amateur offerings weekend

This is your chance to discuss the week’s amateur scripts, offered originally in the Scriptshadow newsletter. The primary goal for this discussion is to find out which script(s) is the best candidate for a future Amateur Friday review. The secondary goal is to keep things positive in the comments with constructive criticism.

Below are the scripts up for review, along with the download links. Want to receive the scripts early? Head over to the Contact page, e-mail us, and “Opt In” to the newsletter.

Happy reading!

TITLE: Dead Woman Walking Free
GENRE: Drama/Suspense
LOGLINE: A teacher’s obsession with a boy who is the spitting image of her recently-deceased son escalates into a deadly confrontation with the boy’s mother – a former midwife with a dark secret.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ (from writer): “You’ve been complaining lately about writers ‘rehashing their favorite movies in one form or another, copying their favorite writer’s style, instead of looking for new ideas and telling stories in new ways.’ Point taken. Dead Woman Walking Free attempts something different. You be the judge of it.”

TITLE: The Twin
GENRE: Crime, Thriller
LOGLINE: After looting one of two priceless statuettes known as the Twins in Iraq, a couple of down-on-their-luck veterans must traverse the U.S. criminal underworld on a quest to sell it — not realizing that the owner of the other Twin is a high-ranking intelligence official who will stop at nothing to get his hands on their statue.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ (from writer): “Ever since uploading my short “J-W-G” at the tail end of Shorts Week, I’ve been fielding a surprising number of requests from ScriptShadow readers for a feature-length script of mine. So here it is — a classic crime road movie in the vein of “True Romance” or the original “Getaway.” I don’t think there was a single decent example of the subgenre written in the 2000s, let alone in the 2010s.”

TITLE: CROSSFIRE.pdf)
GENRE: Action/thriller
LOGLINE: A thief discovers a mysterious girl in the trunk of a stolen car and must help her escape from a relentless pursuer who wants her dead.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ (from writer): “I’ve flirted with success but haven’t quite been able to get over the hump. I had a short stint with The Onion News Network. Placed in the 2011 PAGE Awards. Landed a low-level manager. The PAGE winning script went out to the town and did absolutely nothing – no sale, no option, no meetings – which crushed me because I thought I was ready when I was still a long way off. It took me a long time to pick myself back up off the floor and start writing again, but here I am — better than before but wondering if I’m better enough.

TITLE: Soul Catcher
GENRE: Horror, Supernatural, Thriller
LOGLINE: A wayward priest hunts menacing souls by exploiting a woman in a constant vegetative state. The woman serves as an empty vessel for spirit possession but morality is questioned when she becomes conscious and aware.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ (from writer): “This story plays out like a more serious version of Ghostbusters. In addition, the Soul Catcher role would be a challenging part for an actress to play with all the different spirit possession characters. Finally, exorcism/horror scripts are typically easier to produce and generally have a higher return on investment.”

TITLE: Didact Twelve
GENRE: Sci-fi
LOGLINE: As he fights to preserve the legacy of the human race, a peacekeeper on a generational starship experiences a devastating personal crisis.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: Writer didn’t provide one, but his email claims he holds a PhD. That’s gotta mean something, right?!

  • Poe_Serling

    Where’s Paul this weekend? I like when he does the heavy lifting. :-)

    • Paul Clarke

      Sorry Poe, I never got a newsletter this week. Just woke up (Sunday morning here) and I have to go to work. Might be able to get something up later.

  • klmn

    I’ve opened a few of the scripts and so far The Twin is my choice. I read 30 pages and it’s very well written. I don’t know if the story will hold up for the rest of the script but this script definitely deserves a review.

    I’ll try to open the rest of the scripts in the next few days.

  • m_v_s

    Gave all the scripts a go, The Twin was the one the held my attention. Dead Woman Walking Free’s logline sounded great but the first 10 read like a completely different story. The sci-fi sounded cool but was a little too convoluted for me to follow, I checked out of Soul Catcher as I’ve seen too many of these kinda films, Crossfire sounded promising but just didn’t do it for me. The first ten of a spec-script should match or introduce key characters/key concepts associated with the logline in an explicit “stick around this will get interesting” way. I’d like to add I’ve learnt this the hard way.

  • Eric Johnson

    While I skimmed all the scripts, the only one I finished was Didact Twelve. There was a lot about it that I liked, particularly the early rivalry between The Trickster and 12. That first battle was really engaging, which is hard to do when there’s so much action to describe.

    The plot twists started to stack up half way through, and I’m not sure if I’m satisfied with the surprise ending. Also, some of the cheeky phrases throughout the script (like “Suck it, Trebek”) took me out of the story, so I would be careful to maintain tone.

    I could see this being a series of sci-fi novels, where you really get into the backstory of the different institutions. Overall, I liked the premise and a lot of the plot, but don’t put so much pressure to have twist after twist – I felt cheated by the ending.

    Still, cheers for writing a full screenplay and getting it up on AF!

  • jlugozjr

    Soul Catcher gets my vote.

    But first, my impression on the others.

    Dead Woman Walking Free: The dialogue on page 1 turned me away.

    First Guard: “What about a kiss, sweetheart?”
    Second Guard: “Leave her alone!’
    First Guard: “What’s the matter, Joe? Dead women don’t do it for you?’
    Second Guard: “Just leave her alone…”

    The tone at this death row ward seems off. Check out the movie “Monster’s Ball” and pay attention to how Billy Bob Thorton and Heath Ledger react as they lead Sean Combs to his execution. Very powerful and haunting. Heath actually vomits. They definitely aren’t cracking jokes.

    Then on page 1 we flash back 18 years. Pass.

    Crossfire: On page 4 we are entertained with our main character hiding under a desk as a man recieves oral from a “FLOOZY’. Description includes the words “…as the lip-smacking sounds begin…”

    No, I’m not joking. Pass.

    The Twin: Nice writing, but we have pages and pages describing the origins of this statue instead of introducing us to a main character. We are jumping from multiple timelines: 1349, 1529, 1944, 1996, 2003 all before page 8. All of this happens as we are treated to a V.O. of a woman named Ann, who we don’t meet until page 7.

    Dialogue on page 19:
    Ann: “You sure you wanna have a career as the hobo woman-puncher from America’s funniest Home Video?

    Just not my thing. Pass.

    Didact Twelve: I enjoy Sci-Fi and this writer seems to have talent, but we jump right into a complex future world with a colossal mother ship that holds a massive city inside. Nothing wrong with this of course, but I need to devote some serious time to this. Maybe on my day off.

    So my vote goes to Soul Catcher.

    I read to page 47 and I’ll probably continue later.

    What I liked: Overall, it’s entertaining. This world combines exorcism with actual ghosts and a catonic woman who has the ability to harbor these demons inside her. It just felt different, in a nice way. But I had a few problems as the story went on. I felt like the opening was interesting, but the story really slows down until about page 25. Characters are literally raking leaves and taking sponge baths.

    I feel like after the opening, the writer passed over the catalyst/inciting incident that I was looking for around page 12. The next actually incident doesn’t occur until the cemetary scene.(which I really enjoyed)

    The main problem I had was that while interesting things were happening, I felt like there wasn’t a STORY emerging. It just felt like event after event. What is the story? I suggest taking Carson’s advice, (GSU) and give your main character a goal. Right now mysterious things are happening, but by page 47 there is no goal. What does our main priest want. I’d like to see him going after something. And not just passively.

    Also, be careful about on the nose dialogue:

    Page 1: Abbernathy “I’ve had the best doctors in the world tell me there’s nothing they can do.”

    Who in the room is he talking to that doen’t already know this. Clearly he is talking to US. That should never happen. And there are a few other instances that this occurs.

    page 2: Lawyer “But we spent a year negotiating this deal.”

    But nice job so far. I keep reading.

    • Alexander_B

      The script is called “The Twin” so the statue may very damn well be the main character.

      • Citizen M

        One of the twin statues has a scar on its face. The main character is a twin with a scar on her face. Something I only realised now. Maybe there are more parallels between the main character and the statue, I didn’t notice. But it’s a thoughtful touch.

        • Alexander_B

          Holy shit, you’re right!

          I guess there are tons of parallels between historical and modern-day parts of the script:

          The German Soldiers = Iraq snipers

          The Janissary = ???? Brian?

          The Footpads = surgeon psychos (or maybe Trav and Ann during their little falling out?)

          The Black Death = Hollander

  • Alexander_B

    I vote “The Twin” (and John Wayne Gacy)!

    Reminded me of “In Bruges,” if “In Bruges” was set in all-American shitholes.

    On the other ones:

    Dead Woman Walking Free

    Liked the writing, but the story itself only starts to get interesting in the last 10 pages.

    I’d suggest starting with the heroine trying to kill herself rather than leaving the prison, and work your way backwards.

    Crossfire

    Takes 20 pages to get to the inciting incident. No go for me.

    Soul Catcher

    Isn’t Conjuring already a serious version of Ghost Busters?

    Didact Twelve

    Needs about 8-10 years of work to leave up to its potential. That said, loved the blatant videogame references — “she runs up the wall like the character in Assassin’s Creed.”

    • ghost

      In Crossfire, the inciting incident is when Tripp steals the car on page 12.

      Which is fine, at least according to this article:
      http://www.movieoutline.com/articles/screenwriting-structure-series-part-12-the-inciting-incident-part-2.html

      which says:
      “… where in the 1st Act do you put your inciting incident? It depends but NO LATER THAN PAGE 12.”

      • Alexander_B

        Just lose the first 12.

        • ghost

          Haha!
          Talk about hacking off a GREAT first 12 pages!

      • Octamed

        Oh jeez. I feel ill reading stuff like that. I think where all this came from is simply ‘don’t bore the audience’. They need to have something to cling on to, something to think about, all the time. Preferably not just one thing at a time, but a few layers. Distilling things down to ‘it HAS to happen exactly here’ is like those rule based music generators and they’re all terrible.

        • ghost

          Gotcha man!
          I agree, I just said it to have some sort of technical backup to Alexander’s comment because I didnt think another “opinion” was even necessary.
          The first 12 established everything I needed to know with interesting scenes. Whether or not it grasps you really depends on you. And it if grasps most people, then it’s a done deal, aint it

  • Randy Williams

    Read first ten of each.
    Dead Woman Walking Free – described as suspense but none in first ten pages. The prison opening felt very unrealistic, even comical, I thought. Loved the Florian character and (SPOILER) ……..really sad you knocked him off. The first ten pages, minus the prison opening felt like the opening to a mini-series. Gave me a very comforting feeling that I was going to enjoy these characters and be moved. I even read a little beyond the ten because I started to be emotionally invested. Would keep reading but doesn’t get my vote.

    The Twin – felt the V.O was just telling me stuff already conveyed visually and could have been cut with little misunderstanding. I was very intrigued, smooth visual writing that holds you, but without a character to cling on to for so long, I became uneasy. Would keep reading to see where it’s going but didn’t get my vote.

    Crossfire- wow, this is good writing. Would preferred to start in the car lot because that was easily visualized and fun. Somehow this felt like a TV show instead of a feature to me, though. Again, I only read the first ten. Would keep reading but not getting my vote.

    Didact Twelve — I find these futuristic stories with a description of a good side of town and then the bad ghetto where all the crime happens so disheartening and unoriginal. Great writing, I thought, here although it stalled to me at times with “World Building”. Dialogue in parts are to die for. I could hear the characters’ voices. Dialogue that actors would relish. Probably wouldn’t keep reading because it’s not my thing but I could see how some would lap this up. Didn’t get my vote.

    All deserve a vote this time but giving only one, has to go to

    SOUL CATCHER

    Thought the writing was well done but basically because the concept is easy to grasp and seems marketable to me. I think it works as it is, with a priest and the mansion opening, but I could see it work on an “kitchen sink” level too, instead of the priest. a young college guy who is the only family member who visits his catatonic grandma in her nursing home discovers this ability and wheels her out of there to talk with his dead girlfriend or someone. Maybe there’s a brother or family member who objects although they’ve done nothing for her all this time as he has. Things start off swell and then the menacing souls rear their ugly heads.

    Good luck to all, and congrats on your making it here!.

  • James Inez

    12 pgs into Dead Women Walking free and it seems pretty interesting. I would continue reading. I would like to know what happens. No picks yet as this one is the first one I’ve started.

    • James Inez

      Someone may have mentioned this but I think the math is off. Ana starts off as 36, then it goes 18 yrs into the past, which would make her 18 not 16.

  • James Inez

    Ten pages into The Twin, and whoa, that is a cool opening. Basically a bunch of thieves throughout history at the right place and the right time or putting themselves in the right place to steal the Twin. I’m really liking this one so far.

  • James Inez

    11 pgs into Crossfire. Seems like it’s going to get good. Not that the beginning isn’t good, but from the logline, the drama is yet to come. I would continue reading. But, this one does not top the list for my pick so far.

  • Paul Clarke

    A little bit late this week. The newsletter got lost in my inbox. A very high level of work on show:

    Dead Woman Walking:

    The opening is nice enough, but a touch clichéd and boring. Doesn’t match the logline at all. No sign of the story beginning, it all seems like backstory.

    Read to page 14: Too melodramatic for me, plus I now dislike your main character. Does this sequence really need to be so long? It all seems like backstory to me. Moving to the next script.

    The Twin:

    Page 2: “Her wears nothing but a loincloth.” Not a good start. But the content of the story is interesting enough.

    10 pages is a long way in to have the title. I liked that section, but it still felt like it could have been executed quicker. Plus we would meet Ann sooner. It helps that she does the
    voice over, it’s like we’ve met her before we actually meet her.

    It really steps up a gear once Ann gets back to the U.S. I like the writing style and am interested where this is going. I would prefer if we learned a little more about Ann during the opening, instead of it all being about the sculptures, but that could just be a personal
    thing. It still has me wanting to know more. I will come back to this one if the others don’t catch my attention.

    Crossfire:

    I should mention I have a biased opinion of this one as I have given advice on a previous draft. (I’m assuming this is a newer draft, it has a better opening) I did like it, and hopefully
    it’s even better than before. I’d like to hear what Carson thinks.

    Soul Catcher:

    I like the ‘Why you should read’ comments. Shows a writer who is wise to the market, and considers the marketability of his script.

    There are a lot of characters introduced in the first scene. So much going on. I would consider simplifying it. Then again, it would probably play out fine on screen.

    Page 5 explanation is a little on the nose. I would at least have them discus her while she’s doing her thing. Show and tell at the same time.

    Page 8-9: I think it would be more dramatic if Grace slumped down, then there was a suspenseful pause, his Father in disbelief, before Jonathon coming back to life. Milk the scene for every drop of tension.

    Stopped at page 15: A good opening, but then two or three pages of nothing happening. The same beat repeated a few times. Sam is good, Connie is bad, Father Hartley is unsure. Cut that back, get to the mission that the bishop mentioned. Also, who is the
    protagonist? We’re seeing this all from a very omniscient viewpoint. I would prefer to be able to latch on to someone’s point of view.

    I think it’s a good interesting story with a marketable idea, but supernatural stories aren’t my thing so I’d probably go with one of the others. But I can see people picking this one.

    Didact Twelve:

    I think the opening would work well on screen, but I found it a little hard to follow at first. “hymnodic breeze through an ocean of grass” – bordering on a little pretentious, maybe it’s just me.

    Once I wrap my head around it, the writer creates an amazing world. Would need a colossal budget to reproduce.

    The writing is bordering on novel like. Clearly the writer has the ability, I would consider writing it as a novel, even self publishing like Carson has been discussing. Then selling the rights to the screenplay that way.

    The build up to the Didact’s entry is wonderful. And he doesn’t disappoint.

    I’m really torn. I love the world created and the Didact, but it almost seems too big. It’s a very adventurous attempt for an amateur. I’d have to read a lot more to know if the story is
    strong enough to match the setup. And at 124 pages it’s a touch long, although given that it must create it’s own universe it’s understandable. This is definitely another entry I am interested in reading further. It would make a massive summer tent-pole film for someone. I would definitely go for the self-publishing option. The writer clearly has the ability and has thoroughly thought out his sci-fi world.

    I’m at a loss as to which script to recommend. Will have to read them further. A very high level of work this week. Leaning toward Didact Twelve, Crossfire, The Twin. Congrats to all writers on some great work.

  • James Inez

    I’m really enjoying all the scripts this week. I just finished the first 10 of Soul Catcher and would continue if time weren’t an issue. The writing is strong and there is the beginnings of a strong theme.

  • Kay Bryen

    Will come back with more in-depth comments if I can, but I just wanted to commend the writers on one of the strongest amateur line-ups we’ve seen this year on SS. Almost makes me think there’s performance enhancers involved…

    I’m glad to see Crossfire (which I liked before) is now “same but different”. Meanwhile The Twin is also strong — you had me at “Bubonic Plague”! Didact 12 has terrific world-building, and we all know Judge Dredd “ruled” at the box office. Soul Catcher could be bought on the premise alone. Lastly “Dead Woman” has noble intentions, though the execution needs work. So fantastic job, guys!

  • gazrow

    ” Crossfire — WHAT AN AMAZING SCRIPT”

    Had to crack this baby open and see if it lived up to YOUR hype!

    Impressions of the first 12 pages.

    Character descriptions are inspired. Particularly, the way the two cops are introduced: “Driver sports a MUSTACHE the other is completely BALD.

    The dialog is also top notch! The CAR SALESMAN “You won’t get away with this!” when TRIPP steals the KEY FOB, had me thinking that maybe Tarantino had penned it!

    Having the protagonist, Tripp, steal cars in order to put his sister through college made me instantly want to root for him… NOT! Though I do remember rooting for Errol Flynn when I was six, and got to see him play Robin Hood in an old b/w movie! Not sure if that was the first time this particular device was used though?!

    Most of the above, was said tongue-in-cheek. My point being, you’re not doing the writer of Crossfire any favors when you lavish praise on his script to the extent you have, because folks like me, will instantly look for any flaws, and are more likely to be overly critical of it!

    An interesting side-note, I notice your handle is “ghost” and the writer’s initials are ESP! Talk about spooky!!

    • ghost

      Haaa!!
      Point taken, so its good it all starts and ends with Carson’s opinion! (unless he tallies votes; Im new to this)
      I don’t nit pick a script I love and this one just does it for me. I’m more into action/thrillers to begin with so I can’t help but rally behind this one.

  • pedows

    My choice is CROSSFIRE. A well-written, fast-moving thriller with a strong premise and castable lead character.

  • MrTibbsLive

    Read Some of All:

    DEAD WOMEN WALKING FREE: I really liked this logline and was intrigued to read. The intro started out good but then we jump back in time to the teenage years and nothing really fit for the next 8 pages. Kinda lost interest after that point. I would suggest clipping the pages you don’t need to tell the story.

    THE TWIN: This one starts off by taking us on a flashback journey from the statues’ origin all the way up until modern day, I felt that was a bit too much. But on screen this worked in films like The Mummy so it’s not a big deal. Not sure I would read on, though.

    CROSSFIRE: The logline did nothing for me but once I started reading I was really engaged. The writing here is crisp yet detailed, and the element of mystery is very high. We know something interesting is happening but we’re not quite sure what. Good stuff.

    SOUL CATCHER: Very creative and marketable logline. The script opens like every other exorcism film and the writing is pretty good. But I haven’t seen an exorcism movie in years because they all take the same course, and if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. But I’m not the average movie goer and this is very commercial.

    DIDACT TWELVE: Good writing but very detailed. Maybe too much for a screenplay. That said, the writer seems to have a knack for distinguishing characters with dialogue and description. That’s a good tool to have as a writer. Would keep reading.

    MY PICKS: 1ST PLACE – CROSSFIRE. 2ND PLACE – SOUL CATCHER.

  • Citizen M

    My vote this week goes to THE TWIN. The others are not bad, but The Twin is good.

    DEAD WOMAN WALKING FREE 109p by Cornelia Mitrache

    After 25 pages: Teen Ana falls in love with poet Florian. He dies saving her. She has his baby, but did she have twins and one was stolen by the midwife? Years later, she has a boyfriend and her son is a teen. He gets a motorbike. There’s an accident…

    The romance with Florian and the pregnancy take us from page 2 to page 23. This is all backstory. It’s not what the logline promised. We want to see an adult woman obsessed by a child and a confrontation leading to death row, and learn how she walks free. An adult story full of dark passions, not a sweet teen romance. I think the love story should be condensed to five pages max. By page 12 adult Ana should meet her ex-midwife and child, and by page 25 suspect it is her stolen boy and decide to steal him back or whatever her plans are.

    THE TWIN 116p by Ellen Starkweather

    After 26 pages: A montage shows the violent history of the Twins. One ends in Saddam’s palace. US soldier Ann loots it and smuggles it back to the States where her twin sister is being tortured for the statuette. Ann contacts a hobo ex-sniper and prepares to rescue her sister and find the mystery buyer.

    Got so engrossed I forgot to stop at page 25. This is an extremely well written script, full of telling detail. The characters are powerful and larger than life, and the story rattles along at a good pace. The only problem I have is Ann seems to drift in and out of being on medication. I would lose that aspect entirely if not needed for the story. But I definitely want to read further.

    CROSSFIRE 96p by Evan S. Porter

    After 25 pages: Tripp is a young car thief who is putting his skanky sister through college. He steals a Maybach and crashes it when the owner, a nasty drug dealer, gives chase. In the trunk is a foreign girl he rescues and the two of them escape the dealer, for a while anyway.

    There’s plenty of action and it’s quite entertaining, but there are also a number of problems. I don’t know how the salesman wasn’t alerted by the alarm. The salesman would have picked a fancy car to impress the floozy, but it turns out to be a “rusty old beater”. I’m not sure what the family relationships are between Tripp, his sister, and his mother. I can’t figure out how Fletcher tracked them to the hospital, nor why Tripp doesn’t just abandon the girl. There’s nothing in his character to suggest he’s a white knight kind of guy. Also, I’m not sure what his goal in life is apart from stopping thieving one day and going legit. And there’s no sign of the crossfire the title promises. Presumably it’s in the finale, but it should be the second act. The script is promising, but not quite there.

    SOUL CATCHER 110p by Chris Westfield

    After 25 pages: A paralysed child is cured when his father connects with him via the comatose Grace. She is looked after by nuns and the Bishop plans to use her gift in some scheme. It seems her power derives from a murderess buried in a graveyard. They bring Grace to the grave and set up instruments. Weird stuff starts happening.

    Enjoyed the resurrection scene. This was going in interesting directions until the graveyard scene. Maybe it will turn out to be important, but it seems to me like TMI on how Grace gets her powers. It’s like explaining how dilithium crystals work. Most of us are not interested. I was more intrigued by the religious and ethical dilemmas that were being explored. If you have a woman in a coma like Grace who can seemingly perform miracles, what are the implications?

    There were signs of an inexperienced writer. Every slugline should have DAY or NIGHT, even the INT. ones. Scene descriptions should be written in the order of how we would notice; either close up to wide view, or wide view to close up. For instance, in the first scene you would start with the vans driving down between the trees, then the trees and sky, then float down into the window. At present it’s all mixed up. And please, it’s a VIAL of holy water, not a vile.

    DIDACT TWELVE 123p by Brian Trapp July 12, 203 (fourth draft)

    After 25 pages: In a city on a giant spaceship ruled by Jedi warriors called Didacts, rebels led by The Trickster are struggling to take over. The Trickster aims to mind meld with the ship and abort the mission it has been on for 2,000 years and that some people are now sick of. After a rebel raid where he only just escapes, Didact 12 visits a pretty social worker in a bad part of the city…

    Not a lot new here. Plenty of the exposition which is inevitable in this type of story and pushes the page count up. My problem is, whose side am I on and why? Presumably on the side of the Didact because he’s clean and handsome and human whereas the rebels are dirty and have bionic implants. But what is the mission of the ship and why should I support it? If the Didacts are such good rulers, how come there are slums and crimes?

    I suspect the whole thing will turn out to be some sort of Christian allegory (12 Didacts = 12 Apostles?), given the writer’s doctorate is in Christian Philosophy, but I don’t see any parallels yet. Anyway, allegories almost never turn out to be exciting stories, because they are forced into a pre-formed mold. The script is well written but lacks a driving force. Maybe it would be better to re-jig it as a Star Wars entry.

    • Kirk Diggler

      Regarding every slugline needing a DAY or NIGHT designation, if you regard secondary scene headings as a slugline, then they don’t need it. It looks as if the writer was using EXT. ABERNATHY ESTATES – NIGHT- as the master scene heading, and the subsequent INT. STUDY and INT. SECURITY ROOM as secondary scene headings. My only question regarding this would be when he changes from EXT. to INT. whether he would need to indicate DAY or NIGHT just the one time to make sure no time has passed from that first scene heading.

      • Citizen M

        If it was a secondary slug line he would not have INT. Time of day is always given in a slugline, unless it’s in space, or it’s CONTINUOUS (which I hate. It’s usually misused.)

        Secondary sluglines would look like

        INT. ABERNATHY HOUSE – NIGHT

        STUDY

        SECURITY ROOM

        etc.

    • Brian Trapp

      Hi M, thanks for the words on the first 25 pages of DIDACT TWELVE. Just FYI, it isn’t a Christian allegory. I view stories as metaphorical parables on the human condition. In fact there isn’t much discussion of religion at all. The story is, however, about questioning one’s fundamental assumptions about the world in which they find themselves. =)

  • http://www.twitter.com/esporter Evan Porter

    Writer of Crossfire here. Thanks to everyone that took the time to read some or all of my script… I know how big of a time-risk it is to open up an amateur screenplay. I really appreciate everyone who pointed out what wasn’t working for them, and a big thanks to those that voted for me or had kind things to say. This is such a cool community and I’m really lucky to have been chosen for this. Thanks everyone!

  • http://www.twitter.com/esporter Evan Porter

    Wow, this made my day. Thanks for the support ghost… Really happy that the script resonated with you!

    • ghost

      Thanks for the refreshing read and good luck!

  • James Inez

    Fell asleep before I finished 10 pages of Didact. I think I really liked it. I didn’t fall asleep because of the script. It was late and I was really tired. Sorry. I think I was gonna pick it as my choice but don’t remember. I need to go back over it. So I’ll say it’s between this one and The Twin.

  • MWire

    An unusually strong batch of Amateur Offerings this week. Maybe there should be more than just one winner. This ain’t the Thunderdome.

  • MaliboJackk

    Big fan of the J-W-G short.
    Read the first 10 of The Twin. Very professionally written.
    It’s my pick so far. Short on time but will try to look at others as well.

    I know that some have complained about the V.O. but I have to agree with Paul Clarke that it helps here. Not only does it help introduce Ann — but we’re traveling through history — without a guide, if you delete the V.O.
    I know amateurs have been cautioned about its use — but you’ll find examples of it
    in great films like Goodfellas and Casino — even though it describes exactly what you’re seeing on screen.

  • Brian Trapp

    Hey guys, I’m the author of Didact Twelve. I almost forgot I had submitted this draft to Scriptshadow! A huge thanks to SS for putting my screenplay in this week’s Amateur offerings.

    After some professional feedback from the Black List, I’ve written a much better draft than the version posted here, and it looks like most of you have voted for some of the other options anyway.

    Thanks for the kind words for those of you that have read it!

  • Kosta K

    Just finished reading The Twin. It had a strong start, but quickly fell apart for me. The story isn’t big enough for the budget this thing’s gonna need.

    I would go for more of a “National Treasure” feel with it. Maybe have Ann mail the statuette to her twin sister right before she gets blown up, have her sister be the protag. You can have her getting chased while trying to figure out what the statue is. Maybe bring back a scarred Ann in the end as the villain or some shit.

    As it is now, “True Romance” this ain’t :(

    Gonna give Didact Twelve a spin next.

  • SeekingSolace

    I didn’t read all of the scripts this week, nor do I intend to. Why?

    Loglines in a glance:

    Didact Twelve – As he fights to preserve the legacy of the human race, a peacekeeper on a generational starship experiences a devastating personal crisis.

    That’s SO VAGUE that I don’t even care to guess what the “Personal Crisis” is. It seems like it would be nothing more than another bland space opera. The first 10 pages are too wordy. Drop the thesaurus, bro. I’ve been admonished in the past by a small boutique for using to many wordy synonyms. And the critique I received was right, as i have come to learn. If I have to constantly stop and look words up, IT SLOWS DOWN THE ACTION, AND PROLONGS THE READING TIME.

    There’s also unnecessary lines like the opening two “An infinite tapestry of STARS. Crimson and cerulean points glimmer within the rainbow pillars of the CARINA NEBULA.”

    I’m from the planet Earth, I know what space looks like, and it’s almost always described this way in a Sci Fi script. I had one of my own a few years ago that started in a similar manner.

    There’s another one that bothered me, “A mote shimmers against the stars.” Unless there’s a dead body in that mote, I don’t want to know that it’s shimmering against the stars. It just eats up space. And screenplays are about CONCISION. Save the excess grandeur for novels. I get that you’re trying to establish some sort of ambiance, but it should be with things that pertain to the main story (i.e. A loud crowd surrounding a protagonist who finds himself easily angered by loud crowds.)

    I don’t know if this should be the pick, I didn’t read the whole thing, because I was bored by the heavy exposition on the first 10 pages. It’s space, we’ve all seen it before. It shouldn’t take so long to set up a story with similarities to just about every other

    BRAIN takes his hand out of the drawer and slumps in the chair. Pg-46 (Brain should be the name Brian)

  • Kosta K

    Just finished “Didact Twelve”. Terrible title, terrible logline, but great script. I mean, it still needs work, but I had a good time with it. I think it helps if you’re a bit of a nerd going in, though :

    It also might be better (and cheaper) as a graphic novel.

    So far, this one gets my vote.