amateur offerings weekend

Read this week’s Amateur Offerings collection and offer constructive criticism below, plus vote for which script you want to be reviewed!

TITLE: Blood and Sangria
GENRE: Comedy Horror
LOGLINE: After agreeing to visit his sister in Marbella, Spain, perennial loser Morgan Maloney realizes he has made the mistake of his life when his schizophrenic alter ego, the serial killing and out of control psychokiller– Mister Galloway – rears his ugly head.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: Who wouldn’t enjoy a light hearted tale of love in the Spanish sun with a psychopath akin to Patrick Bateman, Don Logan and Ben from Man Bites Dog.
WHY YOU SHOULDN’T READ:  Copious foul language, extreme gory violence, auto-eroticism, bondage, murder, infanticide, blood, guts and more foul language and death. – And yet I would be surprised if you didn’t laugh out loud while all this stuff is going on. If all the blue dialog, action and death was removed it is after all a love story and tale of sibling redemption and resolution and not just an aimless goriest. Please enjoy and don’t think bad of me for writing such a fantastically horrible gross out script – it is Mister Galloway who made me do it.

TITLE: Weekend Dad
GENRE: Dramedy
LOGLINE: A down-on-his-luck, divorced father, fearing he and his son are growing apart, struggles to get his life together and compete with the new, larger than life, billionaire stepdad.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: I just had my first child, a boy. Well, my wife actually had him. I was there when he came out. And participated when he was conceived. I barely remember either event due to lack of sleep. These babies are tough to get on a schedule. Anyway, I look at my son and hope he will be a good person. I look at him and hope we stay close and nothing will break our bond. I know I don’t have to worry about this for a while. I am one of his only sources for clean diapers.

TITLE: I Am Ryan Reynolds
GENRE: Comedy, Fantasy
LOGLINE: Ryan Reynolds’ marriage, career, and sanity are threatened by a plastic surgery treatment that allows anyone with $10,000 to look like him.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: You read the title, you read the logline, and now you’re wondering if the author is: 1. a crazy person, 2. a huge Ryan Reynolds fan, 3. someone who needs to get out more, or 4. some combination of those three things. In any case, “I Am Ryan Reynolds” is a surreal Hollywood satire with an unlikeable protagonist and very specific casting possibilities. It’s like “Being John Malkovich” for the common man, “Multiplicity” but with different character names, and “The Player,” except almost entirely different. Also, the descriptive paragraphs top out at two lines in length, so at the very least, the script is a quick read.

TITLE: Mgimbwa
GENRE: Animal, Drama
LOGLINE: After a chimpanzee’s community is driven from its territory in the African jungles by a rival tribe, he struggles to rise through social ranks and take back the territory once his.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: No dreams. No flashbacks. No narration. No humans. No dialogue.

TITLE: Crash Backwards
GENRE: Thriller
LOGLINE: A happily married woman begins to question her sanity when she discovers a stalker may be her husband from another life. In her quest for the truth she must make a choice that could wipe out her existence.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: I had this idea several years ago and have been “thinkubating” on it since then….About two months ago it all came bubbling out and I couldn’t stop writing until it was finished. — I love roller coasters in the dark. That’s what this is. It takes you on a jolting, hair raising ride in the dark, all while you try to guess the next turn. — This story is a total mind job that puts you in the seat of the protagonist. You learn as she learns. You experience right along with her never knowing what’s going to happen next. It twists and turns right up to the final reveal, then….well you’ll just have to read it to find out. Also, here’s a poster for the script.

CrashBackwards_poster_med

  • Malibo Jackk

    The poles are open.

    • gazrow

      Wow! What a coincidence!The polls are also open!! :)

      Good luck everyone! :)

    • Sebastian Cornet

      I agree, Poles are very open-minded people. Don’t know why you bring it up now, but it’s definitely true.

      • klmn

        Now as for the Croatians- well, they’ve got their problems.

    • walker

      The important thing about poles is that they act as a czech against unbridled power.

      • Ange Neale

        Particularly pertinent point, walker. I couldn’t think of anything that was very sort-of germane-y to contribute so — apols for OT — there’s a little moldova my bathroom roof. Just thought I’d share.

        Congrats to this weekend’s AOWers!

        • GoIrish

          Please exercise caution when working on projects high up. If Ukraine your neck too far, you can cause lasting damage. I should Sudan Rather for his DIY special on painting vaulted church ceilings.

  • Kirk Diggler

    Read the first 39 pages of Blood and Sangria. Thought some of the action and character descriptions are well done, but it is a bit slow to get moving and I’m not sure any of it really makes much sense. Like why a private detective is following Morgan to Spain instead of the FBI? Where did Scwartzwelder get his lead from? How can Morgan gets a work permit in a foreign country so easily? And how does he apparently commit a grisly murder in a bordello without being noticed or getting covered in blood? The script calls itself a comedy-horror so I guess it gets a pass on story logic?

    I’m 40% in and have seen very little of what was advertised in the why you shouldn’t read. It certainly isn’t bad and there is some talent on display, but the pacing needs to be upped.

    • carsonreeves1

      Speed it up speed it up speed it up. Probably one of the top 5 most important pieces of advice that can be applied to any script.

  • You Jane

    My vote is for Mgimbwa, based on the premise alone. I don’t know if SS has ever reviewed a “silent” movie before, so it will likely be a valuable learning experience. My only suggestion, thus far, is to change the title to something marketable/pronounceable.

    Suggestions:
    -The Jungle
    -Primal
    -The Ape
    -Fang
    -etc.

    • klmn

      I read 10 pages and I can’t really get a handle on it. It all seems to be description of mundane chimp behavior, with no dialogue or narration to follow.

      And the names – Mgimbwa, Nasra, Gothard, etc.

      Maybe Carson should review this one just as a learning experience. What I help he learns is that he should go back to reading the first 10 pages of submissions before he makes his decision, and that he should not put it up to a vote of the readers.

    • carsonreeves1

      Yeah, that’s why I put it in. There’s nothing like it I’ve ever received before. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be good. That’s up to the writer.

    • NajlaAnn

      I agree on the change title suggestion.

  • klmn

    BLOOD AND SANGRIA. The opening is written in passive voice. That’s enough to stop me reading. I hope the rest of the script is in active voice.

  • Logline_Villain

    I am Ryan Reynolds
    The “Why You Should Read” gave me confidence that this writer would deliver the goods. 44 pages in, it is indeed entertaining and, as promised, a quick read.

    • klmn

      Read about 10 pages and it looks to be the best written, with the promise of a story.

  • carsonreeves1

    Yeah, this is the leading contender based on the logline alone.

    • klmn

      You should read Mgimbwa for the reason I gave above.

  • davejc

    Wow! Damn! Mine didn’t get picked again? Well I’ll just post it here. In the very least it makes a good time stamp :)

    Genre:

    Neohorror

    Logline:

    An emasculated father at the end of his wits and his inquisitive teenage daughter must unlock the secrets OF an old New England mansion to save their disentegrating family.

    Why you should read:

    What does it takes to make a great screenplay. Accordind Howard Hawkes it takes three great scenes and no bad ones. I’ll let you be the judge :)

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/hmq1oyf1hmmeii8/50HighStCurrentDraft.pdf

    • carsonreeves1

      I like this. Self-promotion. :) Just keep sending the script in every couple of weeks so it stays near the top.

    • Scott Crawford

      Quick flick through it – slightly derivative logline so I was looking for some big hook in the script – couldn’t find it. It’s not my kind of script (action and spy thrillers, thanks for asking) but I looked at the ending, expecting some grand ending. And…

      • pmlove

        Is your final sentence a metaphor? The script doesn’t… end?

        • Scott Crawford

          I didn’t want to read the WHOLE script, so I skipped to the end to see if there was a big reveal or a huge setpiece, but…. I didn’t find either. Maybe I need to look harder, but like I said, not really m.y kind of thing. I’ve seen lots of these stories over the years

          • davejc

            “I didn’t want to read the WHOLE script”

            Yeah. I hear you. I’m like that sometimes. There is only so many hours in the day. I thank you for taking the time out of your day to have a look and commenting Scott.

            Big reveals and climaxes have to be set up throughout the story IMO. It’s like sex. It’s difficult to climax without any foreplay. I mean you can. I guess. But it won’t be the best sex you ever had :) Like watching only the end of Six Sense and wondering why this reveal gets referenced so often: She dropped a wedding ring. What’s the big deal?

            “I’ve seen lots of these stories over the years”

            Well I can’t say that I have. I can’t think of a single story that deals with Puritan cryogenics, or a self infatuated demon, or even an international custody battle. Let alone one that deals with them all. But then agai I might be out of the loop. I don’t get out as often as I used to.

            Anyhow, if you’re somewhat of an authority on spy thrillers (I’m not) I may ask you for some advice. The Romcom I’m writing is not a spy thriller per say but it has some elements of it, being in Kiev and all. Thanks again.

          • Scott Crawford

            You’re right, it is about having lots of reveals THROUGHOUT the story – that’s definitely true of spy thrillers and other such caper movies. Of course, the ending has to be the biggest of all. So if I am going to skip to the end (and I’m not being silly when I say that there are people who WILL skip to the end of a script, just as there are people who only read the dialogue) I want to be struck by it.

            It’s not just screenplays. I’ve seen the ends of films on TV, loved the ending, tracked down the movie and watched the whole thing.

          • davejc

            You are absolutely right. Some folks will open the script and turn right to the climax and read it without reading the rest of the script. And some will like it and some won’t. There’s no right or wrong about it. We just all have different tastes and preferences.

            A few months ago Carson had scene week where he encouraged us to post our favorite penned scenes. I posted the climactic scene of this script. You can find the thread here:

            http://scriptshadow.net/scene-week-harbinger/#comments

            Anyway this is what Em posted in regards to the climax of this script:

            “I hope Carson gets to read this. It has speed, urgency, energy – all things that, unfortunately I found lacking in the Harbingers scene. Not meaning to be negative about another amateur’s effort, but I didn’t even find Harbingers well-written – a lot of places I was reading stuff twice – and that sorta kills an action scene. Davejc’s offering certainly has that ‘I-want-to-read-more-factor’ that Carson’s searching for.”

            My only point is if you were a prospective producer and Em was a prospective producer I would go with Em on this particular project. Not because anybody’s right or wrong but only because Em and I are somewhat closer aligned as to what the project is about. I’m always interested in finding a good home for my efforts.

      • davejc

        And?

    • Randy Williams

      Worth the read but is it worth it trying to get it on AOW for a second time? Write something different with more of a hook and less legalize, perhaps?

      • davejc

        Hi Randy. I never got AOW. But I did post during scene week. And I wanted to thank you for your advise. It was a serious problem area for the script. I knew it but I didn’t know how to fix it until your suggestion. It’s fixed now :) Thank you again.

        • Randy Williams

          My apologies, then. I knew I’d read it.

          Yeah, I don’t know what I said back then, that was ages ago, and hopefully I’ve gotten better at this commenting thing. I hope I didn’t take anything away from the skill of the writing in this. I recommend anyone who hasn’t read it to take a look. Your handling of scene transitions is especially educational.

          I think sometimes not getting chosen is a sign the script is lacking that one knock out punch we haven’t figured out yet to give it. Or there’s that one typo that we’ve overlooked that will cause us irrevocable shame. Or it’s just the next script that should make a name for ourselves, the better one.

          Good luck.

          • davejc

            Yeah I know ideas with more hook get picked first. But I’m condemned to write the stories that fascinate me. And I’m a fiend for minutia, legal or otherwise, especially well researched minutia.

            Currently writing a biopic of St Exupery and a romcom that takes place in Kiev. No grand hook but lots of hooks scattered through out :) I’ll give you a first look deal :)

  • klmn

    CRASH BACKWARDS

    …”

    THIRTY EIGHT SPECIAL.

    Her scared eyes dart to the window.

    Clear.

    She snags the gun out of the compartment, grasps a small box

    of bullets, sets it on the open glove box door. She rips

    into it, scattering bullets everywhere.

    Fable fumbles to put them in the cartridge, her panicked

    fingers shaky, she drops some to the floor.

    If you’re going to write about firearms, learn something about she subject, rather than reveal your ignorance.

    The bullet is the projectile, typically made out of lead or a copper alloy jacket and a lead core. The cartridge case is made out of brass. The gunpowder fits inside the cartridge case, behind the bullet. The “primer” fits in the base of the cartridge case. The primer contains fulminate of mercury or lead styphnate and serves to detonate the gunpowder. All of these parts together constitute the cartridge.

    • Casper Chris

      If you’re going to write about firearms, learn something about she subject, rather than reveal your ignorance.

      Easy there. Could’ve been a simple slip-up. Kinda like how you wrote ‘she’ instead of ‘the’.

      • charliesb

        Lol, you beat me to it. I was gonna say the same thing.

        Why so angry KLMN? Somebody needs a coke.

        • klmn

          The writer repeats the misuse of bullets, then writes “Fable fumbles to put them in the cartridge.” That’s another error – to put a bullet in a cartridge would require the use of a reloading press.

          But it goes to a larger point – whatever subject you’re writing about, you should research.

          • Casper Chris

            What’s wrong with the use of bullets?

            My guess is the writer meant chamber, not cartridge. Both begin with ‘c’. It’s not a big deal.

          • klmn
          • Casper Chris

            Yes. I often prefer ’round’ to ‘cartridge’. But come on, there’s nothing wrong with writing “she put the bullets in the chamber”. It seems like the writer accidentally wrote cartridge instead of chamber. Can happen to the best of us.

          • carsonreeves1

            ESPECIALLY when it comes to guns (and cops and doctors and a few other things). These are things that come up in pretty much every script at some point or another. You have to sound like you know what you’re talking about or the reader will lose confidence in you and your story, especially if any of these things are key parts of your story.

          • r.w. hahn

            Even just this exercise helped me catch something I overlooked….and just fixed it….thank you klmn….and everyone else who commented…..I appreciate it

          • Scott Crawford

            Pilar’s “On the Page” studio recently did a class on writing cops and medics, hosted by real-life former doctor and cop turned screenwriters. I think, especially if you’re writing a pilot, good idea to go if it’s on again.

      • Scott Crawford

        “Dive, DIVE, said the captain through the thing.” – Annie Ross, Throw Momma From the Train.

        You need to know the precise name of the things you’re talking about in your script. I’m writing a screenplay about a famous place, and I’ve done a lot of research – because I’m fascinated by the place. I found a screenplay someone had posted on-line that was about the same subject – I didn’t read it all, as I didn’t want it to influence my choices. But it was FILLED with inaccuracies. It’s hard, but when you don’t UNDERSTAND things, you make mistakes.

        Glocks, SIG-Sauers and revolvers DON’T HAVE SAFETY CATCHES. Pulling the pin out of a hand grenade with your teeth WILL PUT YOU IN LINE FOR A NEW SET OF DENTURES. The motto of The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is NOT “We Always Get our Man” – that was made up for a film. And so on…

        For movie-related gun facts, try this website:
        http://www.imfdb.org/

        • Casper Chris

          No one’s saying research is not important.

    • r.w. hahn

      thank you for your comment….maybe it isn’t clear they way I wrote it…basically she is loading the gun…I’m sure you don’t think I have never seen or had a gun….If this appears ignorant I apologize

    • Matthew Garry

      > If you’re going to write about firearms, learn something about she subject, rather than reveal your ignorance.

      Not too much though. Being too specific about guns, bullets, etc is setting the reader up to believe he’s in for a male adolescent fantasy. (much like describing exact types of fast luxury cars and describing female characters as being very beautiful in physical detail for no plot-related reasons).

      Also, and I’m not sure about this, I’ve read professional scripts where “clip” was used in the description, even if “magazine”, the correct term, was used in the dialogue. Hollywood is a pretty liberal place. Showing off gun-knowledge might not have the same effect as, say, showing off with wine and vineyard knowledge.

      • Scott Crawford

        It’s a good point, you don’t want to seem like a “gun nut”, but you also don’t want to be confusing. For example, at the end of Skyfall you need to know what weapons the characters are using, partly for what it reveals about the movie’s underlying theme (“The old ways are the best”), but also to avoid scene direction like HE PICKS UP A GUN, AND SHE PICKS UP HER GUN, AND ALL THE BAD GUYS HAVE GUNS. Exaggerated, but you get the idea. Little ideas like Kincaid (Albert Finney) sawing the end off his shotgun to get a better spread shows that you have “done your homework” and given that story a little extra verisimilutude (I don’t think anyone’s ever accused John Logan of being a “gun nut”).

        Because I am a (armchair) “gun nut”, here’s a couple of other observations. If you’re going to give a somewhat lengthy or detailed description of a gun, or a car, or a plane, or what ‘ave you, try “bottom-lining” it at the end. For example, in Miami Vice script, Michael Mann describes (in detail) the push-me pull-you plane the Crockett and Tubbs are flying; its size, weight, everything a producer or vehicle manager might need to know about it. But Mann bottom-lines it by saying, basically, if you want to smuggle drugs, this is the plane you need. You could describe a Desert Eagle .50 Action Express as a “hand cannon” or a Glock 34 as “long-barrelled Glock”.

        In a similar vein, pick a NAME for your weapon (or car, or plane, or…) and then stick with it. Uzi, Glock, SIG-Sauer, AK-47, all trip off the tongue. A Beretta 92FS can be reffered to just as a “Beretta”, a Heckler & Koch MP5A4 9x19mm submachine gun simply as a “HK”. I’ve read scripts – maybe you have too – where the choice of gun is both unnecessarily specific AND confusing. An Ares FMG is an odd choice of weapon for a terrorist (it’s essentially a gun that looks like a lunchbox intended for use by businessman in South America), but also “He picks up the Ares” doesn’t read so great as “He picks up the Uzi”. Just an observation.

        • klmn

          Good post. You write, “…little ideas like Kincaid (Albert Finney) sawing the end off his shotgun to get a better spread shows that you have “done your homework” and given that story a little extra verisimilitude.”

          That’s something that bugs me about all the Wyatt Earp/ OK Corral movies. I have a jpg of the weapon Doc Holliday likely used in that gunfight. Basically, a rabbit-ear shotgun sawed off just in front of the forearm and just behind the handgrip. Rigged so it could be carried concealed under Holliday’s duster, with the duster’s pocket cut out to allow Holliday to keep his hand on the gun.

          The drawing was originally done in 1907 or so, about 26 years after the incident. I don’t believe I can post the pic here, because the publication is still in business and reprints it every 25 years or so (copyrights issues).

          However, I will send it to anyone who contacts me by email. Put “HOLLIDAY” in the subject line.

          kenklmn AT yahoo dot com

          • Scott Crawford

            I think Tombstone got it right.
            http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Tombstone#Meteor_10_gauge_side-by-side_shotgun

            Empire magazine once did a comparison of TV and film depictions of the gunfight at the O.K. Corrall, looking at who was there and who wasn’t there, and where the gunfight is taking place (hint: in real life, it wasn’t the O.K. Corrall). The winner – a 1966 episode of Doctor Who!
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Gunfighters

            They “did their homework”. People can argue that you can “fudge” things you don’t know, but even a non-expert can tell when someone isn’t right.

          • klmn

            The 10 gauge Meteor from the armorer’s personal collection looks much like the one in the drawing, missing only a swivel on top from which Holliday suspended the weapon from a neck cord (under his duster which had the pocket slit to allow surreptitious access).

  • SendHimtoBelize

    The logline for Blood and Sangria makes no sense. The protagonist is schizophrenic but is described as a ‘perennial loser’ as mental illness is somekind of character trait

    • r.w. hahn

      Hi Send…It’s not Past Lives its “Another life”…it’s not “Stalkers” it’s “A Stalker or a person she thinks is stalking her….and in the end she does have to make a choice that could wipe out her existence…See? One movie, but yes a lot going on….It is not a drama….it is a psychological thriller….anyway just want to make those points

  • charliesb

    Man is it time for another post on log lines?

    • carsonreeves1

      I’m seriously considering it. 80% of the loglines I receive can be broken down into two categories. 1) Sloppy and a bit confusing. 2) Well-written but boring idea.

      • Scott Crawford

        “Weekend Dad” was actually one of the best loglines I’ve read on AOW – like four-quadrant, multi-million grossing good. You can SEE it as a movie, you can imagine it being a movie, in theaters. But it needs to be funny, funny, funny, every page, and a quick look through and it’s not.

        The other loglines put me off, though, and are just too confusing.

        • charliesb

          “four-quadrant, multi-million grossing good.”

          That must be the Jack talking :)

          It’s an ok logline, but it’s missing the hook. How does he try to compete.

          • Scott Crawford

            I can IMAGINE it as a blockbuster movie. Deadbeat dad Vince Vaughn tries to win back the love of his son who is being overindulged by his billionaire step-dad Owen Wilson. While Vaughn wants to play “catch” with his son, Wilson has the Oakland Athletics play a game at his school. While Vaughn wants to take his son fishing at Lake Tahoe, Wilson takes him to sea whales on his own private yacht. But when Wilson threatens to make a permanent move overseas to avoid paying his taxes, Vaughn must convince his ex-wife that he has changed. I don’t know, stuff writes itself.

            I’m sober now (Jack didn’t help; I can’t sleep when I’ve too much on my mind!).

        • Sebastian Cornet

          Dunno. I’d say it fits in Carson’s second category. Can’t name an example off the top of my head, but a voice in the back of my head is telling me I heard something like it before.

          (Then again, the voice is also telling me to poison my entire family, but I try to ignore that)

          • carsonreeves1

            Just make sure the poison is untraceable and you’re fine.

          • IgorWasTaken

            No, no, no. That’s the OBVIOUS choice.

            Instead, make the poison traceable… to the wrong guy.

          • Andrew Parker

            You’re correct. The announced movie you’re thinking of is “Daddy’s Home” with Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn attached (http://www.deadline.com/2013/05/vince-vaughn-daddys-home-movie-will-ferrell-paramount/).

            Say “hi” and “bye” to your family for me.

        • Patrick

          I suffer over loglines. Too long, too short, too tall. It’s tough. Thanks for the kind words.

      • Malibo Jackk

        Why not give us the other 20%?

      • ripleyy

        Didn’t you used to have a logline doctor? You should seriously consider adding that to the site as well as notes and concept art.

    • Sebastian Cornet

      I second that all the way to the moon! This batch is not as bad as last week’s, but it’s not making me size up my competition with wary eyes, either.

    • For The Lulz

      I’m not sure how bad/good I am at loglines, so what do you think?

      Script: The Best Screenplay EVER

      Logline: When an Agent/Manager/Producer encounters the ‘The Best Screenplay EVER’, they race against time to read it, love it and sell it, before the psychopath screenwriter hunts them down and cuts on them. **Potentially based on a true story**

      • Nate

        ”A disgruntled screenwriter gives a Hollywood agent twenty-four hours to convince [insert famous actor here] to read his script and turn it into a movie”
        You’d have to rewrite it to accommodate the changes, but I think it would probably work a lot better. As it is now, your logline is confusing and jumbled.
        A logline needs to be simple enough for the reader to understand it, but interesting enough for them to pick it up and read it.

        • For The Lulz

          Fair enough. I was just making a joke (clearly a bad one that no one gets, lol.)

  • charliesb

    Blood & Sangria

    First lets talk about your logline.

    After agreeing to visit his sister in Marbella, Spain, perennial loser Morgan Maloney realizes he has made the mistake of his life when his schizophrenic alter ego, the serial killing and out of control psychokiller– Mister Galloway – rears his ugly head.

    It’s very confusing. I read it 3 times, before I started to get the gist. Also drop “perennial” it’s pretentious. Try:

    All around loser Morgan Maloney regrets his decision to visit his sister in Spain when his schizophrenic alter ego, the out of control psychokiller– Mister Galloway – rears his ugly head.

    Now while I think that’s better than what you have, it still has a few problems. What does his being a loser have to do with the plot? If he knows he has a serial killer alter ego, why would he go anywhere near his sister to begin with? Has he been successful in suppressing it in the past? Has something set Mister Galloway off? You’ve got a premise here, but you haven’t told us the plot or hook.

    As for the script. I read to page 6.

    Your “why you shouldn’t read” is full of stuff that should be popping off right at the beginning of the story. You’ve got cops talking about people I don’t know, a strange V.O from the sister (unnecessary because you then discuss everything she said in the next scene) and a strangely spelled conversation between Morgan and Galloway.

    My suggestion is you cut that beginning, go right to Morgan reading the card, and immediately give us something strange and weird about Mister Galloway. Instead of him just standing there yelling, maybe he’s doing something weird like shaving his chest. Something that we’ll notice about Morgan later to make the connection.

    Remember that scene in Fight Club when Tyler and Marla are having sex and “Norton” is listening in. Tyler opens the door and asks “Norton” if he wants to get in on this and there is a small throw away line in the back where Marla asks Tyler who he’s talking to. If you had to started to realize that the truth about Tyler that line would have confirmed your suspicions, but if you didn’t yet realize it, then it’s just a funny throw away line.

    I’m not sure how quickly in the script we realize that Mr. Galloway isn’t real (since I only got to page 6), but if you’re going to hold off, even for a bit, you’ll need scenes like this to make the reveal work.

    Whatever you do, jump into it right away. I wanna laugh, or be grossed out or get excited before page 10.

    Good luck!

  • Randy Williams

    WEEKEND DAD

    Congrats on making it on AOW!

    This had a real nice set up. Ground in reality, a father and son relationship with banter I thought was involving, especially pages 5-6.

    I was in.

    We’re given a little mystery box, the son’s illness, okay, nice.

    We meet the ex-wife’s new boyfriend. The arrival at the boyfriend’s mansion was really fun. Nice. I was uncomfortable along with the father, there. Good.

    I got a little worried when the father makes plans to win his son with a birthday party but I read on. It doesn’t seem big enough.

    Page 25, I’m getting a nagging feeling. What’s the hook here, the big angle? The new boyfriend should come out with an offer that really turns this script on its head.

    Online educational tools, He offers to be an investor. That’s it? It wasn’t big enough for me. I expected something bigger, funnier, maybe even something to do with the title.

    We get a little more of the same. We’re even back to the party favor store and that never really paid off the first time.

    It’s a fast read and I was shocked to see I was already on page 53, but it wasn’t working for me and I bailed out there. Hopefully others read on and can find more to glow about.

    I sneaked a peak at the ending, I don’t think the gravitas of what I read earned that ending. The cartoonish scenes, often involving a mattress or a dead bird needed to be grounded a bit more in reality perhaps, so that emotional punch doesn’t feel so out of place? It’s a difficult balancing act. I think only Tyler Perry has that dichotomy down to an art.

    • Scott Crawford

      It’s a dramedy with the logline of a high-concept comedy. A GREAT logline. I was expecting belly laughs.

    • Patrick

      Randy, thanks for reading. Tone is always a dance when mixing genres. Appreciate the feedback and your taking the time.

  • Scott Crawford

    It’s the middle of the night here in London and I can’t sleep – man, the rest of you are fast getting in. I thought I might be the first one. Anyway, before the Jack and Coke I’ve just drunk kicks in, here’s my lazy opinion of the scripts based on cursory glances (the sort of cursory glances that these scripts might get from some fat, lazy Jack and Coke drinking producer).

    Blood and Sangria – confusing logline, screenplay full of O.S. and V.O. – is anyone actually talking to each other?

    Weekend Dad – Frustrating. Great logline, best I’ve seen in ages. Seriously, this could by a multi-million dollar grossing , four-quadrant, Adam Sandler-style family comedy. But. . . it’s just not that funny. I flicked through a few pages – there should be a joke on EVERY page. 110 jokes in all, if that’s how long the script is. (Empire magazine counted over 200 jokes in Airplane).

    I Am Ryan Reynolds – Confusing having two (or is it more) Ryans. Maybe instead of quotes around “Ryan” you call could call one character “Fake Ryan”. Premise similar to screenplay – I think by Steve Conrad – called Chad Schmidt about a Brad Pitt lookalike to be played by Brad Pitt. Here’s the thing – I think Ryan Reynolds is a great actor in search of his Dallas Buyers Club, True Detective breakthrough. Would he really submit to playing a jerk? I know a script can be a writing sample, but I don’t know, I think there have been a lot of these around lately.

    Mgimbwa – First rule of titles, imagine you’re asking the ticket office dude (if they still have them in the future) “Two tickets for (INSERT YOUR TITLE HERE)”. I can’t pronounce the title, I can’t spell it. First rule of screenplays, if you’re going to write a silent script, make it short. 90 pages of scene direction is about 50% more scene direction than in a standard script. I often SKIP scene direction and just the read the dialogue. Man, am I screwed on this one. Actually, no, I’m not paid to read scripts, I can just skip this one. Sorry, dude, but unless you’re planning to direct this yourself (more power to you if you do), I don’t think this is a good script to go to town with.

    Crash Backwards – The most professional looking screenplay of the bunch. Cool poster, the use of bold, underlined sluglines works for me. Don’t get the logline, can’t get into the story.

    OK, maybe one day people with pee all over MY latest screenplay, but until I finish it, I reserve the right to speak my judgment. Congratulations, meanwhile, to everyone who manages to FINISH their screenplay.

    • r.w. hahn

      HI Scott…thanks for the comment….can’t tell if I just got peed on or not…HA!

      • Scott Crawford

        I didn’t really get a chance to read the script fully – I’m only on here ’cause I can’t sleep!

        • r.w. hahn

          would love you to read it…hope it won’t put you to sleep :)

    • Patrick

      Scott, thanks for taking the time to get into the script. I was drunk when I wrote it, so having a nice buzz while reading it is a good move.

  • Scott Crawford

    Possibly important question and not just comment bait – what are people using to write their screenplays with?

    Some screenplays I’ve been seeing lately don’t have that polished look you get with Final Draft or Screenwriter – I wonder if people are using some on-line substitute. I don’t know, some of them seem a bit… odd-looking.

    • r.w. hahn

      I use final draft then save it as PDF and send it out

      • Scott Crawford

        Yes, your script was fine-looking, no problem there. Final Draft or similar to PDF is the way to do it. But some of the others – I don’t think it’s just me, the letters seem thin, there’s not much spacing between things. I can’t help but think some scripts are being written on some inferior screenwriting program, or online thingy

    • klmn

      I use MM Screenwriter. When I was looking to upgrade my writing software, I searched screenwriting discussion boards and I found more people having trouble with Final Draft. That was a few years ago, so current results might differ.

      The only quibble I have with Screenwriter is that for secondary scene headings, I have to do it manually – that is not automatically formatted. Because of this, I have to later step through the script line by line to get rid of widows and orphans.

      • Scott Crawford

        Final Draft, Fade In, Screenwriter, fine. I don’t know about Scrivener, Movie Outline, some other software (CEO of Final Draft reckons there’s 250 competitors out there), I don’t know if they create that same look.

      • IgorWasTaken

        There’s a way to avoid the widows/orphans problem in MM. In MM, go to Help and search Cheat Page Breaks.

        • klmn

          Thanks.

    • ripleyy

      I use Fadein, which is really user-friendly. It doesn’t really have to do with what software you use, it’s just what font (I think different fonts make the PDF look more professional than others).

      • Scott Crawford

        It could be the font, yes. Obviously I’m not shilling for Final Draft, although that’s what I use. It’s just an observation that I used to see amateur scripts on THIS website that looked really professional, and some I’m seeing recently…. just look a little funny.

        • ripleyy

          Yeah I have to agree. There’s some scripts I see and I’m wondering what they’re doing differently. Some fonts seem flatter than others for some reason.

    • Rachel Woolley

      I’m trying out Adobe Story right now. Still getting used to it but it seems like it’ll get the job done, and as far as free options go I think I prefer it to Celtx. Previously I’ve tried to get by with Word (before converting to PDF), but newer versions only have Courier New, which throws off the spacing of everything. I even downloaded Courier Standard and tried importing it but couldn’t get it to work.

  • charliesb

    Weekend Dad

    I read to page 21.

    The writing is clean and clear. I read through those first 20 pages really quickly. I stopped because there was no real hook. Stuff happens, but nothing has any real sense of importance or urgency.

    In the first scene where Mike is attempting to sell a mattress, we don’t really learn anything about Mike, other than he’s middle aged and didn’t sell the mattress. He didn’t seem particularly desperate to sell, or disappointed that he didn’t. This scene lacks punch, it wanders in and then wanders out.

    Cut to “I’m assuming” white man rapping along with N.W.A. Again not only have we seen this before, but you’ve set up the joke and forgot to give us the punch line. Where is the mom, or teacher who happens by as James switches the music from NPR back to loud offensive lyric? Or where is the scene where Mike and James bond over their love of old school rap.

    That was my other issue. I couldn’t get a read on how James felt about his Dad. Clearly he was in awe of Rex, but how does that contrast with the things he feels about his father? I recently re-read the script for “Tonight He Comes” and one description really stuck with me.

    “Horus, battling the ketchup bottle. Face bright red, knuckles white to the bone – like he’s taking a constipated shit. Aaron watches this: his father wrestling ketchup… and losing.”

    Everything I needed to know about how Aaron felt about his father is in that one line.

    Last nitpick. The conversation between Rex, Mike, Sophia, James, felt a little unrealistic. These two men meeting for the first time should be having a conversation within a conversation. Rex drilling Mike on his failures felt a little obvious (but maybe that’s the point).

    I’m a fan of conversations with double meanings, so I would have preferred them to be discussing football, or music instead of directly referencing the fact the Mike sells mattresses.

    Other than that scene, I thought your dialogue was great. I probably stopped reading just before you set up the hook of the story, so I would suggest you get to it a bit sooner. Or distract me with more engaging or funny scenes.

    Good Luck!

    • Patrick

      Thanks for checking it out!

  • Randy Williams

    CRASH BACKWARDS

    Congrats for making it on here!

    I was looking forward to this one. I write twisty thrillers and they are very challenging and I’m always open to a script here teaching me how to do them effectively as well as just getting a kick out of reading them.

    The writer has chosen an interesting location to set this in and takes advantage of the creepy aspects of that location with some great imagery.

    The female protagonist is suddenly thrust into a head spinning collage of seemingly hallucinatory experiences with the insinuation that she’s under hypnosis. I never really got a clear picture of her as a character before this craziness starts so I’m catching up with her at the same time trying to understand what is happening to her. She’s a little slow too. She only takes a pill at around page 34 I think. I would have taken a pill the first time something wierd happened!

    The logline promises a stalker. I never got that the “stranger” was a stalker. At the 30 page mark, for me, I couldn’t see much of what the logline was promising, actually. I needed a reassurance I was in the right cinema auditorium about then. Something about her “other life”? maybe having a husband in another life”? A person who was a constant in her life, too, someone that could be telling me, I’m the one here on solid ground, listen to what I say, would have helped too. I wasn’t sure the hypnotist wasn’t just a hallucination, either.

    I bailed around page 54 when the indians were talking. Seemed like a whole different movie. Some creature feature. There are a few typos in what I read, nothing jarring but a very common one that was, was the need for a comma after someone says someone’s name. Like, “Joe, want to help me with this? ”

    Ambitious script, no doubt. Creepy setting done well with creepy happenings. Just wasn’t clicking for me.

    • r.w. hahn

      thank you for the read and comments….I appreciate your time….this is what I look for to see if it is working…sorry it didn’t for you….she thinks he’s a stalker….

  • Randy Williams

    MGIMBWA

    This one is a real challenge, it all seems to be
    description and the description is written like this.

    Two lines of description and then a space.
    Two lines of description and then a space, for page after page.

    Does it go on like this until the end?
    I’m not waiting to find out.

    Maybe, I’m just partial to scripts with dialogue,
    and I’m lazy to do this much work.

    Don’t know, but I hope others find the time
    to read this. I am going to pass. My bad.

    My suggestion is that if you write all description to
    shake things up, make it go down the page, use

    capitals, varied spacing, jots, jumps, lines, and all sorts of creative ways
    to break things up. It’s only fair to the reader.

    oh! and congrats for making it on AOW!

    • charliesb

      This script was really hard to read. Is there a market for fictional animal documentaries that don’t have Morgan Freeman giving us the play by play?

      However as an animated film, this could be really interesting and potentially beautiful.

      • Ange Neale

        Just wondering how the recent boating one with Robert Redford was done, if anyone’s read that? All is Lost? Wasn’t it sans dialogue?

        • Poe_Serling

          Here it is… all 31 pages.

          http://www.screenplaydb.com/film/scripts/allislost/

          Enjoy.

          • Ange Neale

            Thanks, Poe!

          • Randy Williams

            I see dialogue.

          • Scott Crawford

            I read the OUTLINE of This Is Spinal Tap (no link, it was a while back when these things were more available). Sixty pages. Every scene had to be PLANNED even if the dialogue was to be improvised. I would expect a silent script to be no more than sixty pages based on a 50/50 split of scene direction and dialogue.

  • charliesb

    Crash Backwards

    So here’s the thing with mystery/thrillers. We need some sense of normalcy before you start distorting things. We need a baseline. Everything going on here is mysterious, I have no idea what’s real, what’s not, what city we are in, what year it is? What’s a day to day look like for Fable and Chase?

    Everything is off kilter. My suggestion is that you show us a few scenes with Fable where we get to know her before you start bringing the crazy. Give us some setup.

    Also can we talk about these names? Fable? Chase? I had to go back a few pages to figure out that Chase was a man. Though in retrospect I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a woman named Chase, so I guess that’s on me.

    If you must have your protagonist named Fable, then how about everyone calls her Faye.

    Having both your characters with odd names was distracting for me.

    Good luck.

    • r.w. hahn

      thank you for reading….I appreciate your time and comments…and suggestions

      • charliesb

        Ya, I think sometimes that works visually, but is hard to read. This may be one of those types you need to film yourself (i.e. Memento, anything by Lynch). Hopefully a few other commenters here will help you make things a little clearer on your next pass.

        • r.w. hahn

          the other thing is it is “Backwards”…it doesn’t start you in the beginning it throws you into the story and you work back towards the reveal or beginning…..I hope you’re right, it works better as a film than on paper…At least that’s why I wrote it…so we can watch it unfold

  • brenkilco

    Blood and Sangria. So we have the sort of mentally ill guy who only exists in movies, one whose split personalities can talk to each other. Seen it a thousand times, though maybe not in Spain. Give the writer credit for not pulling a Tyler Durden cheat but the V.O. sort of gives the game away. Got to page thirty. The settings are well enough drawn but the interaction between Morgan and his sister is not particularly interesting. There’s little suspense. Even less detection by the detective. And absolutely nothing funny has happened. The sex murder seems to be shock for shock’s sake. Not much incentive to keep reading.

  • Randy Williams

    I AM RYAN REYNOLDS

    Congrats on making it on AOW!

    This felt like a movie, at least the pages I read. Amusing and high pitched.

    Laughed out loud on the first few pages but then it got rather dry for me.

    Honestly, I felt the “Blake” scenes were all like killing time. Does her writing that book have a big deal to do with the plot? I wanted to get back to Phil and Ryan, cut to the chase. I bailed with the Blake and Lucian scene on page 30.

  • IgorWasTaken

    Here’s the “Weekend Dad” logline:

    A down-on-his-luck, divorced father, fearing he and his son are growing apart, struggles to get his life together and compete with the new, larger than life, billionaire stepdad.

    I think it would read better as:

    A down-on-his-luck, divorced father, fearing he and his 14-year-old son are growing apart, struggles to get his life together to have any chance of competing against the kid’s new, larger than life, billionaire stepdad.

    • klmn

      I don’t think you need that much detail. Save it for the screenplay and just write enough to make it intriguing.

      Maybe “A divorced father struggles to compete with his son’s new, billionaire stepdad.”

      • IgorWasTaken

        I can see how your version could work. But, while it may be descriptive, I don’t know that it’s engaging. It seems coldish.

        First, this is a dramedy. Something in the logline needs to suggest the comic element. Maybe “billionaire stepdad” does that; I don’t know.

        Second, I was trying to stick with the general structure of the original, which I saw had gotten a lot of love. But, I thought it needed some tweaking for clarity.

        Third, in a story like this, if the son is important (rather than just a plot device), I think his age is important. Is he 7, 14, 19, 23?

        • brenkilco

          I struggle with loglines. This is one where I would actually like more detail. The story being described actually sounds pretty generic. Even if you can’t remember the movie or show you get the feeling you’ve seen it before. So if it’s got something special going that something must be in the way the dad tries to get his life back together or what happens when he tries. How you shoehorn that into the sentence. That I don’t know.

  • brenkilco

    Crash backwards sounded intriguing. Got a few pages into it. The description is detailed but a little awkward and the dialogue rather routine. And on page eight I encountered this sentence.

    “A handsome, boy scout face with friendly, warm pools for eyes, lap at her.”

    Before you can be evocative you have to be clear. This is the kind of sentence that screams amateur. What the hell does it mean? Start with the fact that the subject is face, which the writer doesn’t seem to realize since he employs a plural verb. Seems to think the eyes are the subject. They’re not and even if they were, how the hell do eyes lap? Lap as in move in small waves? Or is that just some awful typo? No I think he actually means this guys deep, watery orbs are washing over her in tidal fashion. Or something. The problem isn’t that in a misguided effort to give our prose oomph we might write a single incoherent, purple sentence. It’s the fear we create in the reader that there are a lot more coming.

    • r.w. hahn

      you got me there….thanks for pointing it out….

    • IgorWasTaken

      brenkilco wrote:

      Before you can be evocative you have to be clear.

      Please, everyone. If you like to write your action in clever ways, please read and reread that advice.

  • Randy Williams

    BLOOD AND SANGRIA

    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    Read to page 31.

    It pretty much telegraphed early on that Morgan and Mr. Galloway are one and the same, so I was waiting for a hint of another twist. Took a peak at the end, didn’t see anything that would hint that that was the case.

    Along the way, in what I read, there were some enjoyable moments, page 15, series of shots was nicely done. If someone is doing a series of shots and doesn’t want to go the boring and distracting, 1,2,3, route, you might take a look at how it’s done here.

    Loved the chat on page 12, misunderstanding ex for sex. Loved the Morgan, Marina relationship overall in what I read, nicely drawn.

    page 24. If Morgan is Galloway, who made the call to him with the caller I.D as Galloway? Maybe I didn’t read enough to find out.

    page 31. Frank the detective discussing the case like that with the public seemed very unrealistic and it made out as pure exposition for the audience’s sake. I bailed around here.

    This didn’t seem to fit the comedy-horror genre it’s identified as, more like a thriller I thought in an exotic locale. Found the sex very tame and not particularly erotic for me. Go for broke, boys.

  • Kirk Diggler

    Read to pg 44 of Weekend Dad. Mike the protagonist is what you call reactive rather than proactive. He’s also a bit vanilla. The back and forth with his son James is well done in establishing their relationship, but it’s also a bit repetitive and undramatic. I think Mike needs to have stronger characters traits. Not sure what his flaw is, seems to lack confidence in himself and might be projecting his own insecurities onto his son.

    I assume Rex is the antagonist but he’s not really being antagonistic so far. He’s being quite nice to both James and Mike. His offer to finance Mike’s online teaching idea comes about 14 or 15 pages too late. This should be what the film turns on, the break into Act 2. Mike is offered half a mil to finance his idea with the catch that it comes from the rich guy who is going to be his son’s step dad. There is some underlying resentment from Mike that comes out during the skeet shooting scene, but the comedy or the drama (or both) needs to be pumped up in a scene like this. The bird dropping from the sky was sorta funny, but Rex doesn’t seem too disturbed by losing his $20,000 bird. The differences between Rex and Mike need to be front and center by now.

    There is an awful lot of set up here with very little conflict. Even Mike’s ex wife offers little in that regard. We really don’t know Sophie at all, she’s just there, almost as an ornament. Everything is a little too neat and easy. Their disagreements over James should be more pronounced. As it is, it seems they both have his best interests at heart so, again, the conflict isn’t strong enough.

    Some of the dialogue tends to ramble which leads to longer than necessary scenes. Tighten it up. Amp up the conflict. It’s a promising idea for a comedy/drama. Get to your premise sooner. Eliminating the first brunch scene where Mike initially meets Rex would be something to consider. I think if Mike met Rex for the first time during the skeet shooting with James, that it would have a bigger impact, especially since Mike is very much out of his element.

    Perhaps that scene in the party store can happen before Mike picks up James at school. If James birthday plays as big as I suspect it might, then seeing Mike with Turk at the party store before we meet James will give us a reason to like Mike, especially if he’s on a budget and unsure about what to do but just wants to make his son happy.

    Either way, I believe getting to Rex’s business offer for Mike by pg 25 would vastly improve the pacing. Good luck with it,

    • Patrick

      Kirk, my good sir, thanks for the feedback. Appreciate you taking the time to check it out.

    • ripleyy

      I really have to agree. Something on scale of “Weekend Dad” has to be ripe with conflict and peppered with goals. You hinder yourself by doing these sort of scripts because GSU is thrown out of the window. You just have to reply on old-fashioned good writing to draw the reader in.

      If the main goal is for Mike and his son to be drawn together, it has to be smothered with conflict in order for this to happen. Writing these sort of scripts aren’t by any means difficult (I would assume most writers have tackled them) but it is definitely for the intermediate writer, someone who knows how to write a script properly even if they aren’t quite professional.

      “Boyhood” is a great example as well as “Jersey Girl” if you want to see how well these sort of scripts can work. While “Boyhood” missed the opportunity to REALLY be a character piece (it was still great) you can always see how Kevin Smith makes “Jersey Girl” work.

      In it, which is similar to “Weekend Dad”, a single-father tries to juggle his professional life and his personal life, and realizes that he’s actually drifting from his daughter. One thing writers miss about these sort of scripts it that they can be excellent for character pieces. From personalities to flaws, to mini-goals and conflict, these kind of scripts are never – ever – reached to their full potential and I think “Weekend Dad” definitely has what it takes to change that.

      • IgorWasTaken

        ripleyy wrote: “I really have to agree. Something on scale of ‘Weekend Dad’ has to be ripe with conflict and peppered with goals.

        ripleyy, is your day job at a fruit and spice stand?

        And is your real name “Ripelyy”?

        • ripleyy

          Damn, you figured out my secret. Okay, I admit! I’m a door-to-door fruit salesman.

          • IgorWasTaken

             
            ripleyy…   Figured it out…?   Believe it.

            Or not.
             

          • Kirk Diggler

            ouch.

  • Logline_Villain

    BLOOD AND SANGRIA

    Made it to page 8:

    1) Nothing exciting happens in set-up and repetition is a problem (e.g., Janice is doing well, Janice is Morgan’s big sis);
    2) Awkward action lines and dialogue (e.g., it seems like every character speaks in sentences that are missing key words) – I realize English is probably not your first language but that won’t cut it in the hands of a Pro Reader;
    3) Formatting errors aplenty (no DAY or NIGHT in slugs, use of CONTINUED for page breaks, slugs that refer to two separate locations (e.g., MORGAN’S BATHROOM AND BEDROOM), action lines consisting of one word that would be better suited for a wryly (e.g. quieter)…

    The “Why You Should Read” promises a wild ride; what we have to open the script is tame by comparison – I humbly suggest spicing up the opening and working on formatting issues.

  • Cuesta

    To the writers of Blood and Sangría. Most of your spanish has grammar mistakes. I’ll fix it:

    — Title, 9, 22. Sangría with accent.
    — 6. Málaga with accent.
    — 7. ¿Cómo estás? (“bueno, bueno” don’t really know what it means in that context. It’s like she’s answering her question)
    — 8. Puerto Banús with accent.
    — 9. Sangría is like wine or brandy with fruits. The watered down cheap wine is called calimocho.
    — 15, 16, 60, 84. Hola, with H, is hello. Without H is wave.
    — 16. ¿Qué le gustaría? with ¿.
    — 21. “Arriba, arriba” doesn’t make any sense here. If you want him to say something like “speed up” change it for “más rápido puta”, if not “dame caña, zorra”. I included profane language for extra charisma points.
    — 21. “No te entiendo” instead “yo no entiendo”.
    — 23. “¿Qué?” instead of “que?”.
    — 23. “Está en el trabajo” instead of “Ella en el trabajo”.
    — 27. Nueva Andalucía.
    — 28. “hasta luego” instead of “asta luego”.
    — 29. The proper spanish surname is “Rico” instead of “Ricco”.
    — 30. The guardia civiles are different from the police. It’s not ranked higher or lower.
    — 31. Ortíz with accent. Never heard of a spaniard named Abella btw.
    — 32, 75. ¿Señor?, with ¿
    — 33. ¡Vete al infierno! with ¡. But this doesn’t sound spanish. I suggest “¡Que te jodan!.
    — 34. “No señor” doesn’t sound spanish. I suggest “¿Qué dices? first, and “no me pediste nada” then.
    — 37. “Déjalo solo” instead of “dejarlo solo”.
    — 43. I don’t know if this is intentional because Morgan doesn’t speak spanish very well, but should be “no gracias, no gracias”.
    — 61, 75. Por favor, with r.
    — 61. ¿Dónde están los servicios? or ¿Dónde está el servicio?.
    — 61. Never heard the name “Lenora”. But I’ve heard “Eleonora”, and the more common “Elena”.
    — 62. Creo que se ha cagado y necesita cambiarse.
    — 62. ¿Quién eres? ¿Qué quieres?.
    — 62. ¿Qué haces? Deja eso. Lenora, llama a la policía.
    — 62. ¡Lenora! No, no, por favor no. ¡Lenora ayúdame!
    — 65, 66, 69. Janice Jiménez, with accent.
    — 65. “Un momento” instead of “una momento”.
    — 65. “¿Quieres que te ayudemos?” instead of “quiere un poco de ayuda”.
    — 66. ¿Qué cojones tiene dentro?. Not literal but it’s properly spanish.
    — 66. Probablemente un muerto.
    — 70. ¿Mamá? ¿Papá? ¿Estáis ahí?
    — 71. Procesarlo por la mañana.
    — 76. Spaniards don’t tend to mix the language like the latin Americans do. So if the managers speaks english he won’t include “señor” in there.
    — 81. No, no, no, así no se hace. Así.
    — 81. Gracias, señora.
    — 81. ¿Qué estabas haciendo gilipollas?
    — 91. “Otra ronda” instead of “otras cervezas”, if it’s proper spanish.
    — 93. Otros dos al lado y uno de ellos es un niño.
    — 98. Tenemos un Seat Ibiza azul en el aparcamiento que necesita remolque.
    — 98. Si. Están embarcando.
    — 99. Lockers is taquillas in spanish.
    — 103. ¿Cómo te llamas gilipollas?

    If I overlooked something let me know.

    • IgorWasTaken

      I was wondering if maybe the writers’ problem was Mexican-Spanish versus Spanish-Spanish, but then I saw that their phone number’s in the UK, so…

      Anyway, that’s a lot of time and effort.

      (Hey, CM – Will you do the same for me when I post my script in Afrikaans?)

  • hickeyyy

    Finally back to AOW. It’s been a busy life for me lately. Hope I am able to help some of the writers out like many people here helped me for AOW.

    MY VOTE: I am Ryan Reynolds.

    BLOOD AND SANGRIA. Read 10 pages. Would not continue.

    Logline Interest: High. The idea of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hide in a foreign (well, foreign to the USA) country has a ton of potential. Although I admit that I wish your Why I Read took the idea more serious than slapsticky.

    Review: First of all, before we start, your opening paragraph is one sentence that takes up 4 lines! You gotta split that into multiple sentences or cut to the chase. I hope all the action paragraphs aren’t like this or it’s going to be a wordy adventure.

    As I saw on your title page, you have an International number, so I’m not sure English is your first language. What I will say is that there are definitely some oddly worded paragraphs here. I think it would be good to run through this one more time and just try to make sure what you’re trying to say is getting across properly.

    Finally, I cut out on the image of a dude shitting and puking at the same time. Alluding to it was fine, but showing it made me realize this is going to get more disgusting as it goes on. And gross-out humor isn’t my cup of tea.

    Mu suggestion? You have a great idea here. Take it seriously and you could have something awesome. The humor here just doesn’t fit.

    WEEKEND DAD. Read 40 pages. Might continue.

    Logline Interest: Low. Seems like it is obvious where this is headed.

    Review: Well, I guess I was wrong. I got 40 pages into this in the blink of an eye. It’s relatively entertaining. I kept reading to find out what Rex wanted with Mike. At this point, something still seems odd here. I kept expecting something weird to happen but it never came. I feel like I zipped through it but I’m not sure I was into it. I kept reading to find out what happens next without any real connection to the characters.

    I AM RYAN REYNOLDS. Read the entire thing.

    Logline Interest: High. How could it not be?

    Review: I would watch the shit out of this. It was great. I am not convinced this could or would ever get made but I would be there. Great shit. I have nothing else to say.

    MGIMBWA. Didn’t read.

    First off, let me say I really appreciate that this was written the way it was. Making a silent movie is a bold move and I’m sorry I’m not giving it a chance. But let me just it this way; you can’t do this with real monkeys. Andy Serkis is going to be busy with the Planet of the Apes movies, so CGI won’t work. So animated is the way to go. That’s the only hope. Good luck.

    And suddenly something came up so I won’t have time to get to Crash Backwards, which is a shame, as it’s the one I was most looking forward to. If I get time later on today or tomorrow, I’ll give it a whirl and comment again.

  • Rachel Woolley

    I’m reading I Am Ryan Reynolds first. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Being John Malkovich (mostly because I think being John Malkovich is all John Malkovich ever freaking does when he “acts”) but this was the most intriguing concept. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the idea of copyrighting someone’s face. Especially now when Amazon is copyrighting stuff like “pictures of objects with white backgrounds”.

    And it was a really enjoyable read up until the moment when Blake doesn’t notice/care that Lucien has her husband’s face. I just couldn’t get my admittedly-feeble brain around that one. Is it supposed to make her seem stupid? Like impossibly, dangerously, constant helmet-wearing stupid? I just didn’t buy it and it nagged at me.

    Maybe there’s a way to explain this, and even use it. For example, when she’s blabbing to Ryan about Lucien after their first meeting and his genius book title ideas she could casually mention that the two could be twins. Ryan’s already freaked out by the sight of his other doppelganger so this could freak him out even more. But the joke (and the casting) hinges on all these guys having the EXACT same face as Ryan Reynolds so you’d have to get creative to explain why it doesn’t freak Blake out as well.

    Maybe there’s an issue with her eyes – an infection or something that prohibits her from wearing her contacts for awhile – and she’s too vain to wear glasses so she sees Lucien as a handsome blur. I’m going to keep reading to see where you go with it – maybe this is explained later in which case I apologize for the unnecessary suggestions – but congrats on getting to AOW! Best of luck!

  • NajlaAnn

    I’ve got two choices this time: Mgimbwa and Crash Backwards. How about both?

  • Rachel Woolley

    Just another quick, minor note on I Am Ryan Reynolds – personally I would lose the bedtime makeup scene on 24 between Blake and Ryan. The spat between them was well-done and upped the pressure nicely. Such an immediate apology/forgiveness let too much of that pressure escape in my opinion.

  • walker

    My vote is for Crash Backwards, it looks interesting and I happen to be familiar with the writer. RW Hahn won last year’s Kairos Prize for screenwriting and had that script reviewed on AF.

    • r.w. hahn

      Walker!!! Hi there sir…thank you for the vote of confidence…:) Hope all is well with you and your writing….hit me up sometime and give me the updates….GOD bless…

      • Malibo Jackk

        They hand you a check. Put you on stage. Take your picture. Slap you on the back and say — Keep it touch.

        What else has Kairos done for you? Any producers look at the script? Reps and agents come calling? What has the aftermath been like?

        • r.w. hahn

          It’s been interesting….I’ve had production company offers that I didn’t care for…but I am now in talks with a Production company that loves the story, wants to do it, and is raising the budget as we speak…Plus I’m an actor and they’ve agreed to let me play the role I wanted to play….So I am looking forward to that possibly coming to fruition soon….It opened the door for me to do a script for an actor/comedian who has the rights to a book. I adapted it for him….Looking forward to that happening as well…Yes it has been a wild ride since Kairos and of course I am still writing my own stuff….I had a producer send me another book he wants me to turn into a script as well…so time will tell..I am optimistic on all these projects…..thank you for asking

          • Malibo Jackk

            Cool news.
            Drop us a note every now and then.
            (When shooting starts and other milestones.)
            Best of luck.
            (… and don’t feed the sharks.)

          • r.w. hahn

            thank you Malibo…I’ll do just that…Appreciate you

      • walker

        Hey Randall, glad to see you are still at it. And thanks for your good wishes, although I must say God has been kind of a dick lately.

        • r.w. hahn

          you have my email still don’t you?….hit me up….would love to talk….

  • walker

    Also, even though I was very impressed by the originality of the concept for Mgimbwa, I found the execution disappointing. Crucially, the script is way too long. The minute-per-page rule of thumb assumes an organic mix of action and dialogue. A no-dialogue script should be much shorter.

    • IgorWasTaken

      walker wrote: “The minute-per-page rule of thumb assumes an organic mix of action and dialogue. A no-dialogue script should be much shorter.

      Depends. It can take 1/8 page to describe action that happens in 2 seconds on the screen. It can also take 1/8 page to describe action that takes 2 minutes on the screen.

      • walker

        That’s certainly true, but in the same way, the rule of thumb assumes an organic mix of those different approaches to action description. The point is that radical deviation from the standard warrants reconsideration of other factors, including page count.

        • Scott Crawford

          I think if you’re asking someone to read a no-dialogue script, then that person would expect it to be no more than 60 pages, probably a lot less. I’m not sure if you even NEED to write a screenplay if you’re planning on no dialogue and you’re going to do it yourself – an outline, a storyboard, a shot list instead. I don’t know, but I think if you were just going to do the whole thing yourself, like March of the Penguins, there may be other ways of doing it.

  • Rachel Woolley

    Made it to Pg. 70 of Weekend Dad. My biggest suggestion would be to have the ‘threat’
    from Rex come a lot sooner. I wasn’t necessarily rooting for Rex, but I wasn’t rooting against him either… It’s totally a matter of opinion but I would push this more to the comedy side, in which case you’d need Rex to be more of a blatant antagonist. As it’s written now, it’s more like Mike is his own worst enemy.

    I think the investment from seemingly-perfect Rex should come with a big caveat – like Mike has to set up and run the business from the other side of the country or something.
    It’s reasonable that someone like Rex would want to be the only one calling the shots in the Dad department, AND that he would think nothing of throwing money at the problem. I felt like Rex should have taken Mike aside with this offer the first time they met. Nobody gets that kind of rich without being a little ruthless. He’d have already
    researched the shit out this ‘competitor’ and drawn up a strategy for getting him out the way.

    The usual flaw for too-good-to-be-true step dads is that they don’t want the kid around (trying to ship it off to boarding school 3 Men and A Little Lady style). It would be refreshing to see one that DOES want the kid around, but in such an all-or-nothing, possessive way that it winds up being just as threatening to the protagonist. Or that we’re never really sure what his true feelings are for the kid, but that fact that he wants
    the sperm daddy so far away makes us worry.

    I didn’t understand Mike’s refusal to sell the young couple the mattress at all. He’s just mad because they’re so in love? The guy is desperate for money so he can compete with Rex. It didn’t make sense that he would turn down an easy sale and then
    quit. If you want him to ‘break’ here then you need to find another, more plausible way to do it.

    Congrats on the AOW slot! Thanks for sharing!

    Some minor typos:

    Pg. 4 “What’s eight graders do that’s cool?” ??
    Pg. 30 James’ smile fades
    Pg. 33 “I bet that is quite a business.”
    Pg. 43 “No you go get a drink.”
    Pg. 46 stops and browses the mattresses; “infest”
    Pg. 47 Kind of big or Kinda big

    • Patrick

      Rachel, thanks for taking the time to check it out. And the feedback. Much appreciated!

  • ElectricDreamer

    Congrats to all the AOW candidates. I hope the notes are helpful to the authors.

    AOW Winner: NO STANDOUTS THIS WEEK.
    Honorable Mention: BLOOD & SANGRIA.

    Similar to the last AOW crop, none of the loglines are grabbing me.
    They are an ubiquitous device than requires only SIMPLE MATH to learn:

    PROTAG + ACTION + DRAMATIC IRONY = LOGLINE.

    There’s only one example here that even attempts the ironic finale.
    While I don’t care for Crash Backwards’ hook, at least it has one.
    Reincarnation thrillers tend to be far too melodramatic for my taste.
    And since it’s another life, it’s another burden of investment for me.

    WEEKEND DAD would be better if the protag dad was opposed to richies.
    Example: An off-the-grid guy that HATES WEALTH and CORPORATE TYPES.
    Give these two father figures reasons to DESPISE EACH OTHER.
    But ultimately, they should resolve their differences for the kid’s sake.
    Unless your logline elements SCREAM CONFLICT, rework until it does.
    Once you do, folks will say… “I can see the movie in my head.”
    Why? Because they can — identify/empathize with the proposed CONFLICT.

    • ElectricDreamer

      I AM RYAN REYNOLDS:
      I’m not a fan of meta-movie snarkfests. Too many young writers go there.
      But most of the time, there’s little to no human behavior backing it up.

      P. 3 Doesn’t the Brunette assume that “Ryan’s” a celeb impersonator.
      That’s what a normal person would do. Her behavior doesn’t add up.
      It’s never even discussed that he should be doing that for work.

      P. 4 “Do me, Green Lantern” hues very close to one of my fave Bad Santa jokes.
      F*ck me, Santa plays much better. Don’t copy this joke verbatim.
      Find a way to INNOVATE YOUR INSPIRATIONS into fresh material.
      As written, your script just reminds me how much I adore Bad Santa.
      Instead of focusing on your story, I’m on a nostalgia trip.

      P. 5 If the Brunette truly had a Ryan fetish, she would’ve mauled him in the bar.
      She would be drunk calling her friends, saying Ryan Reynolds is there.
      Any kind of excitement would be preferable to the tepid chat they have.

      P. 11 He freaks out at the sight of Phil, but nothing happens?
      Seems a lively pursuit would be warranted. Going home is boring.
      If he’s going to freak out that much, there should be some pay off.

      If you’re making the reader sit through that over-the-top reaction…
      Give is an over-the-top PAY OFF that matches what you put us through.
      You teased the start of your story, then took it away.
      In other words, as written this scene — PUNISHES the READER.

      P. 12 The writer can turn a phrase, but the story’s kinda stagnant.
      A dozen pages in and we’re still bogged down with intros and backstory.
      Things must be HAPPENING on the page while you set up your story.
      Too many amateur writers do not make their scenes MULTITASK enough.

      P. 13 First laugh was here for me.
      The “It’s also your last name” gag was cute.

      P. 14 Dinner tomorrow is how A-Lister couples celebrate something big? Yawn.
      What is it with this power couple? Let’s have a party! Anything fun, please.
      How about some celebratory sex? They are a married couple.
      You even tease this idea with having Blake — TOSS A SALAD.

      P. 15 Still skirting the story from beginning with a Google search.
      There’s been no narrative progression or even an plot introduced so far.
      Low conflict on the page to keep me engaged and I’m bowing out here.
      Blend character intros and active story elements for a more compelling read.

      PASS.

    • r.w. hahn

      Hi Electric…surely with a moniker of “dreamer” Crash Backwards would pique your interest….It is definitely not a reincarnation tale…and “another life” is ambiguous at best….could be almost anything….Give it a read and see what you think….thanks again

    • ElectricDreamer

      MGIMBWA:
      To be honest, the logline really put me off to this one.
      There’s nothing here that isn’t covered in any Simba-style tale I’ve seen.
      It sounds like one of those Animal Planet meerkat family shows.
      We follow a family for a full season of antics and predator/prey melodrama.
      And all that is enhanced with narration that sets up the conflicts for us.

      Why would a movie do an inferior version of a successful TV formula?
      It doesn’t add up for me. Last year, Big Mouse House released Chimpanzee.
      They bring all the bells and whistles to bare on their nature projects.
      Even Jean-Jacques Annaud’s The Bear had some sparse dialogue.
      This is a big uphill battle. Maybe if it was a true story, I’d get on board more.

      P. 2 The foreign names are tough enough on English-speaking folks.
      But now you’ve got two of those lead names that start with “N”.
      Steer clear of that, this read is thick enough without adding confusion.

      P. 2 On top of the thick read, there’s a bunch of ORPHANS on the page.
      Five of them just on this one page. That extends an already challenging read.
      You must find ways to make this as much of a VERTICAL READ* as possible.
      These red flags discourage experienced readers from getting invested.

      P. 3 It’s impossible to follow these chimps on the screen.
      How is the viewer supposed to know all those names you rattle off?
      There’s no narration. Consider using TITLE CARDS for the names at least.

      P. 5 Too much burden of investment on my eyes.
      Plus the orphans, lack of title cards and prose style extend the pain for me.
      Make this a *VERTICAL READ that’s much easier to understand:

      MGIMBWA
      Rolls over on his back, legs in the air.

      GOTHARD
      Exhibits dominance over the young submissive chimp.

      HIDAYA
      Watches the ritualized behavior with interest.

      Adopting a style like this A) Speeds up the read for us poor folks.
      B) You get the “bonus” of creating a similar effect to CHARACTER SLUGS.
      That’s something all readers are familiar with and can latch onto.
      Tarantino uses a style much like that. I think it will help you a lot.

      PASS.

    • ElectricDreamer

      BLOOD AND SANGRIA:
      P. 1 Probably not the best idea to open with a 35 word run-on sentence.
      Not to mention it also ends in a big fat ORPHAN. Grammar Cops will flunk you.
      Gives the impression that your script will be a thick read. Rework it, please.

      P. 4 Points for actually being a vertical read. You’re the first today.

      P. 5 Capping DETECTIVE AGENCY twice in the same paragraph reads wonky.

      P. 6 Making the reader go through all those (O.S.)’s w/o a pay off sucked.
      Don’t PUNISH the reader for wading through all those “cheats” you were slinging.
      Resorting to a camera move to cockblock your plot isn’t clever.
      How nifty can the rest of your devices be if this one’s such a drag at the start?

      P. 7 Psych up scenes are inherently endearing to readers. Yay underdogs.
      This one’s no exception. We all want to believe we can pep talk ourselves.

      P. 10 For someone that wanted Morgan to visit, she’s a crap host.
      It seems that Janice is intentionally being repellant here.
      Is she a nutter too? Give us a little sign, we’re 10% into your script.

      P. 11 I’d prefer we focus on character beats, as opposed to pratfalls.
      Introducing a major character with a tacked-on gag sends the wrong message.

      P. 13 Methinks introducing the detective here would be best.
      The call from Sarah is superfluous. Entice a mystery by introducing him here.
      Doing that keeps the reader asking the right questions and turning pages.

      P. 16 Yay subtext. The placebo effect is a nice touch with Janice.
      Congrats, you’re the first script I’ve gotten subtext out of today.
      Still haven’t quite pegged her erratic behavior, but it’s not repellant.

      P. 17 The dreaded character alliteration monster has reared its head.
      MORGAN/MARINA running vertically down the page is tough on the eyeballs.

      P. 17 Wordplay jokes are frosting, not cake.
      More character behavior and less broad slapstick befitting a sitcom, please.

      P. 19 Three pages reads way too long just to set up Morgan’s lie.
      You’ve got some talent, but we’re spending too much time on EMPTY CALORIES.
      Please get to the meat of your tale so I don’t feel malnourished.
      Hmmm, all these food references. I must be getting hungry.

      P. 20 Highlight the — GIMP. That key data is buried in your prose.
      Without it, I don’t know what Mister Galloway looks like unless I backtrack.

      P. 21 Ladies of the kinky evening always get paid upfront.
      Only in male fantasies will beautiful women wait to be compensated. LOL.

      P. 25 I’m putting the script down here. It’s not gelling on the page for me.
      Too many scenes with no sense of purpose. Especially in the bar.
      The lion’s share of the pages are devoted to tepid backstory.
      Janice is the biggest question mark. I don’t get anything about her.
      She acted all apologetic in the card, then she’s a sneaky shrew in person.

      The writer’s got talent, but the story’s not as clear to me as it is to its creator.
      Perhaps the writer would benefit from some Carson wisdom.

      PASS.

      • IgorWasTaken

        ElectricDreamer wrote: “Not to mention it also ends a big fat ORPHAN“?

        You spend lots of real time and energy reading and offering story notes. But then, “orphans”?

        I’m thinking, the way you apparently are annoyed by “orphans”, and maybe even think less of the screenwriter because of them… That’s how I feel every time I see someone complain about an “orphan”.

        Besides, compare your concern about that to the concern someone posted here (sorry for lack of attribution) about how it’s too easy to get lost on the page in MGIMBWA because of the seemingly endless series of 2-line paragraphs.

        “Orphans” are good.  

        • ElectricDreamer

          Generally, I never bring them up. As you say, it’s a poor man’s game.
          But when my eye is drawn to them, I point it out to the reader.
          There were five of them in a row. Pulled my eye away from the story.
          I’d be remiss if I didn’t share that data with the author.

      • cjob3

        What are Orphans?

        Great notes, BTW. Cool of you to take the time. Guys like you are the backbone of these AOWs!

        • ElectricDreamer

          Thanks for the ego cookie this morning. Much obliged.
          I’ve had my day or two in the AF sun, so I give back every way I can.

          Orphans/Widows are a common grammatical snit in scripts.
          It’s when a last word in a sentence takes up an entire line of the script.

          If you’re an insider, no one cares. But if you’re an amateur, look out.
          Being an unknown quantity means everyone’s looking to fail you.
          So, never give an executive an easy way to flag you as a hack.

          http://scriptcat.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/avoid-the-pesky-widow-words-in-your-screenplay/

    • ElectricDreamer

      WEEKEND DAD:
      P. 2 Super tepid intro. Just a browsing incident. That’s a yawner.
      Something a little more dramatic and revealing about Mike’s in order.
      You need a dynamic opener to grab readers, doesn’t bode well for the scirpt.

      P. 5 If Mike’s actually planned that many parties, he should be ADEPT at it.
      It makes no sense he’d act like an insecure loser with all that experience.

      P. 7 Don’t care for the sitcom gimmick of Mike’s redundant questions.
      It’s machinations like this that sink scripts. Give us character beats.
      Waiting this long to find out there’s a trip happening feels like a waste.
      Why shouldn’t everyone be getting ready for it in their own way?
      For instance, Mike could INSINUATE himself into his son’s prep…
      “Vaccinations check? Eppie pen for bee stings, check.” And so on.
      This is how a loving, but out of touch father would OVERCOMPENSATE.

      I can get behind the PSYCHOLOGY of a poor dad doing that.
      But the devices you’re using on the page have little to no humanity to them.

      P. 9 Overall, the dialogue reads plain. Not on the nose, just plain.
      Everything’s cranked up to vanilla. It’s not enticing me to continue.

      P. 11 Forcing these info dump scenes here speaks ill of Mike.
      Every beat on the page is a NEON SIGN screaming that Mike’s out of touch.
      It’s all too ONE NOTE and with far too much real estate devoted to it.
      A more season writer would MULTITASK and EMBED any needed backstory.
      I just don’t feel like you’re spinning enough proverbial plates on each page.

      P. 12 I get that it’s a joke, but mansions don’t feature guest houses.
      No rich person would have it set up that way by their main gate.
      They want guests to see their wealth, not the shack next to it.
      This is a FORCED GAG. Under even light scrutiny it makes no sense.
      I wish there was less time repeating Mike’s insecurity beat. We get it.

      P. 14 Meeting Rex. This is the first promise of CONFLICT in your script.
      So far, you’ve almost gone out of your way to avoid it.
      Conflict is what compels readers to turn pages.

      P. 22 The choking gag is a unrewarding way of dealing with emotional conflict.
      You go through all the effort of setting it up, but don’t pay it off.
      We get a cheap sight gag that deflates all potential tension. Bummer. I’m out.

      I skimmed ahead to about half way, still no sign of the set up vacation.
      You need to find and exploit the conflict within your premise.
      Why not have the two father figures HATE each other?
      Mike’s insecure about money. Rex overcompensates with James…
      Let’s say because his father wasn’t around much. He was making his fortune.
      So Rex goes overboard, to the point to COMPETING with Mike.

      You see how that human behavior dynamic leads to PURE CONFLICT?
      Until you can tap into that mentality, this script won’t pop.

      PASS.

      • Patrick

        Thanks for taking the time to read!

    • ElectricDreamer

      CRASH BACKWARDS:
      P. 1 Opening with superfluous flowery descriptions of moons and rain.
      Never a good sign when a writer opens their story with a weather forecast.
      Let alone spend half of your opening page on it. Red flag rising.

      P. 2 If you’re going to reference ZZ Top in your script, spell it right.

      P. 3 The Danielle Steel-inspired character names are suffocating.
      It reeks of pretension, even though I’m sure you don’t mean that.
      Of course, you don’t mean it. But it really reads that way.

      P. 3 A shard of glass hits the floor, then jumped up and stabbed her?
      That’s a ton of forced physics. It takes me out of the moment.

      P. 5 Aren’t they reasonably wealthy? Don’t they have a land line?
      Why isn’t she on a phone instead of flopping about and bleeding?

      P. 6 Radio narrators are ok if they are ENHANCING a scene.
      But here, you’ve got them screaming subtext at us the whole time.
      If this was embedded in a more convincing way, it would work.

      P. 7 Seems to me you’re questioning the reality of everything a ton.
      The problem is… There’s NO STORY so far that lets the reader know that.
      Too much ambition, not enough preparation to implement that complex device.

      If you’re putting those value statements out there super early…
      Why should I bother reading at all? The deck’s constantly stacked against me.
      That’s far too much of a struggle before we even get to any real truth.
      Burden of Investment +10. Feels like a read with little rewards for me.

      P. 8 The perfume of your prose is suffocating the read.

      P. 10 Of course the dream within a dream is a movie within a movie exec.
      It’s story contraptions like this that tend to abandon CHARACTER BEATS.
      So many devices, but if they’re not “powering” a character, I don’t care.
      Keeping the reader at arm’s length about simple reality is a huge risk.
      The rest of your script should be super rewarding as soon as possible.

      P. 10 The you’re fired sandwich joke was kinda funny. I’ll give you that one.

      P. 15 It’s more of the reality-bending shenanigans.
      That might be cool if I cared about Fable in any way.

      PASS.

      • r.w. hahn

        thank you for your time and read….btw…I always spell out letters but in this case…it’s a name so you’re probably right…and the “bowl” crashed to the floor not the shard….I would submit you didn’t care about the story even before you read it, but that’s okay….it is what it is….

        • ElectricDreamer

          Don’t use my genre preference as excuses, please.
          I gave your script the same FULL HOUR of my time.
          Just like I give every script I read for AOW, every chance I get.

          Folks seem awful critical of my critiques today. But seriously…
          My secret wish is that every amateur script I read will kick ass.
          Then there’s more hope for the likes of me. ;-)

          • r.w. hahn

            No excuses…you didn’t like my script…others have…it is what it is…

      • Somersby

        Really solid comments on all the scripts, ED. Nicely done.

  • Kirk Diggler

    Read 43 pages of “I Am Ryan Reynolds”. Honestly, can’t imagine how this is getting any praise whatsoever. It’s a gimmick, not much more. Sure the writing is breezy and light and the pages turn pretty fast, but there is ZERO story and not a single interesting character.

    Unless you think Ryan Reynolds doing a Van Wilder version of himself can sustain an entire script. Why not just call it “I Am Van Wilder”? Regarding Phil, the guy we first meet with Ryan’s face, I can’t think of one thing to say about this character. He makes no impact. The actual Ryan Reynolds should be a supporting character, might be funnier. But Phil is so one note (as is Ryan Reynolds) that I find myself not caring about any of this. What is Phil’s GOAL? Or Ryan’s? Seems absent. What are the STAKES? At least we know what the stakes are in Weekend Dad.

    Where is the STORY? Where is the structure? Phil taking Ryan’s place on the zombie flick should be the break into Act 2. It happens on page 40 something. And Blake Lively brings nothing to this story. Her memoir subplot with book publisher Lucien (who also has Reynold’s face but who she mistakes for Ryan Gosling) only waters down the whole concept. One person having Ryan Reynold’s face from plastic surgery might be an interesting premise to build something around, but multiple people having his face (and his wife being too daft to see it) takes this beyond farce into the ludicrous.

    Don’t get me wrong, this was probably a fun script to write and there are a few chuckles here and there, but it lacks everything this site tries to teach.

    Carson will destroy this script.

  • Logic Ninja

    Writer of CRASH BACKWARDS–you gotta lose that title! It’s a fun wordplay, but too close to “ass backwards.” The critics would have a field day.

    • r.w. hahn

      Ha! that’s where it is derived from……the title is the story at heart…critics? If this gets made that will be the least of my cares…In fact it would be a blessing to have them critique it……thank you for the heads up though….:)

      • Logic Ninja

        Haha ok! Well, a while back I titled a script “pretty boy problems” until someone pointed out that awful Youtube “Hot Problems” video. So I figured I’d pay it forward! Best of luck!

        • r.w. hahn

          thank you for your kindness…

  • Montana Gillis

    Didn’t get past the loglines/reasons to read. These could be great screenplays but the loglines have to be focused and somewhat compelling for the script to get a read. Gotta see the poster in my head when I read the logline or think “Damn, this could be cool/interesting/befullofnudity some reason to open it up. Keep at it—you only fail if you quit.

  • Kirk Diggler

    Flash Backwards – Opening page –

    “Lightning silently flashes behind them like a child playing with a light switch in a dark room.”

    Not a good start. Just tell us what we need to know, not what the moon is doing.

    Zee Zee Top made me laugh.

    The car chase is a cold open more suited for a tv show. Your opening pages need to connect us directly to one of your characters.

    Some of the action lines seem a bit unnecessary. “Fable fumbles to put them in the chamber, her shaky fingers drops some to the floor. Sweat doesn’t help. She swipes at her brow with her forearm.”

    So in the middle of fumbling for her gun she is worried about the sweat on her brow? A little economy here and there would tighten the read.

    The more I read on the more it lacked clarity for me. Read 30 pages. Found the different realities that Fable was experiencing off putting. Hard to invest in a character when we don’t know what’s real and what isn’t, and more importantly, I have no reason to care about Fable’s dilemma. We barely know her or her world. Strange stuff happens to her almost from the opening bell, there is no ‘calm before the storm’ or stasis where we can get to know her a little bit.

    I had to go back and read the logline to remind me what this was supposed to be about. The ‘stalker’ doesn’t seem to be anything more than an apparition. So far, it’s mostly jump scares then the stalker disappears. Where is Fable’s back story? I believe a ‘reality’ should be established first before you play around with the reader’s head. Ease us into Fable’s life and then shake us up. The story seems random and abrupt. Maybe a jarring feel is what you were going for, but it was hard to connect to what was going on.

    • IgorWasTaken

      I actually like that “lightning” allusion. That should stay, but nix the others. Ha!

      • Malibo Jackk

        “…in the rear view mirror.” might suggest that what we are seeing is the rear view mirror (with the panicked eyes).
        Could also say —
        IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR
        A MAN’s panicked eyes steal a glance.

        “…at the rear view mirror.” might suggest a shot of the man’s panicked eyes as he glances towards the rear view mirror.

        Also liked the lightning allusion.

        • IgorWasTaken

          I agree about the “Could also say”. And by using the mini-slug, as you suggest, it would be VERY clear.

          The reason I posted what I did is that it seems to me from the context that (despite “in the rear view mirror”) the writer wants to keep the camera on the driver throughout the scene:

          INT. AUDI – (MOVING) NIGHT

          A MAN’s panicked eyes steal a glance in the rear view mirror.

          HEADLIGHTS from behind flash bright. The man’s eyes wince.

          His hand flicks to the mirror and flips the night switch.

          • r.w. hahn

            Hi Igor and Malibo. Thanks for your time and notes…and Yes I wanted the rear view mirror to be the angle shot, not the man’s face…so the slug line REAR VIEW MIRROR would actually make it clearer, thank you…at this point in the script seeing his eyes,the headlights glaring and the night switch being flipped is important….

            I know the “lightning allusion” some like and some don’t….But as a writer I am using my own voice, my own style to try and paint a mood and picture….it looks like it detracts for some…but that is what the scene is to look like.

        • r.w. hahn

          hi Malibo…commented on your notes down below Igor, but I wanted to thank you for the suggestion…I rewrote it just that way…thanks again

    • r.w. hahn

      A “jarring” feeling is what I am going for…She wasn’t fumbling for her gun when she swipes her brow, she was trying to load it, and the sweat was adding to her frustration. I know living down here and trying to do something outside, the worst thing is sweat in my eyes or on my forehead if I am frustrated trying to concentrate, so a quick swipe to my brow or face, at least removes that part of the equation and I can concentrate better….that’s what is happening to her….In telling this story it was important to just throw the viewer into the fray with Fable from the “opening bell”, no backstory, no calm before the storm…”Random and Abrupt” is exactly what it is supposed to feel like….so as the writer I am glad you felt this way….It may not work for the reader, but for the viewer it will immerse them in her dilemma from the go and never look back until the final reveal brings it full circle and the viewer will discover what the whole thing was about…..It is different for sure, but it is essential to the story and mystery of the movie. Thank you so much for your taking the time to read and comment…i really appreciate everyone who has….

  • Somersby

    There is some strong writing on display I Am Ryan Reynolds, but as others have pointed out, the concept is a lot stronger than the execution. The logline is near perfect, but the script, while showing lots of potential, doesn’t quite deliver.

    There’s a lot of teasing going on here. There’s a fun set-up with Phil (as Ryan) targets a potential sexual encounter with The Brunette. It’s cute. But common sense dictates that if this guy is willing to spend $10,000 on having his face altered to look like Ryan Reynolds just so he can get laid, then he’ll do everything he can to extend the ruse.

    Pathetic Phil doesn’t do that. Sure, there’s an endearing quality about his honesty, but it’s totally at odds with his intention—which is to get laid because he can deceive women into thinking he’s Ryan Reynolds.

    You can’t be honest and deceitful at the same time. It’s confusing. And that’s how I felt early on in the script.

    The script has lots of opportunity for dilemma, conflict and humor, but delivers only on the humor. Yes, there are some cute laughs here, but there’s no real conflict. When Ryan gets wind of Dr. Grebenschnikov’s activities, we have to endure almost 2 pages of shtick on “No Walk-Ins” allowed. (And it seems the name Grebenshnikov is only a set-up for a fairly lame Gorbochev reference. Sorry, but nyet.)

    So much for urgency.

    Ultimately, this felt like a very elongated SNL skit. It just needs more heart, body and soul to be a feature film. It just seems a little too light. Even as a comedy, it needs to plumb deeper. Enriching the conflict (making it more real), will add the heart and body the script is presently lacking—and make the comedy that much funnier.

    The only other one I had time to peek at is Weekend Dad. And I only had time to look at the first 15 pages. But I like what I read—and couldn’t get Kevin James voice out of my head as I read the character of Mike. Will definitely keep reading.

    That said, I think the logline needs an overhaul. Too generic, too been-there-before vibe about it.

    My vote based on these two: Weekend Dad.

  • lonestarr357

    Reading the first 25 pages of each…

    BLOOD AND SANGRIA – I felt nothing. For anyone.

    • r.w. hahn

      Hi lonestarr, thank you for the comment….the names are a part of the whole story and are embedded in the mystery itself…confusion is important because I want the viewer to be in the same position as Fable herself…I want the viewer to experience her frustration and helplessness…the funny thing is I am getting those comments and it is actually what I am trying to invoke, so I believe it is doing exactly what I intended. Which makes me feel good. This is supposed to be a movie experience in which those emotions from the viewer are what I am trying to draw out all the way to the end when they find out what the whole thing is about and can enjoy the reveal as much as Fable herself….It may not work for the reader unless the reader finishes the script…just as the movie goer hopefully will….as a movie lover too many stories coddle us and don’t give us enough credit for our own imaginations….In this story what is happening off the screen is just as important as what is taking place on it…especially in the viewers mind…Hitchcock knew this and used it well. Of course, I am not saying I am Hitchcock but it is meant to use the same device….throw the viewer right into the mystery and crazy situation and let them sink or swim with the main character…..I know it is taking a chance on the audience but I believe the end will satisfy the day….

  • ASAbrams

    Read 10 pages or so of each. I really didn’t want to finish any of these, though I got closest with WEEKEND DAD.

    ================

    Blood and Sangria: Rape isn’t funny to me.

    Weekend Dad: I didn’t like the son, James. It felt like he was putting on his illness, like he was choosing to be stressed because he’d rather do fun (and expensive) things. Got to page 40, though. The story didn’t move that fast and was feeling predictable.

    I Am Ryan Reynolds: Read like real-person fan fiction. Couldn’t get into whatever the story was supposed to be.

    Mgimbwa: Since this is all narration, I was looking for smoother prose and a highly visual story. Didn’t get that here. At least to the point I read.

    Crash Backwards: There was too much focus on irrelevant details (e.g., how much grass was between the highway lanes and where that grass was). The characters’ reactions were off and I wasn’t sure if that was intentional. Like, when Fable (don’t like this name, a little too symbolic for me) woke up, we find out that she had been unconscious (in a coma?) for four days. Yet no one seemed that concerned. She starts talking about all these things that happened to her that everyone else thinks didn’t happen. Why didn’t they call a doctor to examine her instead of just knocking her out? Or how about when she pulls out the bowl shard from her leg? I didn’t understand why she did that…or maybe by that time she had passed out–I don’t know. The interactions didn’t feel real to me either.

    • r.w. hahn

      Hi ASAbrams….thank you for taking the time to read and comment…I tightened the beginning description a bit, although it is important for the reader to know the lay of the land in this case….and yes the characters reactions are intentional. I don’t know about you, but if a shard of glass was in my leg, as it has been before, I pull it out. HA! I ain’t walking around with that sticking out….but as you mentioned, she may have passed out by then….

      • ASAbrams

        Hi, r.w.
        I figured the opening description must have been important, but I wouldn’t be able to keep details in my head for pages and pages (well, I didn’t see the pay off of the details when I stopped at page 20, in any case) and would have to be reminded of the placement of everything when this Interstate is mentioned again.

        Re: the odd reactions. Couldn’t Fable comment on their oddness before she starts sounding crazy? I feel like I need a character grounded in (a normal) reality so that I know what’s strange in the story world and what’s not. Whose perspective can I trust the most?

        Re: the ceramic shard…It seemed like it went in deep (by the way, I’d have her slip in dish water on the floor and fall on the broken bowl–that would embed it pretty deep because a shard bouncing from the floor would give her a scratch at the most) so she’d have trouble yanking it out in the first place…the shard’s probably wet (with blood), her hands are wet–it’d be slippery. It’d also be painful. Maybe the problem I have with it is that a lot of movie characters pull things out of their bodies when they should know that that’s dangerous because of blood loss.

        But anwho, good luck with your script. Sorry I didn’t have time to give the whole thing a read through.

        • r.w. hahn

          I like the slip in water scenario…if even just for its dramatic effect…thank you…I think when you’re in pain sometimes you’re not thinking clearly and just want to resolve the pain problem….it’s not until after you realize….Oops, I shouldn’t have done that…

          Yes, the commenting on the oddness is also a good suggestion…I thought that came across when she questioned why everyone was trying to make her think she was crazy…so maybe I need to clarify that more….thanks again for that….I too am sorry you didn’t finish it…I think you would have really enjoyed it…

          Oh and I did go back and tighten the opening description a bit to make the read quicker but still paint the picture of what it would look like visually….So all in all my script I feel has improved just from the weekend alone and all the helpful comments that were made…yours being a part of that..

          Thanks again for your time

    • Patrick

      Thanks for giving it a read!

  • Patrick

    Appreciate you checking it out. Very kind.

  • r.w. hahn

    and Crash Backwards is a good screen play if you haven’t read it….LOL! Just kidding…no I’m not…well, at least try it, but really if you don’t read it all the way through, it’s true you will never get it…:)