Amateur Offerings is back once again! Check out the scripts below and offer constructive criticism, and then vote for the best of the bunch!

TITLE: Exodus
GENRE: Sci-fi
LOGLINE: The interstellar migration of the human race has failed. On our new planet a widowed construction worker learns of a message from an eccentric journalist on Earth; one that unravels a conspiracy that has crossed light-years – one that puts him firmly in the sights of the government’s most dangerous agents
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: We are two brother’s from the UK with the itch to tell a story. That story has culminated with the labour of love that you have sitting in this email.

Influenced by sci-fi classics such as Blade Runner Exodus is story that crosses light-years, but crucially we feel it remains personal – with its core centred around the human struggle with grief and loss. Onto this grounding we layered all the elements that we look for ourselves from a story – elements such as a genuinely conflicted hero, a three dimensional antagonist and dialogue that doesn’t make you cringe when you read it.

We have had strange anomalies with a previous reviewer, rating it excellent across the board before rejecting it when it entered their competition for grammatical errors.

Undeterred we returned to the drawing board and are hoping to get our voice heard. Take a shot on us two from across the pond, you will not be disappointed.

GENRE: Comedy-Horror
LOGLINE: A high school football star’s bright future turns bleak (and bloody) when his popular girlfriend turns into a vampire.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: I’ve started a few screenplays before but Dawn was the first one I ever completed. It was the first of the two screenplays I wrote during my year at Vancouver Film School. I managed to option it a week before I graduated. That option has since dried up but I figure if it’s option-worthy then it must be pretty good.
I’d say my biggest influence on the writing of this is my personal favorite comedy-horror: Lost Boys. Now I’m not that full of myself to compare Dawn to that classic 80’s flick, I’m just saying it inspired it quite a bit.
GENRE: Crime/Comedy
LOGLINE: After a robbing a gas station, two small time criminals steals a car with a kidnapped man in the trunk, and has to stay hidden from two rival gangs, while they try to collect money for one of the criminal’s daughter.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: Because it’s a fast paced crime comedy with two female leading roles. I wrote it because it’s simply something I’d watch, with characters I’d watch.

Oh, minor detail. I’m from Sweden. Yep. The land of Ikea and Ingmar Bergman. Just a heads up.
TITLE: The Aabadocks
GENRE: 3D Family, Adventure
LOGLINE: A family of pirates navigating an alternate world of islets, and otherworldly beasts are forced to embark on a perilous journey to return cargo they accidentally stole from the ruthless Queen of Hemantep island.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: In a past article by Mr. Reeves entitled “Navigating the IP Era” he provides seven solutions; “The Aabadocks” falls into the category of Solution #3 “Spec Universe.” This is not a great script, but it is a great film that is meant to transcend the 18-35 year old male demo, and appeal to anyone with a sense of adventure (i.e. Alice in Wonderland); providing the type of fun experience that will get families out of their homes and into the theaters.
GENRE:  Crime/Drama
LOGLINE: Having been kidnapped in South Africa, a resilient young traveller is forced into criminal activity by his captors in order to repay the ransom his family could not afford.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ: I got notes for this [from Carson] about a year or two back. Following some rewrites, it’s had a couple of producers on and off the project, getting closer each time. I’m looking to find out why this script hasn’t gone beyond getting interest into getting made.
  • Malibo Jackk

    “We have had strange anomalies with a previous reviewer, rating it
    excellent across the board before rejecting it when it entered their
    competition for grammatical errors.”

    I thought you UKers invented the language?

    • pmlove

      We invented a lot of things. Rubbish at most of them.

      • klmn

        William Maudsley’s screw cutting lathe was a game changer.

        • pmlove

          Watching someone British use one now only serves to draw the collective sigh of a nation.

      • Kirk Diggler

        I enjoyed Orange Squash and Smarties on my trips to the U.K. as a child, surely that counts for something, other than bad teeth.

  • Bifferspice

    Trunk sounds the most interesting to me. I hate to say it but I’m instantly put off any script that talks about demographics, and which sectors it’s designed to appeal to. i know that’s the word of carson, and of many others, that we should look to that, but i hate it as an approach. write a story because it’s a story you want to write, not because you want to sell it. just my opinion.

    • SeekingSolace

      Hello. I’m the writer of “The Aabadocks,” and I’m reporting for rebuttals and praises. “I hate to say it but I’m instantly put off any script that talks about demographics, and which sectors it’s designed to appeal to.” Ever wonder why the female sidekick is always a hot blonde with perky breasts?

      It’s not an accident, it’s to appeal to 18-35 year old men, most films are, and it’s painfully evident with each movie trailer/poster. It’s the same reason this very group disliked “Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants,” “The Notebook,” “Twilight,” “The Fault in Our Stars,” because these were meant to appeal to 18-35 year old women. Whether it’s mentioned or not, every film in Hollywood is meant to appeal to a certain demographic. I merely mentioned how “The Aabadocks” is meant to transcend all age groups and appeal to anyone with a sense of adventure (i.e. Alice in Wonderland.)

      I also enjoyed writing the script, it’s definitely a story I wanted to write. It’s not the “Tour de Force” script most writers believe they have to produce in order to get noticed, but it would make for an entertaining film.

      “The Aabadocks” was written to sell toys actually…. lots of them, and IMAX tickets as well, this isn’t because I hate the “Tour de Force” crowd. I wrote it this way because films in today’s market can’t rely solely on Box-office revenue or DVD sales to enter the realm of profitability. A project needs spin-offs, video-games, cellphone apps, etc. to truly be profitable, and “The Aabadocks” has all of these attributes.

      “Cars” got the quick green-light for a sequel and a spin-off while the better written/reviewed “Incredibles” didn’t, because the former has made over $10 BILLION in toy revenue while the latter has not performed so well. Such high revenue results is what perks up the investors. A group that must not be ignored if a project is to get proper funding. This is something writers either don’t know, or fail to acknowledge.

      • klmn

        All sidekicks should be hot blondes with perky breasts. Not just in movies, but in life.

        Westerns would be more popular if sidekicks weren’t gnarly old bastards with beards like Billy Gibbons (I have no idea what his breasts are like, but I understand he drinks a lot of beer).

      • Bifferspice

        If I was a producer that sort of talk might be interesting (though I doubt a producer worth his salt gives a shit what the writer has to say about market appeal). I’m not. I’m a writer. I’m not looking for a script to milk a fortune out of sheep. I’m interested in reading scripts by writers who had a story they felt they had to tell, no matter how unusual. Not something calculated, designed to appeal to certain sectors or demographics. That sounds as artistically inspiring as a McDonalds is nutritious. Sorry, nothing against your script. I haven’t opened it. I just think a WYSR (if it has to exist) should be full of enthusiasm for what its writer wants to say in the script, not to boast that surveys say it ticks the boxes of this or that bunch of saps so they’d probably like it

        • Rick McGovern

          I agree with you. I have to say the WYSR’s weren’t that bad this time around. Especially the last one, who just wants to find out where it’s main weaknesses are so he can make it better, and possibly actually get it made. I think that’s a perfect example of what a WYSR should read like.

          The fact is, a lot of writers think their scripts are great, and they turn out not to be very good. I’ve also noticed the opposite has been true, a lot of writers who think they are horrible writers and their screenplays suck turn out to be pretty good. Not sure why that is.

          I personally go back and forth depending on who has read my script. “Ah, it’s great!” Man, I knew it was good! “This is the worst piece of junk…” I knew I had no talent! lol

        • SeekingSolace

          “I’m not looking for a script to milk a fortune out of sheep.”

          This is an outdated way of thinking. Just because a movie is kept simple so that it can be sold abroad, doesn’t mean it’s being sold to “sheep.” Man, what is with all of the insults today? People go to the movies to have a good time. What’s wrong with giving them a film meant specifically for that?

          “The Avengers” was made to sell merchandise, toys, video-games, clothing, etc, all tentpoles are. It’s the reason “Cars” had both a sequel and a spin-off, while “The Incredibles” is still a no-go. So you’re wrong about producers not caring about this sort of thing. The last few blockbuster says so. “Cars” made 10 Billion dollars worldwide with toy sales alone. How could projects that present similar opportunities not appeal to them?

          • Bifferspice

            i’m giving you feedback about your pitch and what didn’t work for me. if you’re bright, you’ll take that onboard. this demographic of UK screenwriters who hate films made to appeal to ‘everyone’, which generally means bland, asinine, and lowest common denominator. your WYSR explicitly put me off from reading your script, and I’m telling you why. you weren’t pitching to producers here. by all means, when you’re sending into producers, put what you think they want to hear. nobody here is going to make your film for you, so don’t tell us why we should. tell us why we should spend an hour and a half reading the bloody thing. that’s it. show us your passion for your project, why you wrote it. but you have. it’s for the toys. and the spin-offs. i made the right choice leaving it the hell alone. i can turn on the telly or netflix and watch a million things written with those goals in mind. i want to read something that has passion and heart. nothing in any of your posts talks of that. you’re worried that we’re reading it in 3D. i haven’t insulted you at all, by the way. i don’t know you and i haven’t read a word of your script.

          • SeekingSolace

            ” This demographic of UK screenwriters who hate films made to appeal to ‘everyone’, which generally means bland, asinine, and lowest common denominator.”

            What about the Asian market? They love it. Look at the numbers from “Transformers,” “Maleficent,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

          • Dale T
          • Bifferspice

            can you stop using the cars/incredibles comparison too? there is an incredibles 2 in production.

          • SeekingSolace

            Yeah, and it only took 10 years to get it going. The fact of the matter is that most writers don’t take the time to understand the “Business” side of the “Show Business.”

      • Bifferspice

        Wait. It was written to sell toys??! Argh!!

        • SeekingSolace

          I know, but it appeals to investors. You can’t expect someone to put up millions of their hard earned money without promising some sort of return on investment. It’s simple economics.

    • Nicholas J

      Ehhh I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being aware of the target market for your scripts. It’s something I always take into account when writing, but that doesn’t mean what I’m writing isn’t a story I want to write. I don’t see how the two are related.

      Sure you can approach a script from a complete business sense, and that might suck some of the heart out of it, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least consider that side of things when writing.

      • Bifferspice

        that’s fine, but i don’t think there’s a place for it on here in a WYSR. it isn’t inspiring to me, and sounds cynical, like it was done for the dollars rather than the love of the story. if you do it for both, then focus on the latter when telling me why i might enjoy it. :) seriously don’t tell me you did it for the toys and spinoffs! haha!

        • Nicholas J

          You mean you didn’t write BtC to sell alcoholic Martin action figures with karate chop action? Man, you’re missing out on some $$$$.

  • Dale T

    Will read more in the morning.

    Exodus: Stopped at page 10, cause I didn’t know what was going on at this point, and the amount of grammatical mistakes were off-putting. There’s this mystery about someone’s wife, then it abruptly transitions to this planet inhabited only by english and chinese speaking people, we get some more talking, and we still don’t know what the story is about. I really want to read on, sci fi is my favorite genre, but I just couldn’t. Nothing really happens.

    Devil In You: Stopped at page 14. The premise is promising but it didn’t hook me enough, and I didn’t care enough for the characters to continue reading. What I did read:

    I feel like you’re trying to convey to us the idea that Cassius and Max are BFFs, but the only thing that really portrays that idea is when it’s written in text, “They’ve been friends forever. Practically brothers.” We’re led to assume that they are but I’m not sold on it. It seems you try to sell us this through them hooking up with some girls in Brazil, which is what friends do, but it’s not the best reflection of a true friendship, because who wouldn’t want to hook up with a spanking hot girl while on vacation. The true colors of a friendship is revealed by the sacrifices one makes in order to maintain it. Maybe the situation gets tinkered around where Cassius is getting him and Max local hook ups, and they get paired with smoking hot irresistible Brazilian girls, and Max is suddenly falling ill/has an attack of some sort. Cassius has to choose between hooking up with a gorgeous babe, or tending to his long life friend.

  • ripleyy

    I think Exodus can be summed up by:

    “A construction worker living on a new planet stumbles across a dangerous message from earth, one that puts his life in jeopardy”

    It’s at least more fluent and less chunky than the original. In fact, a lot of these loglines are chunky which really hinders any chances of them being read (except “Devil in You” and to an extent, “The Aabadocks”). I mean, any logline that is a paragraph is in danger. The whole point of a logline is to convey an idea into an elevator pitch, dissolving your story into two sentences and making it both basic and exciting to read (I know there are exceptions to this rule, but they are rare).

    Anyway, the line-up this week does seem interesting. After looking at twenty pages of each, I think my choice is “Devil in You”. It seems to be the one more defined, and more polished, plus the story is something I would like to watch.

  • GYAD

    EXODUS and DEVIL IN YOU sounded interesting, so I read them.

    – The tease is a bit weak: his wife ran off and trashed a room. So what?
    – There’s lots of strangely staccato dialogue.
    – p.6 “Aye Amon” isn’t a greeting.
    – No description of Amon; what age, personality etc?

    I read up to page 15 but to be honest I didn’t really know what was happening. The mystery in the tease isn’t very compelling, the protagonist was uninteresting and the story didn’t seem to be going anywhere. I also struggled to see what was so different about this sci-fi world compared to all the others.

    – Joburg is a great place for a crime drama…but Afrikaaners (p.12) as the villains again?
    – p.23 “rouse” should be “ruse”.
    – p.25 Not sure if some sister we haven’t seen is as compelling a threat as if Max had been left alive and held prisoner. Might have offered more redemption.
    – Holding a lighter against someone is a fairly wussy kind of torture for South Africa.

    I read up to page 30. It’s an easy read with a clear narrative that moves. The old ‘idiot ends up in over his head and has to reform’ is always good. However, I think the villains are weak — we’re twenty years on from Apartheid and we’ve all seen dozens of films with evil white South Africans. I think it would be much more interesting if Cassius ended up getting trapped in the real criminal underworld of Joburg.

    • ArabyChic

      Some villains never grow old :)

    • websters

      Thanks for the feedback, looks like we could do with revisiting this and getting things a bit clearer at the start, it was a conscious effort to leave out points so the audience can piece It together but looks like we went to far and the mystery was replaced by confusion, thanks for the read though, much appreciated

  • hickeyyy

    MY VOTE: Exodus, though if I can be honest, it’s by default as the others didn’t grasp my attention. I didn’t feel the need to continue on with any of them. I’d rather Liar Coward Judge get the shot from last AOW. I think that outperformed all 5 of this week’s entrants.

    Read 5 pages.
    Logline Interest: Medium? It sounds like something I might be interested in but it is very clunky in execution. Rewrite this to make it more crisp and concise.
    Review: Clarity. That’s the focus of your rewrite. You say you have been turned away for grammar issues. I think there is more to it than that. There is a severe lack of clarity.

    For example from Page 3 to 4, where the Officials bring Amon to look for Jenny, you mention they are looking through a pitch black window and can’t see anything. Then there is a corridor that has etchings. Where is this corridor? Is it through the glass? Where are we? I can’t picture any of this because it’s all over the place. Then, they enter, and motion lights flicker on. A minute ago we were told these were disabled?

    Some formatting issues on page 5 with introductions to characters. Who is the bald guy? This is the kind of thing you need to fix. This story might be great but it’s hard to sift through the other things to get there.

    Good luck!

    Read 5 pages.
    Logline Interest: Low. Vampire football is interesting but not with a generic title of Dawn. You could’ve done better than that title.
    Review: The dialog after 5 pages has me banging my head against the keyboard. I feel like you don’t know how people really talk. Unless maybe these characters are supposed to be out-there caricatures? I can’t tell. So far, the insults hurled have been pointexter and cretin. The girls ring so false it’s not even funny. YOU ARE LIKE SUCH A BITCH I KNOW RIGHT?! That isn’t anyone ever!

    A couple things: if you’re going to skip over the physical description of all your male characters, then don’t bother with the girl either. What’s the point? Lastly, get rid of the line “cherished missile of cowhide.” That made me stop reading and shake my head. Never a good sign.

    Read 5 pages.
    Logline Interest: Medium. This is not very concise and there are typos in it. That doesn’t bode well for the script itself. However the concept itself is the most interesting of the group.
    Review: Some of these analogies are way left field. “Out of place like dandruff on a mannequin?

    This is severely overwritten man. I can’t even focus on the story because of these absurd statements. Your job is to be clever with the story and not with these indecipherable action lines. Example: “The boy looks at Amy as if he just witnessed Santa doing whatever Santa is NOT supposed to do.” What the hell does that even mean? Just tell me exactly what you mean instead of whatever that is SUPPOSED to mean.

    Sorry, this is not for me. I’m not sure there is a fix to make me want to continue.

    Read 10 pages.
    Logline Interest: Low. 3D Family Films aren’t my generally consumed media.
    Review: I really enjoyed the comic swashbuckling. The family felt very Incredibles-esque with is a good thing. My biggest concern is the myriad of spelling and grammar issues. May want to have another run at this. There’s also the concern of me having no clue where the story is going as of yet. A kid’s movie is relatively short, generally speaking, so you need to up the pace and get to the point.

    Good luck!

    Read 9 pages.
    Logline Interest: Medium.
    Review: First of all, every time you said “clocks” or “clocking” I have no idea what you’re saying. Those dashes have to go. It is very difficult to follow the action here. I think the purpose of your opening to be honest. I’m seeing some, what I suspect since they are traveling the globe, rich kids partying and getting laid by some hot girls. If I’m supposed to buy Cassius as this nice guy who wants to “built a school or well or something” then I don’t think stealing liquor from a bar is the best way to show it. Then there is the issue with thee logline: Traveling is fucking expensive. And your main character is 22 so he has to have a well-off family, yet they can’t come up with ransom? Logic seems suspect here.

    • Randy Williams

      I’ve seen “clocks” in a several pro scripts. I think it means, look at someone or something, but I’m not sure if it’s just a glance or a stare, an assessment or a dismissal.

      • walker

        In such a case it is used to mean “notices and understands the significance of” an action or character. Like you enter the tavern, order a drink, clock two undercover cops checking you out at the end of the bar.

  • NajlaAnn

    My choice: DEVIL IN YOU

    • Somersby

      Care to tell us why?

      • NajlaAnn

        (a) logline captures my interest
        (b) script comes across as pretty well written
        (c) I have a friend who’s from South Africa

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    I started with this one since the logline seemed the most appealing.

    page 1- Personally, the more exotic the setting of a script, the more evocative I want the description. This is Rio during Carnival and it’s as bland as a Sunday in Tulsa. I wanted more atmosphere. Besides the firecrackers, you might infuse the opening with more sound. Drums, a din of music and voices. When the two characters began speaking, I imagined a quiet conversation instead of shouting to be heard. And they “observe the carnival” just reinforces the lack of “being there” for me.

    page 2- I don’t think of the local dancing during Carnival as “elegant”. Again, tearing at the atmosphere.
    page 2-3- seemed to me that we are dropped in the middle or even tail end of the conversation with the boys and the girls they meet. Even so much as the girls suggesting it’s time for them to split. But the dialogue reads as though they just met. “What brings you guys to Rio?” for instance.

    page 10- I think a TAXI DRIVER is missing as an introduction?

    page 12- Again, we’re in South Africa. One of the most exotic places on earth and I’m given nothing but rain.
    Read “balaclava” as a mid-eastern dessert. He’s not wearing one on his head, is he? I’d avoid such little known terms.

    page 13- “a disciple of schadenfreude” Actually laughed at that. I’d reconsider this phrase.

    page 14- a “surfer nature” is to not have a problem being excessively violent if required?!
    This is the problem when you go too long on your descriptions which is done frequently here. You get muddled.

    page 17- I believe PASSENGERS should be in caps somewhere as an introduction to characters.

    I’m noticing lots of commas are missing. Too many instances to mention. Review your comma usage.

    I’m actually glad to see something bad happen to them because they are both not sympathetic characters, both drunken, spoiled and stupid thieves. So, the crack to their skulls came as a relief to me. I will stop reading here.

    I need some goal they need to accomplish that is not in their sphere of stupidity that I want to see accomplished if I am to read on. Or someone that needs them to survive that I care about to read on. At the point I stopped, I think I’m reading a kidnapping story, possible an escape attempt, family at home paying the ransom, something goes wrong, a rescue mission perhaps. Nothing new.

    Wasn’t grabbed soon enough.

    • Paul Clarke

      FYI – Balaclava = Ski Mask

      I’ve run into that one before. I guess it’s not a term used in the US.

      • Linkthis83

        I own a thermal one for motorcycle rides when it gets really cold :)

        • Paul Clarke

          Motorcycle rides, indeed.

          I have one for robbing banks… I mean snowboarding. ;)

          • Linkthis83

            You should rob banks on snow-capped mountains and use your snowboard as your get-away vehicle.

      • Citizen M

        “Balaclava” derives from the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War.

        Maybe the Amercans could call them Yalus or Valley Forges rather than boring old ski masks.

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    Read to around page 40.

    There is a lot of good here, I thought

    Page 1- the beginning description starts with a sentence that has action. It also places us in a familiar place so we don’t need too much detail. We know this place, we know what it looks like, what it sounds like. Nice.
    Shouldn’t that be SEDAN and not SUDAN?
    Mixed messages in character descriptions always trip me up. “Intimidating” and also a braggart about inconsequential things. Too far apart.

    Page 3- “ends with an apology” Okay…I’m sensing English is not your official language. Going to the title page, yep…out of state phone number and name sounds Scandinavian. Americans find Scandinavians irresistibly sexy and you couldn’t find one to proofread this for you?!
    Loving this surprise with what Amy does here to that woman. I did not expect it, yet you set me up for it perfectly. Nicely done.

    commas, periods missing..spelling again. Yikes.

    Page 5- English here is so mangled under the slugline, EXT. KENTUCKY CORRECTIONAL… I’m tempted to stop, but I like what I’m reading so far, so I continue.

    Page 7- glad I continued. This is a great scene. Conflict, conflict, conflict. Out of prison, expecting her job back, her boss is gone, son has taken over. The reveal of what her job was. Perfect!

    Page 14- What’s with the references to Santa Claus? I say drop them.
    The Elvis mystery is a nice mystery box.

    Page 21- Laughed out loud at “the trunk knocked back”
    Liked how you didn’t milk the scene here, the police officer goes directly to the trunk. I feel I’m reading a script where anything can happen.
    Honestly, I didn’t like that the cop was killed here. Didn’t fit in with the tone so far.

    Page 37- The “stranger” meme was used with the toupee guy in the motel room. Why is it used here again with the family in the van? Is there a reason for this repetition? Didn’t like that.

    Page 40- this gives us a chance for some backstory on the two women. There is a little but I wanted more.

    Overall, I thought the script had potential. The characters were likeable. I never knew what to expect and then when I did, you surprised me. I thought the jokes were few and far between, however. Only one laugh out loud moments, some smiles. It would certainly need elevating in that department for me. But jokes come out of complex characters and their reactions to situations, I think, and you’re putting two complex characters in challenging situations at every turn. Maybe more of a hook to it all is needed as well.

    • cjob3

      He says he’s from Sweden in his WYSR. YSR it. ;)

      • Randy Williams

        I try not to read those.

  • Montana Gillis

    read first 10 of “Devil in You”. Pro quality script. was a bit confused about all the “clocking” in the bar, finally guessed it was “gauging the movement of” — Always thought “clocking someone” was hitting them very hard. It took all ten pages to introduce the characters and start them on what I surmise is their real adventure that starts in Africa. Yes, they start out in Rio for a festival we’ve seen before in the Bond films and they have a minor risk taking event, get drunk and have sex, but all that (while very well written) seemed a bit pedestrian when we know the real adventure is to begin when they get to Africa. If this story starts when they land in Africa we can still get to know the characters through their choices and the script would have 10 extra pages to explore additional GSU. My 2 cents.

    • Sebastian Cornet

      I think “clocking” is also another word for scoping someone out.

  • Montana Gillis

    Here’s a “Not so Great Script – But the Best I’ve Ever Done After 6 years”

    Logline: “Passion turns to Horror under a full moon when a young wife discovers her husband’s war wound was caused by a Werewolf as she is being impregnated”

    • brenkilco

      How about loves turns to horror when a woman learns that she has been impregnated by a werewolf. The way it reads now it sounds like the lycanthrope attacks while the couple is going at it.

      • Montana Gillis

        Much Better! Thank you.

  • brenkilco

    Will get into these this weekend. A few logline gripes.

    EXODUS: Has to be a way to simplify that logline. Has to be. Haven’t even started the script and already feel lost.

    DAWN: A creative writer should be able to avoid using the same verb twice in a single sentence logline.

    TRUNK: The two criminals HAVE to stay hidden. Subject verb agreement is the least your reader is going to demand.

    THE ABADOCKS: The family IS. See above.

    DEVIL IN YOU: OK but as the line is written I guess I just have to take the writer’s word that he’s resilient. Would like to know what makes him resilient.

    • SeekingSolace

      I’m the writer of “The Aabadocks,” and I’m sure it’s supposed to be “are” instead of “is.” Pirates are the subject and plural. I’ve checked the grammar on several websites, and neither disagree.

      • brenkilco

        The subject is family which by definition consists of multiple members but is nonetheless a singular noun. Of pirates modifies family but does not or anyway should not transform family into a plural noun. If you can source me otherwise I will stand corrected.

      • Levres de Sang

        Either usage is fine, although “are” has always been my preference. Having said that I’m not from the US, where it appears that nouns of multitude are mostly treated as single entities — hence the “is” usage.

    • websters

      Thanks for the feedback, struggled a bit with the log line so obviously needs more work

  • cjob3

    Once in a while. It’s becoming more frequent, but it’s still pretty rare. Generally it’s for screenplays only, but keep checking the site for a TV week.

  • Kirk Diggler

    Anyone else notice that the Webster Bros have had back to back scripts on AOW? They had Liar Coward Thief 2 weeks ago. Just thought I’d mention it. They must know how to make a pitch that appeals to Carson.

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    Wow, a writer that actually cared about presenting a script without a ton of spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors.

    Read to page 18.

    Page 1-3. Clear writing without a lot of fuss. Well done.

    Page 5. A little put off by the “the shiz” dialogue of these teens, but hell, they are teens and somewhat of a train wreck in general. Even cracked up at “time to crack that egg”.

    Page 7. Another script with a phone booth in it. Personally it makes me feel the writer pulled this off the shelf, wiped the dust off and tries to pass it off as a new script. Unless it’s period, why aren’t people using cellphones?

    Okay, no horror yet, so I’m guessing you want to nail these characters down for us first, but there are so many of them, how can I do that? Stick to a few and round them out. The conversation gets repetitive, too. “my junk” for instance. Once is enough.

    Page 18. I’m sitting up. Buster is on his bike chasing the bike. What? What could be a trailer moment with thrills that could be translated to a theme park ride doesn’t go anywhere, lasts half a page at that and then we’re back to dialogue “whateva”

    no real horror yet.

    I’m stopping here.

  • brittany

    I picked up Dawn because I enjoy horror comedy. I’ve read to page ten so far and it is entertaining and the writing is pretty good. Though the dialogue is a bit over the top, which I assume is on purpose to help set up the comedy tone. Some people find this “OMG, TOTES” teenage humor funny, but others will quickly become annoyed. Personally, I’m okay with it for now, but the hokey scene in the locker room along with the expository dialogue at the dinner table are kind of pushing it for me. Again, I think it’s semi-appropriate for the tone you’re working with, but I’m hoping it doesn’t continue to be super corny.

    Some of the stuff I do like so far, the bat is interesting and I think you get to it in a timely fashion. I look forward to seeing what happens with Dawn after getting bitten. One thing I’m worried about is that I don’t root for any of the characters right now because they all seem really b-movie/horror flick shallow, so that might be a detriment. But I’ll keep reading with the mind-set that this is going to be fun even though the characters are not really sympathetic. I mean, the only person who has a goal is Kenny and that’s just to get laid. Just not worth rooting for. But anyways, I will continue as I find this to be intriguing and entertaining so far.

    Pg. 11 – Everyone loves an evil, crimson-eyed Pomeranian, that’s for sure!

    Pg. 14 – I like Buster testing to see if Wolfhausen is a vamp. I can kind of see where this is going. He’ll probably end up being “that guy” in the horror movie who helps the protag figure out how to kill the bat and end the infection. I could be wrong, but that’s just what I’m getting so far.

    Pg. 15 – I’m glad Kenny shows some likable qualities by protecting this Christian kid. One thing, you have: (In Eric’s grill) I would just put it in description like, “He gets all up in Eric’s grill” or something like that. That’s just a personal thing though as I’m always looking for reasons not to use parentheticals. Also, you have “pant suites” when you mean “pant suits”. You do the same thing earlier with “Principles office” when it should be “Principal’s office”. Just make sure you watch out for those. Not a huge deal, but they can get distracting when there’s too many.

    Pg. 16 – Gaaah, the photoshopped wedding picture made me cringe. It is kind of funny to see a teenage boy with this mind-set rather than the girl though, so I’ll give you that.

    Pg. 18 – You might want to get a bit more creative with this demon bat or whatever it is. I’m just picturing a big, generic ugly bat with red eyes. I guess that’s accurate? If so, then good job, but I was hoping for something a little different than the norm.

    Pg. 19 – I think your dialogue is okay for this type of comedy, but is sort of coming off flat due to lack of creativity. You have a lot of blow-job jokes and stuff, which is fine in moderation, but you keep using them and it gets repetitive.

    Also, if Dawn is a vegetarian, you should specify that at the dinner table scene earlier. I know she just grabbed salad, but I figured that was just because she’s one of those chicks who eats like a rabbit around other people. It might help if she chides her family for eating meat earlier on so we get the picture.

    Another parenthetical nitpick: You don’t need (to Stan) because of course he’s talking to Stan as he is the only other person in the van. Though, I am interested in what there two are up to, so props for that.

    Pg. 22 – I like the semi-sex scene with the burning cross. This kind of reminds me of Ginger Snaps in a way. It’s not the same story by any means, but the sex drive after having been bitten by a monster just sort of reminds me of it. Good movie. You should watch it some time if you haven’t already.

    Pg. 23 – Wouldn’t Kenny be a bit more interested in why a cross burned her skin? I guess I’ll chalk it up to blissful teenage ignorance, but it just strikes me as odd that he doesn’t even bring it up at all. And the corny teenage jargon like “Defs”, “Probs”, and “Whatevs” is starting to wear thin for me.

    Pg. 24 – I do like Buster, but “Great googly moogly” is so freaking corny, man. I want to find it funny, but is just comes off like dialogue from a Saturday morning cartoon or something.

    Pg. 25 – “Aunt Scarlet” That’s not a bad line, got a small chuckle out of me. But one thing: No female EVER says that a period is “Natural and beautiful” unless it’s a mother telling her daughter that right after her first period. Also the “bleeds for seven days and doesn’t die” line is pretty overused, I would suggest losing it. It can’t hurt.

    One more thing on this page… If her eyes are looking dull then you might want to describe them as such. Maybe they’re a little milky and glazed over?

    I actually laughed out loud at VAN HELSING BEACH TOWEL. First time I’ve ever seen a beach towel used as a slug.

    Pg. 26 – Speaking of her dog. Where is that lil’ bastard? I’ve been wondering about that. Hopefully you’re saving him for some big reveal.

    Funny when she says “Ew” in regard to getting a rabies shot.

    Pg. 28 – Don’t think you need “I’m a dude”. Him just simply shrugging would express the same thing without any words.

    Pg. 30 – Good stuff when she eats the mouse. I like how she slurps the tail like spaghetti.

    Pg. 33 – You know what might be funny is if the dog is horny too and it’s always humping people’s legs or even the parrot. That would be a funny visual.

    Pg. 34 – Not gonna lie, I was expecting Frisco’s death to be a bit more exciting rather than just keeling over and smoking a little.

    Pg. 36 – As someone who has worked in coffee shops for a long damn time, the description of the latte made me laugh but also pisses me off a little because people actually do order shit like that all the time.

    Pg. 39 – I think this reveal about his scholarship should be revealed earlier, so we know that Kenny is keeping it a secret from Dawn. It would be more tension early on since Dawn expects them to go to college together.

    Pg. 41 – I like how Kenny takes the blame for eating the steaks. I take back what I said earlier about there not being any sympathetic characters in this. I’d say Kenny fits the bill pretty well even though he is a bit stereotypical. At least he’s a decent guy, so he’s got that going for him. He’s the only one I’m rooting for so far. I’m guessing you don’t want us to root for Dawn since she’s such a stupid little bimbo, but that seems intentional.

    Pg. 44 – It might be just me, but I don’t get what “It’s been a slice” means.

    Pg. 46 – This scene with Dawn and Earl about her mom dying seems forced in to make her sympathetic, but just doesn’t ring true for me. It feels really, really false. If you want the audience to feel for her then you should consider giving her some likable traits like Kenny earlier on.

    Pg. 50 – The Vamp-Anon scene is a clever idea, but somehow feels too over the top for even this kind of script. I could believe a creepy group of people huddling in a basement for a meeting but not a full on 12-step meeting type of establishment. Also, this scene delivers information to Kenny about what to expect from vampirism when I think Buster should be the one to tell him since he’s been bothering him so much. But overall, I think it’s a funny idea to have a Vamp-Anon, I just think it would make more sense if it was more of a clandestine type of meeting. (ADDENDUM: After reading the whole script, you could take out this scene and it wouldn’t hurt the story at all. Sure, it’s clever, but what purpose does it really serve? Like I mentioned, Buster could be the one to deliver all this info to Kenny.)

    Pg. 52 – It strikes me as odd that Kenny would tell Dawn’s dad about the scholarship.

    Pg. 55 – I keep reading Kenny Flowers as Kenny Powers. It’s probably just me, but it’s annoying and I keep picturing Danny Mcbride. Like I said, it’s most likely just me because I’ve been watching a lot of Eastbound and Down lately. Anyways…

    Pg. 57 – “Don’t touch me!” “Hold me!” A bit melodramatic, but kind of funny in a way. Poor Kenny is never going to get laid at this rate. I like when she turns on him, but his reaction doesn’t make sense. I know he wants to tolerate it because he loves her, but he should be way more scared considering she just bared her fangs to him. I would expect him to be frightened and require a desperate plea from her letting him know that she doesn’t know what she’s doing and that she needs help. That alone will make him stick with her and they can turn to Buster for help.

    Also, where is Stan and Wil? Haven’t seen them for awhile.

    Pg. 58 – So, Dawn just went home after attacking her dad? I know you avoid this conflict by not showing inside the house, but I’d be interested to know how Earl deals with that. That or maybe she tells Kenny that she can’t go home and they camp out somewhere else? I mean, it would make sense since she went all Jerry Dandridge on her dad earlier. This might also free up some room for more conflict because maybe her dad goes looking for her.

    Pg. 59 – “Blah blah, chemistry jargon, blah blah” That’s pretty funny.

    Pg. 61 – There’s Wil and Stan! Still wondering what these guys are all about. I’m guessing they might be some sort of vamp trackers or something.

    Pg. 65 – Passion of the Christ is kinda funny but “Samsies”… Ugh. Like I said earlier, this stuff gets old but I’m so far in that I’m almost used to it. I think it would do you good by relegating this type of dialogue to just one or two characters, most namely Brandy and Trish. I wouldn’t say give it all to Dawn because she’s already unlikable as it is, but at the very least pare back on Kenny’s use of it.

    Pg. 73 – At this point, I wouldn’t mind Dawn making eyes at Eric since he seems to be a rival for Kenny. Seems like she might want to seduce and kill him because she’s so hungry, but I suppose the coach will do as well.

    Pg. 76 – I like it how she’s hanging from the ceiling. Good stuff.

    Pg. 79 – I was expecting Buster to be way more active. Like, he has an interest in tracking down vamps, but he’s not really doing anything about Dawn. I know it’s because he likes Kenny, but I think there needs to be more conflict between the two of them. I think Buster needs to really try and hit it into Kenny’s head that they have to take out Dawn, causing Kenny to be angry at him because he’s letting his love for her get in the way of his and everyone else’s safety. As it is, Buster just kind of shambles around like a weirdo, not really doing anything other than observing. Which is a shame because he has a lot of potential to be a strong character.

    Pg. 81 – I like how the janitor walks away while naming off the shit he has to do, but I think it would be funny to throw something off the wall in between like “Jerk off on the school lunch” or something like that. Just a thought.

    Pg. 85 – Oh, good, you got Eric involved. I’ve been looking forward to that. Also, I can see here you’re trying to address the issue with Earl, but it still feels off to me. I mean, she bared her fangs and threw him against a wall. Seems like a difficult thing for him to overlook unless he’s one of those clueless dads that just chalks it up to PMS. Ha, I don’t know, but I think this needs some further explanation. I can only suspend disbelief so much, ya know?

    Pg. 96 – This fire at the prom has a very Carrie vibe, but I think it works. Also, this is probably a way over the top suggestion, but it might be funny if after Eric mentions about getting a blowie she suddenly bites off his dick? Like I said, probably too much, but it’s just a funny visual to me since he just had the audacity to ask for a Blow-J. Also, her punching straight through someone’s face is pretty cool.

    Pg. 98 – She’s going to eat his heart like a cheese danish? Maybe a Sloppy Joe would be funnier, imo.

    Pg. 100 – Good stuff when they dance then she realizes she’s a monster and stabs herself. Nicely written.

    Pg. 101 – All done. Seems like a sad-ish ending for a comedy horror. Though, I’m actually glad she died. I don’t know if that was your intention, but she seemed to be weighing Kenny down, even without the vamp aspect.

    So, that was a fun read. I hope some of my notes help. First off, the writing is very good. Nothing came across as overwritten and visually I could picture everything. So, props to you there. I think the main thing you need to work on is dialogue. At times, it was creative, but others it was kind of repetitive with the same blow job jokes over and over and also the teenage slang was just way too much. After awhile, I got used to it, but I doubt others will be as tolerant. I understand you want it to have that stupid teen vibe, but like I mentioned earlier, I think you should pare back on Kenny’s usage of it at the very least. Overall though, there were a handful of LOL moments, just not as much as I had hoped. But that’s just me.

    Another thing that irked me was Dawn’s character in general. It seems like you want her to be sympathetic as evidenced by the backstory with her mom and everything. But, she’s so unlikable from the very beginning that it’s really hard to care what happens to her. So, when she died in the end I was actually relieved. Yes, it was sad, but only because of Kenny’s reaction. So, what you might want to do is pare back on Dawn’s snarky, bitchy attitude and give her some likable traits from the outset. I say make Brandy and Trish the vicious ones and maybe even make one of them a rival for prom queen. That way a bitchier presence will make Dawn more sympathetic.

    Okay, one last thing. You definitely need to bring Wil and Stan into the climax. They’re abandoned right after the van crashed. This makes it obvious you didn’t know what to do with them. This makes me question their purpose in the story altogether. I know they’re a callback to the vamp hunters Buster was looking at on his computer, but they don’t really ever actually do anything. What I was expecting was they would team up with Buster and help him or at the very least show up somewhere and announce their intentions. Again, even if you don’t elaborate on them anymore, they at least have to play more part in the end. If not, there’s no reason for them in the story.

    That’s pretty much it. Again, hope this helps some and I enjoyed reading it overall. Good luck!

  • SeekingSolace


    YOU SAY: This is not a great script, but it is a great film…This is a screenplay, not a movie. A produced movie is the end product.

    I SAY: The two don’t correlate is what I’m trying to convey with such a comment. Writers, especially SCRIPTSHADOW writers, tend to think that a script has to be on par with the “Godfather” to make a good film. While scripts like “Transformers” would be put down by this very community, it has gone on to become one of the most lauded films internationally, pulling in one billion dollars.

    YOU SAY: Page two, 3D. Why?

    I SAY: IMAX tickets.

    YOU SAY: Page three, lots of characters being introduced.

    I SAY: It’s four and they’re the main cast. It’s an 89 page script that moves quite swiftly.

    YOU SAY: Page four, what’s with the underlining?

    I SAY: This was pulled from the script on PAGE 2 ***ALL 3D MOMENTS WILL BE UNDERLINED*** Thus whenever there is an underlined section of action text it indicates a 3D moment.

    YOU SAY: Page five, When he finally realizes he’s needed, all he can muster is a “You know I’m no good at that sort of thing” look. Must be some look to convey all that.

    I SAY: This is a case of “Telling” rather than “Showing,” it’s a 89 page script. I wanted to keep it as succinct as possible.

    YOU SAY: Page ten, who are we meant to be following? We should have a rough idea as to who the main character is. There haven’t been any real choices thrown at any one character yet.

    I SAY: Did you read the logline? The family as a whole is who we’re following. It’s an ensemble cast.

    YOU SAY: Page sixteen, there’s no need to underline any of this action.

    I SAY: If it weren’t underlined, how would you know whether or not it was a 3D moment?

    YOU SAY: We still have no idea who we should be following. Who is the main character in this story? Out of this family, who is going to learn something along the way?

    I SAY: THE FAMILY AS A WHOLE!!!!!! As to who is going to learn something…IT’S ON PAGE 8!!!!! Literally the first piece of dialogue on PAGE 8!!!!

    YOU SAY: These opening scenes need more focus. More time needs to be spent developing the Aabadock family, and what they want and need as a whole.

    I SAY: Thanks for reading my script.

    YOU SAY: Suggestion: Watch The Incredibles (2004), Megamind (2010) The Croods (2013). Watch how the story unfolds in those.

    I SAY: I find it odd that you would even reference “Megamind” it literally has nothing in common with “The Aabadocks” as far as the other two, I’m not even sure what the father learned in “The Incredibles,” though the father learns something about himself in “The Croods” just like Brock does in my script. At the end of the day it’s a Family film, not “Casablanca.” This what I mean when I say, “It’s not a great script, but it would make for a great film.” I worded it wrong in the “Why You Should Read Section.”

    • hickeyyy

      The whole purpose of AOW is constructive criticism. Please accept it as such. No need to get defensive.

      • SeekingSolace

        I’m not getting defensive. You had questions about the script. I was merely giving you the answers. I appreciate your time. Thank you for reading as far as you did.

        • hickeyyy

          Well, that wasn’t me, but still, “HE FAMILY AS A WHOLE!!!!!! As to who is going to learn something…IT’S ON PAGE 8!!!!! Literally the first piece of dialogue on PAGE 8!!!!” feels defensive.

          • SeekingSolace

            I wrote it that way, because it was so obvious, yet you missed it. If I had not replied, others would see your comment and take it at face value. That’s detrimental to me.

          • hickeyyy

            Yet you continue to miss that I wasn’t the reviewer. I read it, and I understood perfectly fine, I was responding on behalf of the original reviewer. Being a jackass to the people here isn’t the way to get constructive criticism, which is the purpose of this. If you are not open to improving, then why did you bother sending it in the first place?

          • ArabyChic

            I agree. If all you do is defend every choice you’ve made you’re never going to improve as a writer. If everything were as obvious as you think it is, people wouldn’t comment on them.

          • SeekingSolace

            The reviewer missed the information that would have prevented him from making the critique that he made. I was pointing that out. I wasn’t be defensive, and I certainly wasn’t being a “jackass,” I even thanked the reviewer for reading the script.

          • Dale T

            Thanking the reviewer for a critique after being a jackass doesn’t nullify the fact that you were being a jackass. And one of the jobs of a storyteller is to convey information concisely and clearly. If a reader didn’t get it the first time maybe you need to convey what you’re trying to portray better. I get frustrated when people misunderstood or didn’t understand some scenes too when it’s so obvious, but then it’s also my job to acknowledge how and why that happened.

            Thinking everyone else is too stupid to understand your works won’t get you far.

          • SeekingSolace

            How am I a “jackass” for correcting something both you, and the reviewer got wrong? I hardly think ad-hominem attacks suffice in such a situation.

          • Kirk Diggler

            I already know I’m not going to read this thing. He’s underlining moments he wants us to envision in 3D? Who gives a #*%@?

          • ArabyChic

            Well, I’m not going to read it because it doesn’t make sense to put the time and the effort in for someone who is unresponsive to any criticism that will make the story better. Seems a waste of my time and the author’s.

          • SeekingSolace

            Again, I can take criticism, but I’ve been called a “jackass” and been faced with responses like “I already know I’m not going to read this thing. He’s underlining moments he wants us to envision in 3D? Who gives a #*%@?” How is any of that constructive?

            It’s one thing to critique, but it’s another to bad mouth someone you don’t know. I thought I was engaging in dialogue. I wasn’t trying to offend anyone, but I’m not going to let anyone bad mouth me without rebuttal.

            It’s cool if you don’t want to read the script. I just don’t see how responding with anything other than “Thank you, sir! May I have another?” Is being a defense “jackass.”

          • SeekingSolace

            People in the know give a #*%@? Investors, producers and directors alike. I knew when I sent it to Carson, people who generally comment on this site wouldn’t get it. The industry is rapidly changing. Inflation never stops, which means ticket costs are going to continue to rise while wages remain stagnate. This coupled with home theaters, means 3D adventures are going to be the only thing that get people out of their homes and into theaters. Don’t believe me?

            Look at the Boxoffice results from this year. “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” “X-Men: Days of Our Future Past,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Maleficent,” “Godzilla,” “The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies” are all in 3D. Why do you think that is? They’re spectacles, and really the only thing getting people to pony up large sums of money for multiple views. 3D is still an experience that hasn’t been thoroughly implemented in home theaters, some with tons of money have the appropriate set-up, but for casual moviegoers IMAX is the only means of truly enjoying such an experience. Writers have to stop childishly shunning projects, because they are only becoming more abundant.

            You can either try to toss your hat into the ring and partake in what’s going on in Hollywood, or you can continue to stand on the sideline, bitching that “Michael Bay is ruining films,” “Who pays to see this dreck?” “Ugh, all studios care about is the foreign market.” I chose to throw my hat in the ring and attempt to craft my skills within the parameters Hollywood has set.

          • Caleb Yeaton

            Uh, have you read the script to Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men, or Apes? I have, and they don’t mention 3D anywhere in the scripts.

          • SeekingSolace

            That’s because they were “In-house” developments. They already know where they were going to put the moments that cross over into the audience and the moments of ambiance. My script is an amateur script, it was simply to help visualize.

            I’m not being defensive, I want to make that clear. I’m just responding to the point you’re making, with a point of my own. Those scripts also show that tentpole projects can be fun for people of all ages, which is what I’d hope to accomplish with “The Aabadocks” all the way down to the silly name.

            The 3D was implemented for the reasons I stated about spectacles. “The Spectacular Now,” “Her,” “Short Term 12″ all fantastic films, but they don’t appease investors, because there isn’t much ancillary revenue to be had from them. This means there’s no way to full maximize profits.

          • Caleb Yeaton

            “That’s because they were “In-house” developments. They already know where they were going to put the moments that cross over into the audience and the moments of ambiance.”

            Huh? That’s bullshit. So, what? Marvel was like, “Hey, James Gunn (or Nicole Perlman)? We need shit popping out of the screen on Page Thirty, Forty-Two, Fifty-One, Sixty-Eight, Sixty-Nine, and Eighty-Eight. Thank you for complying in our attempts to satiate our investors with 3D effects!” No. They absolutely did not. Those scripts were written, filmed, and converted to 3D after the fact.

            Plus, if you specify that the script is for a 3D movie, why do you need to specify which actions in the script will be 3D? Won’t the WHOLE SCRIPT be in 3D, once it’s all said and done?

            Seriously, just accept that – when you revise this thing – you don’t need to include 3D directions, since they distract from the read. Worry about your investors, but also worry about the readers it has to get past on the way to them.

          • SeekingSolace

            Plus, if you specify that the script is for a 3D movie, why do you need to specify which actions in the script will be 3D? Won’t the WHOLE SCRIPT be in 3D, once it’s all said and done?

            I see your point though. It does seem redundant.

            But there are moments where 3D is meant to create ambiance and others where things move beyond the screen. I was trying to point out the moments where things would move beyond the screen.

          • walker

            Writers don’t dictate the production values of their scripts. And nobody is going to let an unknown writer anywhere near these huge budget spectacles with which you are enamored.

          • SeekingSolace

            Dracula Year Zero has a production budget of $100 million, it is Matt Sazama’s first major film credit. “Section 6″ by Aaron Berg, a first timer, will undoubtedly cost around the same, if not more. If it ever gets out of the legal trouble its mired in.

          • Caleb Yeaton

            Yeah, but that’s a Dracula movie. It’s based on an already established IP with a proven audience. This isn’t.

            Also, Dracula Untold has “Bomb” written all over it.

          • SeekingSolace

            I respectfully disagree with the assumption that my script doesn’t have a “proven audience.” Family films are among the most lucrative. They don’t have to be as complex as “PI” or “Memento.” Simple, yet adventurous = Easy to sell in foreign markets. That’s what I was going for.

          • Caleb Yeaton

            You’re assuming that families would automatically want to see the film just because it’s a “Family Film”. Delgo, one of the biggest flops of all time, is a family film – so that alone does not guarantee an audience. An IP, such as a script about Dracula, is an easier sell because people already know who that character is. Original properties are ALWAYS going to be a harder sell, even if they’re in a proven genre.

    • Montana Gillis

      It is said that the number one reason to join a writers group is to learn how to take criticism, the second reason is to become a better writer. Realize that if you feel the need to explain or defend — there is a problem that needs fixing. The stated problem/suggestion/criticism may or may not be what is really wrong (only you can decide that because it is YOUR script) but look at that part of the story and see if you can improve that portion of it. My 2 cents.

  • SeekingSolace

    I meant to say that the script would make a great film, but you don’t make mistakes, right? LEMON 6? That was the file you sent out for your epic Loch Ness monster script, you know, the script where the actually monster appears in like the 3rd act.

  • cjob3

    I took an interest in TRUNK because my writing partner and I spent literally years on a very similar idea. (Carjackers inadvertently kidnap a kidnap victim.) Read the first few so far and found a few glitches.

    “PARENTS in suits and stressful faces are waiting.”
    ^they’re IN stressful faces?

    “Tries to end with an apologize, but instead, he drives away.”
    ^Should be “apology.” This isn’t really a sentence either.

    Why are you so fucking ugly? Look at you!

    The little girl is just about to release her crocodile tears.”
    ^Why would they be “Crocodile tears” specifically? That term implies fake tears. Wouldn’t she be genuinely upset?

    Amy seems to bow down twice here:

    “Amy bows down, eye to eye with the little gremlin.
    The fuck do you want?
    Amy sighs and lowers herself to the boy’s eyesight.”

  • Stephjones

    An option to AOW this week, if anyone is interested.

    Title: Transfishtite
    Author: S. Jones
    Logline: When a frustrated female cleaner wrasse grows weak on a diet of mucus and scales she must pretend to be male to gain access to good grub or move onto another reef where the hosts sometimes eat the cleaners.

    WYSR: Think about it…there aren’t many movies about hermaphroditic reef fish. Cleaner wrasse are born with both sex organs so can change gender when needed. Alas, my little fish was born with an inadequate male sex organ, akin to Nemo’s little fin, so she must stay female. This is her story.

    For a copy of the script, email me:

    • SeekingSolace

      What’s the genre?

      • brittany

        Erotic Thriller.

      • Citizen M

        Ironically, Fish out of Water.

    • jw

      I left my dick in my other purse? ahahaha! Well done. Very well done.

    • brittany

      (Pulls dick out of purse) Here, Steph. You can borrow mine.

      • Stephjones

        There’s something fishy about the size of your dick.

    • Caleb Yeaton

      E-mailed, and now I’m getting hermaphrodite porn every few minutes. What gives?

      • brittany

        No fair. All I got was a “Finding Nemo” porno.

  • jw

    I can say that there WILL be a weekend I come here and am blown away by what I read… eventually.

  • hickeyyy

    I mean, you could use gaze, glare, “he eyes up”, notes, notices, watches. There are enough synonyms where I don’t think you need clocks. Just me I guess.

  • Kirk Diggler

    Read skimmed 20-22 pages or so. Feels slapped together. Sloppy in parts.

    Prose like the following belongs in a novel, and it’s cheesy prose at that:

    “Beyond the gate, rising above the slum are cranes. Lurching up into the sky like a field of giraffes.”

    Like a field of giraffes? Is that what I’m supposed to visualize? Why the extra sentence to make me think of something so in-congruent?

    Or this slugline –


    The EXT is there for a reason, so you don’t have to tell us a 2nd time that the scene is ‘outside’.

    Light filters out of the windows though and there’s a racket from within. The words XYICAN BAR are scrawled on the panel above the door.

    A poor sentence to start. The repeating information from the slugline.

    Then this:

    Is Chinese New Year a place? Is it a time of day? You should keep your sluglines simple.
    Landing zone perimeter wall seems excessive. Why not just perimeter wall?

    Of course this is all nit-picking. If you have a great story. If I didn’t read the logline I wouldn’t have a clue what this was supposed to be about.

    You start with Amon waking up on a ship from a hyper sleep. Right out of Alien. His wife is already out of her pod. He can’t find her. That’s a decent mystery. Someone informs him that she’s locked herself in the ‘coolant room’ …… They get the door open to go inside and then you cut away to the future with Amon on the planet. We soon find out his wife Jenny died and Amon is a drug addict mourning the loss of his wife.

    He has no discernible goal, there is no longer a mystery, although you try coming back to the whole wife thing with the “Stranger” but by then I’m growing bored because nothign has happened since. And I mean nothing. Scenes in bars and Amon trying to score drugs and Amon trying to borrow money are not building on the initial mystery for me. Usually when the initial hook is being strung out it’s not very compelling to begin with.

    What is Amon’s goal? Why is he on the planet? Is he actively working toward something? If this is about the mystery of Jenny’s death why abandon it for so many pages? I am not compelled to read on, sorry. Good luck.

    • cjob3

      I assume you’re talking about Exodus? You forgot to mention.

      • Kirk Diggler

        Oops… I’ll make an edit. Thanks

    • Guest

      “Prose like the following” doesn’t belong in a novel; the passive voice belongs nowhere… I think.
      Maybe in everyday conversations.

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    This is not really my thing but I’m reading the first ten pages to get an idea what it’s like.

    I like the title. Intriguing, cool. I can see it on a cinema marquee.

    page 1-4. I have no idea what “early 19th century” is here. Just one item of clothing would help and I would most probably fill in the gaps mentally myself. This goes for many things of a particular period. Most readers are really good at filling in gaps if given just a clue.

    I’m liking the action here. We get right into it. It’s fun. The visuals are very creative!! I’m not sure about the underlining of 3-D parts, however. Isn’t everything viewed through 3-D glasses? It also makes me skip through the script and see how much is underlined and then if there are pages and pages that go by without something underlined then I think you’re slacking.

    page 5- not sure I’d mention Woody Allen in a family script.

    page 8- I like this family, I can see creative types eager to bring them to the screen, but their dialogue needs to pop off the page as much as the visuals on screen purportedly will do. I’m not feeling it. Needs a few passes, accentuating their differences. I’d also slow down here before getting to the merman and let us get to know them, savor in their interaction, some backstory would help as well.

    • SeekingSolace

      Thank you for reading my script, and giving your suggestions.

  • websters

    Very shocked but incredibly happy to make it onto this week’s offering for the second week running! As for Exodus, it was written long before our other featured script Liar. Coward. Judge, and perhaps this shows, I see a lot of comments regarding the log line, we did struggle with this and the grammar was a reason for us to not place in a comp with Exodus which is obviously a point we need to work on. But thanks for everyone who reads and comments on it, any feedback good or bad is valuable!

  • pmlove


    note: excuse the formatting. read about 30 pages, might see where it goes time permitting.


    There’s an interesting start to this story in there somewhere. A
    man watches his wife die, but she’s alive and well and part of some
    underground ring. It’s a promising hook and if well explained, should
    be enough to go on.

    However, too much time is spent on exposition and unnecessary
    scenes and you don’t mine enough tension from the scenes you do have.
    The exposition also comes at the cost of character development. You
    could easily lose ten pages of Act One and redirect towards character
    building. You have time to set-up future pay-offs here but the time
    is wasted on scenes that take too long or add little.


    It’s unclear why Amon thinks Jenny is dead. Does he see what the
    Officials see? If not, what’s the point of them asking him down there
    (this doesn’t seem logical). If he does, then why not show us. We
    should believe she is dead for the twist to be exciting later.

    There are also inconsistent plot developments – asking Amon down
    to talk to Jenny, then just barging in anyway and ignoring him.


    Take the scene on page six. Nothing happens, except to establish
    that there’s going to be a scene in a moment where they go out for
    drinks. Might be a good time to establish who Amon is through action.
    Or Codey. Or Yue. The dialogue isn’t really adding much.

    Then Amon goes for the drink, just to leave without doing much and
    we spend time with an inconsequential character and some
    inconsequential dialogue. I want to know more about Amon by seeing
    how he acts in a given situation. He wanders through the first act
    and at the end of it the only affirmative action he’s taken himself
    is to try to obtain drugs. That’s it. I need more!


    There are five pages establishing his addiction. Why?! In the
    Devil’s Hammer, Craig takes about three action lines to establish an
    addiction then goes into some action. I recommend doing the same.


    I can’t fathom the rules of the curfew. People are out without a
    care in the world, bars are open without much in the way of disguise
    yet the copters can find Amon strolling the streets by himself in
    seconds. Why aren’t people trying to hide this more?


    Is this Chinese? I don’t think it is Mandarin (Cantonese perhaps,
    although the widespread popularity of Cantonese seems hard to


    A lot of on the nose and plot serving dialogue.


    Lots of deliberate (on the part of the writers) vagaries to build
    suspense, but they only serve to frustrate. Again, you can save some
    pages to learn more about Amon and the other key characters.

    p1 – Interior

    p3 – Dialogue feels on the nose. [+sp – she’d already gone]

    p3 – frozen me out

    p3 – Miss Jenny seems an odd turn of phrase

    p3 – the lights are off = on the nose

    p4 – Official 5 would surely be saying ‘I can see the fucking
    lights are off!’

    p4 – Why ask Amon along to try and get Jenny out if it takes him
    two seconds to override the door lock? (might be cooler if Amon was a
    tech-hack and able to re-wire the door mechanism – no idea if this
    is in line with character though)

    p4 – lose ‘This is not Earth.’

    p5 – Pretty sure YANISHU isn’t Chinese (happily corrected here).
    So far the vision for the future is pretty limited to an
    extrapolation of the present. Clean white spaceship, Chinese
    language. Seen all this before. Why not Spanish? The Venezuelans take
    over the world as a result of having the largest oil reserves in the
    world. Also, be good to get an idea of this man (or state we don’t
    get a good look).

    P7 – XYICAN / XIYCAN? What language is this?

    P7 – doesn’t feel like a genuine conversation, very on the nose

    p8 – Recording feels too explanatory.

    P9 – IXIAZANE – again, language?

    P11 – ‘I only let you in because of the curfew’ – I think you
    can lose this (on the nose) and we still get the idea

    p12 – Death of Jenny exposition feels clumsy. Why didn’t we just
    see it in p1-5, then we wouldn’t need this?

    P13- This dialogue scene needs revisiting. Again, doesn’t have the
    ebb and flow of a natural conversation, too much exposition

    p14 – In and amongst?

    P10-15 -this is a long time to establish that he is some sort of
    user. You could trim a lot here.

    P16 – Feels like the Stranger is being obtuse for no reason
    other than to intrigue the reader. Just out with it – it gets us
    interested in the story 4 pages earlier.

    P17 – It’s chaos.

    P17 – why is everyone pushing forward? I like the idea of the
    scene, Amon catching glimpses of the conversation but execution needs

    P18 – How have the police missed this huge party thus far on
    their curfew rounds? It’s midnight, but earlier Amon was saying it’s

    P19 – The police response to the party is brutal and violent.
    The organisers must know this. You’re missing an easy chance for some
    suspense – the whole party has to quieten down to avoid detection,
    some sort of secret doorway. As it is, they’re just inviting an
    onslaught and don’t seem to mind.

    P20 – ah, the ubiquitous clinical white room. It’s not that it’s
    bad, per se. Just obvious.

    P21 – why is the currency of the future always credits?

    P22 – Why head straight into a shop just to say not interested?

    P22 – Why would they be journalists?

    P23 – We’ll get him first? Well, you would if you picked him up
    now. But you’re not. Why not?

    P24 – Amon’s talking to himself a little too often

    p25 – What’s the point of the prison episode? Why not skip it
    and just have Meeka and the gang rescue him?

    P25 – So you guys will all be going now? On the nose –
    designed so they can say ‘no’. Aim for something more natural –
    ‘You guys need anything else?’

    p25 – ‘But then you would never know’. Again, unnatural suspense
    here. Meeka obviously wants Amon’s cooperation and the easiest way to
    get it is to spill whatever it is she knows. But she doesn’t do that,
    just speaks in vagaries.

    P26 – why would the gatehouse keeper have his residency papers?
    A copy maybe?

    P26 – ‘Just tell him Meeka’ – exactly!!

    p27 – again, revisit this dialogue. Get straight to it. “Jenny
    is alive. She needs to talk to you.” “It’s best you heard for
    yourself.” That’s my first pass, so you can improve but keep it

    • pmlove

      At p60:

      I think you could move some of the Mattius story-line into Act One. It moves faster than the Amon plot line and feels odd where it is – the story line is explained on p30, then we see it straight after in real time? Plus there’s a lot of background re: the various corporations. Might need simplifying this bit as it’s not yet clear the interplay between these various corporations.

      The Amon plot line is structured to have everyone chasing Amon. He’s crucial. OK, fine. Two things. One: I’d like to know why. Be given a hint. At the moment, there are no stakes beyond his life and this seems a strange thing to leave out.

      Two: and this is the BIG ONE – if he is the MacGuffin, then it’s really tough for him to be the protagonist too. He’s way too passive as a character, which explains why Act One plods along. Think Fifth Element. Bruce Willis is the protag, not Mila J. That’s because it’s his job to protect her as everyone wants her.

      The way around it is to go with The Fugitive structure – he’s left with a puzzle to solve and has the Finder snapping at his heels but at the moment (p60), they are nowhere near him and he’s being mollycoddled by Meeka et al. He’s still yet to make a proactive move.

      My other big question – are all the inhabitants being shipped off? What is there to gain for the big company in this? Send some off to their doom (economically, why bother, why not just promise them a ship and leave them to die)? What’s to be gained?

      P31 – Why not just show us the message from Jenny rather than
      get a synopsis from Meeka? This scene is missing the most important
      bit – WHY DO THEY NEED AMON?

      P33 – this is Earth. Title Card: EARTH. You don’t need both.

      P34 – Middle Aged Man would be cooler under pressure. You
      wouldn’t see politicians react like this. Mattius needs to be smarter
      to be likable. He just seems brattish at the moment.

      P36- Amanda’s line implies this is a set-up and deliberate
      over-play by Mattius… but why would Amanda try to talk him down

      P36 – Spin it all you want – good line. Shame it’s followed by
      something so on-the-nose.

      P52 – this is the first mention of REBELS

      p56 – when did they speak? Would have been good to see that
      (rather than have Mattius relay through dialogue to Amanda)

      p57 – I’m not sure the point of having this here. It’s stuff
      we’ve already been told about through Meeka?

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats on making it on AOW!

    I read about 20 pages. I’m just a little burned out from reading and this is the last one to look over. I apologize. I do want to continue, however.

    I thought it a bit overwritten and could be chiseled down to a faster read. I liked the early mystery box of the missing wife. I loved the setting of the construction zone and felt you guys put me right there. There seems to be a “gravitas” to the writing that is compelling, a sense that the writers will take me on an emotional journey. I didn’t get that with the other scripts except for, to a much lesser degree, “Trunk”.
    Just wanted the journey to go a little faster at the beginning.

    Page 6, there are “people” and “a man” that need to be capitalized as introductions. The cranes being compared to giraffes didn’t work for me in the context because the scene implied bedlam and giraffes are placid.

    Good work. Hope it gets some love here, which I think it just might.

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    Best logline and WYSR goes to “Devil in You.”

  • Caleb Yeaton

    I’d like to see a dissection.

  • cjob3

    He did. The spelling was the only good part of our script.

  • Rick McGovern


  • Caleb Yeaton

    I need to get cracking on my own script, but I at least checked into the first four – I’ll bounce back with thoughts on Devil In You – which sounds interesting as hell – later on. So far, Trunk has my vote, but I’ll see what happens…

    EXODUS: Sci-fi isn’t really my thing, since it always takes so damn long to get moving while the world is set up. This wasn’t really an exception. That said, I like Amon as the main character, and you do a really good job establishing independent voices for the characters – when their dialogue isn’t helping set up the world, anyway. The scene where Codey invites Amon out for the night is fantastic and I had a blast reading it aloud. And the world is a pretty striking visual, too. It’d be expensive as hell, but by Page 12, I’m interested to see where the story goes – provided you don’t spend much more time pausing to describe the world to me. Definitely try to whittle the heavy description down a little, especially in the opening 10 pages. I know, I know – pain in the ass, since you’re trying to set up your world, but it’d definitely help get the story moving quicker.

    DAWN: Holy shit, that’s a lot of characters. I know you’re working with fewer pages than all the other scripts, but you must’ve introduced fifteen characters in the first fifteen pages – that’s roughly a character a page, which made it hard to keep any of them besides Kenny and Dawn straight – which, since they’re the main characters, I guess is okay. You get into the story fast enough, which is a huge plus. My big issue with the twenty-some pages I read was the dialogue (and keeping the characters straight). A lot of it reads “How adults think teenagers talk”. I dunno…maybe it’s regional, but especially Dawn’s friends (I forget their names) talk like stereotypical teenage characters written by grown men. I don’t know anything about the author, so I can’t make that call, but it’s a pet peeve of mine. That said, I want to know how this all turns out, so I’m definitely gonna come back and finish it.

    TRUNK: I like how you immediately set up Amy and Norah’s characters in the space of a few scenes, and it’s nice to see a crime film (not sure where it goes beyond page 26, but it seemed to be headed in that direction) starring two female leads instead of a bunch of British thugs or rich, smug white guys. And you do a good job establishing a “Do Or Die” kind of situation for both of them. Plus I genuinely liked the scene where Norah leaves prison, especially having her wave at the guards. No huge gripes up-front.

    THE AABADOCKS: 3D directions in a script? I feel like they’re kind of redundant, since the genre specifies that the script is 3D, which makes them really distracting for a read. For an action script, a lot of the action has a clunky feel to it. Long, run-on sentences, camera directions, and A LOT of lines that include unfilmables (i.e. “Brock watches in horror at her enthusiasm for fitness; deciding that he’d prefer the saner company of his father” could be “Brock watches her in horror. Turns to Scott.”). The comedy is swing-and-miss, which is to be expected. I thought the idea of drunken Mer-Men was entertaining, although they don’t impact the plot much…I’m guessing this will have kind of an episodic feel, which isn’t my thing. Coupled with distracting 3D directions and jokes clearly pilfered from other material (“She’s going to slide her fingers across our necks?” is a clear rip of a similar literal interpretation of the same gesture from Guardians of the Galaxy.) have me losing interest around the twenty-page mark, entertaining as the family is at times.

    • SeekingSolace

      This is what I’m talking about. This was a good summation of the material. I do have a tendency to over-describe, which leads to run-on sentences. I will address this. As far as the ripping off comment. I haven’t even seen “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the cutthroat gesture is as old as time itself. I’ve also changed the 3D underline problem.

      Thank you for reading my script.

  • websters

    Just a quick note from us, it is really interesting for us being able to see the difference in reaction to our two screenplays, Exodus and Liar. Coward. Judge, We are really grateful for the criticism of Exodus, it was a big learning curve for us, our most ambitious idea. Perhaps it was too ambitious and some of the basics got lost. This is something we tried to rectify in our subsequent screenplays, thanks again!

    • The Seether

      You should have given this thing a polish of some kind. AOW should never be considered a dumping ground for failed scripts. It’s clear from your effort a few weeks back that you can write, My advice: Don’t submit an old draft that isn’t worthy of your talent.

      • websters

        Hi, thanks for the input, this was submitted some time ago, not hearing back and other feedback spurred us on with other projects, we would never treat this as a dumping ground, thanks for the comment about our other work and sorry if it looks like we’ve wasted your time! This was never our intention.

    • Dale T

      I may be misinterpreting what you’re implying but don’t give up on it. Every idea has potential, it just needs the right amount of fine tuning and crafting. I was watching a documentary of Star Wars and the original ideas Lucas had for the movie, and oh boy if Lucas went forward with his first couple drafts Star Wars would have been remembered as one of a plethora of cheesy 80’s films, forgotten in time, and would have never changed the world as much as it did.

  • andyjaxfl

    Quick one this weekend (actually trying to write for a change). Had a chance to read at least the 15 for all of this weekend’s scripts.

    My pick: DEVIL IN YOU. The opening in Brazil is good, but I agree with other posters who suggest an opening already in South Africa.

    Sorry I didn’t get a chance to write notes for all of the entries.

  • SeekingSolace

    Cool, but how many production companies are banging down your door to make it? Seems like your silly writing competition, which you didn’t win, leaves you in no better position than I.

  • Dale T

    I vote The Aabadocks just to see SeekingSolace pick a fight with everyone and prop up his pretentious knowledge about everything storytelling outside of storytelling.

  • fragglewriter

    Carson, is it possible that you can use something other than Mediafire for these scripts?

    • Midnight Luck

      not sure if works better for you or not, but if it does, here you go.

      • fragglewriter

        Thank you so much. I like to read the scripts on my iPhone using iBooks, but for some reason, I don’t know how to convert or send scripts PDF using Mediafire.

        • Midnight Luck

          No probs.

        • Levres de Sang

          Just change the /view/ section of the URL to /file/ and reload the page…! It works on my phone.

  • grendl

    Seeking Solace, Richard Walter has a message for you and your thinking about the sale mentality. ( are you a relative of Crawford? )

    All you can control is the writing. Not the marketing, not the demographics, not the distribution.

    Studio people make their living doing that. If you want to do what they do, you’re on the wrong website.

  • ElectricDreamer

    Congrats to the AOW candidates this week.
    I see Team Webster has gotten two nominations in two weeks, impressive.
    Sasquatch last time and now interstellar colonization.
    The loglines again did zilch to entice me to read the scripts.
    Barely a hint of enticing IRONY in any of them.

    Also, my SPACE INVADERS thoughts are posted on the AF thread today.
    I see CitizenM also weighed in with some buku notes for the winners! Good stuff!

    AOW Winner: DEVIL IN YOU.

    However, I also think these fine specimens also merit attention…

    Team Webster strikes again! But in a different genre this time.
    Full disclosure guys, the logline DROVE me away from the script.
    Instead of ENTICING me to read your tale, all it did was CONFUSE me.

    A misspelled SLUG right on page one. That’s a tiny red flag for Team Webster.
    Is this a PINK draft from a year and a half ago? Turn that crap off.
    If I was an exec and I saw that today, I’d toss your script in the trash.
    NEVER let on to readers how long something has been laying around.

    I’d be more interested if you showed me the wife’s trajectory.
    She wakes up alone, in a huge ship. Who is she? She sneaks around.
    Why is she sneaking? What’s her agenda? That immediately DRAWS me in!
    Instead we get a clueless walk-through with the guy. No drama, calm about his wife.
    This should happen in the OFF-SCREEN MOVIE. Give us the mystery wife.
    Then you’ve given us an intriguing TEASER before the required plot kicks in.

    Distancing the reader from the fun scenes has marred Team Webster before.
    I was frustrated at how LIAR COWARD JUDGE shied away from cinematic drama.
    We’d get dialogue scenes telling us about super-cool events we don’t see.
    The reader hearing about intriguing events, but never experiencing them.

    For me, the opening five need a total rethink.
    These events seen through the eyes of the wife would be EXCITING.
    We don’t know why she’s alone, sneaking around. Evading mysterious figures.
    She seems vulnerable in this big foreboding ship, she finally escapes…
    Then REVEALS she’s no longer on Earth! That feels 100% cinematic to me.
    She flees into the new environment. THEN show hubbie getting tapped.
    Starting with Amon isn’t rewarding for me, he’s just glumly following the fun.
    Give me scenes where things are HAPPENING, not the drab aftermath.

    It’s weird that everyone on this new planet speaks BLUE COLLAR.
    No one wants to travel across the universe for Earth-like scenes, reads flat.
    I’m pulling out on page 10. I don’t get Amon’s behavior at all.
    His wife has just disappeared and he’s all business as usual on the job.
    Why isn’t there any follow up, instead we get taunts to go out for drinks.
    Shouldn’t Amon’s co-workers be worried about his missing wife?
    This script has the same DRAMA AVOIDANCE issues the Sasquatch one did.
    But I felt LIAR COWARD JUDGE had much more polish than this one.


    Where are the freaking page numbers? Those would be helpful.
    I rarely like openers where monumental stupidity drives the plot.
    It tells me that’s the most cinematic way you can wreck the van.
    Reads like low-hanging fruit. An easy idea, little creativity expended.
    I’d go with something much more revealing. maybe show us the infected bat.

    Don’t tell us in your PROSE these guys aren’t plumbers.
    Why don’t we just see them dressed in stealth gear. Then show the nasty bat.
    Let the reader DEDUCE these two guys aren’t fixing sinks.
    Maybe the bat somehow gets free in a cool reveal and then causes a wreck.

    Please don’t call a simple football a — missile of cowhide.
    Your script should be impressing me with its storytelling, not vocabulary.

    P. 4 Poindexter. Shiz. Apple of her eye. Totes. Hoopla.
    Your slang is all over the map, some very old, others super-tween.
    It tends to give the impression the writer is much older than his characters.
    And it signals the reader that someone’s trying to sound “young on the page.”

    P. 5 Of course the visiting team would be on the opposing side of the field.
    That’s how every football stadium is set up. No need for that staging.

    P. 6 You spell STUBS one way in the text and STUBBS in the character slugs.
    Settle on one of those and PROOFREAD your work more often.

    Kenny is a hunky quarterback superstar — VIRGIN? I don’t buy that.
    Unless I see some purity rings right quick, I’m calling shenanigans.
    If this is an American high school, ERIC RED is too old at 19.
    And he’s also the writer of NEAR DARK and director of THE HITCHER.
    If Kenny is such a superstar QB, why does he need to work for Dawn’s dad?
    He’s a hotshot senior, isn’t he going to college on a football scholarship?

    No follow up with the bitten dog, just an O.S. dialogue cue.
    Why not show the kids be CONCERNED for the dog, it would be nice of them.
    If you call Frisco in, the wound should draw attention.
    Dawn should check the dog, then Frisco SNAPS at her, scurries off.
    She’s all wtf and Kenny makes with the bedroom eyes…

    No suspense or tension at all with Dawn’s bite.
    Why not show the dog acting AFFLICTED? That would be cinematic.
    Then you can show Frisco STALKING his prey. Adds tension to the scene.
    I’m bowing out on page 12, too many un-cinematic choices here to be fun.


    Do you mean a BLACK SEDAN or a person of Sudanese descent?
    I’m ok with unfilmables, so long as they give me a VISUAL in the brain.
    But your wordplay here just muddles the page for me.
    Just say, Bob tries to look intimidating, much to Amy’s amusement/annoyance.
    And BOOM. That one sentence gives both characters juicy CONTEXT.
    Readers will latch onto that and pick up on how your characters RELATE.

    I don’t think the quips leading to an emotional reveal works well.
    That suggests Bob was being snarky even though he was there to drop a bomb.
    And she’s just as snippy. The whole husband exchange was confusing.
    Seems like these two enjoy being jerks to each other.

    Also, the subtext of the kids is actually louder than your characters.
    Consider adjusting the volume down there. Very heavy handed super fast.
    And it sends the message you’re gonna sledgehammer drama into my skull.
    I’m sure you don’t mean that at all, but there it is on the page.

    P. 7 Telegrpahing all of Norah’s intent in the prose is unwise.
    Don’t waste space broadcasting your protag’s emotional state to me…
    I can see for myself she doesn’t care and when her attention is focused.
    Your dialogue tells me all that on its own quite nicely, thanks.
    Ditch the emotional commentary, that’ll quicken your dialogue’s pace.

    Norah was a living crash test dummy for an auto repair shop?
    This feels like a trope more for a comedy/fantasy than a breezy caper flick.
    The one where the dummy comes to life and helps Norah find her groove.
    Reads too absurd to mesh at all with the recent schoolyard angst.

    P. 8 Dialogue’s pretty good, but it’s broken up with lots of staging.
    Leave as much of that as possible to the imagination.
    Documenting every shrug, wink, smile, look or cigarette drag, is a drag for me.
    Please let your dialogue breathe better down the page.

    I wish you started your script at the bottom of page 9.
    Because that’s where things start HAPPENING in your tale.
    Everything that’s come before felt like data you made me sit through.
    But I don’t need that burden of investment to dive right into the theft.

    I prefer scenes where things are HAPPENING that I can OBSERVE and ANALYZE.
    That engages my brain and keeps me turning page after page, after page.
    You could take some of that front chunk and FLASHBACK it later on.
    Grab my attention first by showing something actively UNFOLDING on the page.

    Bowing out on page 17. The self-conscious contrarian quipping is too much for me.
    These two broads are BICKERING, there is no connective BANTER there.
    I think a RE-CRACK of the opener will bare juicy fruit for the author.


    In general, audiences tend to resent titles they can’t easily pronounce.
    And in your WSYR, I wish you’d chosen to tell my why this story excites YOU.
    Leave the jargon to the marketing department, that’s their job.

    Taking the entire first page just to summon the captain is too much.
    And your called 3D effects are unwarranted since it’s you stated it upfront.
    Those are budgetary concerns way out of your control in a studio production.
    I know you mean well, but you’re DIRECTING on the page, not storytelling.
    It wastes valuable real estate in an already scant 90 page script.

    P. 4 I saw NET GUNS in How to Train Your Dragon 2, what else you got?
    You’re mired in technically explaining the scene staging, but there’s no plot.
    Please stop DICTATING the editing of a film. This is a spec script.
    The over-managed character intros are not the meat of a tale.

    P. 5 Anyone could’ve killed Lead Crewman five times during that speech.
    All the gimmicks and gags are EMPTY CALORIES. I want cake, not frosting.
    Far too much prose dedicated to character blocking.

    P. 8 Lot of sitcom banter, but it’s all delaying the story from starting.
    Giving nameless characters speeches so you can bonk them on the head.
    These gimmicky parlor tricks are not a story, they’re just devices.

    P. 10 Why don’t they just sail away in their ship from these dudes in the water.
    Those are barrels of booze, not explosives. Run those mer-man over!

    Molly’s creepy exercise song and a lack of storytelling will send me packing.
    Ditch the devices, sitcom gags and use your prose to set the scene, not the stage.


    Your logline begs the question: Why don’t the abductors just KILL them?
    Leaving witnesses to your kidnapping crime is bad for business.
    There’s no way I’d leave untrustworthy witnesses to my felonies alive.

    You can turn a phrase better than all the other candidates.
    But you’ll get even more mileage out of it if you tone down the — double dashes.
    Wish you’d used that opener dialogue for more than mutual snarky labeling.
    Snark is not a replacement for characters BEHAVING on the page.

    I think you’re using the word CLOCK to notice/observe stuff, odd phrasing.
    Must be a thang from your corner of the world. You use that word a lot too.
    Cassius should be throwing money at the cab driver. That motivates them.

    P. 8 Near as I can tell, Max and Cassius don’t have a care in the world.
    They got all the looks and style, but where are the character flaws.
    Nothing for me to relate to with these guys. I’m not privileged Euro-trash.
    But if these guys had a flaw my poor self can RELATE and EMPATHIZE with…
    Then you can hook me into your story. Less sizzle, more steak needed here.

    P. 11 I feel like Armani is sponsoring your script. Enough with the suits, please.
    I just wish this skilled detail went into your character building instead.
    Got a clear idea of the look of your script, just not much of its story.

    P. 12 Reads wonky Mr. Sunglasses was so OVERTLY creepy, tipped his hand fast.
    Now the protags are on edge, abductors like to get close, not alienate their prey.

    Ducking on page 20, the character count is mounting fast.
    But at least the pages are moving better post-abduction scene.
    However, these scenes would have more TENSION with a COMPLICATION…

    The reader should already know that these two are — flat broke.
    Layering that in there gives scenes subtext and lures in readers.
    We’ll be busy turning pages saying “They’re poor, how will they escape.”
    I can see the abductors beating them, claiming they’re lying about their wealth.
    Those guys I could empathize with, but as written. It’s all too playboyish for me.

    The party chit-chat is not a dazzling way to hook me into your tale.
    Use those precious pages to show me something that’s HAPPENING.
    The early party scenes have no goals or much conflict.
    However, your later scenes click, giving me hope for Act Two.


    • brittany

      Great notes as usual ElectricDreamer! I read Dawn myself and felt the same way about the dialogue. Love that you picked up on Eric Red as the writer of Near Dark and the director of The Hitcher! While reading, I wondered about that name as well, thinking it sounded familiar, so I Googled it and low and behold… Makes me wonder if the writer did that on purpose to allude to some of his favorite horror films.

    • websters

      Hi ElectricDreamer thanks for the notes, will definitely take on board. As for your comments, and a lot of other people’s, that Exodus needs a polish, we can’t agree more, we think getting this nomination has open our eyes that we got a little to invested in this idea and creating a world that we lost sight of the little things. The things that matter.

      However I will point out this was written and submitted a while before Liar. Coward. Judge but that really isn’t an excuse.

      Thanks for the criticism, it was needed!

      Just a quick point, Amon isn’t still looking for his wife because it is meant to be implied time has passed (something we need to make clearer) and his coping method is drugs.

      Keep up the good work.

      • Dale T

        I really thought that beginning scene was a flash forward and the whole movie was going to lead up to that point of why his wife went crazy :/

    • Stephjones

      Thanks for the endorsement of CL, Electric Dreamer! Fingers crossed Carson gives Pet the review on Friday. She won the peeps pick by a landslide.

  • mulesandmud

    Don’t take the bait on this one, man. The patient is DOA, not worth bloodying your scalpel unless you know you’ll really enjoy it.

  • Kirk Diggler

    Read 18 pages of Devil In You. It’s well written and quickly established. There is clarity. Dialogue is as perky as the pacing. Will read more when I get a chance. This is a good example of getting to your story quickly, even with the opening in Brazil. And I don’t think Cassius is unlikable, a bit of a ne’er-do-well playboy perhaps, but this allows for a potential character arc.

    Read about 20 pages of Trunk. It’s wasn’t bad, a few nice moments, but nowhere near as well written (as in ‘smooth’) as Devil. In Devil, I didn’t have to read a section more than once to understand what the writer was communicating.

  • Dale T

    Shut up SeekingSolace.

  • Midnight Luck

    every now and again Carson was doing an AoW where he divided them, with 3 film scripts and 2 TV, or the reverse. I think if he gets a few TV scripts he might throw them into the mix. So you may have a chance even now, especially if others are sending in TV scripts as well.

  • pmlove


    Exodus: It’s a big idea and I like that. I’m desperate for a good intrigue thriller. There’s a lot going on here but it suffers from a few issues – passive protagonist, two separated worlds and a lack of clarity over why Amon is important (even after it was explained). Might be worth sticking with Mattius’ story line and devoting more time to twists and turns. Still, I enjoyed reading despite its flaws.

    I had less time to read the others.

    AABADOCKS: Don’t like the title. Started well, laughed a couple of times and I like the concept of a family pirate adventure (wasn’t there an Aardman Pirates film that was quite good). The action sequence was unclear though and the 3D directions were distracting. Others seem to have covered that well.

    TRUNK: A few seemed to enjoy this but the first pages were filled with peculiar phrasing and odd dialogue.

    DAWN: Put off by use of ‘it’ just to be ambiguous to the reader. If this is a comedy-horror, I think you should set the tone earlier. At the moment the beginning is neither comedy nor horror. I don’t mean this to be a snarky ‘it’s not scary or funny enough’ comment, just that the tone is unclear.

    DEVIL IN YOU: Well written but I’m struggling to get behind a gap-yah duet who think the height of imagination is to build a school in Africa. Public school boys can be likeable but Cassius ain’t. Dialogue was good.

  • cjob3

    Usually he recommends you re-submit often in his opening pre-amble on Amateur Fridays. Look for that next week- I think he’s backed up this week. It doesn’t hurt to try. I saw he’d reviewed a few pro TV scripts during the week so I submitted and to my surprise, got picked. But that was after a few tries with different scripts in the past. Good luck

  • Meta5
  • klmn

    Don’t have much time this weekend, but – based solely on loglines – my vote goes to Exodus.

    That sounds like the only one where the writer is swinging for the fences. The others sound like singles, even if the writer nails it.

    Players don’t reach the bigs hitting singles.

    • Kirk Diggler

      Tell that to Pete Rose. 3215 singles hit in his career.

      • klmn

        He hit a lot of doubles. No one was better at stretching a single into a double. I grew up in Cincinnati and saw the Big Red Machine at Crosley Field.

        And Rose was great with his glove and running over catchers.

        • Kirk Diggler

          Tell that to Ray Fosse.

          • klmn

            Is he still crying about that?

  • Casper Chris

    Great point at 7:05 and very pertinent in light of Carson’s idea article.

  • Eric

    My vote: DEVIL IN YOU

    Tried to read at least the first ten of all these.


    Pg 1: While I can find “enterior” being used through a google search. I can’t find anything to confirm that it’s grammatically correct. Do you mean anterior?

    Pg 2: “The computer is displays the words” Revise for hiccups like this.

    Pg 3: “No, I don’t remember. I woke up and she’s already gone.“ This is contradictory to answer the question he was asked. He says he doesn’t remember, but he clearly does and relays that information. No need to confuse the issue.

    Pg 4: “The corridor has strange markings along the walls” A little vague. What do the markings look like? Are they scratches? Writing?

    Pg 11 Dialogue feels off in places. For instances, “I was out with work.” Seems like a very odd way to word what he’s saying. Why not, “I was out (grabbing a beer) with some co-workers (friends)” or something of the sort?

    Pg 13 “She woke up and lived her whole life on that ship, everything we planned,” There’s something intriguing in that line, but I feel like you’re maybe being too cagey with info. This is backstory stuff isn’t it?

    Right now I’m not very engaged with the protag or the situation. It seems like Amon knows exactly what happened to his wife, so why don’t I? It could be forgivable if the plot had more direction, but I’m not really feeling it at this point. His job, his friends, the woman, some sort of drug problem and a guy who gives him money. None of it has enough specifics for me to really engage with it. It’s like I’m just sliding along the surface of the world, but not allowed to see it with any depth.


    Pg 1 “These guys are definitely not plumbers” Based on what? Seems like they could be plumbers to me.

    Given the genre, the teaser needs to be either a little scarier or funnier. Right now it’s just serviceable.

    Pg ? “Kenny SLAMS Eric into a locker.” You’re establishing your protag as a hot head jock. He feels very stereotypical. That can work for growth, I suppose. But every other character seems to be the same. I think the audience needs a straight man/woman, even if it’s just a trusty sidekick for now. Someone needs to speak the things your audience will be thinking. Someone they can identify with. Right now, I’ve got no one.

    Pg ? “Dawn, you promised. If we win this game we’ll have sex. Those were your words.” I can’t take this couple seriously enough to care about them. Once again, the audience needs a few characters who are in on the joke, because these two are ridiculous.

    The writing here is decent. A lot of character’s are introduced, and I don’t remember them all for sure, but they’re use within the scene sensibly enough for me to not be confused. But after about 10 pages I didn’t laugh once and as I said before, I think a straight-man could really help. Dawn seems closest enough to normal, but giving her a yappy little dog and valley girl mannerisms kept me distant from her.


    Pg 1 “She’s out of her element, like a dandruff flake on a mannequin. Exactly where she wants to be.” Heh? First, I’m not feeling that simile. Second, if she’s exactly where she wants to be, how is she out of her element? And where is that anyway? A phonebooth?

    “A BLACK SUDAN”. A black SEDAN.

    “He’s the guy who brags about a paper cut that healed a few months ago.” No he’s not, because no one does that.

    Pg 3 “Tries to end with an apologize” An apology.

    “The little girl is just about to release her crocodile tears.” Crocodile tears means fake tears. The little girl getting bullied is about to FAKE cry. How would we know that? Why would we need to?

    I like the idea of the Bully breaking up the conversation. It’s a good odd element to add to the scene. But the writing’s taking me out of the script from the get-go and I can tell it’d be a chore for me to get through. Gonna have to leave it at that.


    Pg 3 That other crewman needs to be CAPPED on intro.

    “helping her father attach both ships together with ropes.” Did not realize the other ship had gotten this close. It should be mentioned before this moment. I actually thought the Aabadocks started on the same boat as the Captain.

    Pg 6 With Brock being such a wimp I find it hard to believe he gets courage from a fist in a box. On the one hand, it is a kids movie. But on the other hand kids/family stuff frequently pays more attention to keeping the adults on board too. Probably shouldn’t lean on the “it’s for kids” accuse too heavily, if at all.

    Actually the more I think about it, Brock should be the last of the family introduced during the ship raid. Show each member pulling their weight before coming to Brock being a useless whimp. It clouds his character to intro him in the middle of everyone and knocking out a crewman no less.

    Pg 8 “Ask your mother she’d know more about that than me” That line made me laugh. Though it should be two sentences and is missing the period at the end.

    “slowly wrenching on a device” way too vague. What is the device? I get what it does, but I can’t picture it or the way you progress that image with such a general description.

    “Scott can’t believe his ears.” No one’s talking but him.

    Pg 9 Is there a reason you name Mer-man #2 before Mer-man #1?

    After ten pages, what you’ve got may work for kids, but I’m not sure it’s got enough to keep adults from tuning out. Also, I’m not really sure there’s room for another family friendly pirate franchise. Pirates of the Caribbean pretty much has a lock on that. Outside of that established context, I’m not sure the general public really cares about pirates all that much.


    Pg 4 Although it’s correct, I more readily associate “clocks” with hitting someone rather than noticing them. Either way it’s used quite a lot on one page.

    Good first ten. Writing’s decent. Characters are acting with purpose. And a nice little mystery on page 10 to pull us along.

    Pg 12 “two other remaining passengers” don’t forget to CAP these guys.

    Pg 13 Maybe describe the coach in a little more detail. In my head I was assuming there might be a door near the back or at the very least a window release lever.

    I’m surprised the bus driver hasn’t just gunned it since they’re already shooting at him.

    And I’m not sure what the point of having a balaclava is if you’re only pulling it down after everyone’s seen your face.

    Pg 18 I’m having too many antagonists thrown at me. It’s hard to get a bead on who these guys are, either as a group or as individuals.

    I have to stop here, but there’s a lot of good things happening here. I do think what I’ve read could be tightened up. How exactly is hard to say without knowing the full story. It’d be good to have the abduction going down by page ten though.

  • Midnight Luck

    I was going to say pretty much what cjob3 said, but he beat me to it.

    Carson says every now and again, to keep resubmitting your script. So I don’t know that you should feel bad about sending it in again, or again and again.

  • MHellstrand

    Such a great experience to have my project up for AOF
    I just wanted to thank all of you for the great notes on TRUNK!

    Some of you liked it, others didn’t like the writing, which is totally understandable! All valid criticism.

    Best of luck to all of you!

  • Citizen M

    My vote this week goes to DEVIL IN YOU with honorable mention to DAWN.

    Logline question: If the interstellar migration has failed, how come humans are on other planets?

    Summary. Stopped reading on page 13. No action. Very talky and exposition-heavy. Nothing much new here after the space ship. Just the same Blade Runner post-apocalypse downbeat type location we’ve seen many times before, and a hero with a dead wife, a drug problem, and no future. Not interested in reading further.

    Notes while reading. “Steam releases” Is this steampunk? Starts with a mystery. Why is Jenny in coolant room? Good. [Not followed through, though.]

    1. who’s/whose. 1. Are pods vertical or horizontal? 1. He should check adjacent pod before stumbling into corridor. 4. Official 5 should refer to some sort of override. 4. Plants growing: Is it a coolant room (stores glycol etc) or a cool room (stores food etc)?

    Summary. Stopped reading on page 29. Bright and breezy, but developments are coming too slowly. We’re still in Act 1 as far as I can see. I have no idea what might happen next. Developments should be foreshadowed. Too many characters. Try and combine a few. I would like to know how Buster Strohacker got alerted to the bat, what his interest is, and why Wil and Stan are following him, not the bat. There’s no sense of urgency on their part. What happens to them if they don’t recover the bat? Might read further.

    Notes while reading. No page numbers. 1. Do bats squawk, chirp, or chitter? 5. Nice empty female dialogue. (No idea if they actually talk like that, but I imagine they do.) 6. “talks at a phone booth” Is this the 70s? 13ff. Principle/Principal 17. “my personal mission” Who talk’s like that to his iPhone? 17. peddles/pedals his bicycle 21. cross burns skin. good.

    Logline comment: Ungrammatical. Not impressed.

    Summary: Stopped reading on page 12. Too much effort is wasted on writing descriptions that won’t appear on the screen. Can’t figure out Amy’s circumstances. Has her husband left her for Bob? Why is she responsible for tuition? Bickering between Amy and Norah re smoking is not funny. Presumably the hostage is in the stolen car but I don’t see how that will improve things. Not interested in reading further.

    Notes while reading: 1. sudan/sedan 7. testing airbags? I thought they only worked once. 8. spring between door and wall — do you mean gap? 11. yeah, like they would pull a job without a getaway car 11. what DARK ROOM? who are the other men in the dark room? 12. Say that Frankie sees his car is missing.

    Comment on length: Is 89 pages enough for a 3D family adventure?

    Summary: Stopped reading on page 18. Don’t know who or what Lucious and Gilby are, but the males in this script are not dangerous. I’m not sure what family values are being promoted here. “It’s okay to steal, but not from the wealthy and powerful who can get back at you”? “Women are competent but men are clueless?”

    The pirate attack was bright and cheerful, but the tone wasn’t maintained. Too much bickering while the plot is not moving. Once they hit the island they should be seen to be on a perilous journey, but so far it’s just jeweled trees and singing birds. I’m not feeling any peril lurking, nor do I believe they will come to a bad end. Perhaps have a few skeletons and corpses and torture instruments lying around.

    Incidentally, what fuel do Dana’s machines run on? An important value to impart is that energy is not free.

    Notes while reading: 1. what’s a “luffa”? 2. that pirate ship moved awfully fast for a sailing ship 4. is it a chute or a conveyer belt? 11. steam-punk guitar. how does that work — do they have electricity? 11. so mother and daughter are over-achievers and father and son are wusses? I’m not liking this. 17. Brock’s “be a man” actions are a bit over-done. We get it already. 18. ploom/plume figgety/fidgety

    Summary: Stopped reading on page 35. Tight, gritty, and pacy, it kept me turning the pages to see what happens. Would definitely like to read further.

    Disclaimer: I gave notes on this two years ago.

    Notes while reading: 5. too many “clocks”. rather use “sees” 22. Ramsey would probably just say “Ramsey” when answering the phone. 23. rouse/ruse 24. Jacques should make some sort of sarcastic comment on Cassius’s father after the phone call. 32. Jessica. Introduce her earlier, before page 25. Let us anticipate developments.

  • Shawn Davis

    Sorry for coming in late. I was out of town all weekend.

    Read the first ten of each and my vote goes to Devil in You.