crawford

      Yeah, it’s Die Hard on a Nazi nuclear train.

      Title needs changing:

      Atomic Express
      End of the Line
      is Paris Irradiated?
      Nuclear Nazis
      World War Two and a Half

      • Scott Serradell

        Road to Berlin (a homage to those Hope and Crosby buddy pictures)
        Dude, Where’s My Uranium?
        Dear Mr. Oppenheimer
        From the Congo With Love
        World War One: Part Two
        Who Let the Bombs Out?

        • Scott Crawford

          I like Dear Mr. Oppenheimer!

  • Erica

    My vote is going to: The Rift.

    Love the concept and the story so far. Like others said, it had a bit of Ghostbusters mixed in with Laura Croft.

    There should be more conflict in dialogue at the beginning I think, not to the point that every character is fighting, but maybe a little professional rivalry. The other thing which is more of a personal preference, I didn’t like the name Whitetower. For me it just didn’t suit that character. I had to go back a few times to see how she was.

    Over all fun script.

  • RO

    I hope to get to all the scripts this week. Congrats to the writers for making the AOW and happy St. Patricks Day!

    So far I’ve read The Rift and made it 41 pages in. The character work is neat, but this concept feels more like a mini-series rather than a feature film. Especially when I have read 40+ pages into the script and the story is only now starting to come together. No real clear inciting incident until the late 30s. There are a lot of juicy plot threads started that I don’t know if the remaining pages will be enough to do justice resolving them.

  • Scott Crawford

    I don’t think WWII is something you can totally make up. Even something like WHERE EAGLES DARE had SOME truth about it. Too many people know enough to call bullshit on made up conflicts.

    Be better off with a train carrying heavy water from Norway?

    • brenkilco

      Be better off with a train carrying heavy water from Norway?

      Done. The Heroes of Telemark. Kirk Douglas. 1965

      • Scott Crawford

        Classic movie. First ski chase (proper one anyway) in a movie, I think, beating James Bond.

      • Poe_Serling

        That’s the fascinating and yet somewhat frustrating thing
        about writing scripts or whatever – coming up with a really
        original idea or angle for a project.

        You think you have something new to offer and then you
        decide to check it out and find it’s already been filmed
        once or, in some cases, numerous times.

        Or the dreaded …

        You just finished your screenplay and then stumble across
        a film that mirrors your plot or just happen to have more
        than a few of the same story elements as your pet project.

        I don’t know if I’ve already shared this Hollywood tale with
        you, if I have, I apologize in advance…

        When I was watching my Ernie Borgnine interview a few
        weeks ago, he mentioned that his TV series McHale’s
        Navy was actually loosely inspired by the WW2 flick
        Destination Gobi.

        Richard Widmark played a character named McHale.

        • brenkilco

          I’ve heard of the movie but never seen it. And certainly never heard it was inspiration for McHale’s Navy which though I have only distant memories of the show strikes me as more of a Sergeant Bilko in the Pacific Theater.

          Another weird thing with scripts is where for no particular reason a given subject is suddenly hot and competing movies are released at the same time. Two Killer asteroid movies or two movies about bombing Russia with nukes or two Jean Harlow bios or more recently two movies about Truman Capote. I mean was there really a crying need for two Truman Capote movies?

          • andyjaxfl

            There was a third killer asteroid movie that was was supposed to come out in 1998 called Bright Angel Falling, and it was written by James Cameron and Peter Hyams. It’s been a while since I read it, but I remember liking it quite a bit.

  • brenkilco

    Read first eleven pages of Keepers of The Cup. It’s quite well written. Nicely formatted. Has the montagy, voiceovery, crosscutty quality of a lot of professional scripts you read today . Now I assume the writer loves hockey. And the first ten pages of this thing are all hockey. And if you don’t care for hockey you’re probably not going to keep reading because so far the two boorish, hockey obsessed protags aren’t even guys you’d want to be in the same bar with, let alone watch on screen. And if there were any laughs so far I missed them. The writing is good and maybe this picks up but the subject is a tough sell for the uninitiated. So interesting, funny things need to happen quickly.

  • Poe_Serling

    “We’re back … For how long, I don’t know. So enjoy it while you can … ”

    Hey Carson-

    Whether you see this or not, I just wanted to thank you for bringing back
    AOW for at least one week.

    For me, it has always been one of the highlights at SS for a few reasons:

    1) Feedback (a little or a lot) from your peers. Invaluable stuff to have for
    a page one rewrite or just fine-tuning your title and logline.

    2) Readers get the opportunity to sharpen some of their analytical skills,
    which could be beneficial in their own writing endeavors.

    3) Just a great way for some of the community members to show off what
    they’ve learned from here and other screenwriting sources.

    And I get it…

    Sorting through a stack of emails when picking potential AOW scripts and then
    reading the top vote-getter had to be a bit of grind each and every week.

    Or perhaps you were just looking to change things up with the addition of
    recent contests and mini-challenges.

    Whatever reason…

    I just wanted you to know I really enjoyed participating in the AOWs … even
    if it has run its course.



  • brenkilco

    Read to page thirty of The Rift. Pleasant but so far rather unfocused. Long lost offspring and arrests and unwanted engagements and meanwhile something bad is happening in a parallel universe. Though we’re not sure what. Goosebumps meets Penny Dreadful with some comedy of manners bits thrown in. Dialogue and characterization solid but unexceptional. Would feel more confident about this if I felt it knew where it was going.

  • Levres de Sang

    Great to see AOW returning to our screens! Hope to check out all five scripts over the weekend… In the meantime, I just thought I’d say that I’m enjoying the author of Stand Tall’s Carole Lombard fan site! As much as I’m an admirer of Hollywood’s golden age I must confess that CL has somewhat passed me by. However, Vincent’s website makes me want to put that situation right!

    • brenkilco

      To be or not to be and twentieth century are good places to start

      • Scott Crawford

        From To Be Or Not to Be, 1942:

        Josef Tura: [disguised as Colonel Ehrhardt] I can’t tell you how delighted we are to have you here.

        Professor Alexander Siletsky: May I say, my dear Colonel, that it’s good to breathe the air of the Gestapo again. You know, you’re quite famous in London, Colonel. They call you Concentration Camp Ehrhardt.

        Josef Tura: Ha ha. Yes, yes… we do the concentrating and the Poles do the camping.

        Think modern comedy is “edgy?” This was 1942!

  • brenkilco

    Read first thirty pages of All Rise. This one is interesting. The most professional of the bunch, though only by a nose. My big complaint, which I’ve noted in a lot of thriller scripts that pop up on AOW is that all the characters talk too tough. The cops talk tough, the prisoners talk tough, the lawyers talk tough, even the judges talk tough. Gets a little irritating. My other problem is we’re on page thirty and the story seems to just be starting. The protag gets sentenced to prison pretty quickly and most of the first act takes place in the hellhole prison. But now suddenly he’s out and nothing he’s experienced seems to have much relevance. He’s heading to a whole new environment and it isn’t clear at this point whether this is going to be a thriller or a tale of personal redemption. Question, if the judge had sentenced him to live among migrant workers at the start would it have made any difference to the story? At the moment it seems we’ve wasted a good chunk of time.

  • Scott Crawford

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on AOW 2017 Premier!

    Read 20 pages. I’d read more. I found this engrossing. Transformed me to another time and place. It’s one of those stories where you want to be the protagonist and put yourself in his shoes. There were times, however, when I felt the writer was deliberately dumbing things down to make it more action adventure when he wanted just to tell a spy story and the result was a watery confection, too old for teens, too young for thinking adults. Really lacking a bit of punch. I’m probably wrong, but that’s just what I got from it.

    I loved the reveal on page 18 of where they were all along. Love visual moments like this. I liked the villain. Thought she was nicely psycho.
    Two typos on page 12 were glaring. “Threw” him, not “through” him a grand surprise dinner” and “please” was missing an “e”.

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on AOW 2017 Premier!

    Read 40 pages. I’d probably read more, the writing and presentation is endearing, a whimsical tale that takes us immediately into a clever situation, but after that there is a lot of talking and I don’t know where this is headed exactly. I sense there’s going to be a clash with an alternate universe, very vague and some legal trouble for the lady of the manor, but are those troubles going to top that sweet opening?
    I think presenting several foreseeable clashes and distinct ones might help me want to continue. I really love these characters but want the promise of them backed into a corner they can’t see a way out of.

    1. Perhaps the inspector can be presented first before arresting her, maybe he doesn’t even have grounds for arresting her? As it is, he goes to her and lists those incidents related to her, the destruction of the lighthouse, the burnt orchard and all and she is very defensive to a fault about why these things occurred. What if the inspector presents to us those things, in his own scenes at the station house or wherever, so we could form our own conclusions based on what we’ve seen of Whitetower and the gang already. Do our own detective work in our minds. Perhaps Whitetower isn’t so innocent. What’s behind her escapades?
    2. The alternate universe, much presented through the telescope lens doesn’t have the impact for me as the centipede or give me clues to the connection to a centipede, a zombie, a fire breathing horse, the skinny man and his troll, etc. I want to have as much fun thinking that Whitetower and Victoria and the butler do fighting these entities.
    3. Rudolf and Victoria. Some real clash forseeable with these two?

    I feel I’m reacting to this the same way I reacted to Cratchitt. I didn’t vote for it at first but came to really love it after several reads including a table read. So, if it doesn’t get my vote, I think it would down the line.

  • Dallas Cobb

    In between the three novels I’m reading for three different classes, the short story collection I’m reading for a fourth class, and work on my THESIS SCRIPT!!!!!! ,I had to procrastinate with a good old fashioned Amateur Offerings Weekend!!!!!!!!!!!
    (OT: Carson, please keep AOW around until May so I can hopefully conclude my 7 years of undergrad with a shot at AOW! haha, half kidding!!)

    My Vote: The Keepers of the Cup
    Honorable Mention: Beyond the Front Lines
    TKotC receives my vote because I could really feel the emotion in the set-up and the execution, which is important in a comedy. BtFL came in a close second, as it demonstrated just as much professionalism and craft as TKotC. It came down to the main “buddy” relationships presented; BtFL incorporated a cool twist to introduce a central relationship, but the bromance in TKotC was believable and less cliche.

    Title: Rift
    Logline Impression: Ambiguous logline; maybe introduce the leader &/or protag of the team to anchor/detail the plot in the logline. Unsure how the monster hunters are their own biggest threat.
    Notes: Give Gunner an age on page 1 in his introduction like the two characters before him. I want these characters to feel more like unique characters – they all kind of sound and act the same. Period after pistol on page 4 (not a critique, just didn’t want you to miss it if nobody told you). Top of page 5, I’ve checked out. What was presented as treacherous now seems more comical and routine, so I’m confused. Offer descriptions of character actions on page 5 that actually match the character in order to create more individuality. Why is Whitetower calm one minute, when they should be panicky? Is this script supposed to be a fantasy for children, or a fantasy for adults? The dialogue reads as though it should be for children, but that wasn’t the vibe I got from the introductory pages. The prose here is good, but rework some of the action paragraphs and really focus their functions/actions; try not to muddle certain paragraphs with too much. Stopped reading at the top of page 8, although I see that’s where the rift is explained, but nothing too exciting is happening here to make me want to keep going. Not being “too fascinated” by the monster is why this doesn’t get my vote. But the writing/prose is good, and you seem to have a good handle on your story.

    Title: The Keepers of the Cup
    Logline Impression: Like any comedy, really going to depend on the characters and original execution here, but I didn’t hate this logline. I also don’t have much of an opinion/knowledge on Russians in American films, for what that’s worth.
    Notes: Really enjoyed the narrative voice here, both in Danny and in some of the action lines. Not a huge fan of hockey, but I appreciate a well-written, well-paced sports movie, and this is definitely one of them. Didn’t enjoy the second person action line at the top of page 5. Really enjoying the dynamic between Danny and Richie, although I want them to also be a little more individualized. LOVE the bottom of page 5. Page 9 “And now I’m probably going to get herpes”, you should add “from drinking all that leftover beer”, just to make the joke land a bit cleaner. Stopped reading around the middle of page 10; their banter was getting a little cliche and boring, and nothing was really happening towards the central plot. But the comedy is there, the emotion/heart is there, and the concise writing style is there. I like when I can feel the human emotion of the story, and feel the presence of a screenwriting structure amidst that story. Very good job here.

    Title: All Rise
    Logline Impression: The irony is there, but there’s no conflict in this logline that would drag me to see the movie.
    Notes: Although everything happening seems a bit disconnected from each other, the writing here is spot on. Very concise, very visual, with a professional flow to its execution. Very nice, prose-like descriptions. Almost wish there was more of a thriller-ish vibe on these first few pages. Almost reads like a western to me, more than a thriller. But I stand corrected, as its more than made up for on page 7 with the vehicle collision. Stopped reading on the middle of page 8. Lots of conflict being set up. Still don’t have a grasp on the characters as much as I would like. But there’s a lot of professional skill here. Very good work.

    Title: Beyond the Front Lines
    Logline Impression: The logline is clunky, but the story definitely sounds like a feature film. Take the logline off the title page of your script.
    Notes: Great first page. I like the flow of action, and the execution of the visuals; very cinematic. Everything here is being presented very clear and concisely, which is a pleasant surprise since I’m reading the scripts in the order Carson listed them this week. I wasn’t as invested in Black Coat’s presence as much as I wanted to be. I also wasn’t super hooked into Doc and Councilman’s night walk around page 5, and it seemed a little predictable from the get-go that the Councilman was going to be murdered (and early on, too), which sucks that it was predictable, but a testament to this writer’s screenwriting skill and genre knowledge/understanding. Cool twist at the bottom of page 6. Stopped reading on the bottom of page 8 , but I would definitely read more. Very intrigued. Enjoyed the pacing, and Doc seems like a “feature film” protagonist that a male actor could really sink their teeth into.

    Title: Stand Tall
    Logline Impression: I’m not sold on this concept, because I think the “16 feet tall” aspect would be hard to film, but it is comedic. Like all romantic comedies, the success of this will depend on the characters and the overall execution.
    Notes: I don’t really like being brought into a conversation so soon with our protagonist without barely knowing anything about her, as it seems Colleen is the protag. This almost reads more like a play than a screenplay; the writing and dialogue are well and strong here, just not necessarily my cup of tea. Stopped reading on the middle of page 4 not because the writing was bad (which it wasn’t), but I just wasn’t hooked in the characters, as efficiently introduced as they were.

    • PQOTD

      Hey Dallas, taking a stab in the dark here and guessing you just might be a Literature major? That’s an impressive workload…

      • Dallas Cobb

        Literature is incorporated into my major, yeah…it’s been quite the past two years!

  • Mayhem Jones

    MY VOTE(S):
    ½ ALL RISE

    Guys, someone stole a cat litter scoop from my car. It wasn’t one of the crappy plastic $1.99 ones either! It was a brand new, like, STURDY $13.99 METAL ONE! I don’t own a cat (I’m allergic) so it wasn’t for me but like DAAAAMN. Are these the people we’re writing movies for? CAT LITTER SCOOPER STEALERS??!

    ALSO: I know “half votes” are frowned upon…I’m sorry…but I just really like them both and I absolutely REFUSE to choose between them! Ughhhh.

    RIFT: This is soooooo freakin’ creepy but my friend and I at the exact same time messaged each other going: “Why does the name Kathryn Whipple sound so familiar?” Dude, do we like know you? (hehehe probably not, but really cool name!) A ton of people have voted for this already which I’m happy to see. Unfortunately the subject matter just didn’t really click with me so I couldn’t get into it enough to comment. Writing was great, though (thanks for introducing me to the word chitinous!) and who knows? You’ll probably be trading PB&J sandwiches for sea bass at the Soho House soon ;)

    KEEPERS OF THE CUP: The premise is hysterical. It’s one of those wacky ideas that totally turns me on. Your WYSR is so impressive… YOU’R ON THE CUSP MAN–KEEP HOLDING ON!! Anywayz I’m not a sports person but I freakin’ loved the energetic writing. “Holier than Jesus Christ himself”–“A BABY is baptized in The Cup”–“between a meth head hooker and an orphan with the whooping cough”…lmao. See, you’ve managed to take a subject that could potentially alienate non-hockey fans and livened it up with fun descriptions and dialogue. The exchange on page 7 had me laughing out loud. GREAT JOB!!!

    ALL RISE: So I read a little bit about your writing partner’s whole prison ordeal and GOOD LAWWWWWD! I feel terrible. Gary’s main book sounds really interesting, tho. I might have to check it out. And IDK how the hell you guys scored Edel but CONGRATS!!!! =D ok ok ok so “All Rise”–premise is strong. Wow. Such visceral scene set-ups. You guys can seriously write–you’re making goddamn LOVE TO THE PAGE! This rocks. I’m gonna try to read more this weekend. Each moment—even if it’s just on a bus—is introduced quickly but effectively with something unique. Really, really interesting script.

    BEYOND THE FRONT LINES: Definitely check out GYAD’s logline suggestion! Didn’t get into it as much as I would have liked, but I definitely stuck around to read because it was easy (sometimes scripts like this get bogged down in factual explanations, but not here—at least in my case). Awesome, Ben!

    STAND TALL: LMAOOOOO this logline is so funny. I just wish there was a little more excitement in these opening pages… more electricity in the writing. I 10000% agree with Sal Ayala who said there should be “more atmosphere in the scenes” (with the example of cig smoke, lighting, music)–YES YES YES! Put us INSIDE these sexy, dim-lit (and/or loud) clubs with girls in glittery ensembles, dice rolling, cash being thrown down on tables, bright lights screaming down the strip (well, less cliche than those examples haha) ETC ETC ETC so the conversations feel more exciting. HAVE MORE FUN WITH IT!!!!

    FACK, I have to go to Petco or something now…..

    • klmn

      “Hello, Police. Yes, I’d like to report a theft.”

      “Well, it’s a cat litter scoop.”

      “No, it’s not one of the crappy ones. At least not yet. It’s a $13.99 metal one. Bronze plated. A Save-The-Cat Commemorative model. Very rare.”

      “Hello, Police?!!”

    • Malibo Jackk

      Look for someone who owns a cat.

    • klmn

      Were there any security cameras near where you parked? You should contact those establishments immediately, before they record over the tape.

      Investigate now. This is your chance to start your career as a crime-fighter.

  • Malibo Jackk

    You’ve written 10 screenplays.
    People will often judge if you’re a screenwriter — by the first page.

    If you’re writing a screenplay, it’s often best to suggest that you’re writing a screenplay.
    For example —
    SUPER: England, Circa 1850
    And when you introduce your cast of players, think of yourself as a director, directing
    the reader as you would a camera.
    You want your descriptions to play smooth — not jump around — from one to another to another and then from one to another to another again. Unless there is a GOOD REASON.
    And you want to focus your attention on the main character — not keep jumping away.
    Again, unless there is a good reason.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Like the style.
    But think you should avoid confusion on the first page.
    (Feel like I’m repeating myself here — made a similar comment on anther script.)

    You introduce us to a trailer truck that pulls to a stop.
    Then show us a school bus. (Parked on the road? Parked off the side of the road?)
    There’s writing on the side. (Of the bus? No, wait, It sounds like it belongs on the trailer.
    No. He seems to be talking about the bus. It must be an old rusted former school bus.)
    There a … behind the steering wheel. (Of the trailer? No, wait it’s not a man? It’s a dog. Did he mean man?)
    No. Now he’s introducing a man — but it’s not the driver of the truck.
    And finally — we’re back to the trailer again. And you introduce us to the main character?

    There’s more confusion than drama here, IMO.
    Simple suggestion:
    The truck trailer comes to a halt — Introduce the main character, gun and all — He looks over and sees — An old rusted school bus parked off to the side of the road — ect. , ect.

    It’s only a suggestion.
    I make a point of not arguing with people who have been in prison.

    • witwoud

      Most people go into publishing because they like reading. They’d be mad to otherwise — the pay is rotten.

    • witwoud

      Just out of interest (ie, nosiness) why are you asking? Have you written one?

      • Malibo Jackk

        Sort of.
        A number of rough drafts.

        • witwoud

          Cool. Good luck with that.


    MY VOTE: The Keepers of the Cup

    Great logline, reads very well.

    I know the WYSR will lose it votes, though!

    Wasn’t it discussed here before, how faux-bravado, meant to be ironically self-deprecating or something, doesn’t work in print?

    Kevin, you’ve written a great script. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot. Best of luck.

  • kent

    All Rise is the story of an asshole judge who kills some asshole criminals in a car wreck, then is sentenced to live with their bad asshole relatives, and some more asshole criminals he’s put away, who all justifiably hate him. The only way this could work for me is to make Crothers a good guy, who perhaps was forced to sentence some people to outrageous terms because of 3 Strikes or something. Then he’s falsely accused of being responsible for the accident when it was the hookers fault who he was trying to help (or something). Then we have a story I’d be interested in reading. The fact that Crothers used to be a good guy is hinted at, but he’s a drunk murdering asshole when he’s put away so I have zero empathy for him and hope he dies in prison. Would we have cared what happened to Tim Robbins in Shawshank if we had seen him murder his wife in cold blood in the opening scene?

  • klmn

    OT. This movie has been off my radar, but evidently it was written in 1978 and it’s just now hitting the screen.

    • Scott Crawford

      Carson reviewed the script, I. Think under the tomboy title.

      I was born in 1978.

    • brenkilco

      The film’s director Walter Hill was a big, fresh talent in 1978. He’d hit paydirt the next year with The Warriors, and 48 hours was still ahead. But though he’s still plugging away-props for longevity- he hasnt made a really first rate movie since the mid eighties. Thirty years. Times change and even good directors can go cold.

  • harveywilkinson

    Perusing the entries and humbly offer two small pieces of advice for the consideration of writers submitting to this forum:

    1) Stop double-spacing after periods, you and your readers will be happier for it. Using two spaces after periods is not “correct,” it is in fact incorrect according to most grammarians, typesetters, font experts, editors, and style manuals. But don’t worry about that, few readers will care about grammar minutiae in your script (and the ones that do will appreciate your use of single spaces!) But they do care about readability, and using two spaces after each and every period leads to all kinds of awkward gaps and breaks, particularly in dialogue blocks. Use single spaces and your dialogue blocks will read more evenly, and will result in fewer line breaks, saving you valuable space in the forms of now-available lines over the course of your script.

    2) Stop using “attractive” and all its variants in introducing your female characters. Seriously, just stop. Yes, it’s sexist, but it’s also lazy. No, I’m not accusing every writer who does this of being sexist, I’m saying it’s a sexist way to treat female characters when your male characters are not treated in the same way. But did I mention it’s also lazy? Banish this method of introducing or describing women and you may be surprised to learn how much more effective it is to describe your female characters in other terms. You will paint a more vivid picture for your reader and it will at least in some small way help you tell a better story.

    Trust me, there is no downside to breaking this habit — it’s not as if readers will be tossing your script aside thinking “Dammit I just don’t know if these female characters are HOT or not!” Readers want desperately to find interesting and engaging characters, reading the 7,347th female character described as “attractive” (and its variants) does not help them do this.

    • klmn

      MM Screenwriter double-spaces after periods. Don’t know about FD and other programs do.

    • Midnight Luck

      For anyone who hasn’t checked out this guy’s twitter posts about the typical rampant “Jane” habit of describing women in screenplays, check it out:

      Ross Putman

      • PQOTD

        Thanks for these links, ML.

      • brenkilco

        I find most character intros pointless. In the vast majority of commercial scripts the male and female leads are 25 to 40, smart and attractive. Stuff about the spirit in their eyes, sense of command, charm and warmth, the clothes they’re wearing, is generally pointless blather. But expected I suppose.

    • Malibo Jackk

      Leafing through my cat books as we speak.

  • lonestarr357

    Can’t tell you how glad I am to see Amateur Offerings Weekend again. First 25 pages. Thrill me.

    Rift – Snappy read. Good dialogue. Baroness Whitetower is a stitch. Really liked this one.

    The Keepers of the Cup – Gross-out gags. Celebrity cameo. Level-headed protagonist and rowdy friend in shenanigans. Girlfriend of level-headed one hates rowdy best friend. Nothing new here.

    All Rise – Effectively written, but not an easy read. Makes a better script than a movie, I imagine.

    Beyond the Front Lines – Not gonna lie: I was rooting for this one. There’s something about mixing WWII and genre that produces some neat AOW scripts (cf. that body swap/Nazi bunker script from a couple years ago). Generally well-done, if a bit too talky. For some reason, I think that Bruce Campbell would’ve made a fantastic Doc about a decade earlier.

    Stand Tall! – Too many characters, not enough story interest. Almost plays like a fake movie that the characters on a TV show would be watching…and MST3King their way through.

    Gold: Rift
    Silver: Beyond the Front Lines
    Bronze: All Rise

    • Lucid Walk

      Echovault. That’s the Nazi body swap script

  • The Seether

    Sufficiently triggered.


    OT… Vale, Chuck Berry. What an influence he had on rock ‘n roll.

    • klmn

      Sad to see him go.

      • PQOTD

        Thanks for that, k! The man sure packed a lot into his 90 years.

  • Sal Ayala

    But you’ve gotta admit it is lazy though. I mean attractive how? Show it dont tell it.
    Describe an attractive woman, liken her to a famous woman you find attractive, or describe the reactions her beauty illicits from men. Just plain saying attracitve isn’t nearly good enough.

    • Malibo Jackk

      Then you must be calling William Goldman lazy.
      And other professionals who use minimal or no description
      for some of their characters.

      Most women go to great lengths to look attractive.
      But don’t you dare call them that.
      Substitute “smart” instead of “attractive” and you’ll do just fine.

      “Hey babe, You look smart today.”

      • Sal Ayala

        The operative word there is some.
        If by some you mean a small character with little or no dialogue.
        But if your writing a character your asking a reader to in anyway become invested in emotionally then no. Attractive and even smart, are not good enough.

        I want to see whats attractive and i want to hear what’s smart in the character (that can be shown through dialogue).

        And fwiw — this is obviously just like, my opinion man.

      • JakeBarnes12

        Hey, Malibo, that’s a very attractive post you just made.

        • Malibo Jackk

          I’m offended.

          You heading for Paris soon?

          • JakeBarnes12

            Already back.

            You going on a trip soon?

          • Malibo Jackk

            October — Austin Film Fest.

          • JakeBarnes12

            Cool, though I meant trip to Paris.

            Thought I could give some restaurant recommendations.

      • klmn

        All you need to write is fuckable or unfuckable. Pretty much covers anyone, without limiting the casting.

  • witwoud

    I go with, ‘She’s a hootsie tootsie Mama with a streamlined chassis and she’d make the North Pole melt.’

  • Malibo Jackk

    Posted for no reason.

    • Midnight Luck

      much of COLLIDE had a similar setup.
      Young guy having to do a final job to resolve, finish something.
      And the powers that be don’t wanna comply.
      Car chases, racing, action, guns, one-liners ensue.

      It was much crap.
      Hope Wright’s rendition is better.

      • Malibo Jackk

        Collide resembles the way I drive.
        BABY DRIVE should be better.

  • jonridge

    Haven’t read the others yet, but “Rift” has a pretty nifty, funny opening 10 pages. We get a real sense of how commonplace encountering these monsters is for the main characters. I will read more of it.

  • Comma

    I’ve read 13 pages of All Rise. At page 13 I’d like to see the main character dead: he drived while he was drunk, killed 5 in an ‘accident’ and he doesn’t care because they’re immigrants. I can’t imagine how could I root for him… or maybe I got it wrong and he’s not the main character? I won’t know because I already quit.

  • Levres de Sang

    My Vote: STAND TALL!

    All of these displayed varying skills and issues on the page (I’ve criticized one script for too little atmosphere and another for too much), but for me STAND TALL! had the nicest flow and I would encourage others to give it a try.

    STAND TALL!: Nicely establishes the storyworld and benefits from an easygoing quality in its writing. However, the dialogue needs work: page 2 is an exposition dump and some of the other exchanges were a bit on the nose. Overall, though, I ENJOYED reading this one the most. Its GSU also felt a good deal clearer than the others.

    BEYOND THE FRONT LINES: The logline is way too long and convoluted. Far better, I think would be:

    “Two American spies pose as Nazi Officers in a desperate bid to uncover Hitler’s secret nuclear program.”

    This way, you retain all those power words (“Nazi”, “Hitler”, “nuclear”) while avoiding what’s happened this weekend: potential readers questioning any geographical license/inaccuracy before they’ve even cracked Page 1. Also, while I love anything to do with the Belgian Congo, it’s probably best left out of the logline if it’s not where we’re headed.

    Some technical issues in that the opening could be cleaner (James’ intro seems muddled), but I do like the CASABLANCA vibe and what I think you’re trying to achieve. Some good dialogue, too:

    Nations, Mr. Hogue… Nations are
    different from people. Nations must
    fight. How else would we know where
    to draw the lines on the map.

    Stopped on Page 10. All logic seems to have flown out the window!

    Nb. The present title is way too bland for a classic WWII adventure.

    THE RIFT: The opening should really play up the English Victorian coastal ATMOSPHERE and allow us to hear the words “The letter specifically said ‘Sea Monster'” before we close in on our protags (the exchange prior to this line seems redundant).

    Not only are the opening pages too matter of fact, but they feel more like an Act 3 sequence. You’ve got the elements of a classic adventure, but they’re not working in a cohesive manner. Draw us into this world with MYSTERY. The opening of THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT, for instance, shows Doug McClure hurling a bottle into the ocean. There’s some V.O. and we quickly understand that what follows will constitute the message contained in the bottle. Anyway, I really wanted to like this one with its lighthouse and classic adventure vibe, but something’s not working. You’re getting plenty of votes, though, so maybe I’ve missed what you’re trying to achieve? (Skimming ahead, it seems the script is driven more by dialogue written with a light touch. Maybe, then, this is more of an Adventure Comedy?)

    Nb. “chitinous” (p.2) is a new word on me. No idea what it means.

    THE KEEPERS OF THE CUP: As befits the writer’s USC credentials there’s undoubtedly screenwriting skill on display: the opening montage is well done and works well with Danny’s V.O. Unfortunately, I agree with others that the protags don’t come off as particularly likeable. Moreover, by Page 9 it felt like the script was already spinning its wheels. Would read something else by this writer, though. Sorry, I can’t be more helpful.

    ALL RISE: There’s some evocative writing in these opening pages, but it needs simplifying. The combination of way too many commas and adjectives make for a sometimes cluttered read. Also agree with Malibo as to the potential confusion on that first page; brenkilco’s “everyone’s a tough guy” observation; and Jake’s logline note.

    • PQOTD

      I was really impressed Kathryn used ‘chitinous’ – chitin is the tough material that beetles and bugs have on their legs, and sometimes their wings and bodies. It’s kind-of like exo-skeleton. Think of ‘Starship Troopers’ and those swarming, running bugs – that’s chitinous.

  • Poe_Serling

    I had a hunch that most of the featured writers were unaware their
    scripts scored center stage this weekend.

    Just curious – when did you submit Rift for AOW? Just recently?
    A few months back? Or even longer?

    Congrats on being selected and nabbing the early lead in the vote
    getting process.

  • Zero

    Of course, after all the championing of AOW I did in the previous weeks, it comes back on a weekend that I’m busier than usual.

    I have some brief notes and reactions on the openings of this weekend’s scripts, but a full set of notes will have to wait until next time.

    My VOTE goes to Rift. It was a tossup between it and BtFL, but Rift showed more creativity and fantastical elements that drew me in.

    Rift: Very promising. Interesting characters, exciting concept, and lots of excitement in first fifteen pages. Yet, the dialogue could use some refinement, and maybe a more interesting title.
    So far, it’s the most promising of them all, and I’ll definitely come back and finish it later when I have more energy.

    The Keepers of the Cup: Glad to see a script with a scene set in my hometown of Vancouver for once. However, I’m not a sports guy myself, and haven’t even watched many sports movies, so I won’t be able to get into it as much as others.
    It’s difficult to have any sympathy for or relate to crude idiots like these main characters. And I don’t think audiences in North America – especially your main audience of hockey fans – would like seeing Wayne Gretzky being shot in the head.

    All Rise: Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t get why people write depressing, gritty-as-hell stories like this, when so few of them are made. There’s no one to sympathize or relate to, no grounding in my reality.
    Maybe it’s a plausible scenario in parts of the American deep south. But for people in Europe, Canada, heck, even parts of the US north of LA, it just seems crazy – like a dystopia.

    Beyond the Front Lines: This is good. Things are happening quickly, keeping things dynamic and interesting. It borders on being a little too quick, but I managed to understand things enough.
    The characters are understandable and somewhat sympathetic. The exposition about the mines helped.
    I like it – it feels like Inglorious Basterds meets James Bond.

    Stand Tall!: What, does Colleen just go out and start serving drinks in her lingerie? Does that ever really happen?
    It’s a very boring opening. Sure, it’s good to get to know these people – but there’s been nothing to make the audience be INTERESTED in them yet. And there’s too much character background exposition delivered through dialogue. Almost as bad as the ‘As you know’ cliché.
    There’s just too much talking and chit-chat in general in the first ten pages. The characters were good – as in not totally, unrealistically abrasive – but they just didn’t do enough yet to make me care.

  • lonestarr357

    Updated to roughly Sunday 10:00pm, EST:

    Votes for the weekend

    Lonestarr (‘Snappy read. Good dialogue. Baroness Whitetower is a stitch. Really liked this one.’)
    Duvan.1 (‘…a good premise and really well-written.’)
    Erica (‘Overall, fun script.’)
    suseboy (‘Easy to follow action, breezy tone and monsters…’)
    Scott Serradell (‘The exposition and humor struck a nice balance with the action — and all of it had a good pace.’)
    Eric Melker (‘The dialogue is solid, the setting pretty cool…’)
    Poe_Serling (‘I liked the writer’s playful tone with the script. I think that’s the way to go with this particular type of story…’)
    RO (‘It’s got neat characters and I feel it could be more of a movie franchise or series than the others.’)
    Zero (‘Interesting characters, exciting concept and lots of excitement in first fifteen pages.’)

    The Keepers of the Cup
    BMCHB (‘The characters and dialogue are cool. Give it a chance even if you don’t like ice hockey.’)
    Mayhem Jones [1/2] (‘…you’ve managed to take a subject that could potentially alienate non-hockey fans and livened it up with fun descriptions and dialogue.’)
    Dallas Cobb (‘…I could really feel the emotion in the set-up and the execution, which is important in a comedy.’)

    All Rise
    Mayhem Jones [1/2] (‘Wow. Such visceral scene set-ups. You guys can seriously write–you’re making LOVE TO THE PAGE!’)
    brenkilco (‘…the polish and the control of the writing give me the most confidence that the script has something up its sleeve…’)

    Beyond the Front Lines
    Randy Williams (‘It’s one of those stories where you want to be the protagonist and put yourself in his shoes.’)

    Stand Tall!
    Sal Ayala (‘…did the best job of delivering on its logline (within the ten page count).’)
    Levres de Sang (‘…benefits from an easygoing quality in the writing.’)

    Runner-up votes:


    The Keepers of the Cup

    All Rise – Ninjaneer

    Beyond the Front Lines – Lonestarr, Dallas Cobb, Duvan.1, Zero

    Stand Tall!

    • PQOTD

      Could you kindly add 1 vote for ‘The Rift’ please, lonestarr357? While BTFL is more my usual cup of tea, having an American spy infiltrate a Nazi supply chain when he brags about not being able to speak German required too big a suspension of disbelief. That wasn’t all, but others have commented. Nice read, Kathryn, and best of luck!

    • Scott Crawford

      thanks, dude.



    It’s got my vote, Kathryn – good job.

  • Dan J Caslaw

    Based on the 1st ten pages of all of this week’s scripts, i’m putting my vote towards KEEPERS OF THE CUP. The writers did a very effective job of establishing characters I’d want to follow for the whole story.

  • Citizen M

    Busy weekend so late to comment this week. My vote goes to ALL RISE with honorable mention to RIFT and THE KEEPERS OF THE CUP.


    Read to page 26. I enjoyed the steampunk Victorain world with monsters and weird technology. The atmosphere was well evoked. I had more of a problem with the characters and setups. Pesumably, the young Victoria is the heroine, but it might also be Lady Whitetower, since she gets about equal screen time. While milady seems to be a competent monster hunter, I can’t figure out if Victoria is a klutzy apprentice or a potential girl genius. This is connected to the setups. There aren’t any. We are plunged into the middle of the action from page 1, which I think is a mistake. We need a page or two to get familiar with the world and the people in it. For instance, start with them on the shore loading and launching the rowboat, with actions that illuminate their characters and relationships, and mention their concerns about the monster so we the audience keep watching because we want to see the monster and how they deal with it. Another setup that wasn’t is when Cal reveals he has a son he didn’t know about. They should already have a plan so the reveal of the son is a dramatic turn that makes things worse for them. ATM it’s just a data point, not a drama point.
    Niggle: Surely they would use feet or yards, not meters?


    Read to page 30. Bright and breezy and a quick read, but a little underwhelming. The Rangers – Canucks and American – Canadian rivalries were fun, but too much time was spent in inconsequential dialogue between Danny and Richie. It needs to be cut or made funnier. The villains (presumably the Commissioner and the Russians) needs to be set up as a vicious opponent so we have an “Oh fuck” feeling when they steal the cup, knowing what they will be up against. ATM they are a bit bland. And presumably the cops will be on the lookout for them. No sign yet of a dogged policeman on their tail. So far they have it too easy. Also, as a non-North American, I don’t have an emotional connection to hockey or the cup. Maybe you could have a daydream sequence or two where we see Richie’s visions of being a hero as he does [whatever] with the cup, so we get an idea what it means to him.


    Read to page 30. Gritty and relaistic, and I’d like to know how it pans out. Not many notes, except that I think it should foreshadow that it’s a prison drama. With all the pages devoted to the pre-accident events with Lester, Rufus, and Sugar Boy, I couldn’t tell whether it was an immigrant expose, or morality play, or courtroom drama we were dealing with. Unless we return to the trio later, I think they could be trimmed a bit. Also, I felt the action was a little over-described. While it contributes to the atmosphere, it slows the read, making it almost novelistic.
    Comment: I liked the character names. They were evocative of the South.


    Read to page 25. Starts well enough with a couple of surprise reversals and establishes Doc as a hard man, but then there are too many confusing gaps in the story and I found it hard to tell where we were or what the plan was. There is no railway line to Germany, only to the Congo river AFAIK. I think the hero Doc is supposed to be an Indiana Jones character full of derring-do with a fear of flying as a flaw, but he’s not take-charge enough. The action in the house with Belinda the Nazi was difficult to follow. Were they shouting at each other through the door? Hardly a heroic confrontation. Generally, I feel it would help if the reader was given more background. Also, a couple more quips and one-liners to suit the slightly spoofy nature of the story.


    Read to page 30. Interesting premise, but not exploited enough. Everyone is far too matter-of-fact about the size increase. They should be freaking out big time. Also, it’s not set up enough what a blow this is to her, both financially and romantically. We need to feel how disastrous the situation is. We know she loves her nephew and has hopes for hooking up with Bill, but it’s not conveyed vividly enough. And a big problem is, you’ve given yourself a passive hero. Colleen is doing nothing about her problem apart from waiting and hoping someone can shrink her back to normal size. She should be using her size and strength to be doing something she couldn’t do before, so when a shrinking procedure gets invented, maybe she doesn’t want it.