amateur-offerings-weekend

TITLE: Watching Over Remie
GENRE: Psychological thriller
LOGLINE: A seemingly contented housewife slowly becomes obsessed with the idea of protecting her five-year-old daughter from possible harm, eventually turning to violent and psychotic measures to keep her safe.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: What do you get when you combine the best of French thrillers with a Hollywood bend? Had numerous offers to develop so far in both Europe and US. But the real reason to read is there are a few scenes that will disturb the crap out of you. Happy sleeping!

TITLE: The Boogeykids
GENRE: Horror
LOGLINE: Hell’s minions disguised as Girl Scouts ruin the trip of some weekend warriors.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: I enjoyed your article about rewrites and Raiders of the Lost Ark. I also consider the film perfect so it’s hard to believe any version of the script was passed on. Anyway, I myself have been reworking a screenplay I never submitted to you. Most of the rewriting has been to develop my protagonist around the persona of Shia LaBeouf, who I like as an actor. The title, genre, and logline follow.

TITLE: Treasures of Fate
GENRE: Action
LOGLINE: Two grave-robbing brothers race a brilliant military bureaucrat to find ancient prophecies of immense value and power. But as secrets and betrayals continue to mount, their biggest obstacle may be each other.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: We think action films should be fun without being stupid. So this isn’t a script about invincible emotionless assassins, or time-travelling robots fighting vampire-Nazis. It’s an adventure centred around the relationship between two brothers, with big, twisty set pieces to keep pulses high. It’s like throwing Murtaugh and Riggs into an Indiana Jones film.

TITLE: #trending
GENRE: Satirical Dark Comedy
LOGLINE: When his girlfriend becomes an overnight movie star, a lady shoes salesman must now become famous or he risks turning into the next Kevin Federline.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: Everyone nowadays dreams of becoming famous. You hit upload, wait around like a child on Christmas Eve, only for someone to eventually gift you a “like” on social media. Our melting pot is currently overflowing with fame whores who move to Hollywood, begging her to make their dreams come true.

As a fame whore myself, let me tell you… life is tough, life in Hollywood is impossible.

Imagine being one of the few in Hollywood who’s not a fame whore. You finally meet the only “great girl” in town, and then somehow you get her to fall for you. Sounds like a perfect Hollywood ending, right? But the only things in Hollywood that have Hollywood endings are Hollywood movies.

Your “great girl” lands the lead in the biggest movie in the world, becoming the next Jennifer Lawrence overnight. You sell ladies shoes. The “great girl” thinks that’s fine, and loves you for you… but the world thinks that makes you a loser, the next Kevin Federline.

Your name is Ernest Pope, and #TRENDING is your story. It’s a satirical dark R-rated comedy.

TITLE: The Anunnakis
GENRE: Sci-fi comedy based on ancient astronaut theory, UFO phenomena, and conspiracy schemes.
LOGLINE: When an advanced race of reptilians, descendants of the dinosaurs, threatens to wipe out humanity through spontaneous combustion, three misfits from Planet X put the fire out–even as a government shadow agency tries to stop them.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: I am a legal alien living in Paris. I’ve written several plays, novels and screenplays. Produced in New York, Los Angeles, and Paris; published in France. Never quit my day job. The Anunnakis is my fourth attempt for a close encounter with Hollywood. Months ago an English theatre group in Paris did a public reading of it. The riotous laughter of my fellow expats took me entirely by surprise, making me regret not getting it on tape. However, I feel that my extraterrestrial comedy may crash unless I get some airworthy comments from the Scriptshadow fans, who, except Grendl, adore Carson as much as I do. So here I come in peace. My main concern is whether the story is easy to follow. I like simplicity, but I detest simplistic stories. My approach to comedies is slightly different than action movies. If an action movie is a steep climb, a comedy is a winding staircase. If it’s funny, it flies; if it’s not, it dies. This being said, you can fire back at me anything that doesn’t fly with you. You will be kindly rewarded with a sightseeing trip to the rings of Saturn. And if you happen to be an abductee or a cattle rancher, you’ll be handsomely reimbursed for your missing time or your missing cows :)

  • klmn

    Watching over Remie. Cancer on p3. I know cancer is popular in Hollywood right now, but I’m out of here.

    • Linkthis83

      If it helps, the story doesn’t appear to be about Cancer. The cancer reference I think is a story moment contributing to Claire’s increased worry about protecting Remie.

  • dazz

    The Anunnakis… are you saying you want that block of text to be superimposed one word at a time?

    • walker

      Unfortunately, formatting and grammar issues at the outset make that one difficult to read.

      • Mike.H

        Weird: What he wrote on why you should read it, seemed like an Engish native speaker to me. I just glanced at it, tho.

        • Scott Crawford

          Yeah, my racist nature suggested ESL and I was going to recommend a proof-read (again), but the writing is sophisticated in a way that, if I spoke a second language (I don’t), I suspect my writing wouldn’t be.

          Maybe once the writer gets some advice on the characters, story and decides to rewrite the script, he will take the time to fix the format and grammar errors too.

          • walker

            Actually Watching Over Remie had a bit of an ESL feel, but it wasn’t a major distraction. In The Annunakis, it is a combination of oddball sluglines, strange story choices, and attempted drollery that actually becomes an impediment to the read.

          • Scott Crawford

            I think it’s very important – I was joking about the racist bit, commentators with no humor – that we embrace writers from overseas, and if that means ignoring the occasional odd choice of expression, so be it.

          • walker

            Actually I am always impressed with the quality of those scripts. I work as a freelance editor and my two biggest clients are French companies. The texts I receive are always very nearly acceptable, but they invariably contain a few odd phrasings, or unintentional errors
            that arise from their straight translations, or their lack of practice in conversational English. In any case, the problems with presentation and narrative in The Annunakis run deeper than that.

          • Frenchy

            If I’m getting this right, the presentation and the narrative of Anunnakis is worst than your French clients? How many pages have you read?

          • walker

            Hey Frenchy, are you Corneliu? If you are, I read the first 15 pages of all five scripts, but only continued on with #trending and Watching Over Remie. The reason I stopped was different for each script, but with the Annunakis it felt very much like an early or even first draft. There were several confusing POV issues and convoluted sentences and I was continually doing what you are imploring everyone to do, which is going back and rereading passages to make sure I knew what was happening. I am a pretty experienced reader and I try to be sympathetic to the material even when it is not my cup of Pernod, some of my friends here can attest to that. I sometimes do notes and really I could have made as many as 10-12 per page. When I came across your comments, you struck me as a defensive writer not interested in honest feedback. But I will give you one note, and it is one that I received on one of my scripts. I had a reader comment that when a character made his second appearance in the script, on page 19, that he had not been introduced before. But he had, on page 4, it was right there in Courier 12 point black-and-white. All-caps name (age), physical description. I felt vindicated. But eventually I realized that my intro must not have been memorable enough, or it was obscured by other action and Act 1 exposition. Or maybe I shouldn’t have gone 14 pages between his appearances. The reader just missed it, and he was a generous reader that gave me great notes. He missed that detail because I fucked it up. I was right, in a very narrow sense, but I was wrong in terms of the clarity and effectiveness of my script.

          • Frenchy

            Walker, thanks for the lengthy reply. Please don’t get me wrong but I’m very much interested in honest feedback. But the feedback I got so far hasn’t got beyond misspelling ‘heavy weights’ and the ‘eating pussy’ turn-off.

          • walker

            The rules for submitting specs absolutely suck for writers. The readers, whoever they may be, will be inundated with material, digital stacks of scripts. They will be underpaid, behind on their work, and skimming. They will very likely be aspiring screenwriters themselves and in that case they will most assuredly think they are better than you. They will have experienced the fact that well over 90% of what they read is a “Pass”, whether it is due to poor quality, lack of originality, or even timidity among their superiors, which is the norm in Hollywood. The odds just could not be more against the writer. The last three or four years saw about 120-130 spec sales, with the vast majority of those involving repped writers with some sort of track record. This year it is even worse, with sales down by over 40% so far. The bottom line is you are competing with tens of thousands of unknowns for about 6-12 slots. Under these conditions, a minor typo on page one is enough to sink your script. The readers are looking for any excuse to relegate you to the “Pass” pile. You don’t get a break, you don’t get a fair shot, the minute someone has to go back a few pages to figure out what’s going on, guess what? They don’t. They bail. So that is what you are up against. It’s not really about grammar, or formatting, or the length of your description blocks, it is just that any little mistake can kill you, and you will never even know what it was.

          • walker

            Sometimes I do British/American passes on scripts by writers from the UK. I just give that motherfucker a once-over, and Bob’s your uncle.

          • pmlove

            Wait… is ‘once-over’ just a UK thing?

          • walker

            No, “give that motherfucker a once-over” was supposed to be the American, “Bob’s you uncle” the British.

          • walker

            Oh man, a typo. Sorry.

          • Scott Crawford

            Bob’s your uncle, similar to “et voilà!”, simple-as-that. Originally referred to the nepotism of “Bob”, who may have been British Prime Minister Robert Cecil, Lord Salisbury.

            “He got the job and I didn’t. Bob’s your uncle, right?”
            “I called the number and, Bob’s your uncle, it was done!”

            Got to go now. It’s cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey!

          • cjob3

            Hot enough to boil a monkey’s bum, your majesty he said and she smiled quietly to herself.

            Thanks for explaining Bob’s your uncle! I get it now.

          • Scott Crawford

            F— me, said the Duchess, more in hope than in expectation.

            That’s a favorite expression of mine.

          • Linkthis83

            Well, Bob’s your uncle, I thought it would be much more complex than that.

          • IgorWasTaken

            He’s my uncle. SLAP. He’s my father. SLAP. He’s my uncle. SLAP…

          • Scott Crawford

            Love, love, love that reference! LOL, as the kids say!

          • Linkthis83

            I learned of “Bob’s your uncle” from the movie WOLF CREEK. Still don’t know what it means, but now I’m aware of it.

          • klmn

            British English is fine, as is any other dialect. I enjoyed Trainspotting and The Butcher Boy, to give a couple examples. Write whatever way you want to.

          • Scott Crawford

            I think it was great that the other Scott, Scott Chamberlain, set his Amateur Friday script in his native Australia. As long as the reader isn’t CONFUSED, I always like the slang and peccadilloes of other countries – including the USA.

          • klmn

            An Aussie film I liked a lot is Burke And Wills, about the adventurers. Anyone who hasn’t seen it might want to check it out.

          • Scott Crawford

            There’s another called Wills and Burke released the same year! Seriously, some actors – like Peter Collingwood – are in both! Nightmare if you’re righting your resume!

            http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088866/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2
            http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090326/

          • klmn

            Found the trailer to Wills and Burke. It’s funny, don’t know about the movie.

          • Scott Crawford

            Sorry, I’m full of useless film trivia and that’s one of them.

          • Tiger Jimmy

            Agreed, Walker, Annunaki combo of oddball, weird, strange, cavalier, attempted drollery led me to many WTF moments on first 20 pages as I GAVE UP in entirety.

          • Frenchy

            Thanks, Scott, for mentioning characters, story & and other important things for writing a screenplay besides grammar. I’m waiting for that, but nobody has come forward so far.

        • Frenchy

          You’re wrong, my friend. You try to learn a new language from scratch when you’re 22, then write plays, novels & screenplays in the adopted language. Tell me how easy it is. Have you ever read Joseph Conrad or Nabokov? Their English is much ‘better’ than a lot of English/American writers. They enriched English language with their native lyricism and wit.

          • walker

            You have certainly demonstrated that it is not easy. This would probably be a great time to compare yourself to Conrad and Nabokov.

  • klmn

    Evidently this is the week for long-winded description.

  • Ryan Sasinowski

    Wow. Again, for the most part, these all sound really good.

    • cjob3

      Good loglines, all of em.

  • IgorWasTaken

    I read the first 30 of “#trending”. I see some chops, and some potential.

    The cruising LA in the 92’ CHRYSLER LEBARON CONVERTIBLE (sluggled over and over again) was a bit trippy/disorienting. And I had no idea what “MAC” means here; I’ve now Googled it. It could help if the first reference, instead of “MAC makeup girl”, is “‘MAC Makeup’ girl”; or something.

    But the bigger problem: I’m at page 30 and I think I’ve yet to see the end of ACT I.

    Seems to me that, by the end of ACT I, Ernest should know he has a problem. But he doesn’t yet know. The logline says, “… a lady shoes salesman must now become famous or he risks turning into the next Kevin Federline.” But that’s not happening so far. Ernest merely is getting to see he has a problem.

    I think the writer is having too much fun with all of the “this is asshole-filled Hollywood” moments. They’re OK, but there are 2X as many as you need. Maybe 3X.

    As for “Molly” – great name, but that was also the name of the character Alice Eve played in “She’s Out of My League”, and which rather similar to the story we have here. So I suggest you change it.

    • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

      It’s a good story, but I also had the same reservations about Act I, which I felt didn’t really end until their break up on page 40 or something, maybe page 45, which is way too long for a first act.

  • klmn

    The Boogeykids. Travis Teton? The guy’s named after a tit?

  • IgorWasTaken

    I’m going to try to read past page 1 of “The Anunnakis” later. After I take a chill pill.

    SUPERIMPOSE (one word at the time):

    According to the Sumerians, E.T.s from Nibiru, or Planet X,

    One word at a time? And, at the outset, we need to be told that extraterrestrials (please, spell out the word) came from “Nibiru, or Planet X”? So, are those two different names for the same planet? Or are those two different planets, and maybe the visitors came from one or the other?

    And since this is over black, where are we? I’m guessing this is Earth, but…

    And then:

    SUPERIMPOSE: 67 797 023 YEARS EARLIER

    Is “67 797 023″ a phone number? Now I do realize in Europe that “.” and “,” are swapped for usage, so 2 1/2 in the US is 2.5, while in Europe it’s 2,5.

    But I’ve never before seem 10 million (for example) written as “10 000 000″.

    Brachiosaurus, sauropods, tricerotops, ankylosaurs,
    ornithopods and other heavy weights mind their own business.

    Not so many years ago, if you heard a word that sounded like the name of a dinosaur, you’d immediately think it was something huge. But in recent years, there have been all sorts of small(er) dinosaurs discovered. And so, maybe (and I’m just guessing this is accurate)-

    The hugest of the huge dinosaurs — Brachiosaurus, sauropods,
    tricerotops, ankylosaurs, ornithopods — mind their own business.

    See. Instead of just throwing lesser-known names at us and then telling us they are big.

    In short, this is making we work too hard just for background openers.

    • walker

      Not to mention that I would be afraid to fly on a Jurassic plane.

    • joel

      Jesus. Is it really that necessary to nitpick every single detail?

      • IgorWasTaken

        I wasn’t complaining about formatting or CAPS or whether it’s O.S. or V.O.

        I was “nitpicking” the details that made it hard for me to read; made it hard for me to know what I was supposed to be seeing; made it hard for me to know what was happening.

        When I saw “E.T.”, my immediate image – and I assume I’m not alone on this – is the character from the film of that name. When I saw those 3 sets of numbers, I had to stop and think what that was about… “Oh, it’s an 8-digit number without the customary commas.” Plus, it wasn’t “70 million years ago”; it was rather specific: “67 797 023″. Am I supposed to recall that number later on?

        When I got to the list of dinosaurs, I had no idea what those dinosaurs look like. A list of 6 types of dinosaurs, and I had no clue. Now maybe everyone else knows what an “ankylosaurs” looks like, but I don’t. We’re not supposed to name more than a few characters on page 1, and here are 6 dinosaurs. As i said, I don’t know those, and yet I’m assuming I’m going to need to remember them – because that’s the way it usually is with the stuff that appears ON PAGE 1.

        Now, I could have just posted, “I stopped on page 1 because I couldn’t figure out what was going on.” And that’s all; full stop.

        Would that non-nitpicky post have been helpful to the writer?

        I “nit picked” because I was being stopped at almost every line by what I saw.

        • walker

          Actually Joel’s comment was more “nitpicky” than your brief review.

        • joel

          “When I saw “E.T.”, my immediate image – and I assume I’m not alone on this – is the character from the film of that name.” don’t be a schmuck. everyone knows what e.t. is short for. the writer writes “E.T.s from Nibiru” . It couldn’t be more clear. They don’t say the character from the movie E.T. You’re reading into something that’s obviously not there.

          • IgorWasTaken

            I didn’t say I was correct with how I read it.

            I said: That’s how I read it.

            If you show me a watch on a wrist, and then show me the beautiful naked woman whose wrist it is, I will have seen the watch.

            OTOH, if you show me a beautiful naked woman who’s wearing a watch, it’s gonna take me a while to notice the watch.

            As soon as I read “E.T.” – before I get to the very next word – I’m envisioning the creature in the movie “E.T.”. And since I have no idea what or where “Nibiru” is, when I read that particular word, it’s not going to displace the image I have of the movie character.

            For all I know, this is the very same-looking E.T., but he (or she) just happens to be from Nibiru. Separated at birth.

          • carsonreeves1

            calm down.

          • Frenchy

            It’s not E.T.; it’s E.T.s–plural. Which means extraterrestrials! Which means the Anunnakis, which happens to be the title of the screenplay…

      • walker

        Hey there Joel. Sorry to nitpick, but there really aren’t degrees of necessity, so your use of the modifier “that” is extraneous.

    • Casper Chris

      What’s the HTML tag for doing those neat little indents?

      • IgorWasTaken

        blockquote
        surrounded by the first time
        and the second time

        • Casper Chris

          test

          It’s alive!

          • IgorWasTaken

            You’re velcome, herr doctor franhk-en-steen.

  • NajlaAnn

    My choice: Watching Over Remie

  • Linkthis83

    Congrats to all the writers who made it into this weekend’s AOW! Hopefully some SS’ers turn out to read/review. I have a feeling a lot of us are reading old AOW scripts in order to cast our votes for THE LIST. Speaking of votes…

    My vote is for WATCHING OVER REMIE with #TRENDING a close second. I’m more interested in WOR and as of the first 30 pages, feel the writer has control of this story.

    I think #trending exhibits wonderfully, bold writing. Very clear and visual. Loved the use of music as well. It’s the story I’m less interested in, but it is a fun concept and one I could see making a fun date night at the cinema.

    WATCHING OVER REMIE

    ** I thought you were going to use the little girl letting in Natalie as a catalyst for Claire’s descent. I think it’s a great opportunity for that and also organic. She could yell at Remie for answering the door – not knowing who is there. This could be the moment she realizes she’s not being the parent she needs to be. Sure Remie is certain it’s Natalie, but that’s just the point Claire would make – it could’ve been somebody else, somebody dangerous – a stranger.

    ** I think it’s moving just a tad too slow – I stopped around page 30, and based on the logline, I felt as if some sort of declaration would’ve been made by now by Claire stating she won’t let any harm come to Remie.

    Writer feels in control of the story – Also, I think this could be a prequel to Derek Williams’ TUESDAY’S GONE :)

    BOOGEYKIDS

    ** Will someone please explain the bear joke to me? I didn’t get it. Stopped on page 9 – not feeling this one.

    TREASURES OF FATE

    ** I liked “your car? Her car.” – Liked “that is a person, it has feelings” – stopped
    on page 17 – this is a fun, adventurous opening – I think the action sequence
    might be a tad too long – it lasts from page 9 to 16 – could also just be me.

    #trending

    ** I think just “a young Yosemite Sam” works

    ** Igor is correct, there’s some fantastic writing in here. It’s bold and thoughtful without being crass or sophomoric.

    ** STORY – I’m not really feeling it, but I sense it – It feels like in order to set up where this is going, Ernest in Molly should have a conversation about what they would do if either of them got famous. Something to hint at things to come. – stopped on page 22

    THE ANUNNAKIS

    ** stopped at page 5

    ** the premise was interesting, and your WYSR section was intriguing, but for me, after 5 pages, this isn’t for me. Good luck with this.

    • carsonreeves1

      Hey Link. Why wasn’t The Anunnakis for you? I know the writer is really keen for feedback, so any help you can give him is appreciated.

      • Linkthis83

        So initially, it was because the subject matter that I’d be interested in was being delivered with somewhat frat-like comedy and thus it removed any interest I may have had – I assumed the opening 5 pages were going to be the main components of the entire story, thus any feedback I provide wouldn’t be helpful because it’s the primary elements that put me off. Especially with the combination of sci-fi and jerk-off comedy.

        I went back and re-read these five pages again and realized I truly didn’t know what was going on. I also couldn’t picture what Anunnakis are supposed to look like – the reptiles or humans. And we have dinosaurs the evolve into dino-like creatures, and a ghost sneaking into a reptoid base – that has men drilling and then being killed.

        My assumption as far as plot goes is that the reptoids are living in underground bases of Earth and because of our constant search for resources we will be stumbling onto their bases and they are killing us – witnessed by a ghost that shows up on a city in orbit where we meet 3 Anunnaki (not sure what they look like) and one is jerking off and we learn another one was left by his bride to be because he doesn’t “eat pussy.” –

        I’m okay with passing on this one :)

        • carsonreeves1

          Thanks Link. I’m sure that will be helpful.

          Anyone else who wants to give feedback on this, please do. The writer is a really good guy just hoping to improve.

          • Linkthis83

            And I guess I will go ahead and admit this…

            When Romeo states that his fiancee left him because he doesn’t like eating pussy, I thought “Is this human pussy, Anunnaki pussy, or Reptoid pussy?” — I found this to be a distraction :)

          • carsonreeves1

            Hmm, I hadn’t thought of that to be honest. :)

          • walker

            Reptoid pussy can be totally distracting.

          • klmn

            Never encountered it myself, but I’ll take your word for it.

          • IgorWasTaken

            It tastes like chicken… of the sea.

          • Frenchy

            That’s because you eat it from a can. Try it to eat sushi-like.

          • IgorWasTaken

            If you’re eating it from the can, you’ve gone too far.

          • Scott Crawford

            Sorry, but “eating pussy”, what is this the 1990s? A deleted scene from the True Romance script? It just seems juvenile, now, to ME.

          • Frenchy

            Had read more carefully, it would have been clear that Romeo refers to Anunnaki pussy, which actually isn’t any different than human pussy–according to the Sumerians, who claim that the Anunnakis created us in their own image.

        • Frenchy

          ‘sci-fi and jerk-off comedy.’ Are you saying that aliens don’t jerk off? :)
          Do you live in the Bible belt?
          ‘couldn’t picture what Anunnakis are supposed to look like’
          The Anunnakis genetically engineered humans in THEIR OWN IMAGE. Reread the opening scene!
          So why are you put off by reptilians evolving into intelligent creatures? BBC did a documentary on that. Check it out.
          Yeah, some women don’t stick around if you don’t bury your face in the marmalade. I know that for a fact. Why would it be any different for Anunnaki women? After all, they created us.

    • pmlove

      Second this, my vote to Watching over Remie.

      #trending felt like it was hammering me with too much glitz but too little character – I needed a little more grounding in amongst the craziness. It felt a like too much funny guy, not enough straight guy. Writing was solid though.

  • OddScience

    I think Boogeykids needs a new title. First thing I thought was a dance competition script. Step Up 8: The Boogeykids.

    Girl Scouts of Hell.

    • klmn

      • walker

        I knew John Lee Hooker.

        • klmn

          Yes, and played with him!

          • walker

            We were sitting in his hotel room one time, after a show, watching baseball on tv because that was what he did every night. We were young and basically waiting for him to fall asleep so we could go out and party. I look over and John Lee has his hand on my wife’s knee!

          • klmn

            They say you can’t play the blues unless you live the blues…

            Great story.

          • Scott Crawford

            Hugh Laurie?

          • walker

            John Lee was fondling my trouble and strife.

          • klmn

            Don’t know much about him.

          • Scott Crawford

            He’s TECHNICALLY a very good bluesman, but can you truly sing the blues with $40 million in the bank?

          • walker

            $40 million? Boy was I underpaid.

          • walker

            I think he’s trying a little Cockney rhyming slang on you.

          • klmn

            Okayyyyy.

          • Scott Crawford

            Alright, me old china (china plate = mate = friend)! Put on your best whistle (whistle and flute = suit) and we’ll stroll down the frog (frog and toad = road) to the, er, pub.

            What am I talking about? Haven’t a Scooby (Scooby Doo = Clue).

          • walker

            I used to live in Belsize Park.

          • klmn

    • Andrew Parker

      Princesses of Darkness
      or
      Cookie Monsters?

      • OddScience

        Satan’s Little Bitches
        or
        Satan’s Little Helpers (play on, Santa’s Little Helpers)

        Devil’s Candy

        • Andrew Parker

          BeelzeBrownies
          or
          666 Cookies

    • Midnight Luck

      I can’t help it, but every time the title is written,
      all I see is
      Boogerkids

  • Sebastian Cornet

    Reading the logline of #trending, did anybody else have this guy popping into your head?

  • Randy Williams

    WATCHING OVER REMIE

    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    I took a look at this first, since this is the genre I’m most comfortable writing in. I’m always anxious to learn something.
    I ended up reading the whole thing!

    It’s a slow burn, some may lose patience with it, I believe. Lots of little details in the description but they are involving, completely clear about what we’re seeing. Claire pulling her car on the side of the road, for instance, just masterful, I thought.

    Nothing about the writing gave me pause, it was more that I yearned for more involving the plot and relationships and questioned some of the choices made. First the couple’s relationship. Husband was as far from the usual alpha male choices as you could get. I wanted to shake him up. Probably doesn’t help that I just gave notes on a “mafia action script” from one of our members here. The conversations between husband and wife were a bit unnatural for me. Stiff and unfamiliar. I never got the idea they were rich, she drives a Mazda, but an upper crust detachment was my take which didn’t seem to fit at times.

    The logline promised violent and psychotic measures to protect her child, but I thought they were more like responses and reactions than planned measures. I was hoping for some cool ways mom thought up to protect her with the reaction, OMG, but that never happened.

    When mom gets home and finds her husband and child gone, she rushes out and I expected something different but she searches frantically and just finds them and makes a scene in public. I’ve seen that a thousand times. Seemed first choice.

    Wanted more pain from those in contact with her. The principal might get her hand crushed in a door Claire slams shut, for instance. The school scene was much too tame for her to be confined to a psych ward, I thought. She really harmed no one.

    I wanted in her head more. Most of us understand this fear but what is triggering it? When I bring a new pet home, I am obsessed and fearful something will go wrong. I come home on my lunch breaks to check up on them. Now, it’s just, hey, whatever. It can’t just be a radio show as it opens in this script, can it? It is implied, or I read wrong, that maybe she inherited some mental illness from her mother. The therapy scenes didn’t offer much, I thought. Again, a scene, I’ve seen many times, a patient denies they are like others in the therapy group. They don’t have that problem. Where was the insight. Dig deeper.

    The thriller aspect could have been expanded. A true threat perhaps hinted at? She is in denial that possibly someone close to her is a threat to the child so she takes it on herself? There were no other roads to follow. It was all, a woman going mad. How about the child feeds on her mother’s fears, tells her things to get her attention, works the father and mother from different ends. Children can be sinister. This child was just a victim. I don’t like children as complete victims. They need to be shown they are smart.

    What bothered me most is that she kills herself in the end with no answers. She was suffering from mental illness. That is not the way out. Maybe have the kid be a boy, who is always playing with toy guns and the cops know the mother has a gun, but the boy pulls out his toy one and the mother takes the barrage of cop bullets for him. I hated that she died like that.

    As a writing sample, this is really really good, I thought. A movie, I’d be excited about seeing? not so much unless those offers of development were accepted. What’s holding you back?

  • brenkilco

    Based solely on taste, Treasure of Fate seemed like the only one I was likely to get through. Read to page 31. Nicely written for the most part. The opening act chase scene goes on far too long. The characters are serviceable but not all that distinctive, ditto the dialogue. The script reminds me much more of National Treasure than Raiders or Lethal Weapon. There’s the slightly obsessed academic hero, his goofy sidekick and the beautiful, sophisticated academic they draft to help them. There are the ridiculously elaborate, puzzle box clues designed for God knows what reason to guide God knows who to a priceless trove of whatever. We’ve go a Macedonian crown that somehow finds its way to Guatemala though the map that it’s designed to work with somehow found its way to Shanghai. And it fell into the hands of mechanically inclined pirates/smugglers who conceal their wares with a complex trapdoor gizmo built into a sarcophagus. To say nothing of the fact that present day Guatemala appears to be crawling with Gypsies. Who knew?

    This appears based on what I’ve read to be the sort of serial like narrative that could go on for ninety minutes or six hours. One rara avis lead to another that leads to another until we finally reach the ark/ Golden fleece/ Babe Ruth rookie baseball card and a final battle with the bad guys. The crown leads to a scepter with letters that can only be read in a convex mirror hidden in a castle etc. etc.

    Obviously, we’ve been here before. It all seems reasonably solid, but what make it unique? For my part I’d at least like the audience to be able to play the game. If there are puzzles to be solved make sure that all the clues are there so that a careful viewer can solve them. The crown for instance should have been more carefully described before the eureka moment with the map.This was never the case in National Treasure or Da Vinci Code. And it would be nice if what was happening made a small amount of sense. Just how did Mark acquire all this info? And who are all these villains? I understand that this is the kind of material that can’t tolerate a lot of exposition but there should be a way to dial down the randomness without sacrificing the fun.

    • Scott Crawford

      I only got as far as page ten tonight, and I wrote a long comment based on those ten pages and the logline that pointed out that it wasn’t as original as similar ideas that have sold. If there ARE original elements in the rest of the script, they need to put them up front AND in the logline, otherwise they’re not gonna grab people. I don’t if you found anything more in the next 21 pages than I found in the first 10?

      • brenkilco

        No, a busy but not very cleanly structured first act. More hero running, things exploding, villains lurking and stalking. The writers aren’t even bothering to conceal that this is pretty warmed over stuff. If there are original elements beyond sibling rivalry haven’t seen them yet.

  • ripleyy

    MY VOTE: “WATCHING OVER REMIE”
    (or, more commonly known as, “All is Calm and Quiet”)

    I read the entire script. Before I get to my thoughts on it, here are a few things:

    Page 12: Natalie to Nathalie, back to Natalie.
    Page 25: Elizabeth, as a name, is normal and not CAPPED.
    Page 46: “While you concentrate on yourself a bit” is a question, not a statement.
    Page 48: “To school I mean” is another question.
    Page 59: “You made me look like a criminal in front of my daughter and everyone else” isn’t a question, as far as I can tell, instead is a statement.
    Page 65: “Let’s see if we can’t get you going here” doesn’t make sense to me. Perhaps just “Let’s see what I can do for you” instead.

    THOUGHTS:

    I’m voting for it because I think it’s the best out of them all, but it isn’t without its faults. “Remie” should have been more like “Bug” and “Fatal Attraction”, but doesn’t live up to this hype. There are no “shocking moments”, and it needed some. This if far, far too *safe*.

    The potential here is great, and I believe Carson can put the writer on the proper path than I can. It is slow, but it is also deliberately slow-paced and something that I could imagine in the 80s or 90s.

    First of all, the writing here is great (if not a little repetitive) but I was kept interested throughout. I think this needs to be far more focused and far more psychological than it is. I think you need to get rid of Alain and make this about Remie and Claire. I need to SEE Claire’s descent into insanity and feel crushed by it, instead of feeling as if she gently fell into insanity without much of a problem and the ending needs work: This needs to have a definitive downward spiral and it sort-of touches upon that.

    Like I mentioned above, this needs to be some kind of amalgamation of “Bug” and “Fatal Attraction”, with one woman’s sanity slowly waning as she becomes increasingly concerned over her daughter’s life. I know *exactly* what the writer was accomplishing here, because he has a clear idea in his head in where this should be going, but I am not feeling Claire’s descent, which is my only concern. It’s far too safe for a psychological thriller.

    Other than that, good script and despite its flaws, I nominate it for Amateur Friday regardless.

    • Andrew Parker

      Really good write-up, ripleyy! WATCHING OVER REMIE is definitely my choice too.

      I went in looking for something like Jeff Nichols’ TAKE SHELTER. It had a lot of similarities — naturalistic dialogue, atmosphere, etc. But like you said, the writer needs to amp up the spiraling into madness. The screenplay also needed a little something extra — TAKE SHELTER had the lead’s job in peril and the potential that maybe the storms he sees will really materialize. The life surrounding the central couple didn’t really hook me either. It lacked a bit of the specificity (particularly regional specificity) that TAKE SHELTER did well.

      That being said, very good writing on display and I can almost guarantee a WORTH THE READ out of Carson. Good idea for a movie, great dialogue, just needs a bit of a re-write to make it more memorable

      • Andrew Parker

        One small stylistic suggestion — characters say other characters’ names way too often. It comes across as really artificial and distracting after a while. Easy fix for that though.

        • Joe Marino

          That can be a HUGE factor. Even in films that get made. Just look at “The Great Gatsby.” Every time I think of “Old Sport,” I shudder…

          • Andrew Parker

            I found almost everything distracting in the latest incarnation of “The Great Gatsby”. I hope kids in high school don’t watch that in lieu of reading the book.

          • walker

            Baz Luhrmann’s The Grating Gatsby.

          • andyjaxfl

            I’d recommend skipping it entirely. It’s the Twilight Saga of the early 20th century.

  • Scott Crawford

    Read the first TEN pages of Treasures of Fate. Perfectly well-written, gets straight into the story. Maybe that’s the problem; you need to take time to introduce the characters. Maybe not a Raiders-style prologue, but the way you introduce the characters is important.

    The opening reminded me, for various reasons, of The Hot Rock (1973). If the writers haven’t seen that film, I’d recommend it. Great opening, great introduction to the characters. I suspect that’s also the TONE that the writers might have been going for, the byplay in that movie between Robert Redford and George Segal.

    There are three problems here, based on the first ten pages:

    1) Lack of originality. There have been a LOT of movies about people finding lost treasures – Escape to Athena, The Indiana Jones films, The Goonies, National Treasure – and, in all fairness, the remaining 91 pages of the script may be the most original thing since original sin. But the first ten pages are not grabbing me, and I suspect that you could probably find dozens, maybe hundreds of very SIMILAR openings in amateur scripts submitted to the film industry every year. So you need to be original, and you need to get that originality in early.

    2) Is there a funeral crown of Alexander, for real? If so, what is the history? This kinda ties in with the first problem, I guess, but Raiders and National Treasure used REAL historical research in bullshit stories. And they got that history in early.

    3) Two guys can just go into a monastery and grab a crown? Where’s the challenge, the REAL challenge? OK, they get ambushed when they go outside but… again, maybe I’m making the same point three times but it’s not QUITE strong enough, not original enough.

    A quick scan of the rest of the script (it’s almost midnight in London) shows promise. There’s a LOT OF STORY here, and usually my complaint is a LACK OF STORY, so I the writers have done the right thing in coming up with a story and then writing it. But, it’s hard, I KNOW, but you have to try harder IN THE 21st CENTURY with scripts like this. In the 1990s, no problem. Could get it optioned for low five-figures, could get paid mid-six figures if the movie go made. But these days…

    SECRET ADVENTURES OF MARK TWAIN: THE LOST TREASURE OF COLUMBUS
    Logline: Pitched as “Pirates of the Caribbean” meets “Indiana Jones.” A young Mark Twain serves as a secret agent for the Union trying to keep a mystical treasure out of the hands of the Confederacy.

    Crispy rice!!! The power of PDIP (Public Domain Intellectual Property), see?

    WOLVERTON
    Logline: In turn of the century London, Jack Wolverton, gentleman thief, specializes in stealing the arcane, the accursed and the occultic. With war about to break out, only he can stop the world’s most powerful artifacts (The Monkey’s Paw, The Hope Diamond and the Portrait of Dorian Gray) from falling into the wrong hands!

    Bloody hell!!! A one-off, perhaps? From the SAME writers as Wolverton:

    BUFFALO BILL AND THE INVISIBLE CITY
    Logline: Pitched as “Pirates of the Caribbean” meets ” Tombstone” meets “Sherlock Holmes,” story centers on “Buffalo Bill” Cody and his Wild West Show, which is the toast of Victorian London. When his Indians are jailed after being accused of a savage murder, Bill, the once legendary tracker, must get back in the saddle and prove them innocent, uncovering a fiendish plot against the Queen and Country.

    I could do without all the “meets”, but… look at how they’ve taken FREELY-AVAILABLE ideas, chucked them in a blender and sold the results, or at least got representation.

    Now this script:

    TREASURES OF FATE
    Logline: Two grave-robbing brothers race a brilliant military bureaucrat to find ancient prophecies of immense value and power. But as secrets and betrayals continue to mount, their biggest obstacle may be each other.

    Hmmmm. Well, I like the way you put the characters and their relationship in there, but which of these loglines are the more striking, the more commercial?

    Tough as hell, but this is the standard now. I’m not being mean, I’ve gone through it ALL myself, I think we all have. I think these writers have a better grasp of story and character and plot than many writers, but they need to work a little bit harder, or spend a bit longer, coming up with those ideas – based on the first TEN pages and the logline.

  • pmlove

    OT: Two Days, One Night. Probably the worst film I’ve seen for a while.

    • mulesandmud

      For some context: are you generally a fan of the Dardenne Brothers and/or open to that style of oblique, minimal, downbeat social drama? Or is it just not your wheelhouse, and you were lured to the theatre by the promise of Marion Cotillard?

      I find their work pretty fascinating, but it’s an acquired taste, no question.

      • pmlove

        I’m unfamiliar with the Dardenne Brothers beyond this but I’m open to most styles and, being British, I’m not unfamiliar with downbeat social drama. The specific lure to the cinema was nothing more than it being the best thing on, plus some rave reviews (the Guardian likening it to 12 Angry Men, no less).

        It may be that I’m missing some subtlety to the work (it certainly feels that way). Before even touching on tone, cinematic style or the nature of the social drama, the premise of the film was convincing 16 colleagues to change their vote about a bonus or keeping her on. [spoilers if you haven’t seen it]

        First, maybe it’s my lack of understanding of Belgian labour laws but this seems like an absurd situation in the first place.

        Each plea to her colleagues felt almost identical, following the same pattern of question and response. Nothing more than I’d like you to vote for me/how many people have voted/yes/no/I didn’t put you in this situation/neither did I, etc on loop.

        In amongst all this, she manages to have her stomach pumped and swiftly follow that with the most uncomfortable scene I’ve seen in a long time (where they rock out in the car).

        After the build up of the mysterious ‘Jean-Marc’ we finally reach our stand off which is nothing more than a couple of light exchanges, followed the final ‘choice’ scene which is hastily swept over without too much in the way of drama and, not least of all, in case you missed the character’s arc it finishes with the line “I’m happy.”

        Others have described it as gripping, tense etc – I just absolutely can’t see it and really feel like I’m missing the key to a masterpiece.

        It sounds like you’re a fan – I’m not sure if you’ve seen it but if you have, I’d be curious to know why you liked it, or if the Dardenne brothers have a particular house style you have to acclimatise to.

        It was compared to the work of Ken Loach – for me it was nowhere near that watermark.

        • mulesandmud

          I haven’t seen the movie, but have likewise heard great things.

          This sounds like a bit of a departure for them. They usually manage to find social drama in extremely spare and intimate situations, keeping the full context ambiguous (often maddeningly so) for as long as possible. I don’t think of their films as being so overtly interested in bureaucracy or politics, the way that Loach’s often are.

          If you’re curious about more of their work, I’d recommend The Son, which I admit is maybe the most ambiguous of them all, frustrating at times but in a very impressive and calculated way.

          • pmlove

            Thanks mules, I’ll definitely check it out; I always appreciate your recommendations.

  • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

    Vote is for #trending, then Watching Over Remie.

  • Randy Williams

    THE ANUNNAKIS

    I’ve listened to enough Coast to Coast with George Nurri to know what Anunnakis are.

    This is a great concept as written in the logline. Read about 20 pages, though, and it’s just too silly and vulgar. People take this stuff seriously, and it should be played seriously funny.

    • IgorWasTaken

      Well, that might explain my failure to connect with the script – I think George Nurri is… weird, in a bad way.

      • Frenchy

        Forget about George Nurri. Read Zaharia Sitchin. Or watch some descent documentaries on YouTube about the Anunnakis. Open your mind to the ‘missing link,’ dude!

    • Frenchy

      ‘silly and vulgar.’ Look, I’ve read & watched (YouTube) a lot more on the subject about the Anunnakis than you. Tell me, what exempts the Anunnakis from being vulgar? Just because George Nurri talked about it? Don’t they eat pussy like everybody else? Or do you prefer reproducing themselves via incubator?

      • Randy Williams

        I respect those who put forth these theories and put in the work behind them. You’ve taken their hard work and tried to get past us with easy sex jokes. Not going to fly with me.

        I said the concept was great, rewrite it making it accessible to all ages. Show some respect for yourself too. You’re coming across as a idiot here in your responses. Obviously, you are not, you’ve finished a script while most people haven’t and an imaginative one at that.

  • walker

    Hey “Frenchy” you misspelled your own name.

    • Frenchy

      Yeah, thanks for pointing that out.

  • walker

    Actually, “Frenchy” even your defensive example includes a grammatical error. In the context of that description block, “heavyweights” should be rendered as one word.

    • joel

      man, you are such en effin pos. you are why the internet sucks

      • walker

        You are a coward. And the Internet doesn’t suck, but cowards do.

        • walker

          Hey Joel, 2 hours of cowardly silence, what a surprise. It occurs to me that really you should love the Internet, since its anonymity allows you to ply your cowardly craft.

      • carsonreeves1

        2 strikes here. no more attacks. be respectful.

        • joel

          my fault. you’re right. I apologize

          • joel

            oy. sorry. part of my apology got deleted in the response. but i’ll stop it with the nonsense

      • klmn

        Now why do I think Frenchy, Frency, and Joel are all the same person?

    • Frenchy

      Oh, yeah? Look up Heavy Weights (1995) on IMDb.

      • walker

        You check your grammar on IMDb?

  • Randy Williams

    #trending

    Congrats on making it on AOW!

    Got to page 39.

    Loved the beginning to this. Endearing, funny, a cultural reference. What’s not to like?
    Hit and miss up to page 39, though. Loved following him in the car, the whole Beverly Center as the center of measurement for that zone. Didn’t like the gay stereotype. Chinese draft beer, LOL.

    Thought the red carpet scenes lacked something. Maybe I wanted more focus on him. Didn’t see the need to bring that fan couple into it. Maybe focus on his reactions, he studies the red carpet, gets flabbergasted by all the flashbulbs, yelling to his girlfriend that if he goes into a seizure, remember to secure his tongue. Things like that. Give him some nice attention, some cameras take pictures of him. Let his emotions run the gamut there. This could be great, no, this is horrible, I’ve lost her. Like that. Didn’t like Tina threatening him, wanted his own insecurities to be the antagonist there. And all the talk and movie scenes with Tatum Channing only put me in the mind to watch him. That is dangerous. I checked out there.

    Lots of potential here, I thought. Best writing so far of what I’ve read. Just hit a dry spell and I bailed but it’s because there are others to read or I might have stuck around.

    • James Joseph

      Thank you, and don’t forget to throw back one of China’s finest draft beers in honor of #trending this week!

      • Linkthis83

        Hey James, on page 15 Ernest and Molly both say “craft beer” – it should be “draft”, right?

        • James Joseph

          You’re right I wrote craft. Randy wrote draft in his comment, and without realizing I went with it in my comment… Now that you pointed it out, I think I like draft better.

  • IgorWasTaken

    Frenchy wrote, “‘One word at the time?’ Yes, what’s wrong with that?

    Nothing is inherently wrong with that. But here’s why I had trouble with it. (And dazz also posted about it.) (BTW, if that were the only thing that stopped me, I may not have mentioned it at all.)

    At the top of page 1 of a script, the reader’s looking for information. But also looking for tone. For meaning. And here, things start over black. Great. And that, by itself, right away, sets a tone.

    So then we see “(one word at a time)”. But not just a few words, such as “The end is near.” It’s a 4-line paragraph; more than 35 words. And you’re telling us it’s important – tonally, or aesthetically – that those words be revealed one at a time.

    Now, to me, that’s a “Huh…?” Forget the practicalities, and even the aesthetics. I’m just wondering, “What’s the writer going for with that?” And I had not a clue.

    Now maybe, if I’d kept reading, I’d have seen how one-word-at-a-time is meaningful. But my hunch was – fair or not – that the writer just thinks it would look cool. And… maybe it would look cool. But is it important? Is that one of the first things a reader needs to know: Not just that these words appear, but they appear “one word at a time”?

    Frenchy wrote: “Everybody understands what E.T.s stand for…

    Fine. Seriously. But now you know at least one person read it differently.

    About the dinosaurs. I explained why I think it’s better to do that sentence the other way around. Especially in scripts, at least as I understand them, it’s best to describe things in an order that makes sense – that is if you’re going to use words or names for things that people may not know, then first mention the stuff they do know, and then add some details. IOW, don’t ask a reader to read a line and a half of terms they don’t know… and only then explain what those terms mean.

    Compare: “Charolais, Marchigiana, Belgian Blue, Chianina, and other cattle wander the prairie.”

    Versus: “A variety of cattle wanders the prairie — Charolais, Marchigiana, Belgian Blue, Chianina, and others.”

    Is that a style choice? Sure. I’m just saying.

    • walker

      Hey Igor, the unfortunate appearance of Joel/Frenchy/Frency certainly reinforces the point you were making a couple of days ago, when you were on me to register on Disqus. You have been very patient and accommodating in explaining your criticisms, more than is warranted really. When a writer has to tell multiple readers to go back and reread the opening scene, it really is incumbent upon that writer to go back and rewrite the opening scene.

      • Linkthis83

        I took me a while to figure which un-registered names were ones I could interact with on here. You and I had a brief back and forth and then I remembered seeing you elsewhere, thus I believed you to be legit :)

        Same with Rzwan and Nate. Maybe Darren. That’s all I can recall at the moment.

        Everybody else just falls into my category of “The Greys” — to them, I am less courteous.

      • IgorWasTaken

        Thanks. Sometimes I post replies, even when I’m not sure the person I’m replying to cares, because the point I’m trying to make might benefit others who may read it. At least for me, sometimes it’s easier to learn stuff when I see someone else being “corrected”, versus when I am the correctee.

        One thing about registering that I don’t think I mentioned…

        When I see someone’s post that has garnered some number of up-votes – and especially when I’m not sure I agree with the post – it often helps me get some perspective on it if I can see who has up-voted it.

        Sure, it’s great when people post by the same name every time. But unless they are registered, their up-votes are just shown as “Guest Vote”.

        Unfortunately, if you now register for disqus, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get the disqus name “walker”. Indeed, that’s why I’m “IgorWasTaken“.

        • walker

          Good point about the up-votes. I am pretty liberal with the up-votes, but they do remain anonymous. As a guest I cannot down-vote anyone, but I never would anyway. That is also true about my preferred name “walker”, it is taken by other walkers on disqus and WordPress and other blog formats. And I have been going by walker for years, since I was a musician, and it is what most people call me. I have been around SS since it was on BlogSpot, I try and contribute to the community by interacting with writers privately, I do a lot of notes and proofreading for SS people. Frankly if you ever see me around here extensively, like yesterday and today, it means I am suffering from depression or writer’s block, if those are separate conditions.

          • IgorWasTaken

            I want to be clear, I am not “taking you to task” (wherever that idiom came from). Just doing my best (failing) sales job.

            Yes, I was here when SS was on blogspot. Back then, disqus (everywhere) would show the total for down-votes, though not the names. But, disqus no longer shows the down-vote totals – which is absurd; the only thing more absurd is their explanation(s) as to why they no longer show the totals.

            I guess on some sites where disqus is used, there might be some bullying-like mass-down-voting, which could set a bad tone. But if disqus would at least offer that functionality, they’d could also allow whoever ran the website (e.g. Carson) to turn it on/off.

      • Frenchy

        ‘Incumbent’ for the writer to rewrite the opening scene? Maybe. But all the info is there, if you really pay attention.

        • walker

          I believe “incumbent upon” is the correct phraseology. But I know you don’t care about that. You are one of the most defensive writers I have encountered on Scriptshadow. It’s not a good look.

    • Scott Crawford

      Sort of along the lines of what you’re all saying, or maybe OT, but this is from the first book on screenwriting I ever read, Michael Hauge’s “Writing Screenplays That Sell”:

      “screenplays consist only of action, description, and dialogue, written at a high school reading level.”

      The quote is in the context of the statement “You Don’t Have the Opportunity to Weave Magic With Words”, and although a lot of people will argue with the Haugester about whether you can “weave magic words”, a screenplay is not a novel. Everything you write in a screenplay has be something that can be (reasonably) represented on screen, so if you say that “Sam walks to to the end of the street”, well that could take five minutes of screen time!

      One word at a time doesn’t work, as Igor has pointed out, beyond a few words. Do we really need to know every type of cattle walking the prairie (maybe, maybe not)?

      From Treasures of Fate, not everyone knows what a “thurible” is. From context we can work out it’s a vessel full of incense swung on a chain, but I had to read the word TWICE, and I can read at UNIVERSITY level (COLLEGE level, as you might say Stateside)!

      • IgorWasTaken

        About the cattle, just to be clear – I’m not saying we do need to know all the types; I’m saying, if maybe we do need to know, or even if it’s just a close call, then at least tell us up front they are cattle… and THEN list them.

        • Scott Crawford

          Agreed – your way works better -, and agreed – is it absolutely necessary to list all types of cattle? Can I tell the difference?

    • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

      It would have tested my patience to sit and read that huge paragraph one word at a time on a movie screen.

    • Frenchy

      All the cow names don’t bother me. If I need to know more about the Charolais, Marchigiana, or whatever, I’ll google them. You guys forgetting that a screenplay/movie is visual media. The author doesn’t have to explain to you what a brontosaurs is. Look it up!

      • IgorWasTaken

        Frenchy wrote: “The author doesn’t have to explain to you what a brontosaurs is.

        Oh, were any of the ones in your list a “brontosaurus”…? Let’s see –

        Brachiosaurus, sauropods, tricerotops, ankylosaurs,
        ornithopods and other heavy weights mind their own business.

        All right, then.

        Frenchy wrote: “Look it up!

        Yes, I think that’s why everyone these days is now hyperlinking words in their their scripts to Wikipedia.

        Oh, wait. They’re not doing that…?   Zut alors!

        • Scott Crawford

          I was going to post the same until I saw your reply. I think it’s fair to say that Frenchy is the author of The Anus Kissers (I can’t be bothered to spell it right) – or at least in cahoots with the writer – , and he’s been down right Trajent Future on anyone who criticizes one part of it.

          I would point him towards the respectful comments made by the writer of #trending… and then ignore him completely.

          • Linkthis83

            Frenchy is not the writer – based on what Carson replied to me regarding my first notes on THE ANUNNAKIS – it’s troll bait.

          • walker

            I feel that Frenchy must be the writer based on his intemperate defensiveness and name-calling. I also think Joel and JW may be the same guy. I know that Carson says they are coming from different IP addresses, but the tone is remarkably similar.

          • Linkthis83

            Well, JW has been consistent since I’ve been aware of him. Carson replied to my post yesterday that the writer was sincerely interested in feedback. If I take that to be true, then Frenchy is a pretender drumming up troll stats. I believe this to be more likely, if Carson is correct. Joel, however, well, don’t have an opinion on that one.

          • walker

            Well I guess that raises the question of why Corneliu Mitrache has not made an appearance, but those other guys have appeared, seemingly on his behalf.

          • Linkthis83

            I don’t even take Frenchy’s stance to be on behalf of that script. It’s just to be antagonistic. Especially because Carson stated that the writer is a good guy looking for feedback.

            It amazes me when writers are scarce on a weekend like this. Although, I know sometimes the don’t even realize their script is in AOW that weekend. It’s good to see one writer from TREASURES OF FATE show up, as well as the writer for #TRENDING.

          • Scott Crawford

            He sometimes talks like he IS the writer. Very confusing, VERY annoying. I’ll just ignore him.

        • Frenchy

          It would take you less time to look a word up than bitch on SS about it!

    • cjob3

      “What’s E.T short for?”
      “’cause he’s only got little legs.”

  • Nathan Labonté

    Hello,

    I was just wondering if anyone on the Interwebs/Scriptshadow has/knows how to acquire/can render to me the screenplay for “Nightcrawler”. I found a link a while ago, but it’s down and I’m interested in reading it.

    Anyway, if anyone has it you can send it to me at labonath151[at]gmail[dot]com

    Thank you!

  • Randy Williams

    THE BOOGEYKIDS

    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    I read about 50 pages and then found myself skimming.
    I loved the setting, written to put you there and it did for me. Loved the young couple. Their dialogue was fun, especially the male’s. Their chemistry was on the page and I wanted them together.

    There was a nice creeping tension for me, an understandable and inviting story, until…the odd goat fucking on the store shelves. WTF? Then it settled down again. Loved the older couple and their reaction to the girl scout stealing the purse and how all that went down, just brilliant!!
    Then a long stretch where the girl scouts disappear. Bears and that psycho mountain man seemed the only threats. It seemed to lose its focus. I started skimming then.

    Single location, inexpensive. With some focus, this would be a good spec script, I thought.

  • Randy Williams

    TREASURES OF FATE

    Congrats on making it on AOW!

    What’s a “thurible”?

    Not my thing, but was engaged enough to read about 25 pages.

    One thing I’ve learned writing with someone else is you have to kill a lot of your darlings. There’s just not room enough for two imaginations run rampant. You can’t include all the neat little gadgets, throw in all the neat esoteric facts and figures, include all what you both think is cool in there. You have to agree on a few well chosen props, a fact or two, get to the meat as needed for that moment. Leave some things a mystery for later. Just saying this because it’s a co-written script but that may not be a problem with you guys, but I was honestly a bit overwhelmed trying to digest everything.

    • Scott Crawford

      I worked out what a thurible was from context, but yes, I had to look twice and I think any word that is slightly more abstruse (obscure) should be elucidated (explained) possibly using brackets (parentheses) as I have done.

      • brenkilco

        Had to look the word up. No clue and I think I may have had to carry one once as an altar boy. I like precision in screenplay description. And I like learning new words but in this case using censer might have made the reading a bit easier.

        • Scott Crawford

          It’s difficult because not all of us were brought up Catholic, or Jewish, or anything, but sometimes we assume things we know everyone else should know – nothing personal against these writers.

  • Kirk Diggler

    #trending – Title slams in on pg 18? A little late in the game.

    There is some funny stuff here and there. I enjoyed Ernest’ Mom’s line about giving up smoking for 4 months, the giraffe neck line, some others. The writing is solid, the story telling isn’t quite all there. Lots of gravy with little meat.

    Story is structure. There were a lot of choices early on that puzzled me. Like the whole Brad V.O. While some of it is interesting, it doesn’t push your plot. It’s flash and dash. Same thing with Ernest’ drive into work. It might touch on your theme a little but it’s all for show. Structure forces your characters to make choices that effect the way the rest of the story plays out. Ernest isn’t really confronted with much of anything until Tina corners him at the movie premiere and pretty much threatens him. This is on pg 37. This kind of feels like the break into Act two. Happening way too late. The night Molly becomes famous is the inciting incident pg 17-18. There is no reason this can’t happens sooner. (10-12) But you wasted a lot of time on the Lebaron cruise and Brad’s VO. I feel this prevents us from knowing Molly. When Ernest asks himself why Molly is with him, I asked myself the same exact question. I don’t know anything about these two people. Why are they together? You could give the reader some insight into their relationship in those opening 10-12 pages, before Molly becomes famous.

    We meet Molly briefly in the beginning, then meet her a 2nd time when she goes out to dinner with Ernest. We know she’s beautiful and British and an actress. Not much else. She needs an infusion of character. I also don’t particularly buy her sudden fame. No one really gets famous by being cast in a film. We’re talking ‘movie star’ famous here. That’s what the writer implies. Yet she is an unknown that is cast in a film. It’s her casting that leads to sudden fame. I don’t buy it. Movie stars become famous by starring in a hit movie, not by being cast in one. It’s an easy fix. I think it would be better story and structure wise for us to meet Molly and Ernest BEFORE she is famous but after she is cast. She’s more or less an unknown but she’s making a film with a big A-lister. That in itself could give the writer a chance to explore her character a little bit pre-fame. Then once the film is a huge hit, that’s the break into 2 where you explore your premise.

    Pgs 1 -12 – intro the relationship, she’s cast but not famous (theme stated, and the calm before the storm)

    Pgs 12-15 – Inciting incident – maybe the Channing Tatum rumors start during filming, gives Ernest a reason to doubt his relationship… someone has to be the villain here. Is it Tina? Maybe she makes her threat earlier.

    Pg 25 – Break into 2 is Molly’s sudden fame and how it changes the relationship.

    As it is, you completely skip over this, going from her sudden fame from being cast in a film to… “9 months later” at the film premiere. What the hell happened in the interim? That would be the most interesting part, how Ernest reacts to that first whiff of her fame. Are we supposed to believe that they were happy for 9 months and everything was great? How did they stay together that whole time when she was filming a blockbuster? She’d be working 14 hours days for 4 months, that would have killed their relationship right then. That to me is where all the conflict is. And why does Tina hate Ernest so much? Or more importantly, why does Tina even care about Molly’s relationship? What’s it to her? Does it make Tina’s job harder that she’s dating a nobody? The antagonist needs to feel natural here, she needs strong motivation to be a bitch. What are the stakes for Tina?

    Take this with a grain of salt. The writing is good, you have some chops, work on the STORY(structure) because that’s what matters most. Hitting those classic 3 act structure beats is important because it works every time. It propels everything forward and makes the writer realize that when characters are forced to make choices it forces conflict and that that is always fun and interesting. Good luck.

    • IgorWasTaken

      Good review.

      I would disagree on one point: I think actors can get instantly famous – famous for the moment, anyway – if they’re cast to play a character in a film based on a famous, modern book. Or, for example, when Gal Gadot was cast to play Wonder Woman. But the script could provide a better foundation to justify this for the role Molly’s cast for. Simply saying “… like she’s Jennifer Lawrence” isn’t enough.

      • Kirk D

        yeah I agree that social media has changed the nature of fame in some regards, so I do think its possible I just don’t think the writer did it in the most believable way. he also describes the genre as a dark comedy but that didn’t really come across. And I get your point about Gal Gadot but she aint no Jen Lawrence no disrespect to her. jennifer Lawrence is famous because she’s already done things. the writer is asking us to believe that she is Jennifer Lawrence in an instant not GalGadot. big difference.

      • James Joseph

        I was wondering how people were going to react to the moment of her becoming famous… While writing it I was thinking about the casting of 50 Shades of Grey. On all the gossip blogs, just a rumor of a lesser know actors/actresses being cast, resulted in paparazzi photos of them all over the web a few days later… It is seeming like I’m not getting away with this moment in the script the way it is now. You have given me some good food for thought.

        • Scott Crawford

          This SHOULD link to a bit about Gretchen Mol on Vanity Fair:
          http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2013/09/thirteen-things-we-got-wrong_slideshow_item2_3

          Briefly, Vanity Fair decided to put Mol on the front cover and say she was the next big thing… before she had really done anything. And she did have a REASONABLY successful career, but many thought the Vanity Fair thing damaged her.

          Here’s another one:
          http://hoaxes.org/archive/permalink/allegra_coleman/

          Here, Esquire tried to pull a prank by pretending that “Allegra Coleman” – played by model Ali Larter – WAS a big star, when it fact she was fictional. Some fell for it, others didn’t. Larter DID go on to have a REASONABLY successful acting career.

          (Trivia note: Amber Valetta’s character in Hitch was named Allegra Cole in reference to the hoax.).

          Hopefully my head-full of trivia has helped you!

          Best of luck!

          • James Joseph

            Thanks and yes it helps. Did not know about any of of this things. I usually think I know all about pop culture trivia. You win this time! Ha

        • IgorWasTaken

          I can’t recall. Is Molly’s movie based on a book? Assuming it is –

          As I posted somewhere else on this long page, use a teen grand daughter of the restaurant owner. She’s using her phone. Her eyes light up. We see on her phone: TMZ.com, “Exclusive: This year’s biggest casting news!” Then she scrolls down and it shows a photo of Molly. “Starring in the biggest franchise since Twilight!” She then sees Molly, then starts a text to “TMZ’s Star Sighter”.

          Something like that.

          And maybe before that, they can drive past a billboard for the book, “Still THE #1 Best Seller”

          • James Joseph

            Yes, based on a book. I am digging those suggestions, something like those ideas would definitely help.

  • andyjaxfl

    My vote to THE BOOGEYKIDS.

    WATCHING OVER REMIE: The premise of this one sounds great, but five pages in and I don’t want to continue because nothing has happened except Claire, Alain, and their kid returning home, and Claire and Alain having a conversation about a kid with cancer. Start with a bang! You only get one first impression. Even if you really prefer to show Claire’s normal day-to-day life to make her descent all the more dramatic, make those normal day scenes interesting with Claire doing something unusual/bizarre that hints at what is to come. It doesn’t have to be drastic, just something subtle.

    The difference in descriptions between Claire and Alain was a problematic for me, mostly because I’m assuming (based on the log line) that Claire is the main character. She gets a physical description implying that she’s good-looking. Alain’s description “analytical…reasonable” gives me an idea of his character right off the bat. Do the same for your main character. Hint that there’s simmering just beneath the surface that Alain’s aware (and possibly frightened) of…

    THE BOOGEYKIDS: Interesting opening. Maybe put the Boogeykids’ dialogue in italics to make it “creepier”. The original Mark Protosevich draft of I Am Legend from 1996 had all of the hemocytes’ dialogue in italics, which served as a frequent reminder for just how frightening the writer wanted them to be. Anyways, back to the review-

    What happens to Travis after he finds the bodies? After he hears Christopher’s cries, he looks at the mountain where the boy is. If he’s a boogeykid, and based on his description I’m guessing he may not be human, maybe have him grin and take off after the boy. Strong opening though.

    I like most of the Diana and Steve scenes after the first 20, but I think you can really condense those pages together for 5-6 strong pages. Not much happens while they are in town. And I really liked how Steve lied to the cops, but I think there’s an opportunity there to reveal more character. Maybe have the cops challenge him in from of Diana — they see a beautiful woman with a nerdy looking dude — and Steve proceeds to verbally tear them apart in front of the entire diner.

    I like this one so far and will continue reading…

    TREASURES OF FATE. I read the first ten and nothing really popped, though the line with the girl being a person and also having feelings was great. The chase sequence was well-written, but I’ve always been bored by action scenes on page (and I’m sometimes bored writing them myself).

    #TRENDING – that was my first hashtag without a number directly after it ever. Woo hoo!

    Page 1- “classically beautiful” to describe Molly. Anna Kendrick had a funny tweet last year. She said if she reads one more script with a woman described as “beautiful but doesn’t know it” she was going to scream. “Classically beautiful” as a description makes me want to scream. Moving on…

    I read the page 25. I like the writer’s voice and I was left wanting to keep reading. Ernest is a likable guy. Even with a dark comedy, I think we need to get to the story itself a bit quicker.

    THE ANUNNAKIS. Lots of frat boy humor as noted by other posters. It really isn’t my thing, but it made me laugh, especially the intro to the two super agents. I read the first-15 pages and stopped. I didn’t have much grasp on the characters.

    • Scott Crawford

      “You only get one first impression.” Tattoo that under your eyelids, people.

      Congrats to Alan for reading the opening pages of all five scripts. Submitters to AOW must bear in mind that, if a Scriptshadower is not grabbed by the opening pages of your script, they will STOP READING. Why should I read the whole of Treasures of Fate when I could read Wolverton instead?

  • Scott Crawford

    If you have to reread the opening scene to know what’s going on…

  • Linkthis83

    Yes…it says “E.T.’s” – it doesn’t say why type of creatures the ETs are. – and story starts in a Jurassic cave forever ago, then turns into a modern day cave, but now has to be drilled to get to, when MEN show up in overalls (human men?), and then we are orbiting Earth with Anunnaki astronauts.

    So what do the Anunnaki look like? Are the ETs from Planet X Anunnaki? And it states that the ET’s genetically engineered humans in their own image, but the next line following states “they didn’t do a very good job.” Which makes me think they don’t look similar.

  • Scott Crawford

    Just curious: are any of the writers of today’s offerings here today? And are any of them willing to post a comment, non-anonymously?

    • Linkthis83

      That’s one of the things I look forward to on AOW = discussing scripts with the actual writers – so much to gain from those conversations.

      • Scott Crawford

        I don’t know if some of them are scared – they shouldn’t be.

  • walker

    I read the first 15 of all five scripts. Based on that, I continued reading Watching Over Remie and #trending. Eventually #trending lost me (p45). I stuck with Watching Over Remie through the end, and it would get my vote for an AF review. It has problems that others have noted, but I could see it being rewritten into a producible script. Each of the scripts has some strengths, but this is group is palpably less polished than last week’s semi-pro showcase.

  • Malibo Jackk

    WHY YOU SHOULD READ: I am a legal alien living in Paris…

    Somehow, I pictured a reptilian sitting at a desk writing his memoir.
    The desk pushed up against an open window — the Eiffel Tower in the background…

    • walker

      I pictured an extraterrestrial lawyer. And if you have any problems with the script, your objections are overruled.

    • Midnight Luck

      I pictured District 9
      in Paris.

      And the writer looked like one of the Shrimp people.

      • Frenchy

        Midnight Lady, not log ago you were lashing out on the movie industry for its poor spiritual fare. As an American expat, I feel your pain. Luckily, I used to live in Seattle (before moving to Paris), where foreign movies were (are) constantly shown. Now I live in Paris. 20 euros a month for an UGC card entitles me to see about any movie I want. Plus, my healthcare is covered 70%. I work three 35 hours a week, and the rest is covered by my employer. God bless America, and Vive la France!

        • Frenchy

          Sorry, I forgot about the 5 weeks vacation…

    • Frenchy

      Are you talking about David Icke?

  • Poe_Serling

    My pick this week: Watching Over Remie

    For me, the script had a subtle dream-like quality about it. The story kind of unfolds much like a person waking up slowly and soon realizing that their world is out of kilter for some unknown reason.

    Though I haven’t finished it yet, I do think the writer is correct when he states ‘… combine the best of French thrillers with a Hollywood bend,’ especially in regard to this script’s pacing, story choices, and the layered nuances of the characters.

  • davejc

    Watching over Remie: I started with this because the logline — this is exactly my kind of thing. But man oh man, these people are boring and nothing at all is happening. I continued reading with hope because it’s a great premise I can visualize as a successful film. But with each page hope diminished. Stop reading @ pg 20 when I read this line: “A typical morning in the Ronet house.” I still believe this story and the writing but I feel the first act needs a rewrite.

    • Scott Crawford

      Few people have made it to the end of Remie, although they might given time. I’m not saying this is necessarily the case, but I wonder how many people are supporting Remie because it’s the most serious SOUNDING script. Because a lot of people who have read (some) of it have noticed how nothing seems to happen in it.

  • davejc

    The Anunnakis: Stopped at pg 5 like others did. General note: This feels very much like a first draft so it’s understandable that there’s much work to be done. Five pages that I read: information overload. I’m not very familiar with hollow earth mythology, does it actually include Anunnakis ghosts? If not it has to be set up for the audience. Actually there’s a lot in the first 5 pages that should be set up. Minor notes: If eating pussy is not essential to the story’s plot then maybe give them something else to talk about. I know you’ve already heard enough about the year thing but I’ll add my thoughts: “67 797 023 YEARS EARLIER”. Earlier than what? Earlier than the blackout? That’s not a point of reference. Just open with the scene and follow it with superimposed: “67 797 023 YEARS LATER”. And if your going to give the exact number of years then go ahead and give the months, days, hours, minutes too. It’s funnier. Not much. But funnier. And congrats on getting the theatre reading. Those king of things are always great for one’s confidence in one’s self (which is essential for the writer)

    • IgorWasTaken

      davejc wrote:

      Just open with the scene and follow it with superimposed: “67 797 023 YEARS LATER”. And if your going to give the exact number of years then go ahead and give the months, days, hours, minutes too. It’s funnier. Not much. But funnier.

      I agree on both points. Both for clarity and for humor. If it started out with no date, and then

      “67,797,023 YEARS LATER”

      Beat.

      “Tuesday, 3:12 PM”

      I’d probably laugh.

    • Frenchy

      Thanks for the tip: ’67 797 023 YEARS LATER.’ Regarding ‘eating pussy,’ have you seen Neighbors, or Hangover? Scatological jokes and images galore. Did you feel offended? Well, they made pretty good money. However, I feel that the Anunnakis will fare better if I downgrade the rating from R to PG 13. I keep forgetting that the US is a puritanical country…

      • davejc

        I didn’t know it was a joke. Is there something funny about eating pussy? Is it funny his fiance left him because he refused to eat her pussy when she wanted him to? If so I must have missed it.

        Yes — puritanical –US — but then every country has their own unique set of mores and acceptable behavior that they’ve taken from some obscure part of their history.

      • Scott Crawford

        You’re doing yourself no favors, Frenchy. Why would anyone want to read your script after what you’ve said about them?

        • Frenchy

          What did I say? That America is a puritanical country? Is that offending? That criticism is nothing new. It’s being going on since the French revolution.
          Ok, I agree with you. Special effects extravaganza and R-Rated raunchy comedy may not make good bedfellows.

          • walker

            Frenchy if you are still around I wrote you a longish reply way down at the bottom of the thread.

      • cjob3

        Raunchy humor is fine and the R-Rated comedies you named were huge money-makers but bare in mind, they both kept costs relatively low. They’re both high concept, simple ideas yet cheap-to-produce. “Anunnakis” is not only R-Rated raunchy, it’s also a special effects extravaganza. The first ten pages alone feature dinosaur battles, comets, explosions, warring alien races, UFOs, underground bases, ghosts… all in the aid of a lot of dick and tit jokes. it would be an extremely high budget R-Rated comedy and those scare the shit out of producers. Especially when they come from a first time writer.

  • davejc

    #trending: This is the kind of story that doesn’t interest me at all. Surprisingly this is the one I plan on going back to continue reading. Congrats to the writer for that. You hooked me with the whole TMZ thing. I’ll try and get back with more notes after I read some more but here’s a few minor notes: First scene did nothing for me, I suggest replacing it. I liked the second scene with Mom but it won’t make an opening scene. Maybe open with a screenshot of Ernest’s cell phone spamming everybody that he’s in love.

    A very minor note: a song wouldn’t skip as the car hit a bump if the media source was a tape.

    And speaking of songs I’ll pass a long a note I just received on one of my scripts: ” Placing SONG Titles in a screenplay isn’t “unorthodox” it is illegal, $25,000 fine and 10 years in prison for forgery and theft.”

    You can do what you want with that note. But I left the songs in my script.

    • Linkthis83

      “A very minor note: a song wouldn’t skip as the car hit a bump if the media source was a tape.”

      I’m pretty sure this was one of those devices that allowed you to use your portable CD player by using a wired cassette tape – I used to have one of these – so it’s the CD skipping, not the tape.

      • davejc

        Right you are Link. I had it backwards.

    • IgorWasTaken

      davejc wrote:

      And speaking of songs I’ll pass a long a note I just received on one of my scripts: Placing SONG Titles in a screenplay isn’t “unorthodox” it is illegal,
      $25,000 fine and 10 years in prison for forgery and theft.”

      Huh?

      IOW, that note you received is simply wrong.

      For starters: http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ34.pdf

      • davejc

        I doubt very much that that note is wrong as it came from a professional script supervisor. And the script supervisor is not only the third most important person on any set, she also is the best authority on scripts. That being said I’m sure there are extenuating circumstances. Like if you wrote purple rain in your script because the rain was purple then that doesn’t apply. But if you put Prince’s Purple Rain in your script and sold it for hundreds of thousands of dollars then whoever owns the rights to that song might file in court.

        • IgorWasTaken

          davecj, I’m just a name on an Internet forum, but…

          FWIW, I am 100% sure that note was wrong. This is not even a close call; it is not on the margin; it is clear as clear can be.

          If that note was correct, then one couldn’t have a character say, “I read it in the New York Times.”

          You are correct with the distinction you made about saying “the rain is purple.” But as I said, that link was just “for starters.” There is also “Fair Use”. There is also the issue of “publication” – i.e., if I write a book with the lyrics of a Beatles’ song and send the book to a small group of people to read, that’s not a copyright violation because the book has not been “published”. It would only be a problem if the book were “published” – for example, as an ebook or (perhaps) even simply as an entry on my blog.

          • davejc

            We’re amateurs so none of this applies to us. But even in your example you make the point that if you profit financially and use copywrited IP to do those you make yourself vulnerable.

            And it gets worse. Before the studio offers you that high sixes against one point five deal, their lawyers will go through every single line of your script and make sure there is not single line that is intellectual property belonging to someone else. If there is they will reject the script rather than suggest you removing the offensive passages. In this script we have several lines from the film Forest Gump.

          • IgorWasTaken

            On this, I am not an amateur. If I have any credibility here, I’ll spend it on this point.

          • davejc

            That’s fine. I am not an entertainment lawyer. I am just passing along a note I received from someone who I know personally, someone who I know works in the industry, and I’m certain this person did not make this point up. Either he heard it from his own lawyer, or it is one of his duties as script supervisor to make certain protected IP doesn’t get slipped into the script in last minute revisions.

          • IgorWasTaken

            davejc wrote:

            it is one of his duties as script supervisor to make certain protected IP doesn’t get slipped into the script in last minute revisions.

            I hope I won’t offend anyone with this analogy.

            Like a hospital nurse is to a doctor, a script supervisor is to a studio lawyer. I have no doubt that a script supervisor is told to FLAG anything like that. But just as I wouldn’t want a nurse to crack open my ribs because I suddenly have a heart palpitation (I’d just want the nurse to notify an the appropriate doctor), I wouldn’t want a script supervisor to do anything more than say “Wait!”, and then call a lawyer.

          • Scott Crawford

            If I was making a really low-budget movie, one of the people I’d make sure I had a few bucks to hire would be a lawyer, to look through the script and point out any potential suits.

          • walker

            Form an LLC, have an attorney review all contracts and documents, include standard disclaimers on the finished product, purchase errors and omissions insurance. You will probably be ok. Unless you make a ton of money, in which case somebody will probably try to sue you anyway, just to see if it sticks or you settle.

          • Scott Crawford

            I’m not GOING to make a low-budget movie, but – wow! – that’s good information! This is why Scriptshadow has a comments board – you get the benefit of the “hive mind”. Everyone knows different things.

          • Frenchy

            If you’re an amateur like everybody else, who gives you the right to demolish other writers’ scripts after reading just the opening scene? I personally restrain myself to comment on other fellow writers’ work unless I read the entire screenplay. I never pick on their spelling/grammar, unless it becomes distracting.

          • walker

            Your comment about the “issue of publication” is also highly germane to this discussion. Spec script submissions are private documents. None of these issues arise until publication or dissemination of the work in question. Another reason why Dave is totally in the clear.

          • IgorWasTaken

            Yeh, well, “publication” is one of those things I got me learnin’ on the trip over here, before I fell off the turnip truck. (Though my lawyer keeps telling me to say, “I was pushed.”)

        • walker

          The note is wrong.

          • walker

            Furthermore a copyright violation does not constitute either forgery or theft.

          • davejc

            You may be absolute right semantically. But I wouldn’t put it past a lawyer to make that statement to the court.

          • walker

            I am from a family of prominent lawyers, and I wouldn’t put anything past any lawyer.

          • IgorWasTaken

            Actually, a copyright violation does constitute theft. In some instances, that’s not readily apparent. But, for example, bootleg DVDs constitute copyright violations – and manifestly are thefts.

          • walker

            Copyright infringement is a civil matter, forgery and theft are criminal charges. Different courts, procedures, standards of evidence, remedies. The aggrieved party may bring a civil suit, but for criminal charges a law enforcement agency must file the charges. Even in Igor’s example above, the civil and criminal components of the case are separate.

          • IgorWasTaken

            When the guy who did Mike Tyson’s face tattoo was pissed he wasn’t paid before Tyson (and that tattoo) appeared in “The Hangover”, no one even considered criminal prosecution against the studio.

            But FYI, copyright law does include – § 506. Criminal offense:
            http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html#506

          • walker

            The crucial distinction is between civil and criminal procedure. Even in cases where both copyright infringement and theft are present, they are completely separate actions. The only entities that may bring criminal proceedings are law enforcement agencies, and the remedies sought are punitive. Any individual may bring a civil suit, where the remedies will be to restore equity, not to punish. A civil court is a court of equity, and as such has a lower standard of evidence. But I think we can agree on three things: 1. the note that Dave received was wrong; 2. some paranoid lawyer or development executive may have actually told the script supervisor that bullshit; and 3. forgery is totally out of left field. Oh, and your doctor/nurse example below is appropriate in this context.

          • IgorWasTaken

            Just shootin’ the shi’ here. And, offering up stuff for anyone playing the home game. ‘Cause, ya know, this all goes on our permanent records.

          • Frenchy

            You’re shootin’ the shit way too many tims!
            I took the ‘e’ out of ‘times,’ so you can go on ranting for mispelling it. :)

          • IgorWasTaken

            Here it is, I offer you so much caviar, yet you treat it like an egg from a seal. You know, phoque œuf.

          • Frenchy

            Keep to caviar to yourself. It causes so much indigestion on SS blog. Je t’emmerde! That’s phoque oeuf in French.

          • IgorWasTaken

            Oh, so now you’re nitpicking my grammar?!

          • Frenchy

            No, it’s not in my character.

          • davejc

            That note may be wrong for you, walker, but it may be right for the studio you’re submitting to.

            Notes are only opinions and as such can neither be absolutely right or wrong. And the law isn’t set in stone. The law is interpreted by Courts. And Courts have pre existing biases.

            As I said in my first post on this matter, the note didn’t cause me to remove the song titles and artists from my script. And as I told the person over beers who gave me the note, if it ever became an issue I would simply request permission from the party who retained the copyright to mention their IP in my spec. Simple solution, problem solved, and we’re really making much to do about nothing here.

          • walker

            That’s true, Dave, a studio or production company is free to adopt any policy they choose with regards to spec submissions. And really it is best to avoid any sort of controversial or potentially off-putting element in such a submission. But the inclusion of song titles within a script is not illegal, nor is it going to subject you to the punishments you mentioned. Check out the link to the US Copyright Office posted above by Igor. The introduction clearly states: “Copyright law does not protect names, titles, or short phrases or expressions. Even if a name, title, or short phrase is novel or distinctive or lends itself to a play on words, it cannot be protected by copyright. The Copyright Office cannot register claims to exclusive rights in brief combinations of words such as: Names of products or services; names of businesses, organizations, or groups (including the names of performing groups); pseudonyms of individuals (including pen or stage names; titles of works; catchwords, catchphrases, mottoes, slogans, or short advertising expressions; listings of ingredients, as in recipes, labels, or formulas. When a recipe or formula is accompanied by an explanation or directions, the text directions may be copyrightable, but the recipe or formula itself remains uncopyrightable.”

          • walker

            That is “conversion”.

      • Scott Crawford

        I think it DEFINITELY comes under “fair use”.

        I’m calling my leading character “Blue Ivy”, just to piss off Beyonce (sorry, luv, isn’t $850 million enough money for you?).

        http://blog.dictionary.com/blueivycarter/

        • IgorWasTaken

          FWIW, I don’t think it comes under “fair use”. “Fair use” is a defense that’s offered after someone makes a basic case that his/her/its copyright was violated.

          Now, if a character has a catchphrase that’s also a line from a copyrighted song, that’s when the “fair use” defense could apply. Or, perhaps, the parody exception.

          • Scott Crawford

            I think Dave is talking about the idea of “UMBRELLA by Rhianna is playing on the car stereo”, that sort of thing. But I can’t imagine anyone trying to sue a WRITER for mentioning a song in a screenplay or novel. In any event, that’s something that can be cleared up later. Just don’t LIBEL anyone. “Jesse Ventura is a pussy who didn’t pass SEAL training.” Baldy will SUE you for that one.

          • Awescillot

            How about if you use a song text but pass it off as your own, then it’d be a different story.

            Simply saying that a certain song will play, is for someone else to worry about later (buy the rights to use it commercially, when the film comes out). I vaguely remember reading something about Guy Ritchie’s Snatch: in order to use Madonna’s Lucky Star song they had to lay down $ 1 m. or so.

            Defamation may be another thing. People file suits when this sort of stuff happens in books that have been published. Unpublished screenplays, nobody gives a shit. I remember this short line in Where Angels Die, in an action line, that went something like “Katy Perry or some other shitty pop song is playing in the background”. I don’t think Alexander Felix got into trouble for that lol.

          • walker

            Carson didn’t like that line, but for aesthetic reasons, not legal ones.

          • klmn

            “I vaguely remember reading something about Guy Ritchie’s Snatch: in order to use Madonna’s Lucky Star song they had to lay down $ 1 m. or so.”

            Yes, and he had to sleep with her.

          • Scott Crawford
          • Awescillot

            Woww. That is just unbelievable. This is so over-the-top, I can’t even believe he actually tried to pass this off as his own. So I guess ‘extreme hommaging’ leads to HBO deals? Screenwriting just got a hell of a lot easier, folks.

            And btw, thanks for sharing this article, Scott. Interesting read!

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

    My apologies to this week’s crop of AOW candidates
    I’m burned out from the AOW top 10 read-a-thon.
    And I’ve got this throat thing that’s really kicking my tonsils.
    So, all I can offer right now to the new scripts is a brief summary.

    AOW Winner: WATCHING OVER REMIE.

    THE ANUNNAKIS:
    The character descriptions are off-putting. Describe the dinosaurs, please.
    Many of the subspecies are lost on me. What does an Anunnaki look like?
    It’s the title of your script, they should get a five-star description.
    Was thinking this could be a CARTOON until the sex gags started flying.
    Multiple alien races and ghosts make for a very kitchen sinky read.
    I feel the author throwing all these alien tropes at the page.
    But I don’t feel they’re introduced well at all.
    Find a way to orient your reader better. A classic example…
    Have a NEW RECRUIT be initiated to the environment along with the reader
    Because until you do that, we’re adrift in your narrative.

    This feels much more cartoonish than live action as I go along.
    Humor wise, it’s aimed at teens. But who really talks about p*ssy like that?
    I’m not sure who the target audience is now. The jokes are pretty R-rated.
    But I don’t see 17+ crowd being much interested in alien masturbation gags.
    Stopped reading at page 10. “Paul” was a flop, I don’t see this faring much better.

    PASS.

    #trending:
    I’d much prefer an opener that didn’t rely on actual movies to exist.
    All that does is remind me of successful projects instead of your spec.
    Use your precious opening real estate to highlight your script, not movies.
    The cartoon cut-out stereotype gags don’t give me hope for the rest.
    Pretty early in a script to rely on well worn sitcom tropes.

    I think the writer’s having more fun writing the script than I am reading it.
    The author’s got talent, fervent verbosity even at times.
    But all the prose trickery is an unrewarding substitute for storytelling.
    Most of your talent in the opening pages will not translate well to screen.

    The seemingly endless parade of self-absorbed stereotypes continues.
    Compounding this with all the movie refs makes for an alienating read.
    Cut through all the tacked-on gags and give me a character beat or two.
    Give me a reason to care about Ernest, is he a good salesman?
    Does he care about his job? Maybe he has to throw out a poor customer?
    But he doesn’t want to do it, but his crap boss forces him.
    The reader needs a situation to evaluate your protag and get invested in him.

    I’m stopping on page 16. There’s no sign of the plot yet.
    Figured we might get the big break news here for the girlfriend, but nope.
    Can’t see what Molly sees in Ernest at all, endear us to your protag.
    Having sitcom stereotypes call him a loser isn’t character development.
    The writer can turn a phrase, but those phrases aren’t adding up for me.

    PASS.

    TREASURES OF FATE:
    Really flat negotiation scene to open your script. No conflict there at all.
    Seems having these two BUTT HEADS would reveal your protag much better.
    And be a lot more fun for the reader. We all love juicy conflict long time.
    Punch out an innocent man and then get laid. Gotta try that one sometime.

    Wouldn’t she know the Tough Guy? He’s in her house. She knows him, right?
    Doesn’t make sense that she would believe a total stranger over a guy in her house.
    Why not play the girl smart instead of dumb? She proves a challenge for Tommy.
    That’s another missed opportunity for CONFLICT within your scene.
    If she didn’t proverbially spread her legs right off, the banter could actually be fun.

    A lot of really shaky exposition between the brothers in the monastery.
    They should know all these things based on a plan they have.
    It makes no sense for Mark to let Tommy show up w/o any briefing.
    The sole reason these facts are being said is for the readers benefit.
    This is the textbook definition of bad exposition.
    And that’s a big red flag for a genre that leans so hard on exposition.

    Eight pages of your heroes running away from Gypsies. I’m done on page 17.
    No character development, it’s mostly all over-choreographed run and gun.
    Unfortunately, I’ve watched all these scenes executed in good movies.
    I couldn’t point to one element so far in your script that felt original.
    Your spec has to find a way to differentiate itself from the cinema masses.

    PASS.

    THE BOOGEYKIDS:
    The title… I’m not sure if these kids are undead or like to dance. Or both.
    Wow, the Boogeykids just offed an innocent child and his dog.
    I hope the author didn’t plan on anyone sympathizing with the Boogeykids.
    Because there’s no chance of that happening now.
    The Boogeykids are dicks to orphans

    Two pages with the jerk cops. Don’t know why we needed that scene.
    The couple could just arrive at their visually interesting destination.
    Protag empathy doesn’t come from absurd cops poking schoolyard fun.
    That just calls into question the grounded reality of your script.
    With the sunroof open, it would be obvious to Karl that Diana’s not at home.

    If you love Tarantino so much, please write him a love letter.
    But putting PULP FICTION in your script just reminds me of a great film.
    Which means, I’m not thinking about your script at all.

    You’ve spent the last dozen pages delaying the start of your real plot.
    We don’t need all these forced diner gags and on the road scenes.
    Just have them be on the mountain, exploring this mysterious landscape.
    Why can’t we get to know them after they arrive on Boogerkid Mountain?

    Steve and Diana are having a full blown argument over a tire?
    She escalated in an awful hurry right into a four-star shrew.
    I skimmed ahead to page 25, two brief glimpses of Boogeykids since the opener.
    That’s not nearly enough for your story to be named after them. Where’s your premise?
    Consider this comparison… The movie, BOX TROLLS comes out this fall.
    And I guarantee you it won’t be 25 minutes before we see one of those little freaks.
    Ditch all the superfluous backstory and please get to the guts of your tale.

    PASS.

    WATCHING OVER REMIE:
    Makes no sense to abandon your kid so he can sleep in the elevator.
    Even those old school Euro cage models can hold two people comfortably.
    Even I’ve seen enough Polanski films to know that. :-P
    The author can write fluid prose, but the scene choices aren’t grabbing me.
    I still can’t swallow the “luxury Mazda” oxymoron. They’re all affordable models.

    Turning pages at a decent clip, but the narrative is still in neutral.
    It all feels so… domestic. You’re flirting with boredom here.
    The prose feels very overwritten, which compounds the domestic doldrums.

    This sentence here sticks in my craw…
    “Claire walks across the street then casually makes her way
    over the manicured park to where Natalie and Remie are playing.”

    Turn that grammar molasses into: “Claire joins Natalie and Remie by the see-saw.”

    You’re unintentionally punishing the reader with your “novel” approach.
    But I’ll give you this, you can string scenes together better than the rest of the candidates.
    Makes zero sense that Claire would drive recklessly before making a call.
    Even in hazy dreamy thrillers, logic truth needs to be in place once in a while.

    Maybe the oft hinted at Baers could be brought in to kickstart your Act One.
    I feel like your story is much like your current opener: STUCK IN TRAFFIC.
    Find a NARRATIVE DUALITY from the Baer scenario to give you a more visceral start.
    At least your characters read like mature adults, and that’s rare for the AOW.
    I’m stopping at page 20. But I’d give this script full notes if picked for AF.

    CONSIDER WITH REVISIONS.

    • Kirk D

      let me get this straight… these are the kind of reviews you write when you’re NOT feeling well? you seem as thorough as ever …….good notes

      • Mike.H

        Perhaps his real name is Felix Unger? Get well, brother — I mean Electricdreamer. :)

    • Nate

      ”Wouldn’t she know the Tough Guy? He’s in her house. She knows him, right?
      Doesn’t make sense that she would believe a total stranger over a guy in her house.”
      I don’t think she did. I had to re-read that part again just to make sure and whilst I first thought the tough guy came out of her house, there was nothing to suggest that he actually did (unless I missed something). Perhaps the writer should make that clearer.

      • AB Stratley

        Yes, it’s a clarity issue. The tough guy was meant to be a random stranger on the street, but clearly that wasn’t evident from the words on the page. Thanks for reading though and for providing such detailed thoughts!

    • Scott Crawford

      Maybe, maybe… maybe it would be better if Carson gave another screenplay, one that didn’t QUITE make Amateur Friday, another chance. After all, if only a couple have even FINISHED one of these screenplays…

      • walker

        Actually there are easily five close seconds from recent AOWs that deserve a shot. I wish he would do that every few months.

        • Scott Crawford

          I think he’s done it a few times. It’s a tough one, a REALLY tough one, I don’t want to be mean. But I think an AF script has to reach a certain standard. If people can’t be bothered to read past page 40, it’s not fair to ask Carson to read the other 70 pages.

          • klmn

            Maybe Carson could do a partial read/review of several close finishers, and only read to the end if he wants to? Invoke the Mercy Rule.

          • carsonreeves1

            Which close second placers do you think deserve a second chance? I can put them on a list to possibly be reviewed.

          • walker

            Well some people have mentioned Code Black, but since it has apparently been optioned since it was posted I doubt the optioning entity would want it to be publicly reviewed now. One that I remember is Monty, a dog-napping saga that lost out to Benny Pickles. Also, at least three of last week’s scripts seemed ok to me but two of those won’t make it. Actually all five of last week’s had some redeeming quality.

          • klmn

            Maybe THE TALLEST, DARKEST LEADING MAN IN HOLLYWOOD from last week, and FRAME-UP from April, 2013.

            Really, I suggest reading a few pages of anything before committing to a review. Make it easy on yourself.

          • Logline_Villain

            CARTELLA – from TV Pilot week.

      • Linkthis83

        I don’t look at finishing a script as a necessity for voting. I prefer to read some of all the scripts and then decide which one I’d like reviewed. To give all of them a fair shot. Others have their way of doing it, which is fine.

        • Scott Crawford

          True, but I think this batch of five, I think only TWO people have finished ONE script – that may be a record.

          I agree you can vote WITHOUT finishing the script, but don’t think I could vote for any of them this week. Maybe #trending ’cause the guy seems really nice and genuine and committed to improvement, but… is that enough? Not my call, fortunately.

          Off the top of my head Code Black, I Am Ryan Reynolds, The Tallest, Darkest Leading Man In Hollywood all had more going for them.

          • Linkthis83

            “I agree you can’t vote WITHOUT finishing the script…”

            Did you mean can? I think you meant can. And I honestly believe the majority of people don’t read the entire scripts. I think more pages are read when people just pick out a specific one that fits their interest more. I don’t know…I don’t have any stats to back any of this up – I think I’m just too focused on “completing a script = if people are interested or not” – if that’s what you were saying, then I disagree with that.

            yeesh – that was a long winded way to make a simple retort by me.

          • Scott Crawford

            Yes, “can’t” was a typo and I corrected it before you even posted your reply. I always reread my comments and correct MOST of my typos.

            The rest of what you’re saying I don’t quite get. I think an AOW script has to reach a certain standard to be an AF script. If only two people can actually FINISH the script – and in previous weeks it’s been more than that for the winner – and if the most praise it’s getting is “could be better”, why not let Matt Thompson (Code Black) or one of the other writers get a second chance.

            Edit: A THIRD person has finished Remie… but he’s not THAT impressed.

          • Linkthis83

            Matt Thompson probably should get a second chance. But I know you are paying attention and while WATCHING OVER REMIE isn’t blowing people out of the water, it’s got recognizable talent. EASILY – and it’s a concept/story that could really benefit from some legit feedback. I think it has earned this. And it seems many others do as well, even if they haven’t read the whole thing.

            Most of my perspective is coming from when a lot of us would just review 20 pages of each script and vote. If someone reads a whole script and votes, but reads none of the others, I don’t really consider that equal. However, I know it comes down to personal preference, loglines, genres, and WYSRs. I guess I look at you holding something against a script, when there are many different approaches to this. I don’t think that should carry more weight than anything else.

          • Kirk D

            Cmon folks, Code Black was a fun script but lets not pretend that it that much better than the two leading contenders from this week. It wasn’t. It was contrived.
            Carson ready? Eh.
            I call it a Swiss cheese script. Goes down easy but it’s full of holes and melts when it faces any real heat.

        • carsonreeves1

          “Read for as long as you stay interested” has always been the criteria for voting. That’s how it’s done in the big leagues (unless a reader is giving coverage) so that’s all that’s required here. You should never put the onus on the reader to finish something. You have to make them WANT to finish something.

    • Frenchy

      ‘Multiple alien races and ghosts!?’ Jesus, pay attention to the script! There are only two alien races in the script: 1) the reptilians, or reptoids, who want to get ride of humans and 2) the Anunnakis, the ones who genetically engineered humans (google the Sumerians). The ghost is clearly stated that’s an Anunnaki ghost.

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

        Two = multiple. Which means a set of magic rules for each alien race.
        Then there’s the alien ghost rules to learn. A lot to reconcile upfront.

        It’s also a classic Snyder double mumbo jumbo:
        http://www.savethecat.com/todays-blog/double-mumbo-jumbo-muddle

        Good luck with your script, I tried to be constructive.

        • walker

          Electric Dreamer, I have been so impressed with your notes the past few weeks. I would really like to get notes from you some time.

          • klmn

            I’ll read anything you have and give you my opinion, for what it’s worth. You know where to find me.

          • walker

            Thanks, Ken. That is very generous of you.

          • klmn

            Not generous at all. You’ve read two of my scripts (two drafts of one, one of a third) and I have yet to reciprocate.

      • Scott Crawford

        Thanks for telling us that we need to pay attention to your script. I always thought it was the responsibility of a screenwriter to write a good script, but through your ranting and raving you have shown us that it is really the responsibility of readers to understand your script’s greatness.

  • Mike.H

    Some of ya here trumpeted Watching over Remie was good. I’m at page 40 and nothing has happened. NOTHING. Do you think a Dev exec or reader would go on reading from a non-pro?

    • Mike.H

      the read thus far feels like a typical flick rented from Redbox that didn’t do much at the B.O. Can someone clue me in what pages do the ACTIONS come in? Thanks.

      ALAIN (OFF). Does that mean o.s. as in off screen? Euro version?

    • Scott Crawford

      You’re not the only person to point out Remie‘s slowness. I wasn’t really compelled by the logline to WANT to read the script – bit too dark for me at the moment – and other people’s comments haven’t changed that opinion.

      Important to note: none of us are COMPELLED to read these scripts all the way through. The writers have to DRAW us in. And if we get fed up, we’ll stop.

      Forty pages is pretty generous of you, Mike!

      • klmn

        “Important to note: none of us are COMPELLED to read these scripts all the way through.”

        Of course, if SS readers vote for it, then Carson sorta is.

        His website, his rules. His tears.

        Might be fun reading his review, if you’re into schadenfreude.

        • Mike.H

          Schadenfreude was my middle name until maturity set in. Now I’m jr. #empthy.

          • Casper Chris

            #empathy or #empty?

          • klmn

            I think they’re two kinds of the same coin. It’s good to have both in your toolkit.

        • Scott Crawford

          That’s a really good point. I think and I hope that between us we can point Carson in the right direction. I’m CONCERNED that Remie is getting a lot of “buzz” even though few people seem to have finished it. It’s more like it’s the script they HOPE is the best.

    • Malibo Jackk

      If nothing happens in the first 10
      — they might skim the last 10.

      • klmn

        Hasn’t anyone here heard of the 10 page bang rule? Something should happen every 10 pages or so.

        • Scott Crawford

          Whammies or Whammos they used to call it.

          For me, don’t start with lots of action, just suck me into the story.

    • Linkthis83

      From my perspective:

      Out of the 5 scripts offered, I only read beginnings, thus my vote comes down to which script I think has the most interesting story + writing I trust + what I’d want to see as a film + script I’d like to see reviewed + script I think would benefit from the most feedback + etc. There are so many influences when it comes to voting for a script.

      WOR, while boring, had the best “promise” to me based on the quality of writing. It felt like a script/story you must be patient with in order for the effectiveness of the unraveling to take shape.

      However, based on the reviews of others who read the whole thing, I learned that I would’ve been let down and unfulfilled by this script. Knowing that, I’d still vote for it out of these 5 because it’s the one I feel most complete and intriguing.

      I think a reader would go on reading (because they are paid to from what I hear). And I think a Dev Exec would be more likely to go on reading this one than the other 4.

      I agree that nothing MAJOR has happened, but subtle moments are happening. Set up is happening. For spec scripts I feel this is risky, but mostly only for sites like this when you are trying to earn a review. I’ve read scripts that have a really interesting opening, but it’s really not relevant to the overall story, but a device to get people hyping the opening.

      Hope this helps.

  • Scott Crawford

    Thanks for the reply. I kind of agree with you about the historical thing, esp. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter! But while you don’t have to chase the market place, you do have to realize, as we’ve ALL realized, that, unless your script stands out CONCEPTUALLY, it can’t go that far.

    I wish you good luck in the future. If you want any scripts sent your way, like Wolverton or Pinch – which is also about people stealing a gold crown! – leave an e-mail address and I or someone else will send some to you. You can learn a lot from reading scripts!

    Best of luck!

    • AB Stratley

      Hi Scott, you’re right – the concept needs to be stronger! And we’d love to take a read of those scripts – our email is treasuresoffate at our good friend gmail.com. Thanks!

  • Scott Crawford

    Congrats on making the list!

    • James Joseph

      Thanks. I’m excited. It’s cool to see people’s thoughts on my work.

  • Scott Crawford

    Don’t wanna strike too much of a down note, but very important that you keep writing NEW stuff and not just rewriting the old ones. Probably someone’s told you that already, but you do need a portfolio of scripts, two or three really. It’s very easy – VERY easy, I speak from experience – to spend YEARS polishing the same script.

    Take some of the feedback and use it in your NEXT story, even if you’re still trying to concentrate on your current one.

    • AB Stratley

      Great advice – and something we’ve already decided to do!

      • Scott Crawford

        That’s great to here! I’ve sent you some scripts to inspire you!

  • jw

    WHAT I LEARNED: Flash & style don’t equal great story. As I read these scripts, the quality of the flash in the writing is clear and abundant, but the stories themselves don’t really resonate and I think that’s what everyone here is saying. There really is no winner this week because at the end of the day we already know what Carson is going to say after reading: “too much flash and not enough substance.” Let’s just save everyone the time and energy and call it a day. Seems like this site struggles with 2 things: 1. High-level writing and 2. High-level story. There are weeks where we get one and weeks where we get another, but rarely, rarely do we get both.

    • Linkthis83

      I would state that spec scripts in Hollywood struggle with the same two things. Your stance seems to be that Carson is constantly avoiding the spec scripts with pro talent waiting to be discovered.

      Carson’s wants the amateur scripts to be just as good as you do. And the clear winner here are the writers who get useful feedback on their scripts.

      • Scott Crawford

        Yes, but how many times – and I think this is what jw is getting at – how many times can you say: “Writing’s OK, shows promise, but the story’s lousy.”

        I know how you feel about OUTLINES, but you can see the problems that occur when people just hammer out a story without one. If the writer of The Boogeykids had outlined his script, he could have seen how thin the first ten pages were – it’s evident from the long, long dialogue scenes. We also could have done without a kid and his dog being thrown through the air at hyper-velocity, or what was it.

        No, this has got to get better. This is Amateur Offerings Weekend, but there must be better out there. (In fact there has been, in the past few weeks. Give them another try.).

        • Linkthis83

          Scott, this is where you lose some credibility with me: “I know how you feel about OUTLINES”

          Do you? And how do I feel about them?

          “If the writer of The Boogeykids had outlined his script, he could have seen how thin the first ten pages were”

          This is presumptuous. Maybe the writer got this result by outlining.

          “No, this has got to get better. This is Amateur Offerings Weekend, but there must be better out there”

          There must be – but it’s finding them that is the challenge. Carson and Lauren do what they can, but they don’t KNOW what it is they are giving us to read. They don’t know the quality. That’s where we come in – it’s up to us to read and give feed back. It’s not like they are like “Oh no, don’t put that on SS, it’s too good.” And if they are, well, it’s his site.

          The advice I’ve given JW before is…if you don’t like what’s here, create the site you want and provide the quality scripts you crave. It’s hard to believe nobody’s done that yet – I mean, with all the quality of amateur spec scripts out there.

          This is a fantastic opportunity for amateurs to get eyes on their work, Some can’t resist submitting too early – Some don’t realize where they are at until they get here – It’s not like these scripts are getting past 4 levels of readers before they get here – WE ARE LEVEL ONE.

          I’m not demanding or defending work of less quality, it’s just the reality that there’s a lot of it out there. And I’m not saying that the ones today are subpar. This business is just fucked up enough to find one of these scripts and believe it has exactly what they are looking for, or it’s something they want to develop. Or they might discover that they like how the writer writes and want him/her to work on something else. Reducing these scripts today because they don’t meet the SCOTT CRAWFORD standard isn’t of any value to these writers. It’s a luxury to be so dismissive and say “well, there are other weeks where their were better scripts so I don’t give any of these my vote today” — that’s bogus, in my opinion. AOW is luck of the draw baby – if Carson chooses not to review any of these based on the comments, then so be it. For right now though, one of these scripts has a creator(s) that believe under this current system they have a legit shot at an AF review.

          Please be mindful. Push the work, but please stop discounting it.

          • jw

            Link, myself and Scott are on the same page here, and in no way am I saying, “Carson is constantly avoiding the spec scripts with pro talent waiting to be discovered.” I’m not even sure where you came up with that because it doesn’t really make any sense. All I’ve been pointing out over the past few months is the fact that these sites already exist. You want feedback? How many sites can you go to for peer review, which a majority of the time is “free” advice, or throw down 50/150 and snag someone from some review site to give you a bit of a steer. My point is, is that this is wasted because there are already avenues for this. My thinking on the way this should work, is that these writers should have already spent time getting feedback from these other sites and then submit something that is quote-un-quote worthy of a read with the potential of a nice “find” in the midst of the chaos that is Hollywood. I live 20 minutes south of LA, and trust me, it’s chaos. I guess a bit of my business mind sort of gets in the way at times where I’m looking at a site that fits a very niche market, yet seems to fall short of taking advantage of that. Again, the scripts posted this past weekend had a lot of flash and could potentially be “writing samples” but that’s about it.

          • Linkthis83

            I view your point as a mark against the quality of a script. My counter-point isn’t that writers just CHOOSE to make their scripts of higher quality. Especially when this is all subjective.

            Some of the scripts that show up on AOW have been reviewed by other sites, or their peers, or their writing group, etc.

            Carson says “send me your amateur scripts for a shot at AOW” – how they do it from there is beyond me. It seems like you are saying “Hey, writers, do us all a favor and don’t submit until your script is ready.”

            Who gets to decide they are ready?

            Plus it comes down to how YOU view AOW should be utilized versus others. There aren’t many on here who ding AOW like this. And I think it’s because they recognize the value in it.

            AOW is valuable to me because I get to read scripts that might be missing their mark. I get to have conversations with writers about their intentions and their stories. I get to assess these things and figure what I would do as a writer to fix them. AOW has been the greatest learning device for me in understanding how I approach screenwriting. What I think works and doesn’t.

            Hell, I might not even have the talent that I think I have. I may lack the ability to develop into a proficient storyteller via this medium. But I won’t know it, until I submit my work to a site like this and people give me the “oh man, did you do any work before writing this” – I will have spent numerous hours thinking I’m crafting something great.

            and even if the masses here tell somebody their script/story is great, it doesn’t mean they are right because they are the masses. It’s all subjective.

            I like that you are attempting solutions for something you feel is flawed. I guess I just don’t see it that way. Perhaps I should, but for now, I do not.

          • jw

            All of which is valuable Link, none of which is original because you can find it elsewhere. And yes, “quality” can be subjective, but when the reality is that 9 of every 10 amateur script ratings receive a “wasn’t for me” and that’s likely Carson being kind, you have to ask yourself “are we doing the best we can”? Are we, as writers, submitting our best work? Is Carson, as the owner of this site, doing his best work in choosing, or is it just an afterthought? Unfortunately, this is my line of work. I tell giant corporations what it is they’re doing wrong in customer experience, in order for you as the customer to benefit more from entering the door. Sometimes that seeps over into my comments in terms of this site because I really like what the site does and the level of potential it has, which means when I see it falling short, that side of my brain has a comment. You’re right, it’s a quality site that does quality work that I happen to believe could be elevated. Someone asked me one time how I approach seeking advice on my writing and said something very simple that still applies today, “the only people in my life who I ever remembered were people who didn’t allow mediocre as the standard.” Honesty and nothing but. Thanks for the chat.

          • Linkthis83

            “Someone asked me one time how I approach seeking advice on my writing and said something very simple that still applies today, “the only people in my life who I ever remembered were people who didn’t allow mediocre as the standard.” Honesty and nothing but.”

            What a great phrase. And it’s exactly what is happening on here on a week to week basis. We are constantly telling writers that they aren’t ready. We are constantly pushing them with our honesty to get better.

            The paradox in your brilliant piece of advice is this: people don’t recognize their own mediocrity until given the feedback that makes them decide to no longer be mediocre. Oh, and the fact that not EVERYONE can take their writing to the next level. No matter how much they try, they may never improve.

            But I must admit, that quote sounds great…especially here. Context is always a necessity as well.

          • davejc

            I’m 100% with Link in this debate. And I like this site and AOW exactly the way it is, the way Carson created. There are plenty of other places on the internet where you go to read more polished scripts. But they didn’t start that way. What we’re doing here is taking amateur scripts from the ground up and helping amateur writers take their work to the next level. If you want to read scripts after thay have been vetted by others, there are other sites for that.

            But this site is strictly amateur, unsubmitted, unread and we get first look. And far as this weeks selection goes, there isn’t one that couldn’t be polished into a successful picture. But it takes work, a lot of work.

          • walker

            The idea that giant corporations would seek your advice on customer service is ludicrous and not plausible, based on your lack of basic politeness.

          • jw

            Well said, sir. Well said.

          • walker

            What??

          • Matthew Garry

            >My thinking on the way this should work, is that these writers >should have already spent time getting feedback from these >other sites and then submit something that is
            >quote-un-quote worthy of a read with the potential of a nice >”find”

            To support your point, I’d like to add that, as an example, most scripts that find their way from the simplyscripts writer forums to AOW usually score high (“Warning shot”, “Noir of the Dead”, “What doesn’t kill you”, “Stream of consciousness”, and that’s just from memory; there are probably even more). So I think there’s definitely a perceivable difference in quality depending on how much thought and feedback went into the script.

            So yes, even though I think AOW should be open to all, I sometimes feel submitting writers are maybe too careless with the opportunity.

          • Scott Crawford

            Yeah, that’s long post. This is 2014. Are we really still at the stage of “we don’t outline”? That’s rookie level.

            Congratulations on everyone for writing their first script and sharing with the public. I wouldn’t have shown MY first scripts to the public. Why would I, they were rubbish. If writers want to use AOW and AF to get reassurance they should keep writing, sure, fine, but my advice will always be the same: next time, try writing your story down before adding the dialogue.

            http://www.wordplayer.com/columns/wp37.Proper.Treatment.html
            http://johnaugust.com/library
            http://www.simplyscripts.com/treatments.html

            If I can find more, I’ll post more. Difficult because most writers won’t share their outlines – various reasons, including that they may wish to recycle unused ideas in other screenplays. Kurtzman and Orci wrote five screenplays, in I think it was a few years, and threw them all away. They realized the need to outline. Their sixth script, The 28th Ammendment, they outlined. And sold. And got lots of work off of.

            Want to end up with a screenplay just like tens of thousands of others? Don’t outline. Want to direct the next Star Trek movie? Start outlining.

          • Linkthis83

            Not one person was advocating not to outline in this discussion. Here are the simple truths:

            -YOU believe that outlining is the only way to go
            -YOU are allowed to believe that
            -There are professional writers who do NOT outline
            -SOME of these amateur writers may not have outlined
            -SOME of them did, and still ended up with less than Scott Crawford quality work
            -SOME don’t have the ability to write a great script no matter what they do
            -YOU do NOT know if a writer outlined or not
            -YOU presume to know
            -CRAIG MAZIN warns of being beholden to your outline
            -SOME of the scripts we’ve read on here could be the very result of someone sticking to their outline
            -Just because someone outlines, doesn’t mean they outline WELL.
            -Just because someone outlines, doesn’t mean they have a good STORY
            -Just because they outline, doesn’t mean they will see the problems with the script you would
            -Sometimes people’s first drafts end up being their outline
            -EACH script/story is its own entity
            -EACH script/story has its own unique challenges
            -NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO, YOU ARE ALWAYS CAPABLE OF CREATING A SCRIPT/STORY THAT’S NOT GOING TO BE RECEIVED WELL.
            -No script is ever finished…not until the movie hits theaters. (and even then the writer is still re-writing it :)
            -What makes one script successful can be totally different than another
            -There are numerous ways to write an effective script
            -The majority of scripts on here receive positive and negative feedback
            -YOU CAN’T PLEASE EVERYBODY – and it’s futile to try
            -People create differently

            **I shared my first fifteen pages EVER on here. Just to see if I was total shit.

            **When I get my first script done – I will show it on here – If people are willing to read and give feedback, then that’s why I’d share it – I need the help. I need to know HOW to get better. I need to know what I might be doing well.

    • Franchise Blueprints

      Has anyone noticed 2014 seems to be a very fortunate year for the AOW and AF writers. The number of various writing contests these writers are placing in shows the value in scriptshadow. I don’t have the logistics to prove that scriptshadow directly contributed to their individual successes. The pattern appears to be submit to AOW, get notes, send current revision to contest, post results on forum.

  • Mike.H

    Treasures of Fate might need a better title. Mark & Tommy need more character development and catchier names as well. It’s somewhat empty calories read, I stopped somewhere around 40 pages…

  • Franchise Blueprints

    Off Topic

    I just saw this as a kickstarter campaign. I know this was a proof of concept short. The feedback I’m looking for is, do you find as a viewer a talking head mock documentary intercut with action sequences entertaining? It was slightly tiresome to watch, but since I’m a Star Trek fan my forgiveness level is high.

    https://d2pq0u4uni88oo.cloudfront.net/projects/738707/video-422705-h264_high.mp4

  • Linkthis83

    troll bait.

  • walker

    Dude none of that is clear from the opening of that script.

  • Scott Crawford

    Sorry, “Frenchy”, I know you have a lot invested in this script, for some reason, but it looks like The Nuke Anuses, I mean The Anus Kissers… sorry, I mean The Anunnakis is a PASS.

    (Seriously, you think they’re gonna put The Anunnakis on a theater marquee?).

    • Frenchy

      None of the Anus Kissers, dude. Just google the Anunnakis if you want to enlarge your knowledge about the very first culture on Earth–the Sumerians.

  • Matthew Garry

    WATCHING OVER REMIE

    Just reading it was a meta-thriller all by itself, where every page I wondered if it really was going to be able to keep the tension going. And then the next page, and the next page, and suddenly you’re somewhere in act 2, and it’s still going.

    It’s slightly overwritten in places, with the odd dodgy unfilmable here and there, but it’s the right genre with the right budget, and you get this feeling in your tummy that this one is going to storm the blacklist, if only it can keep this up.

    And then, when you’re almost there, act 3 rolls around…and well, it offered enough resolution to be serviceable; it’s decent enough, but for me it failed to capture the emotional ambiguities of what precedes it. It’s almost as if act three was written in a hurry, at least compared to the first two acts. It’s still good though, and I only have one script left to read, so, bar any surprises, “Watching Over Remie” gets my vote.

  • Scott Crawford

    R.I.P. Lord Richard Attenborough of Richmond-upon-Thames.

    One of the finest actors, directors, and ambassadors for the British Film Industry.

    • Mike.H

      I remember him at JURASSIC PARK.

  • Kirk D

    read to page 42 of Watching over Remy.

    the action prose is concise and detailed while also being efficient.

    I agree with others who have said not a lot happens but but…. it does seem to be building towards something I’m just not sure what.

    what I’ve read is well done but it is also a little frustrating. I found myself reading the pages rather quicklyl. I definitely want more story beats ….yet I kept pushing forward. this is the kind of story that needs a very very satisfying third act, because whatever constitutes the first act and beyond is all about the promise of what’s to come rather than what’s happening…..

    the writer deserves props for stringing me along as long as he did…. I’m reading this thing on my smartphone in between work downtime… hoping there is a satisfying denouement
    either way this one gets my VOTE

  • ASAbrams

    I decline to vote for this batch of offerings…

    I did read Watching Over Remie. My notes… I noticed that the words “casually” and “pivot” were used many times–to a distracting degree.

    I didn’t find any of the characters very sympathetic. Claire has a hazy mental illness that no one really considers to be an illness or even treats as an illness. Alain abandons his wife and blames her for her mental illness. Remie is a non-entity–no personality. I don’t know why Claire latched on to the girl since they don’t even properly interact. Just one extended personal conversation would do. Also, in that scene at the gas station, Remie’s dialogue doesn’t ring true. I don’t think she would say that about her mother, especially not to strangers.

    Actually, I had trouble understanding everyone’s motivations. For example, when the principal of Remie’s school locks the place down because Claire wants to see her child. At first she’s just dealing with an upset parent. Is scaring the students and having the teachers running around locking doors warranted? The principal seems to be reacting to information she doesn’t have.

    Is there a trigger for Claire’s paranoia? Was she behaving normally at the beginning of the story? What happened to their friend’s child?

    The writing detailed minor action beats too much. A person will pick up this, and then scratch that, and then look there, and think about that–I think this unnaturally stretched out the story.

    I think that Claire’s focus should be put into a clearer goal. Maybe there’s some actual, specific threat that worries Claire, but not one that’s likely. Then we see her defense against it and her unfounded rationale play out. This will allow the story to build externally while she’s falling apart internally. We see the progress of her state by her actions. Right now, the paranoia is all over the place–food, strangers, “safety”…this haziness doesn’t allow the tension to rise because we can’t anticipate Claire’s actions nor see when they are getting better or worse.

  • cjob3

    I’m voting for WATCHING OVER REMY. Reminds me a bit of the underrated SAFE with Julianne Moore. Except with What’s-in-our-food? instead of What’s-in-our-air? which I think is a very timely and relevant issue for a psychological thriller to tackle. Like “Safe” it also appears to be a very slow burn. That’s not a bad thing as long as it pays off big in the end.

    I will agree it’s just a touch over-written, but nothing terrible. A few extraneous lines here and there, sometimes giving us info a viewer isn’t privy to. I’ll try to cite some examples when I have more time. Best of luck with it!

  • Malibo Jackk

    Gonna have to go with THE ANUNNAKIS.
    It’s got Brachio and Ankylo-saures,
    Sauro and Ornitho-pods,
    Triceros, Pteros, and Lock Ness monsters,
    Reptoids, Anunnakises and Spooky Boo
    (all on the first page.)
    JUST FOR THE TOY FRANCHISE.

    But: Think STAR WARS
    — except underground. And have fun with it.

    (May need a page one rewrite.)

    • Linkthis83

      Of course you would :)

  • brenkilco

    My taste is only my taste. But for another go round with this kind of material I’d prefer a tale a bit more grounded in reality than an anything goes romp. The Da Vinci Code succeeded, despite the fact that it was essentially idiotic, because it grounded all the nonsense. National Treasure didn’t do this nearly as well but still had a bit of historical background. The more the clues and puzzles and motivations make sense, the more I would buy into the big scale action, which seems to be the stuff that you guys enjoy most. But as I say, I prefer stories that build logically to picaresque, one damn thing after another adventures. I was flayed in the Raiders post for my comments so take this for what it’s worth. Good luck.

  • Citizen M

    None of the scripts were AF-ready, I thought. TREASURES OF FATE is my pick if I have to choose one.

    WATCHING OVER REMIE
    Read to page 26. Seldom have I read a script where so little happens. Claire is concerned about her little girl Remie. Why? There’s no motivation, no inciting incident, she’s just worried, that’s all. And what does she do about it? “Claire sets the basket on the bed, lifts out a stack of Alain’s shirts and precisely tucks them into a dresser drawer. She repeats the move with a few pair of socks and some underwear”. By page 26, stuff should be happening, she shouldn’t still be doing mundane domestic chores. Maybe with creepy music it might be interesting, but as written it’s boring. Script needs lots of pruning and a jolt of vitamins.

    THE BOOGEYKIDS
    Read 33 pages. Promising until the first attack if just a teeny bit slow and over-detailed. Diana and Steve are well described. A typical mis-matched bickering couple. But for the life of me I cannot understand why Robert the storekeeper is the first victim. Traditionally, Indians and local residents are immune from attack because they respect the spirits. Also, the doll version of Diana and the 7-ft doll were something I couldn’t get my head around. The monsters are too unusual for me. I don’t know what they are doing or why they are attacking.

    Steve would say “nine mil” not “nine”. (I presume he was referring to a weapon, not his dick.) Surely he wouldn’t toss a knobbly tire and rim — they are hella expensive.

    TREASURES OF FATE
    Read to page 28. Very promising start with good action scenes in Guatemala, but once Mark meets Chet and goes to the auction the action and motives aren’t clear. The scenes were a bit too sketchily described. I couldn’t visualize them, especially the explosion at the auction. A vault is normally underground. Maybe you mean a strong room. Also, I can’t see Dr. Vanessa trusting the brothers so easily. Without knowing what Mark needs to do next I can’t get excited. I know he wants a bigger treasure, but what stands in his way?

    I felt you need more quips and one-liners. They are traditional in this sort of action adventure story. For instance when Tommy knocks out Tattoo for the second time it cries out for a snarky comment. Also, Mark reveals to Tommy he stole the crown without telling Tommy far too soon. You have set up dramatic irony only to lose the impact in the next scene instead of at a crucial part of the story. You might as well lose Mark concealing the theft from Tommy altogether. Setups without the expected payoffs are a disappointment to an audience.

    #TRENDING
    Read to page 32. Okay, but the pace needs to pick up and the issues were not clear. They need to be set up earlier on. We need to see Molly and Ernest’s relationship and how Molly’s fame has changed it . By this time Ernest should believe that to regain the relationship he wants he needs to be famous too and have a plan. The execution of that plan would be Act 2. The inciting incident is Molly getting famous. That should happen by page 12, not page 18.

    The descriptions were overwritten. I had a hard time understanding what was going on, sometimes. Just tell us Ernest drives a LeBaron, don’t tell us how you would shoot it driving through the traffic. that’s directing on the page. When Juan and Ernest meet, indicate the depth of friendship by the way they greet. All you have is Juan moving towards the car (page 6). i couldn’t picture the scene. Ernest doesn’t behave like his description on page 1 (short, mustached, testosterone-driven). How did a guy like that ever become a shoe salesman?

    THE ANUNNAKIS
    How do you pronounce it — a-nunner-kiss, annu-nackis, ay-nooner-kuhs? A title like that is death at the box office. People won’t ask for tickets if they’re afraid they’ll mispronounce it.

    An asteroid strike or meteorite would set the valleys ablaze. What is a “triangular saucer”? Pedantically, since the Reptoids know what craft they fly, they can’t be UFOs. Say “known to humans as UFOs”. List montage scenes vertically. “agonizing humans” — you probably mean “agonized”. SUPERIMPOSE: DAY 3 <– add colon or put day 3 in quotes. The outside and inside of the Anunnaki mother ship are two different scene headings. I presume the Anunnaki look like humans, but please describe them, particularly Spooky Boo who seems to be a major character.

    Read 8 pages. Can't get into it. May be a spoof but has to be formatted properly. I can understand Reptoids sharing the earth with us and getting pissed off, but how did the Anunnaki get wind of the Reptoid's paln, and why do they bother anyway? "Humans are our children" is not a strong enough reason. there should be a secret Anunnaki plan for humans which the Reptoids would disrupt. Who or what is Spooky Boo? We need a better intro into his/her/its capabilities and motivations. Is it Spooky scary? Doesn't seem to be, despite the name.

    Just generally, this feels like a fun first draft and not anything meant to be taken seriously.

    • ASAbrams

      I’m starting to wonder about the assumption that people won’t buy tickets if they can’t pronounce the movie title. Does anyone have any specific movies in which this is known to be the case? It might be a contributing factor, especially if no one’s really interested in the movie’s concept in the first place, but I don’t know if in and of itself an unpronounceable title would doom a movie’s box office. I mean, critics said that Maleficent would do poorly, in part, because no one would know how to say the name properly (example: http://www.comingsoon.net/news/weekendwarriornews.php?id=118736). I don’t think the title has hurt it that much since it was one of the more successful movies of the summer. Also, and this is anecdotal, my spouse informed me people were buying tickets left and right at the theater he works for–all while hardly ever getting the name of the movie right.

      So how much does it really matter?

  • walker

    So you are not “Frenchy”? I must say that is surprising and somewhat alarming. In several comments throughout this thread he seemed to be speaking as the writer of The Annunakis. Particularly comments such as “Please don’t get me wrong but I’m very much interested in honest feedback.” and “However, I feel that the Anunnakis will fare better if I downgrade the rating from R to PG 13.”

    • walker

      oops sorry misspelled “Anunnakis” there

  • Linkthis83

    Well, when I first got into this I was working on a project with a writer and wasn’t getting the effort I needed. I also realized that I needed a script under my belt before we finished it – I wanted more understanding to increase the chances of us making it effective. So when the IISC came around I took a break to enter something into that (April 2014). And now I’ve been working on a horror script the last few months.

    SS has been fantastic. Like an express lane to knowledge (+ Scriptnotes podcast). Being able to break down scripts and have discussions has been fantastic. And to see how other people approach this stuff and what they believe.

    I sure hope I can do this. I can’t wait to find out :)

    My journey started January 2013, but I didn’t really start writing/developing until a few months after that.