amateur offerings weekend
While everyone clamors to perfect their Scriptshadow 250 entries, a bold group of screenwriting gummy bears choose to place their letter spaghetti in front of the interconnected computer sphere in hopes of rainbow transformation. May we wish them a transition to a higher state of being.

Title: To Boldly Go
Genre: Biopic
Logline: In 1964, writer Gene Roddenberry struggles to get his vision on television – a show called “Star Trek”.
Why you should read: Three reasons. One – unlike other biopics which give you the whole Wikipedia routine, my script focuses on a year-long period in a man’s life, during which he has a clear goal. Two, it could generate a discussion on the act of using licensed properties you do not own in a spec written as a sample. (Like “Wonka”, which I am certain will not be made unless Roald Dahl’s zombie corpse approaches a production office, gobstopper in hand, and signs off on it while offering casting notes: “Two words: Get Gosling.”). And, three, my script comes from the heart. My father passed on in ’91, when I was kid, and one of the things he instilled in me was a love of science fiction, particularly “Star Trek”.

Title: The Camelot Club
Genre: Comedy
Logline: A religious man and his sexually deviant cousin unexpectedly inherit a run down strip club and have two weeks to make fifty thousand dollars or be killed by a seven foot transsexual pimp.
Why You Should Read: What do you get when you add together a 6’3” ginger Pole and an average height, golden tan Croatian? The Camelot Club, a combination of tanned, god-like overconfidence and the inherit self-loathing that comes with being orange and pale. We came together to write this script so we could split the crushing despair that comes when someone inevitably tells you your scripts reads like German is your native tongue (an actual criticism I received on my very first script, which hurt even more considering the only language I know is English). In the end we are just a couple of struggling artists looking to be accepted into the soft, voluptuous bosom of the screenwriting community (an agent and management would be nice, too). After learning the English language more better, and getting the screenwriting turds out of our systems, we put our minds together and produced The Camelot Club. And now I would like to end on a testimonial from my bi-polar, alcoholic brother, “…this script was so good it made me wish I was tri-polar…”. Enjoy!

Title: The Stone Addendum
Genre: Action
Logline: An Israeli secret agent has less than two days to prevent a terrorist hostage exchange in the U.S., but he must rely on help from an innocent Muslim woman that he’s ordered to kill once the mission is complete.
Why you should read: This script appeared in AOW a ways back to pleasant but uneventful reviews. Since then, with the help of Carson’s notes, it’s gone through a major makeover, and registered a Page Quarterfinals, a BlueCat Top 5%, and most recently a Top 25 in the Tracking Board. The latter billed it as TAKEN meets THE HURT LOCKER, and “the perfect blend of brains and brawn.” I think I’m in the red zone on this one, but can’t seem to punch it into the end zone with producers. Feedback from the SS community would be more than helpful. Thanks in advance to anyone taking a look.

Title: Tammy
Genre: Comedy
Logline: A young man from a strict religious family awakens from a severe head injury with the personality of a vulgar, slutty party girl named Tammy.
Why you should read: (from Tammy) heyyyy. so like, i didnt write this er whatever. the movie. but its awesome. mainly cuz its about me. myy names Tammy… & yes, im way hotter then that slam pig melissa mccarthy who took my name and shat on it. i like to party & get schwasty, unlike my dumpy foster mom. but seriously. u hafta read this. normaly, id suck u off, but i cant do that thru email… so quit beatin ur ham & open this script. u wont be sorry & if u r… gimme ur address & ill make it up to u. im like UPS… i deliver my box to strangers ;)

Title: Tampa Bay
Genre: Buddy Action
Logline: An old, homophobic, U.S. Marshal must seek the assistance of a gay FBI agent to solve the murder of a neighbor’s daughter.
Why You Should Read: I think it’s about time we had an action hero who just happens to be gay. He should be a badass first, and gay second. So that’s exactly what I wrote.

  • Malibo Jackk

    No horror scripts this week.
    No sci fi.
    Only rainbows.

    • klmn

      I dunno. After Thursdays article, I was expecting something different.

    • ripleyy

      Rainbows, but no unicorns. [xx] wasn’t for me

  • Caivu

    Early posting, yay! I’ll read what I can right now and save some time tomorrow. 30 pages of each, mentioning where I start to lose interest (if I do), and only ducking out if things get bad. Here we go.

    The Camelot Club

    Pg. 1-6
    “The Camelot Club, looking run down and a shamble of its former self” This is the very first phrase in the script. It’s a problem because there hasn’t been anything to show what the club looked like at its height. If it’s run-down, fine, but don’t say it’s a shadow of its former self when I don’t know what that former self looks like.
    “In the corner a makeshift living room is set up, all terribly out of date.” What time period are we talking, here? I can’t know what counts as out of date if I don’t know what the current time period is. I’m asking because I’m guessing Terry and Colin are going to be the main characters (or at least one of them) and I’m picturing this happening in the early 80s).
    Not gonna lie, I feel a bit creepy reading this, and I’d feel even creepier watching it.
    Aaaaand page 6 and a 12-year-old has a visible erection. I’m out.

    Well, I can’t really say much about this. On to the next.

    • cjob3

      It also says “run-down” twice in the opening paragraph.

      • Caivu

        Ouch. That it does. I glazed over that bit, I guess.

  • klmn

    Tammy. I read four pages. It’s pretty much what I expected from the WYSR.

    Carson, is this really what you want?

    My vote goes to this one, because I appreciate the truth-in-advertising.

  • Frankie Hollywood

    Rainbow? Nail, Head!

    • ripleyy

      It was a pilot (I think) and it was about a man inheriting the script club from a dead relative. Still, I could not help but think of that when I read the logline. Eerily similar.

      • HRV

        Yes, that sounds familiar.

      • Matthew Garry

        “Not Safe For Work”, by cjob3 (of “Miss Universe” fame :)

      • cjob3

        PLUS me and the main character are both named COLIN and we both wear Spider-man underwear!

        • Frankie Hollywood

          Congrats on making the AFF cut last year. Scroll up about 50 lines and you can see mine: Stimulant (1HR Pilot).

          Maybe we’ll meet at a TV event soon — a professional TV event.

          • cjob3

            Hope so! Do you have a link to that AFF? I can’t find it now. I like that title, BTW.

          • Frankie Hollywood

            https://www.austinfilmfestival.com/2014-semifinalists-second-rounders/

            Did you get a “hand written” note on the notification letter they mailed you? I can’t tell if the note’s legit or photocopied (as in a lot of other people got the same comment).

            It says, “P.S. Our readers were really impressed with your ability to take on often used concept and create an original story from it.”

            That’s incredibly generic. It’s accurate (in regards to Stimulant), but generic — not sure what to think.

          • cjob3

            Oh! The Austin Fest! Sorry, lost track of my acronyms. Yeah, I guess you recognized my name because I submitted a script called Beyond Help with Handy Andy. My comment says “Our readers loved your script! Your story is hilarious and highly original. Keep up the good work!”

            Yeah, I felt special until I learned how many others got a hand-written note. Still. Nice touch I suppose.

        • Midnight Luck

          for your consideration….

  • dawriter67

    Boldly Go looks interesting but the scripts title page gives me pause because it is based on three books that the producer will have to get the rights for…

    • Eric

      I’m wondering, if your true story is based on accounts and research from three separate novels, do you really need to credit any of them? Assuming you haven’t copied their narrative structure (and how could you simultaneously copy the narrative of three separate books at once), couldn’t this just be chalked up to “general research”? Of course you need rights to Gene’s story in this case, but what if that wasn’t an issue?

      • Matthew Garry

        >Of course you need rights to Gene’s story in this case, but what if that wasn’t an issue?

        That actually is not an issue (or a very complicated one). Known facts are not eligible for copyright, so you can freely write a biography of whomever. You should always get the facts the story is based on from multiple sources though, because specific angles/approaches can be considered creative works.

        Case in point, if “Boldly Go” is a dramatisation of one of the sources mentioned, it’s a derivative work and the rights need to be secured. If it’s a new story that focuses on a particular interesting period in Gene’s life, which is generally described in those three books, it’s not a problem. I suspect that’s the reason the three books are included on the title page: to indicate the multiple sources requirement has been met, except it’s counterproductive here since it states “based on.”

        • brenkilco

          Dunno. Unless the writer has done his own independent research I think he’s got a problem taking incidents from the books. Certainly no agent or producer would touch such material without securing rights from the estate, locking up at least one of the books and making scrupulously certain that everything in the script was either public domain or could be found in that book

          • IgorWasTaken

            How do you do “independent research” on a dead guy?

            I guess you talk to living people who were there. But what if they’re dead, too? Yeh, but, I do suppose there are original documents that might shed light on a story – letters, memos, and so on. But then, those are copyrighted, too (just as any work is simply by being committed to paper).

            Certainly no agent or producer would touch such material without securing rights from the estate

            I disagree.

            Last year’s “Jimi: All Is by My Side” is a biopic, and from what I’ve read they had no rights from the estate – which is why they couldn’t use any of his music.

            As for needing the rights for a book, I don’t know the magic number for not needing that – i.e., if basing your script on 2 books or 3 or 4 or 5.

          • brenkilco

            I admit to minimal knowledge of copyright law, but if I’d beaten the bushes to interview a hundred people for the bio of a dead notable, uncovered info that had never before been made public and seen it dramatized in a movie made without my knowledge I’d sure think about suing. And If I were a producer I’d think twice and maybe a third time about a script admittedly based on published nonfiction, whether three or four books, none of which I owned the rights to.

            I mean could you have gotten away without paying Sebastian Junger for The perfect storm if you said you’d talked to some people in Gloucester MA and read the weather reports?

          • IgorWasTaken

            All I can say is: Read the stuff that’s come out about the book and the movie “Gravity”. People who had read the book, then saw the movie, believed the movie was based on the book. Yet it wasn’t – at least (apparently) not in the context of copyright law.

            (Yes, there is a lawsuit pending. But that’s because the studio that produced the movie also owns a company that owns the book rights. So that lawsuit centers on the contract for the book rights, not on copyright.)

        • Eric

          Thanks for the clarification. I’ve had my own true story project that I’ve been hesitant about. First because I needed more sources, then because I was worried specific people could come forward and complain about their depiction. I still think I’m going to invent my protagonist, but that’s more of a practicality.

          As for what brenkilco just said, mine is more of a True Crime story than a Biopic, so I imagine most of the details I’m aware of would also be present in public domain court transcripts.

          • dawriter67

            Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” was derived from three (or two different books) and stitched together. I’m fairly sure that Dreamworks bought the rights or paid a fee for those books to the authors because the authors worked hard to gather those facts.

          • Eric

            Was it? All Wikipedia lists is Team of Rivals with this short blurb…

            “While consulting on a project for director Steven Spielberg in 1999, Goodwin told Spielberg she was planning to write Team of Rivals, and Spielberg immediately told her he wanted the film rights. DreamWorks finalized the deal in 2001, and Goodwin sent Spielberg the book a chapter by chapter as she composed it.”

            Overall, I think it’s a slippery slope when we let one person, an investigative journalist or historian, pretend they’ve got a copyright on reality just because they wrote a book about it. I mean, how many people have written about Lincoln or Gene Roddenberry. A lot apparently. Unless someone’s told a specific story in a specific way and it’s being copied almost verbatim, I don’t think it’d be right for said person to pretend they’ve got all the rights on someone else’s life.

  • charliesb

    Read the first 10 pages of each (okay I only read 5 pages of 2 of them). Nothing grabbed me. None of the openings were particularly engaging or memorable.

    TAMMY might be able to work, but it needs a few more passes to weed out the more obvious jokes and movie “I’m drunk” dialogue. Also how do you show that someone is two-faced? Didn’t get far enough to figure out if the premise works though, will try again tomorrow.

    THE STONE ADDENDUM seemed competently written, but I’m definitely not the target. I’m tired of the subject matter unfortunately, which could be the reason you’re stuck at the 5 yard line. Remove the terrorist angle and make it about a gang in a neighbourhood, bring the stakes closer to home, make the hero a cop (they could really use the positive PR right now) and maybe you’ll get more interest.

    THE CAMELOT CLUB
    What a strange way to start a comedy. Your opening scene should set the tone for your script. Your’s was weird. Not sure if that’s what you were going for, but at the end of the day, I stopped reading because I wasn’t laughing. Lose the magazines and beastiality, and the weird stuff with Kay insisting that Colin take off his shorts. You’ve got an strip club porky’s in your opening scene, there’s gotta be a couple other (funny emphasis on funny) places you can take this that don’t creep me the fuck out. #justsayin

    TAMPA BAY
    Beginning is clunky (especially first paragraph) but it gets better. Watch your un-filmables. Cut the first scene, start with the robbery scene. This got better as I kept reading, will read more and report back.

    TO BOLDY GO
    I’ve got be honest, the “PAPA’s” were killing me, I kept thinking of An American Tail. “Papa?! Fievel?! Papa?! As for the rest of the scene, while I think I understand what you were trying to do with that opening, it was extremely heavy handed. I think you can write a scene between Gene and his father that gives us the same message, but has a little more nuance and subtlety to it.

    • BoSoxBoy

      Charlie, Thanks for the feedback on mine – The Stone Addendum. Much appreciated.

      • charliesb

        Sorry i couldn’t be more helpful. I’m sure someone else here will give you some great advice. Good luck with it!

    • Jack F.

      Charlie, thanks for the feedback on “To Boldly Go”. Though now I have “Somewhere Out There” stuck in my head.

      • charliesb

        Lol. Me too.

        I did skim through the rest of your screenplay (while I cursed the Bulls and their inability to close out the series tonight). I like that you tried to keep the story to one year of Gene’s life, but I think you should go even smaller. I remember when I heard about the two competing Steve Job’s movies going into production. I couldn’t understand why they were making a movie about him so soon, when the impact of his contributions have really had enough time to be calculated (IMO anyway) but when I heard that one of them was specifically around a product launch, I instantly became interested – that it was supposed to be directed by Fincher also helped :)

        For me one of the most interesting things about Roddenberry’s Star Trek is that it was cancelled after 3 seasons and yet has become one of the most influential tv series of all time. It’s kinda like that last scene in BUGSY, where it shows the success of the Vegas strip and that Bugsy was right. I think the cancellation is actually on the list of top 25 TV blunders.

        My point is I think you should narrow your time frame. I would suggest telling the story of what happened when he was told he was cancelled and then fill in some other moments of his life and career with a few flashbacks. But if you want to stick with the pilot, then I would pick one aspect of it, like when the original pilot tanked and they needed to convince NBC to give them another chance.

        Bio’s are the easiest scripts to incorporate flashbacks, and I think having a shorter time frame in your overall story (like 24 hrs, or a weekend) will give your story a sense of energy and urgency that I think it needs to stand out.

        Think DRAFT DAY (the script not the movie), MONEY BALL, JOBS even THE PAPER (in terms of urgency and under rated IMO). Traditional biopics seem like they would be a harder sell right now, having an angle is probably a good idea.

        Good luck with it!

        • Jack F.

          Thanks, Charlie, for taking the time. “Angle and focus” is definitely going to be my mantra for the re-write.

  • Caivu

    Might as well get the comedies out of the way, because after reading the WYSR for

    Tammy

    I don’t have high expectations. Here’s hoping that I’m wrong.

    Pg. 1-30
    -I don’t really have much to say about these opening pages. At least right now, the writer seems to be treating Enoch and his squeaky-clean-ness pretty respectfully, which I appreciate. Writing is smooth, I’m not finding many issues, good or bad.
    -“If there were an actual Bible Belt, he’d be the one to wear it.” Nice.
    -Enoch and family aren’t reading like Catholic to me, more like IFB Christians (but then I’m not either of those, so I may be wrong). The Catholic college Enoch attends sounds more like it should be Pensacola or Bob Jones University… but then that scene with the drunk girl would never have happened. I’m still liking that the family, while maybe a bit extreme, aren’t super caricatures of religious folk.
    -Maybe it’s this Creation of Adam scene, but I’m picturing Michael Cera as Enoch.
    -Yep, definitely Cera. Enoch is kind of adorable. I like him now, but I have a feeling when Tammy comes around, I won’t. I’m feeling sympathy for him, but could you make things even more difficult for him?
    -I’m sensing some setup with Jode watching the car-washing. Good, if so.
    -Page 11 and I’m starting to get a bit bored. There have been some amusing happenings, but nothing really laughworthy (I’m not a comedy guy, though).
    -Catholicism isn’t obscure, but maybe add a brief description of what the ciborium is, as well as any other religious-specific items that might come up later, just to avoid confusion.
    -Quickly getting to the main plot. I like.
    -Looks like I’m right about Tammy.
    -Or, well… maybe not. She’s so over-the-top that’s it’s not offensive or even annoying. But it’s not really that funny, either (again, not a comedy guy).
    -This doctor should be recommending the parents to a specialist, like a neurologist or a speech pathologist. The Monotone Doctor doesn’t sound like either of those, and doesn’t really have any business giving advice about either of these rare diseases.
    -Tammy escapes without the three people in the room noticing, gets out of the hospital with no one noticing, and manages to get to a mall? Nope. Not buying it.
    -Amusing running gag of Tammy getting people’s names wrong.
    -There doesn’t seem to be much story by page 21. The scenes feel more like skits. Looking back at the logline, this makes sense. “A young man from a strict religious family awakens from a severe head injury with the personality of a vulgar, slutty party girl named Tammy.” Great. But that’s only half the equation. What happens next? What goal is there?

    Well, I was actually pretty surprised! This might be the first comedy Ive read on SS that I’ve even slightly liked (IIRC). Nothing bad jumped out at me from the writing, it’s got an interesting premise (actor bait, as well), and pretty good characters, in the sense that they’re all reasonably distinct. I really appreciate that you have religious characters who aren’t raw, ugly stereotypes; that kind of thing gets old.
    However, I think you could maybe round people out more. Dennin and Susanna seem fine, but not very present right now. Jode is teetering on being a stereotype, but I can imagine how his arc turns out, so that might not be such a bad thing. Liam I barely know, so I can’t say anything. I think you can tone Tammy waaay down, or at least not make everything she says a one-liner; I know she’s not “real”, but she’s way off in cartoon territory right now. You could reign her in quite aways and still have a similar effect. The balancing act comes from making her just cartoonish enough so all her offensive outbursts don’t actually come off as offensive.
    The main issue is the plot, or rather the lack of one. Liam is going to play some part in that almost for a certainty, but I have no idea what it is. There’s no hint of it from the logline.
    All in all, I kinda liked this (yet again, not a comedy guy).

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    Hmmm…Too much forced conflict in a couple loglines (i.e. Tampa Bay). Feels like, “Conflicting characters…?” “Check!”

  • Kimmo Häkäri

    None of these loglines sound like something I would pay 12 euros to see in a theatre.

  • Levres de Sang

    TO BOLDLY GO appeals the most here, but I’m a little confused after cracking it open:

    WYSR: “… unlike other biopics which give you the whole Wikipedia routine, my script focuses on a year-long period in a man’s life…”

    Gene’s wartime and postwar exploits are undoubtedly spectacular, but they clearly contradict this premise — which we don’t get to until Page 16.

    I will definitely read more of this one, though!

  • Casper Chris

    Somersby still hasn’t shown up for his “big day”?

  • HRV

    Based on the first comments, things don’t bode well this week.

  • lonestarr357

    In the last week or so, I submitted three scripts for this popularity contest. I have yet to see any of them around here, and reading the logline/WYSR for TAMMY, I’m seriously questioning if it’s even worth the effort.

    • Casper Chris

      Good point.

    • Matthew Garry

      I understand your disappointment, but taking a hostile tone, bordering on entitlement, isn’t going to improve your chances of being featured.

      What might help is posting your entry, and asking for input. Sometimes good entries are overlooked for whatever reasons (like “Breaking The Chain”), and sometimes “almost there” entries get a winning tip or two for the logline/wysr, and appear some time afterwards in the selection (like “Midnight Leather”).

      I also question the wisdom of submitting three scripts in one week. It feels like your dumping everything you’ve got to improve your “one shot” for an AF review, and how you wouldn’t actually be interested in feedback for any of them. I don’t think there are any rules against just wanting that AF and not caring for the additional AOW feedback, but to want to take up three slots, leaving us with only 2 script writers that might enjoy the effort of the commenters is a bit greedy. It would soon turn AOW into a wasteland if everyone did that.

      • lonestarr357

        Wasn’t meant to be ‘hostile’ so much as ‘frustrated disbelief’. I kinda see how it would read that way, though.

        And who said I wouldn’t appreciate feedback?

        • klmn

          There’s no law against resubmitting.

          • cjob3

            He even suggests re-submitting every week at the top of the page. Which in itself suggests your script isn’t getting picked the first time out.

      • EVMalcolm

        Thanks for the shout out to “Midnight Leather”!

        And that’s great advice—always try to be improving your loglines, and posting it here is often a good way to get good feedback.

    • ChadStuart

      I never seem to have an issue getting picked for the weekend, so post one of your entries and we can see what maybe needs to be changed.

      But, off the bat, don’t compare your entry to others. The reality is that the same personal opinion that goes into choosing entries is the same personal opinion that managers, agents, prod co’s and studios use to choose their project. You need to look only at yours and think how you can improve it.

      • lonestarr357

        Okay. Here goes:

        Title: Love Goddess

        Genre: Romantic Comedy with a Fantasy glaze

        Logline: A studious school librarian finds himself drawn to his vivacious replacement: the daughter of Zeus (yes, that Zeus).

        Why you should read: Granted, Wrath of the Titans grossed far less than Clash and granted Immortals looked completely moronic. (Also, you might be fatigued by the fact that we’ve recently had two Hercules movies…only one of which was any good.) Should that spell the end of Greek mythology in movies? I say nay, especially if you wrap Greek mythology into a romantic comedy. Think Scott Pilgrim vs. Clash of the Titans (the one with L.A. Law, not Avatar).

        https://www.sendspace.com/file/ygg5mx

        • gregthegreg

          This sounds like it could be really funny… but you may not want to start out your WYSR on the defensive about your genre. Just get right to why it’s awesome! Not make people second guess it immediately.

          Also, you may not want to use Scott Pilgrim as a comp in any logline. It made no money at the box office. When thinking of talking to producers about potential projects, this really comes into play. Just a thought.

        • S.C.

          Title: OK. Not great. OK. Goddess of Love might sound better?

          Genre: Romantic comedy. We know from the logline it’s a fantasy. Describing a genre as a glaze, I don’t like it. Can’t tell you exactly why, just don’t like it.

          Logline: Unappealing. School librarian is not a great protagonist. What A-list actor or B-list actor is going to jump up and down to play a school librarian? And Zeus’ daughter is his REPLACEMENT. How does that work? And it doesn’t sound very funny.

          WYSR?: You should focus on the positives. I liked IMMORTALS.

          So, it’s not for me and I have strong ideas as to why it is being passed over.

          • cjob3

            Agreed. “Glaze” makes me think of ham. Which could be a good thing, I suppose.

          • klmn

            If your script goes into production, the producer will audition hams.

          • Nicholas J

            Mmmmm, Zeus glaze….

          • Caivu

            Glazes, whether they’re on doughnuts, hams, or whatever other food, are usually pretty tasty. But they also tend to be messy, especially if used improperly, and aren’t necessary for the main food they’re being put on.
            The same might be of a genre glaze.

          • S.C.

            I think people need to start realizing that making up your own genres (Dark Fantasy Science Fiction… Semi-funny Romantic Docudrama) is a possible warning sign to CARSON.

            99.9% of scripts fit into the following genres (tell me if I’ve missed any):

            Action
            Action thriller
            Action/Adventure
            Action comedy
            Comedy
            Comedy drama
            Disaster
            Drama
            Fantasy
            Historical
            Horror
            Horror comedy
            Musical
            Post-apocalyptic
            Romantic comedy
            Satire
            Science fiction
            Sports comedy
            Sports drama
            Thriller
            War
            Western

            Or a sensible combination of two genres, say post-apocalyptic satire.

            Having three genres, even if one is a “glaze”, is a no-no IN CARSON’S BOOK.

          • Citizen M

            Animated
            Crime
            Erotic
            Family
            Martial Arts
            Monster
            Musical

          • S.C.

            Yes. Never had an erotic AOW entry before. So to speak.

          • Citizen M

            Wait for my entry: 91/2 Weeks of Grey and Videotape.

            Alt: Do Androids Wet Dream of Electric Sheep?

          • HRV

            Now there are new ones like; elevated horror and grounded sci-fi.

          • S.C.

            Elevated I’ve seen… grounded sci-fi, I get what you mean, sounds odd though. I always said something like futuristic action or techothriller. Maybe you mean hard sci-fi?

            As long as it’s not glaze.

          • HRV

            The consensus seems to be that it is based on plausible science/is grounded in reality, and deals with characters over plot.

          • Ninjaneer

            Looks like Mystery got the shaft

          • S.C.

            I love a good mystery!

        • ChadStuart

          Well, the first thing that stands out is that your logline doesn’t mesh the two ideas very well. It’s like you have an idea way over here, and combine it with something way over there. I’m sure in the script you do a very good job of melding the two, so you have to take that connective tissue and use it in your logline.

          For instance, he’s a librarian but that doesn’t necessarily mean he has any connection to greek mythology. If he’s an expert in greek mythology, then you have a connection. Whatever that connection is in the script, use it in your logline.

          Second, there’s no conflict in it. Her replacing him does, in a way, create tension between the two for a budding relationship, but not enough to really impress someone enough to want to read the script. A romantic comedy needs that obstacle to keep a couple apart to really work. It can be something simple like friendship in “When Harry Met Sally”, or it can be class like in “Pretty Woman”. But her being a greek god’s daghter and him being a librarian doesn’t really scream dramatic irony, because the two ideas aren’t conflicting but they also aren’t related.

          Next, your “Why You Should Read” starts off on the wrong foot. You start by giving reasons that work against your script. Self deprecation has no place in a sales pitch, and that’s what this is. Your pitch should all be positives. This is why it’s a great idea and why it’s going to be a great read. Not to mention you’re comparing apples and oranges genre wise. You have a modern day romantic comedy, and you’re comparing it to a mega-budget, CGI-laden action movie.

          Sell your script on what it is. It’s funny. It’s romantic. The lead is a character any actor of that age will want to play. It will touch your heart and make you cry. Don’t sell it on all the reasons why I shouldn’t read it.

          I hope that helps.

          • witwoud

            “A romantic comedy needs that obstacle to keep a couple apart to really work.”

            Maybe she loves him, but knows that relationships between gods and mortals always end in …Dum Dum DUM … TRAGEDY!

        • ChadStuart

          And, actually, there’s something else I think is worth mentioning. Romantic Comedies simply aren’t selling right now. And Carson is an industry type of guy.

          Why should that be important here? Well, you have to think about the person you’re seding a script to. Carson isn’t hosting this site just because he’s a good guy (although he is that). He’s doing it to help himself gain some influence in the industry. He wants to be a guy prod co’s can turn to if they need a script. It’s his way of etching out a place for himself in the industry.

          That means he has to worry about his reputation since that’s all you really have in this business. He wants to find an amateur script that he can turn around and present to buyers. If he sends them a script that’s in a genre that’s sitting in the dog house, like romantic comedy, then he can’t do that without risking his reputation. So, he aint’ gonna do that.

          And that’s real world advice as well. A manager or agent could read your script and think it’s the best written romantic comedy in the world, but he’s not going to try and sell it for you because doing so risks his reputation. If he becomes known as the person peddling scripts that won’t sell in the marketplace, people will stop taking his calls.

          Anyone who is in the business is basically looking out for their own job, and they will do nothing to risk it. Giving them one of the most risky genres isn’t going ton engender confidence in your abilities.

          • klmn

            Look at what he chose this week. Are any of those what the industry is buying?

            A biopic. A religious man, his sexually deviant cousin and a seven foot transsexual pimp. An Israeli man and a Muslim woman. A young man with a transgendered personality change. A homophobic US Marshal and a gay FBI agent.

          • ChadStuart

            Genre wise, yes. They’re in very basic genres. Action, comedy, and even biopic (the Black List is littered with them as was the Oscars, and last year’s highest grossing film was one). Concept is a different discussion. But looking solely at the genre, Romantic Comedy is in the proverbial dog house.

        • charliesb

          It may not have been your submission but your query letter. He’s posted a few articles on query letters that don’t make it past him. Submitting 3 different scripts in one week, could quite possible have been a red flag.

          Change Genre to: Romantic Comedy/Fantasy
          Your logline is missing the conflict and stakes.

          Why is he being replaced? What are the consequences of “being drawn to” the daughter of Zeuss?

          I love Greek mythology so I’ll take a look.

    • cjob3

      You submitted three different scripts in one week?

      • lonestarr357

        It would’ve been more, but I’m a very deliberate writer. :D

        Seriously, I guess I was operating on Gretzky logic: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

    • klmn

      Carson recently posted that he receives from 20 to 80 amateur offerings a week. So you might want to resubmit – maybe not all at once.

      In the words of W.C. Fields, “If you don’t succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a damned fool about it.”

      I share your doubts about whether it’s worth the effort. (And I include Carson’s upcoming contest in this).

      • pmlove

        Curious as to why it wouldn’t be worth the effort. It’s free and it’s literally just an email. What’s to complain about?

        • klmn

          Compare Carson’s interests – as shown by what he chooses for AOW – with what the industry produces. Strangely, Carson’s Thursday article focuses on this.

  • brenkilco

    First ten pages of Stone Addendum. Decently done. Something about the opening bugs me. We start with a shop of an abandoned building. Now the opening shot should be important. And the building is important. It’s sign visible in a video will provide a clue later on. It just isn’t important to the first scene. It’s meaningless at this point to the audience and yet it’s being emphasized. It’s getting its own closeup. Not sure that’s good physical construction. Wouldn’t it be better to start inside the apartment as a sheet is hung over the window to conceal things. You’d still get your view of the building opposite. And you could show the sheet drooping without hammering its importance.

    For the rest, my impression of first ten pages, a bit too much high powered government blah, blah. A few too many characters being thrown at us. The basic situation it seems could be made clear sooner. Will keep reading.

    • BoSoxBoy

      Thanks for the feedback, Brenklico. Good points.

  • ChadStuart

    Hello, everyone. Thanks in advance for all of your notes and thoughts for “Tampa Bay” (especially any thoughts on a new title – I’ve never been able to think of a title so I’ve stuck with my temporary title that I know doesn’t work).

    I’ve gotten some notes on it before, but have never gotten a consensus on what needs work – the notes are always contradictory. That’s not to say that it doesn’t need work, just that I haven’t had enough eyes on it to get a consensus on what exactly needs fixing.

    As always, be honest and brutal; Kid gloves do not help writers.

    • Dan B

      Enjoyed the script. Agree that the Title could use some work. Lethal Weapon is a cool title, if it had been called Los Angeles, that would have been terrible.

  • hickeyyy

    I’m voting based on loglines, and I’m giving it to To Boldly Go. Love the subject matter. Can’t speak to the execution, of course, but I am very intrigued by the idea of a Roddenberry biopic.

    Good luck all!

  • Craig Mack

    The writer of Tammy should “Control F/R” and come up with a different name/title. It’s really not that difficult. Save the confusion.

  • Shawn Davis

    Strange mix this week. I read the first few of each and my vote goes to The Stone Addendum.

    Best of luck to all the writers.

    Shawn….><

    • BoSoxBoy

      Thank you, Shawn.

  • Somersby

    OT: My computer crashed on Wednesday afternoon and I just got it back and running again this morning.

    I just want to let you all know I wasn’t ignoring the many notes and suggestions about “Retribution” yesterday. (I’m still going through them.) I am very appreciative to all of you who took the time to look at the script and comment on it.

    As I mentioned last week, you’ve given me lots to consider before I go back at it. Many thanks to you all.

    Somersby.

    • pmlove

      Belated congratulations Somersby. Well deserved.

      • walker

        Wait are you saying that he deserves to receive his congratulations belatedly?

        • Pmlove

          I don’t even know anymore.

  • Caivu

    And the award for “Most Robert-Ludlum-Like Title” goes to…

    The Stone Addendum

    (The Camelot Club was runner-up if anyone cares)

    The logline has a bit of ambiguous wording that bugged me: “he must rely on help from an innocent Muslim woman that he’s ordered to kill once the mission is complete.” I know that by “he’s ordered to kill” you mean that the Israeli is going to kill the Muslim woman after everything’s done (and why? She’s innocent! I’m interested), but the way it’s written could also mean she’s got some kind of Manchurian Candidate thing going on, like after the main mission she’ll be activated and sent out to off somebody; he’s ordered her to kill, in other words. Try something like: “he must rely on help from an innocent Muslim woman who he’s been ordered to kill once the mission is complete.”

    Pg. 1-13
    -“RUSTED OUT roof sign that overlooks a street that’s seen better days: HARTCOURT PRINTING & BINDERY.” Clunky sentence. Maybe “A rusted-out roof sign reads: HARTCOURT PRINTING & BINDERY.”
    -Not necessarily a problem, but these character names are pretty standard for Middle Eastern characters.
    -“Saeed sits next to Marsha. His face scarf can’t mask the fear in his eyes, as his chest protrudes and contracts with every stressful breath.” More wordiness. Try “Saeed sits next to Marsha. He’s panting, fear in his eyes” or something.
    -What are the terrorists doing that requires (or could reasonably be described as) pit crew precision? All I’m seeing is one typing an email and another taking pictures with his phone. Why do they have to be so fast? What’s the rush?
    -Jack’s wife doesn’t get a name?
    -“Fall season, moody skies, leaves fall.” Fall would, well, sort of imply that leaves are falling.
    -“There’s been another development during the night. It concerns General McKnight.” Consider cutting “during the night”, or change the name. Having the exact same sounds occur so close in dialogue tends to sound weird.
    -“DONNA, female” Donna’s a female name. I’m chalking this up to a leftover.
    -I laughed at the whole scenario of one guy being contacted, then that guy contacting another guy who recommends the services of the guy who I’m guessing is the protag. I don’t think it’s supposed to be funny, though.
    -Nice bit of character-building with the undertow sign.
    -“All business” but no handshake? Odd.
    -I’m wondering what kind of gun would have a shiny metal plate on it big enough to get a reasonable reflection off it. I’m not buying this bit.
    -“Last night they kidnapped General McKnight’s daughter. Marsha McKnight. Thirty three. You remember Ted McKnight. General ‘You call that a surge?’ McKnight. The General doesn’t know about any of this. Even the President agrees – we can’t tell him yet – and those two are buddies. If they kill her? Like that? Forget it. We’ll be a hundred thousand boots back on the ground in the sand box by next week.” I’ve put italics around what I think you could cut from this dialogue without losing anything.
    -Stone crushes his own phone? He doesn’t just, I don’t know, leave it behind?
    -13 pages in and this is pretty standard stuff. Not badly done, but I’ve seen this movie many times.

    Pg. 16-30
    -Who’s this Jeff Fort guy?
    -The interrogation scene is silly, I’m sorry. Stone coming in with knives, a blowtorch, etc? Chopping off and breaking fingers? Ridiculous.
    -Things are still pretty standard. There hasn’t been much action so far, and I think you’re making things too easy for Stone. The elderly man just happening to mention that Saeed moved, for instance.
    -The empty room reveal was nicely done, but again, it’s something I’ve seen before.
    -I’m confused as to how Saeed getting shot gets his brains on Marsha. It sounds like they’re in opposite corners of the room, facing each other, but the way it’s written, it sounds like the bullet exits the back of Saeed’s head, meaning his blood would get on the wall, not Marsha. And the terrorists seem to want to keep Marsha alive for now; if Marsha’s close enough to get blood on her, she’s close enough to get hit by the bullet that went through Saeed’s head. Bullets can deflect off the skull in unpredictable ways, so the terrorists come off as foolhardy. It should be enough for Marsha to just be in the room when someone gets killed; getting blood on her isn’t necessary.
    -Stone in the chute with Fatima on his shoulders is striking me as comical. How exactly did they manage that? I like Stone losing his shoe, though.
    -Dude’s missing an arm and is still shooting? Maybe adrenaline, but this is pretty ridiculous, too.

    This wasn’t bad for what it is, but I don’t think there’s enough here. There were so many things I’ve seen before. I’m not saying scrap everything, but how could you tell this story in a new way? How can you dig deeper into this?
    Action movies can certainly be ridiculous, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but the overall tone I’m getting from this is more Bourne than The Expendables. Since I got a more serious tone from this, the more unbelievable moments stood out in a negative way, like the prison torture scene (which doesn’t make me root for Stone) or the garbage chute sequence. Speaking of Bourne, the fact that the title contains the character’s name tells me that you’d like for this to ideally become a new IP. That’s great, and may your sequels be many should that happen. But Stone needs more to him as well. All I really know about him 30 pages in is that he likes hurting and killing people. Stone’s up against Bourne, Bond, Hunt, Bauer, even Robert McCall. Does he really compare to any of them as a character? Right now I don’t think he does.
    I like part of the premise you’ve got going here: small terrorist cells conducting operations on American soil. But I don’t recall seeing the average Joe’s take on this. Does the public not know of this? Consider making this stuff front page news in your story. People would be freaking out if this actually happened. That could be a way to make things harder for Stone; he’d have to keep his government status secret (or at least subdued) while trying to get info from a nervous populace, people who might find a guy asking questions suspicious. Just an idea.

    • BoSoxBoy

      Thanks for all the good feedback, Caivu. Very helpful.

  • mulesandmud

    Cracked open TO BOLDLY GO. I have a fair grasp of Star Trek but no special loyalty the franchise, though I did admire many of Roddenberry’s ideas and aspirations.

    Movies about the movie/TV business are extremely hard to do well. It’s a world we’ve seen a lot. Many of the people reading your script will consider themselves experts on the subject. They’ve probably got their own behind-the-scenes concept somewhere in the back of their mind, if not already in a desk drawer.

    So then, the bar is high. That means you need to do more than just know your story; you also need to bring a distinct perspective to the world you’re depicting. Find a unique angle from which to peek behind the curtain. Set yourself apart from the million other approaches to this subject that literally everyone else has had.

    This is why I stopped reading TO BOLDLY GO at literally the first line of the script.

    The Hollywood sign. That’s where the script starts. Circa 1931, so, Hollywoodland. There is literally no more obvious point at which to begin a script about the entertainment industry.

    This story about a profoundly imaginative man has chosen, as its opening image, the least imaginative image available.

    Roddenberry’s life suggests a behind-the-scenes story infused with all kinds of complex textures: retro science fiction, civil rights, American idealism. Why not start with a clever image that blurs the line between sci-fi and reality? Or something that directly channels the social issues of the time? Or even just our hero as a boy, full of optimism?

    Anything but the same shot that could begin every Hollywood story ever conceived.

    For the record, I did work up the nerve to read the next five pages. Sure enough, the author knows his material well enough to highlight race and class issues early on, and to offer so hints of sci-fi in a real world setting while hopping through biopic beats. The rest of the script may well demonstrate an impressive grasp of its subject, and even carve out a real personality for itself.

    I will never know, because the very first image destroyed my confidence.

    Your opening image is a reader’s first impression of your writing. Other things – your title, your logline – may entice them to open the script, but the opening image is your first change to prove yourself as an actual writer and visual storyteller. This image does not need to summarize your story in total (though great ones often do), but it does need to demonstrate control, craft, and creativity.

    It’s a critical moment of your script, and comparatively easy to do well. Don’t skimp on it.

    Ditto for your closing image. Make it count.

    I wish the writer the best of luck, and hope that others get further than I did.

    • dawriter67

      I disagree with your assessment. The story opens in Hollywood because that’s where Roddenbury spent and will spend the bulk of his life. Going into the story early we will meet Roddenburgy’s racist father which strongly influenced Roddenbury’s desire for a diverse Star Trek and so on…

      • mulesandmud

        I agree with your assessment. Seems like you misunderstand mine.

        Nothing wrong with the Hollywood setting, which is factually true, and the father is a very strong detail. His charity toward poor white folks contrasted to his racism was by far my favorite detail of what I read.

        None of that excuses the deeply unoriginal choice of beginning a Hollywood true story with the Hollywood sign. Nothing about the first scene requires showing us that sign. The writer has consciously chosen to begin his script with a stock image.

        Were it not the very first image of the script, I would be more forgiving. In fact, if the scene ended with the sign instead of starting there, it would be a reveal laced with juicy irony instead of a clumsy, obvious opener.

        It’s a small choice that the script would benefit hugely from reconsidering.

        • IgorWasTaken

          But it’s not the “HOLLYWOOD” sign; it’s the original “HOLLYWOODLAND” sign. Seems you think that makes no difference as to being trite or not. As for me, I don’t know if that original sign is trite in movies, but it doesn’t feel trite to me.

          • Randy Williams

            The Hollywood sign seems a bit first draft to me. I agree with the above.

            I like incorporating the first images with some reversal, something to do with the purpose of the scene.
            For instance, we open on the image of a boy in a homemade space helmut and suit. We can’t see his face. We think it’s Gene since this is his movie, and the boy is in the midst of playing some elaborate fantasy laid out for him by his playmate.

            Father comes along, maybe having a chat with a neighbor on their evening walk, he think’s that’s his own boy in the suit, but it’s pointed out that little Gene is actually up there in the heights of a tree in orbit while he, pulling off his space helmut, revealing a little black boy (Oh! the horror to the racist dad) is preparing for his arrival.

          • IgorWasTaken

            Interesting suggestion. I had thought maybe in the story the “Hollywoodland” sign might be shown later as the “Hollywood” sign, but apparently not.

            I don’t know if in 1931 a white kid in that part of LA would have any contact with a black kid for them to end up playing together.

            As for the script, while it’s important for us to learn about Papa’s racism, I don’t know if it’s important for us to know Papa was charitable (to white folks). If not, the opening might show us Gene playing (i.e., as we see him at the top of page 3) and he hears his dad ranting to some adult about “those people”.

            One thing that doesn’t work for me is the cut (on p 3) from Little Gene saying, ““BUCK…ROGERS…in the twentyfifth…CEN…tury!” to Gene piloting a bomber. Yes, he’s flying (like Buck Rogers does) but there’s nothing 25th century about a B-17.

          • Randy Williams

            “I don’t know if in 1931 a white kid in that part of LA would have any contact with a black kid for them to end up playing together”.

            That could be easily explained. Son of a housekeeper. Someone he met on his father’s charity trips. His father demands to know how he got into their neighborhood. Little Gene in the tree explains that “by shuttlecraft” referring to a bicycle. He lives only light years away from here. :)

    • Citizen M

      We’ve had readers reject a script at the first typo, but at the first image? That’s a first.

      Personally, I feel you’re a little harsh. How else do you crisply indicate the time and place? A headline in Variety, maybe; or a marquee title on a movie house; or a well-known suburban road that is still orange groves?

      • mulesandmud

        I’m definitely being harsh. Hopefully more helpful than cruel, though.

        An opening image is a key creative choice. Using it to indicate time and place is fine; using it to indicate character, theme, or genre would be better.

        In this case, the time period it establishes remains relevant for exactly 1.5 pages, and the place it establishes will be re-established by, well, the entire plot, as well as a card on p13 that informs us “LOS ANGELES – 1956″.

        Add to that, the image used to establish this soon-to-be-irrelevant setting is totally generic.

        In my opinion, all of this adds up to a tragic waste of arguably the most valuable real estate in an entire screenplay.

        Because I felt a little bad for picking on this script, I read a bit further. In an unfortunate twist of fate, I now feel compelled to pick on it more.

        The first 16 pages do exactly what the writer promises not to do in his WYSR: instead of a story, we get a rushed survey of disconnected biographical events, the kind of thing that gives biopics a bad name.

        A brief glimpse of Gene as a child, then ten pages meandering through his life as a pilot, until he finally quits flying to become a police speechwriter, choosing PR as a profession for absolutely no reason that I could detect.

        Then the script rushes through his police career even faster than his pilot years, summing up seven years of work in a single block of voiceover. Then, immediately after, a lengthy title card informs us that he spent the next six years writing television, with no hint of how he got there. WTF?

        No attempt to dramatize Roddenberry’s life or depict the interior of his character. No apparent goal or direction for the character, minimal connective tissue between the scenes. Just scattershot summary.

        At page 16, the story has not started yet.

        So yeah, I guess the opening image is the least of our problems.

        • Jack F.

          Not “cruel”, direct, and I appreciate it.

      • thewildkingdom

        I agree. I think we owe each screenplay at least the first ten pages.

        • S.C.

          You don’t owe a screenplay anything.

          A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

      • witwoud

        I stopped reading at the title, because it contains a split infinitive. Beat that!

        • Caivu

          I only read the file name! Script title in all caps? No underscores? Pft.

        • gonzorama

          Can’t beat that! I slowed down at “Bomb DAY Doors…”. Lost faith after that.

    • Gregory Mandarano

      The opening should be gene playing with a space ship as he waits online to buy popcorn to see flash gordon in 1935. Mule is right. This is gene frraking roddenberry. Give us a wine bottle in space not stock images.

      • Jack F.

        I appreciate the food for thought. Though “wine bottle in space” gives me traumatic “Generations” flashbacks.

    • Eric

      Maybe start on a shot of the HOLLYWOODLAND sign. Then a spaceship or flying saucer comes in and starts hovering above it. Then we hear a ten year old Gene making laser gun noises and saying, “Take that Hollywood!” and pull back to reveal he’s just playing with a small toy and the shot was forced perspective.

      Then dad comes and calls for him and you can do whatever you please.

  • Andrea Moss

    As an unrepentant trekkie, it’s obvious: my choice is TO BOLDLY GO.

  • ASAbrams

    One of these things is not like the other…

  • Randy Williams

    THE STONE ADDENDUM

    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    Easy writing style to read. No strain. Not much of a lead up to the kidnap target besides, “she’s in the taxi”,however. Maybe cut back and forth between the terrorists and the Irish beauty in the taxi. A few lines from her to the driver along the way could give me a quick sketch of what makes her tick and her plans for life which would make me more sympathetic that’s she’s kidnapped plus keep me reading trying to find out how these two contrasting camps shall meet?

    Once the kidnappers make their move, the driver doesn’t do anything? The scene is awfully sedate as it reads. This is an ACTION script. Should’t it pop with grunts and screams and emphasis on the punches, blood on Broadway Musical ads and “Our driver’s don’t carry more than $20 dollars in change” signs. The driver can’t pull out something, at least some pepper spray and fight back? Can’t get run over attempting to get in front of the taxi he just had washed?

    p.4- nice scene with Jack’s wife, “some spy” With a little business and a few words, the writer has painted it all out. Maybe do the same with the Irish beauty in the taxi before she gets kidnapped? Nice, nice, nice.

    p.6-7. For an action hero entrance, it is as sedate as the opening. Never let a prop go to waste. The ocean at his feet and he only swims in it?

    p.14. Changing locations in a scene often pop for me if they come with a reversal or twist. Here the bartender just leads him to the basement with no lead up. How about he offers Stone a bottle of fine wine and Stone following him into the basement apologizes but he could use something a bit stronger, and THEN, bartender opens that door and we see the weaponry?

    p.16. Stone is roughhousing the prisoner here and I’m thinking. I don’t really know this character yet. He hasn’t really been sketched out to me enough that I’m sympathetic to him and I don’t give him permission to do this to another human being yet. I’m out here.

    If the writer gave me more reassurance through stronger action, used more of character sketching as he did on page 4, then I’d read more although plot wise, I’m seeing very familiar territory so far.

    • BoSoxBoy

      Thanks for reading, Randy. Some good feedback, too!

  • Caivu

    To Boldly Go

    I usually bag on non-standard title fonts, but at least this time it makes sense.

    Pg. 1-12
    -I don’t think the first two scenes are strong enough. The B-17 scene seems like a much better place to start.
    -Joe’s blinded by muzzle flash in the daytime?
    -“white pillows of the gods” Come on, now. Really?
    -Two plane scenes almost in a row. Maybe start in ’47? The crash scene isn’t really that exciting, though; I’m not getting much sense of danger.
    -“The plane’s left wing tip makes first CONTACT” Heh heh. Now I’m on the lookout for this stuff.
    -The Majarini and the Prince seem random right now, but I’m guessing they’ll appear later on. (Actually, just did a search. They don’t from what I can tell.)
    -“RODDENBERRY
    We made it, kid.
    He looks in his arms. The young man is dead.” I laughed out loud at the way this was written. It’s just so blunt.
    -A lot of time jumps. For a script that aims to not do the ”Wikipedia routine”, there certainly seems to be a lot of that so far.
    -Three scenes in a row on planes. Getting bored.

    Pg. 14-30
    -No showing Roddenberry at work on the show? The scene with Parker is almost pure exposition.
    -Intertitle out of nowhere! Again, no showing Gene on the job? A montage of him visiting the sets of all those old shows could be great fun.
    -The stuff with the TV shows, with all the characters and their actors, is an unwieldy read.
    -“marquis” should be “marquee”
    -Lots of characters.
    -Odd scene with Solow and Katz. Takes the focus off Gene.
    -Solow and Katz are capped again after their intros.
    -Not much to say after that.

    I think this needs to be more focused. Consider losing everything up until Gene quits the police; start with him already as a writer, working on various shows that maybe don’t last too long. Then The Lieutenant comes around, and seems to be a show that will last, but it too gets cancelled, making him desperate to come up with another idea. You could find other ways to show his thought process, of how he came to mix sci-fi with social commentary. The WWII stuff, the plane crash, all the stuff in the beginning is sort of pointless, and any relevant info from those scenes could be incorporated elsewhere in different ways.
    I jumped ahead to the end just to see what it was like, and I think it would work better without the VO. I’d consider seeing this, but only if it focused on the development of Start Trek, not anything else. I did like learning some new things about GR, but I don’t think I’d want to watch his early life.

    • Jack F.

      Thanks. I am trying to see what works for everyone in the early passages. And what is worth trimming. Editing – a dish best served cold.

  • GYAD

    The only one that sounded interesting (sorry other writers) to me was…

    THE STONE ADDENDUM
    p.1 It’s probably worth leaving a space between the location and time of day in the scene heading line; “FACTORY-NIGHT” makes it look like it’s one word.
    p.3 How do you “peck” an “attach icon”?
    p.5 Where are the terrorists in the video? Are they murdering a homeless guy in America or have they taken him to the Middle East? And why?
    p.9 So the US is going to use a single Israeli agent to track a terror cell…because his dad was a cop in Chcago, where they think the cell is hiding? Unlikely.
    p.10 If the accent is from “northern Iran” then it’s unlikely the terrorist is from “Hezbollah” which is Lebanese (if Iranian backed); he’d probably be IRGC Qods.
    p.10 I really don’t think a single US General would have the power to send the US military (in the 100,000s) back to the Middle East on the basis that Hizbullah killed his kid.

    I read up to p.15 and stopped because it simply wasn’t believable, even with artistic license. The hero is James Bond in a yarmaluke, without the charm. The terror plot is a simple hostage situation which makes no real sense; I don’t believe the US would turn to an Israeli for an op on home turf, or that a general could start a new war because his kid was killed by terrorists, or that only a single agent would be sent. The fresh aspect to this script is the Israeli angle and if I saw this in a meeting I’d suggest setting it there and getting immersive with the M.E, politics (and if you want an American angle, have it be the President’s daughter kidnapped just before he comes to town on a major diplomatic tour to – inevitably – try and end the Israel-Palestine conflict).

    • BoSoxBoy

      Thanks for the feedback, GYAD. Your point on the Isareli angle is well taken, though I think it’s addressed after you stopped. The rush to save the General’s daughter was never about the General – that’s just the reason that Jack gave Stone. It’s about something far more sinister. Anyway, thanks again. I appreciate your suggestions.

  • Felip Serra

    So. Browsing today’s options I’m crawled across one WYSR that got my blood running before the coffee could kick in. I read it and said “What the fuck is this!? This HAS to be a joke…” So I opened it, thinking I’d come head-to-head with a train wreck. To my surprise I enjoyed a great deal of it and even finished it.

    So, let’s talk about TAMMY…

    I think the writer created a monster here. A beautifully vulgar and comedic monster. I was really impressed how they juggled wit with audacity and managed to keep it fresh throughout. Above all, it’s the right kind of vulgar. We find Tammy loathsome because she’s foul, drunk, and rather stupid. We’re attracted to her because she has no filter and says things we sometimes WISH we had the balls to just blurt out. The writer found a good balance and pushed it where it needed to go.

    Comedic roles are most effective when they are one-dimensional (Inspector Clouseau, Austin Powers, George Bush etc.) The problem is once the newness of the character wears off the audience starts looking for other things, like story (for me I really started teetering around pg. 44 and the digression to New York) I began to question: Why am I reading this? What’s propelling me? Even Tammy herself was starting to show repetition (pg. 61, the nightclub, was a little cringe inducing) Ask yourself: Why am I telling this story? What do I want my audience to walk away with?

    What I saw was a story of liberation; characters trapped by something (religion, sexuality) set free from an outside force (Tammy). I like the twist to this that Tammy (or Enoch) came from this community and that gave it some levity; the community could not ignore Tammy because she was essentially one of them. I don’t know if this is what you’re were aiming for but, as I said, the point of the story was unclear. You need a focus. There’s a reason Tammy is there. What is that reason?

    If there is a main fault it’s your supporting characters. Beside Jode and Susanna I really couldn’t give a damn about any of them. Again, find a focus and weave them into. Jode’s story and repressed homosexuality actually worked in this regard, as he was suddenly faced with a son who was a woman, but I also felt it came late. And the conversation between Susanna and Tammy in the drug store was dead on; it drew out Susanna’s character in an emotional and an unexpected way (and girl to girl talk with her son!). Really fucking good. More scenes like this.

    I’ll admit, however, you really started unraveling at the end. Is that a montage on pg. 77? Because we end one on 78. Very unclear. And the finale, with the play, felt awkward and forced. Again, I don’t know these other people so why do I care if they’re gay. I kind of like how everybody started confessing after Jode’s reveal and the little slapstick edge it has to it, but does the tone fit with the rest? You may want to iron that out…

    I think you’re onto something here. Thanks for the read. Best of luck to you.

    • cjob3

      I’m only up to page 60, but this is all very well said.

  • Randy Williams

    TAMPA BAY

    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    Logline maybe makes me a bit prejudiced before I start reading. I really feel it’s not the “old” that are threats and I don’t like to see a story with this angle using an old person. If you walk the streets of Moscow, the babushkas pushing the brooms are not going to beat you up for holding the hand of your lover. If you’re a gender challenged teen in high school, your teacher is not going to shame you to commit suicide. It’s our peers that are the danger.

    Nice mystery box at the beginning on the boat. Wonderful introduction to the unfortunately “old” Beck. Put a big smile on my face. Dialogue pops here.

    p.5. Does it have to be an Korean clerk? Somehow gives it a dated feel. L.A. riots and all and it’s stereotypical to boot. Want a bit more of what makes these characters tick. A little more insight besides their drink preferences before all hell breaks loose. And, more buildup to reversing their relationship. Why SHOULDN’T we feel they have any romantic connection.

    p 6-7. Odd juxtaposition of explicit violence with a “blast that RIPS” and “decimating a rack of chips” Maybe tone down the description a bit for an action buddy script?

    The reveal that they are lovers is conflicted for me with the age difference. First our minds must process their relationship as same gender, then this May December romance. You’re asking too much, in my view.

    p.12. A cop refers to store holdup suspects as “burglars”?

    I’m cutting out at page 20. Beck is the most interesting character here. I want to follow him. He pops at every turn. Danny is a bit of a yawn for me as well as his relationship with Max. Much more work, I feel needs to be done on that front.
    Overall, as I prefaced my thoughts. I’m not happy with the premise from the get go.

  • pmlove

    OT: Good to see top ten amateur scripts finally hit the sidebar! (Maybe I’m late on this…)

  • witwoud

    Well done to all finalists. I read about 15 pages of each. My vote: TAMPA BAY.

    TO BOLDLY GO — It’s competently written, but I found the opening scenes off-putting. First, Roddenberry listens to his father making racist comments. Then he grows up and is involved in various different, unrelated, air emergencies. Then he witnesses cops beating up a black guy. I suppose these are all formative incidents, but strung together like this they just feel clunky. Certainly there’s nothing here that’s going to draw in a non-Trekky like me.

    THE STONE ADDENDUM — it took me ages to realise I’d read a previous draft of this. I remember enjoying it then, and it looks like a lot of work has gone into it. A close runner-up.

    Both the comedies I found vulgar and unfunny. Mind you, that’s how I feel about half the comedies that reach the big screen, so maybe the problem is with me.

    TAMPA BAY (My vote) — This had the best opening. Beck’s character was established deftly, so were Danny and Max. I’d like to watch this movie. My main worry after 20 pages is whether there is enough urgency. Beck is reopening a closed case to placate a bereaved mother, but is that enough of a reason, and what’s at stake? Perhaps all will become clear, though.

    • BoSoxBoy

      Thanks for the look at The Stone Addendum, witwould. Much appreciated.

  • Caivu

    Tampa Bay

    Pg. 1-12
    -The opening page is over-descriptive; cut out anything useless. Why do I need to know the CPO’s lunch was “disgustingly chosen”, for example? What does that even mean? I have a feeling there’s going to be a lot of this here.
    -“a vertigo inducing high bridge” Vertigo-inducing implies high; pick one or the other.
    -Pretty raw exposition on page 4.
    -I’m with Max. Mountain Dew’s an old man’s drink? Since when? I still drink that and I’m half Max’s age.
    -Nice reveal Re: Danny and Max. Right to the point.
    -What’s Beck’s problem?
    -Collins is the “little shit” in this situation? Um… no. Not the way it’s written. Maybe that’s just Beck’s POV? But why put that in the action line?
    -More unfilmables.
    -Danny’s the standard loose cannon right now, and I’ve seen the scene with Fawkes before. So now we have two main characters who are both assholes. For different reasons, but still assholes. Great.
    -“It’s enough to make the female desk agent, JESSIE (30s), he’s smiling at very uncomfortable.” Awkward wording. “It’s enough to make JESSIE (30s), the female desk agent he’s smiling at, very uncomfortable.”

    Pg. 18-30
    -I don’t know enough about Kelly or the case right now to really care about her daughter. I don’t get why Beck is so compelled to get answers. A thirst for justice/revenge isn’t cutting it for me right now. Why, specifically, should I care? I don’t like Beck so I need a really good reason to see him succeed.
    -I’m a bit confused as to how Beck gets all the info about the gas station victims. Well, not confused, as I can understand how he could find out, but he just shows up and knows about what happened. It reads a bit odd.
    -Okay, I know Beck’s motivation now. Personal stuff, revenge, justice, whatever.
    -The “old man can’t grok technology” thing. Fantastic.

    The story isn’t compelling me enough to read more, and I don’t like either of the main characters enough to spend more time with them. Beck seems pretty consistent, but Danny kind of mellows out after the shooting. There’s also not enough conflict between the two; I was expecting more from the logline. The writing itself was also a struggle for me; lots of unfilmables and novelistic elements. It felt like reading a hard-boiled detective novel. If you pare that stuff down you’ll have more room for character and story.

  • Kirk Diggler

    Read the first 15 of “To Boldly Go”. This should one hundred percent be right up my alley. I think the classic original Star Trek was a great show, ahead of it’s time. A few years back I actually made a Star Trek webpage. It was 5 or 6 years after the success of Galaxy Quest. I really liked the Sam Rockwell character, he of course played the “Redshirt” of the Galaxy Quest crew. It got me thinking, who would be the actual equivalent of the Sam Rockwell character on the original Star Trek? So I did some research, and came up with this website (shameless plug alert). http://graeme.50webs.com/trek/leslie/leslieguide.htm

    The “Sam Rockwell” equivalent appeared in over 50 episodes, always in the BG. Click on your favorite episode link to see what he was doing in any given show. It’s crazy how much this one guy showed up doing all sorts of tasks.

    Anyway, back to the script. I’m very disappointed with how this thing starts. It starts exactly how the writer claims it WON’T start, as a wikipedia write up. We see Gene as a kid with his racist father, we see Gene in WW2 as a pilot, we see Gene as a young cop in LA…. sorry, but you haven’t grabbed me.

    Some of the dialogue is a little too obvious, the stuff on page 15, particularly the “You have all these gifts, son, but you’ve got to learn to be more logical, less caught up in things.” and this…….. “And I agree with you. And, one day, the department will be desegregated, and blacks and whites will get along. But, until that day, you’ve got to be patient. Only time makes people change. You have to wait for the future.”

    I’d scrap the 1931 opener….. I’d take 5 pages (not a penny more!) to show the plane crash and how lucky he was to survive….and then move on. That’s all we need to know for why he didn’t want to be a pilot. Show us the man Gene was in 1964, if you do it right we don’t need all the back-story build-up for ‘how he came to be’. You can SHOW him having enlightened attitudes towards blacks in his personal relationships, not some police captain reciting out loud what Gene’s personal philosophy is. Get into the story as soon as possible. I think this had great potential, and I will definitely read this in full unless it’s terrible.

    So I’ll come back with more notes…but i’m a little nonplussed so far.

    • S.C.

      OT:

      From VARIETY: many in the industry have been wondering if “Furious 7” will at some stage be removed from screens by regulators who judge that it has taken enough money and should leave some on the table for other movies. The unofficial, but widely understood, policy is that SARFT and the Film Bureau will make use of release dates and import selections in order to deliver an end of year result in which local titles have a majority of the box office.

      Some observers noted the film’s Sunday release as a sign that Chinese regulators may have tried to hobble the picture.

      So China can pull any film they deem a threat to their local industry. Or sabotage it before it’s even released. Not a free-market economy.

      Sorry if this information goes over your head, Kirk. No surprise to all.

      And I don’t have a “martyr complex”. Whatever that is.

      • Kirk D

        grow up Scott….this is from yesterday’s thread. Stop trying to convince me that you’re correct about something. Where are your reviews of today’s amateur offerings? oh yeah that’s right you don’t like reading screenplays, you only like reading and criticizing loglines. Maybe do that then, that would at least be productive. Harping about yesterday’s comments is a waste of time.

        • S.C.

          Just trying to get you to apologize for how you treated me, Kirk.

          “You’ve completely misconstrued my point, to no surprise at all.”

          “So the point that seems to go flying over your head, Scott,”

          “Christ, you really have a martyr complex.”

          “grow up Scott”

          “Stop trying to convince me you’re correct about something.”

          “do that then”

          Do you talk to anyone else on this board like that, Kirk? If not, then why me? Why are you picking on me?

          • readmoredolt

            Wouldn’t worry about it, S.C.

            You’ve clearly proved your point.

            When guys like Kirk reach for the insults, you know you’ve got ‘em beat.

            Walk away and have a beer.

          • S.C.

            Thank you, anonymous friend! I think I will!

            Seriously, thank you. Made my day.

          • Kirk Diggler

            Says the guy who hides behind a new name every time he posts.

          • Randall Alexander

            Geez. Can you two just email each other directly with this big dick contest? I come to this site for great info and the collaborative environment, not to keep score on the middle school fight-of-the-week. Surely I can’t be alone on this.

          • Kirk Diggler

            I gave some notes on an Amateur script. He posted an OT response to our ‘discussion’ from yesterday’s thread in response to my script notes. Now who was on topic and who wasn’t?

          • S.C.

            So you’re just a bully then, Kirk. A name-calling bully. Nice to know.

          • S.C.

            This is important because it seems that, every time I post a legitimate comment, a group of people seek to undermine me.

            I’m a serious screenwriter with serious ideas on screenwriting and I don’t like the hostile tone this comments board frequently takes.

            Kirk is a bully. There are others. I want them to stop bullying. Is that OK by you, Randall? Everyone?

          • Randall Alexander

            Bullies thrive on getting a response. I value the stuff you post on here. Don’t even bother wasting time to respond to a dick. Who cares what they think.

          • BellBlaq

            Don’t mind me, I was just passing by and happened to hear the shouting.

            BUT since S.C. seems to genuinely want an answer to his query, I’ll play Busybody Captain Obvious:

            People are randomly rude to you because you annoy them.

            Now, as an adult seemingly over the age of 30, I assume you know sometimes it just be’s like dat, yo. Just do you and keep it movin’.

    • Jack F.

      Appreciate the notes, Kirk. And for helping me try to push this script to the next level.

    • Levres de Sang

      O.T. Interesting chess website…! I especially enjoyed reading the background material on the match that never was (Fischer-Karpov, 1975).

      N.B. I haven’t followed the game for about 10 years now, but I do recall having that Mark Weeks site bookmarked.

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

    Kudos to another week of colorful amateur candidates.
    Maybe we’ll find the next Fatties today!
    I wonder how many SS 250-worthy scripts Carson has accepted so far.

    My Vote: TO BOLDLY GO.
    Honorable Mention: TAMMY.

    THE CAMELOT CLUB:
    Read to page 12.

    Logline didn’t gel for me. More a sitcom episode plot than a feature film.
    The club must be worth at least $50k. So just sell the lot cheap, shouldn’t be hard.
    A lot of religious and sexual tropes right upfront.
    That’s a very uneasy combo that most producers will avoid.
    I hope there’s a reason why you need transsexual pimps in your tale.

    This feels like a period piece, all magazines and VCR tapes.
    Kids getting caught peeking at strippers is very old school.
    If we’re starting out in the past, be a little clear about that.
    Until page 8, I wondered why these kids didn’t look at porn on the internet.

    The jokes are very sitcommy. Sight gags and random erections aplenty.
    Seems like you’re deliberately stacking repulsive tropes.
    I couldn’t visualize how Terry smoked the J stuck in the beard.
    How would Colin not notice that? Don’t focus on slapstick stuff.
    Sends the message to readers that your plot & characters are too thin.

    On page 10, you sum up the 8 page boner intro with a bit of dialogue.
    That one line made almost everything that came before superfluous.
    A big RED FLAG to readers we’re dealing with a green writer.
    I get no characters from the opening pages, vague archetypes at best.

    All I know about your leads is how they feel about sex and drugs.
    Get your character behaving on the page, ditch all the random jokes.
    What personal FLAWS (non sex-related) will create sparks within your plot?
    How does putting these two guys together make your plot feel like a movie?
    Set up stronger conflict between these two guts to keep readers on track.

    TAMMY:
    Read to page 12.

    Your in-character WYSR will polarize the readership for sure.
    Which is why I suspect Carson chose your script.
    Shock gets you short term attention, but w/o tight pages, you won’t keep it.
    Your logline feels like it needs a GOAL to go with that exploitative device.

    The situation you described is a sexist joke, not a plot for a movie.
    But talent on the page can make all those red flags fly away.
    Hanging an entire script on making fun of a star doesn’t say much.
    Tells readers that’s the most important thing about your script.

    Confused how the song Enoch listened to in the car upset Jode later.
    Using words like “Jesusy” and “WASP” come off a little… petty.
    The jokes aren’t landing for me. Mostly sexist tropes with no new spin.

    Everyone’s an archetype defined by either religion and/or sex.
    Limiting yourself like that prevents your characters from feeling alive.
    If you want us to care about Enoch, we must EMPATHIZE with him.
    Why would he save himself for a clearly mean girl that hates him.

    Maybe start with him and Dennin standing over the passed out girl.
    Dennin wants to be a pig, Enoch prevents him. That’s character CONFLICT.
    Something that’s sorely lacking from your jokes and early scenes.
    Overall, your writing’s pretty decent. But the tone alienates me.

    Find a way to show us how your characters will carry us through the plot.
    Maybe Enoch should save the girl of his dreams instead of a random guy.
    When the hot girl falls for her savior, she gets rejected by Tammy.
    The potential conflict could lead to a fun friendship. Good luck.

    TAMPA BAY:
    Read to page 15.

    Always pleased to crack open a script from a regular contributor.
    I’m going to get the sexual archetype trio of scripts out of the way.

    Get that YACHT into your opening slug, I was lost on the page.
    Seems you’re missing an opp to create an empathic hook here.
    Why not show Beck upset about the situation. He feels bad for FAILING.
    If we EMPATHIZE with him now, later on we can handle the homophobia.

    The coincidental convenience store hold up belittles your script.
    Also, I don’t care for how this contrivance sets up the big kiss.
    We spend so much time with the action cliches, it feels glossed over.
    Let these two be an obvious couple, then let Danny be a man of action.
    The robbery is more intense for the reader if we know they’re a couple.

    OMAHA TOWER also overplayed the old school card with its crusty protag.
    Consider scaling back all the telegraphed gruffness, we get it.
    Use that real estate for new beats, instead of repeating old ones.

    Another worn trope. Your protag’s already on thin ice with superiors.
    Use your opening pages to DISTINGUISH yourself from other films.
    Show us how being a gay agent ELEVATES these old action movie beats.

    I like how Danny and Beck meet. Use Jessie to heighten the CONFLICT.
    “No way, Beck! If I do that for you, I’ll get fired.” Jessie gets an idea.
    She pawns Beck off on Danny, who could care less about his dead career.
    But Beck quickly OFFENDS Danny and now the conflict is between them.
    Conspire against your protags to make them face their flaws. Good luck.

    THE STONE ADDENDUM:
    Read to page 12.

    I don’t see the conflict from the logline. Why must the exchange be stopped?
    What are the CONSEQUENCES for Humanity if your protag fails?
    Big action movies tend to have big obvious hooks. I can’t see the action.
    In on-the-run thrillers, the logline should make it obvious why they run.
    When we see that logic in the logline, the brain IMAGINES the scenes.

    Action specs benefit from being a sleek read on the page.
    But your prose shuffles the order of events and confuses readers…

    “Two MEN with scarves over their faces jump in the back seat
    on opposite sides of Marsha, and put a black cloth hood over
    her frantic face as she yells and punches in every
    direction, connecting on a few.”

    Try something more straightforward to orient the reader…

    “Two MASKED MEN jump into the cab, grab Marsha. She screams and resists.
    They subdue and hood her fast, like pros.”

    See how the second order of events doesn’t force my imagination to backtrack?
    Only detail things that are story critical, leave the rest to directors.
    Pretty bland kidnapping, we could just start with her already abducted.
    Another bland intro with Jack and his morning routine.
    Consider just getting directly to the situation room.

    The exposition about the kidnapping didn’t work for me.
    I’ve seen movies that cover this subject with more authority.
    The way your agents talked didn’t strike me as authentic either.
    Clean up your action prose and innovate your scene choices to entice readers.
    Scriptshadow is a great resource to eliminate fundamental script issues.

    TO BOLDLY GO:
    Read to page 15.

    I was neutral on the Hollywoodland sign opening image.
    Maybe the Roddenberrys are exiting a movie theater at the start.
    Give us a glimpse into what INSPIRES the GREAT EAGLE right at the start.
    Connecting that with the racism sets up Gene’s groundbreaking TV work.

    This is the smoothest read of the bunch, followed up by Tammy’s author.
    A lot of good elements here, but Gene is still a mystery to me.
    We’re looking at him from the outside, that could get frustrating fast.

    P. 12 I love the idea of Gene convincing his wife to uproot the family.
    Starting here allows the wife to voice relevant facts for reader benefit.
    She would point out his military career and no writing experience.

    Consider making this an intimate chat in bed. Show their love for each other.
    A loving couple debating a big change would compel me to dive right in.
    Then show Gene stepping out with the stewardess. Go for the throat.

    I wish I knew why Gene wanted to write. What is his GOAL?
    What drives him to want to create? Let us into what makes Gene tick.
    So far, the script reads like a laundry list of linear events.
    No mention of that season of TV your logline promised to be about.
    Still, the writing’s solid and this is the script I’d read in full for AF.

    • Jack F.

      Thanks, ElectricDreamer. I like the intimate chat in bed suggestion. And the edit to the waitress.

    • hickeyyy

      You’re the king, ED. Nice work.

  • Randy Williams

    TAMMY

    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    I’m loving this. The writer manages to make me relish being a voyeur to this beginning but also makes me want to be in the shoes of the protagonist, plus makes it damn funny and endearing. Great job, i thought!

    p.3- Maybe cut the “they’ll…” line. Make her advances strictly focused on Enoch. That line also just makes her be a bit too over the top and nasty.

    p.4. Just my preference but song titles I’m not familiar with, I like prefaced with an adjective like, “plaintive” or bouncy” just to give me an idea what I’m hearing. You do it later with the same song I think but this is the first mention of it.

    p.6. Use your descriptions to mine for jokes? What can a character say that your description does? For instance, instead of saying in the description that Adam’s pulling out the rib from Eve in the rehearsal needs a lot more rehearsal, how about someone shouts from the darkness, “You look like you’re choosing ribs at the Corral Kitchen Buffet!”

    There’s a delightful energy to this. Certainly endearing. I’m loving all the characters. It’s like eating pudding from a cold spoon….then page 9. Susanna says something that makes me feel the writer just threw my pudding against the wall and asks me to lick it off when it was all going down so smoothly before. Her “relieved that” line just tastes like drywall to me. Unfortunately, I’m out.

  • Citizen M

    My choice this week is TAMPA BAY with runner-up TAMMY.

    TO BOLDLY GO

    Read to page 28. It’s well written and interesting, if you’re interested in Gene Roddenberry. But this reads more like a documentary than a feature film. All it’s missing is a narrator. The problem is, it covers too wide a swath of time. Generally, a feature will deal with a short intense period in a person’s life, driven by his main goal. This is more like a series of incidents without much linking them. Maybe the plane crashes etc could be inserted as flashbacks where relevant to the action.

    THE CAMELOT

    Read to page 30. Can’t get into this. The characters of Colin and Terry haven’t gelled yet. Colin is an altar boy but he’s also a slob? I thought altar boys were all very neat people. And he’s forever on e-Bay but we don’t know what for. Why the mystery?

    Terry is handsome and has Monica. She appears to be a girlfriend, but i don’t know. She is sometimes there and sometimes not. Terry likes sex with furries and owes money to a big transsexual, or was that just a role-playing game?

    There is too much that is unclear. Also, too many typos and not enough jokes.

    THE STONE ADDENDUM .

    Read to page 27. It doesn’t seem to have changed much since a year ago when it was called Triennial, the bit I read anyway. In fact, I like it less. It takes a long time to get going. We are not introduced to Stone being good at his job. There is no justification for having one man on the job, rather than a big team.

    Some tired tropes: A reflection than is enlarged to reveal a vital clue; an old barman with a secret room stashed with weapons who also knows who has the vital information; a prisoner who holds vital information giving it up under torture; a weakling among the bad guys betraying them; hanging instead of falling in a chute.

    Incidentally, how can a guy who had contact with Libyans and has been in prison for a few years possibly know what Hezbollah is up to currently? Libyans and Hezbollah have no connection, AFAIK.

    When Stone enters the apartment building I thought the terrorists had cleared out. i cannot understand why they opened fire on him, betraying their presence to him and the entire Chicago PD. You’d expect them to try to sneak away quietly. And who walks around with a hand grenade in his pocket? I’m just not buying any of it.

    TAMMY

    Read to page 32. Not sure where this is headed, but I’m quite enjoying it.

    The compressed line height was off-putting. I measure it about 11% smaller than normal, so this script is really 101 pages, not 90. Still fine for a comedy. I’d fix the line height issue as a priority.

    The beginning was good wit the drunk sorority girl, and Tammy was funny, but in between was a bit of a drag. Could be perked up. There is humor in religion (see Saved). I wasn’t sure of relationships. At first I though Dennin was Enoch’s brother. Is Cloris Mr. Pemberton’s daughter? She must be tall and thin judging by Dennin’s comments, but she is simply described as ‘leggy’. Other descriptions are way too esoteric. “You want his approval and you don’t even know him.” (Liam). What does that even mean? How do you cast it? How do you act it?

    TAMPA BAY

    Read to page 31. A bit clunky at times, but a sufficiently intriguing mystery that I want to read on.

    Some of the action scenes could be smoothed out to read easier: the first scene on the yacht (is it even needed?); and the shootout in the 7-11.

    The old conservative/leftie gay angle could be milked a bit more. They are altogether to nice to each other, more like ordinary civilians than like security personnel. And there has to be a “hardass gay” joke somewhere.

    p. 1 – I didn’t realize till I reread the script that the first scene was the murder site. Perhaps make it more obvious, like someone says, “Jesus, it’s four kids.”

    p. 2 – “early hour” Maybe put “MORNING” in slugline.

    p. 6 – Instead of calling them Lanky Gunman ands Stocky Gunman, just call them lanky and Stocky. Easier to read.

    p. 9, 10 – “too young to act as old as he does”, “too young to look too old for this shit” (Collins and Fawkes). WTF does this even mean?

    p. 14 – When Beck meets Danny at the FBI office I think this is the time to sort out each other’s interest in the boat murders.

  • Ninjaneer

    My Favorite WYSR is for the Camelot Club, although the description does not make me want to read it. The writer is funny but the story is just not my thing. I read a bit anyways but, no surprise, still wasn’t my thing and nothing grabbed my spiderman underwear

    None of these are particularly appealing to me but that is likely because I’m more interested in mystery thrillers.

    The WYSR from Tammy makes me not want to read it,sorry :(

    The most commercial concept seems to be The Stone Addendum. I read the first 10 pages. There is some skill there but the story decisions so far seem pretty standard.

    I would drop the first few establishing scenes that don’t add much and skip right to the terrorists cleaning up. The intro of the MC makes him seem like a DB.

    To Boldy Go is your whole strict bolded? Playing off the title?

    Tampa Bay you’ve set up how there will be conflict between the two main characters but haven’t given us much else to go on.

  • carsonreeves1

    Post the logline and people here will give you feedback. Always good to come in with a positive slant as it gets people more excited to help.

  • Randy Williams

    THE CAMELOT CLUB

    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    The names of the writers on the title page give me a spoof feeling. Am I supposed to take this script seriously? I will, in spite of that.

    I liked what I read, absolutely loved the dialogue. Read to page 20 and would like to read more. I’d cut short the kids at the beginning and get to the adults sooner because I thought they fared better. It also gets a bit uncomfortable with kids that young. I remember when I was younger, I had a thought which helped me escape an embarassment that the kid in the spiderman underwear was going through. All I had to do was think, “Did I leave the iron on” and problem solved!

    Maybe hint that Rudy is a bit behind the times with the tapes and VCR. Don’t want the reader to feel your script is dated.

    Again, loved the dialogue. Writers know how to set up set up set up, then pay off.
    Feel though, it lacks “cinematic”. Felt almost like a winning Broadway stage play.

    • Rick Diculous

      Appreciate the notes! Thanks for taking the time.

  • Randy Williams

    TO BOLDLY GO

    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    I’m not familiar with much of Star Trek so I need to approach this as a story about a man I know nothing about.
    Funny you mention Wikipedia in your WYSR because this starts a bit “here are the facts and figures” without giving us much in the way of human conflict and emotion that I would like to see.

    We want our protagonists to make choices. Even little Gene could have made some choice in that opening. We don’t get it.
    He doesn’t make any choices in the war “entry” and his comment, “it was something, something better” is confusing to me.

    The plane crash entry he doesn’t make any choices beyond his duty as flight crew or a normal human being. “Those not killed are burned badly” What is the visual for that?

    I’m tuning out with the second plane emergency and especially with the phone call to his wife.

    Bar is set very high for something like this, I would have to believe. I feel this is good writing in general so far, but as drama, it’s lacking for me. Give us Gene making choices at every turn that show who he is as a human being. Hard decisions, wrong decisions, decisions made out of a longing for “something better”.

    • Jack F.

      I hear you. Like the Daft Punk song – “Harder, Faster, Stronger”. More active. Thanks, Randy.

  • Howie428

    Another difficult decision. I’m going to go with TAMPA BAY, even though it might turn out to be too like a procedural in the same way that Retribution did.

    THE CAMELOT CLUB

    I was a bit puzzled by Colin being so worried about looking at the magazines since he was just chased away from peeking into a strip club and didn’t seem morally troubled by that.

    I read the first ten pages of this and I like the character relationship of the two boys. Unfortunately basing jokes this heavily on sexual content makes it difficult to see how this will translate to the screen. It might be that much of these first ten pages belong in the backstory, since it’s only now that these guys are adults that the story described in your logline can get started.

    TAMMY

    Firstly, it’s pretty brave to title this the same as the movie that came out last year. I guess that gets attention. Secondly, I notice this is 91 pages long, but that you’re using a tightened format. I hate it when people squeeze the text, but it seems odd to do it when you have plenty of pages to play with.

    The first ten pages of this set up a solid character who contrasts with the world he lives in. I wonder if it makes sense to open with heavy lewdness since it seems like you’re going to be using that same kind of material later on. How is Tammy going to seem exceptional to us if you have others doing the same things?

    While I saw a couple of moments of solid drama in the ten pages, for me it didn’t seem to have much comedy. Given your aggressive comedy sell for this it’s unfortunate that it didn’t deliver on that.

    For me your WYSR was funny stuff, and if anything I felt a bit let down that the pages I read didn’t have the same comedic energy.

    TAMPA BAY

    The boat scene on page 1 is fun stuff, although the last line of it is probably more narrative commentary than you need.

    The intro to Beck works well and it’s good that you’ve immediately established a case he’s supposed to be solving.

    The robbery scene is in good shape and makes for a simple introduction to Danny.

    The scene with Danny and Fawkes might be pushing this a bit too much into conventional territory. It’s the classic hard-ass chief chewing a cop out scene. Considering that some of the other scenes so far have also been familiar for this genre, it risks the whole thing seeming like a rehash.

    I completely agree with the concept of having a gay man be the action lead without having that take over the story, and I enjoyed the character work in the first 15 pages of this.

    THE STONE ADDENDUM

    Before I read, I’ll say that the title isn’t doing much for me.

    The opening kidnap works fine and has some intrigue, although we’re given relatively little insight into what’s going on.

    For me some of the description in this might be a bit heavy. For example, Jack’s intro scene on page four doesn’t seem to tell us much about him, but takes about two-thirds of the page.

    The intro to Stone has a very James Bond like feel about it.

    The scene between Jack and Stone sets things up clearly, even if it seems a bit odd that Israel and the USA would opt to respond to a domestic US hostage situation by sending one guy.

    TO BOLDLY GO

    This certainly seems like a solid idea in the origins of art genre.

    I’ll bet you had lots of temptations to do Trek referencing openings, indeed I wonder if this premise could use one. Considering that your pitch told us that this would be a contained bio-pic, I guess I’m a bit surprised at opening on 10 year old Gene, but I suppose it makes sense.

    The vision he had during the war is interesting, but for us you’re probably going to need to describe it in a way we can visualize.

    I’m 13 pages in and I’m wondering if you’re trying to have your cake and eat it with this opening. You’re showing us the big moments of his life, but they are being raced through in a way that doesn’t let connections to his later writing appear.

    At the jump on page 16, I’m feeling like I’m not sure what we have got from what has happened so far. He has led an admirable and at times troubled life, but I’m not seeing flaws or much build of potential towards what is to come. A danger of biography is that it becomes a series of episodes or scenes, that while part of someone’s life, don’t sit naturally as a narrative for an audience to follow.

    The concept of this has good potential, but as it stands I’m afraid I’m not seeing material that convinces me that this is the way a Gene Roddenberry biopic should play out.

    • Rick Diculous

      Thanks for the notes for The Camelot Club. Definitely feel that the first ten need to be reworked or truncated. Appreciate your time.

    • Jack F.

      Thanks, Howie. For making me consider more choices in terms of editing and clarifying how the episodes in the beginning of “To Boldly Go” affected Gene and his writing.

  • Dan B

    Read all of Tampa Bay. For me, it’s at a double worth the read at least IMO, and my vote. It was very entertaining, had witty banter between two conflicting characters drawn together through extraordinary circumstances.

    Notes:
    Strong opening for both characters. The descriptions used to open most scenes were strong, and I could quickly picture it on screen.

    The shoot out at 7-11. At first I thought this may just be a vanilla action scene to show that Danny was a bad ass agent, but Chad made sure to integrate this robbery scene into the plot of the story. It’s a set up that gets paid off later.

    When Danny is confronted by his Captain, the writer gives some exposition in a crafty manner.

    When they visit Whitemore, we don’t get an ordinary scene, Whitemore reacts to Beck and Danny in a way I didn’t anticipate.

    Page 25 is where we get some information which opens up the mystery, this wasn’t just a robbery at the 7-11, it was a hit.

    I felt that the story consistently pushed forward… the only slowdown was at the family party, but the writer took the time to dive into the character’s backstories here, which I thought was well done.

    There’s a great twist at page 90 followed by another soon after. Didn’t see either of these coming.

    I thought the comedy from the two character’s different viewpoints was delivered well. It wasn’t too over the top. To me Beck felt like Clint’s character from Gran Torino. He was always busting Danny’s chops over his sexual orientation, but it didn’t seem to come from a place of hate, just misunderstanding.

    This guy wrote New Coke I believe as well, which I thought was interesting, but this script kicked ass. Congrats on a job well done.

  • cjob3

    Ha! I see the writer of the Camelot Club ran into the same problem I did in “Not Safe For Work.” Why can’t the uptight dude simply sell the club? The writer came up with the same solution too, have the lawyer explain keeping it a strip club is a condition of the will. It’ll save Carson some trouble if this gets picked – he can just cut and paste his review. (For the record though, I think this is just a case of parallel thinking.) Really interesting/surreal to see another take on the same idea. I like how you set up the uncle leaving the club as an FU to his father. Clever! I actually planned my second ep to deal with religious protesters picketing the club. Great minds…?

    • Rick Diculous

      Wow, this is pretty crazy. Please tell me your next script isn’t about a subterranean gang of clubfooted auto mechanics who moonlight as ninjas, cause that would be crazy. Seriously, though, my co-writer came up with the premise (and the names) and he has never been on this sight (that I know of). Thanks for the notes.

    • IgorWasTaken

      For what it’s worth, I didn’t have a problem with your solution for why he can’t sell – especially as part of a premise for a TV show. So many TV show premises make no sense – e.g., Castle.

      • cjob3

        Thanks. Yeah, I think I didn’t explain it well at the time.

      • http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chrismulligan/lunch-meat?ref=live Chris Mulligan

        Hey, if Steven Seagall can be a cop, why not Castle?

  • Randy Williams

    You are correct. I got it wrong It’s the father. But it didn’t make any difference who said it. It’s first choice prejudice baiting in a script where I fell in love with ALL the characters and didn’t want anything coming out of their mouths to disappoint me and I did not dismiss an entire script based on a mistake.
    Carson asks us to tell the writer where they cut out and why. That’s all I did.

    And I voted for the damn thing. Can’t YOU read more carefully?

    • Ed Ruggiero

      It doesn’t make any difference who said it? Even if it’s a character with a motivation for the prejudice?
      And yes I did see that you voted for it, no problems reading here.

      • Randy Williams

        It’s a wonderfully delicious script, a feel good time.
        Why throw that in for the audience to digest? For someone
        grappling with themselves to clutch the popcorn with angst?

        What do you mean even if it’s from a character with a motivation
        for the prejudice? His prejudice is his own flaw. His lines should
        reflect his weakness, not anyone else’s supposed flaw.

        It’s first choice in a script that doesn’t usually settle for first choices. It’s not perfect but I liked it over the others and that’s that.

        and one more thing. Put your vote in caps or something. Carson’s not going to notice your little blurb there.

        • Citizen M

          Are you seriously suggesting that a writer who wants to put the words “I’m just relieved he isn’t a homo.” into a character’s mouth should self-censor him/herself, even though in real life the same types of characters think the same types of thoughts?

          • Randy Williams

            Not at all. I’m saying it’s lazy writing, first choice. It makes people feel uncomfortable for no good reason while they should be in an elated state while enjoying this elated script. There are alternatives that can nail that character’s insecurities perfectly and his fears of what his son could have been while being funny at the same time. I give preference to visual jokes. These are movies. Did you laugh at that line? (done a million times, by the way. So so dated )

            Go ahead and stick the “N” word in a feel good comedy. See how far that gets you.

          • cjob3

            The Jerk? Blazing Saddles? Trading Places? They all have the N word. That was a different time though…somehow I don’t feel Homo is as heavy as all that. The ‘F word’ would be.

  • HRV

    Never understood the use of the word homophobic. Just because straights don’t like gays, doesn’t mean they fear them. That was blunt, but you get my point.

    • Sullivan

      Actually it is a fear, the fear that gays will be seen as equal and one’s bigoted worldview will be diminished or made obsolete. There’s also the fear that they’ll be hit on or in some way forced to be gay, too, as irrational as that is.

      • HRV

        No thanks. Mr. Adams needs to find better ways to spend his time. Personally, I have no issues with my sexuality.

  • Jack F.

    I could watch this thing all day.

  • Jack F.

    Thank you, Laura D. I am a big “Imitation Game” fan, and one of the things that I think really makes it work is the riddle that is Alan Turing, the, err, enigma. So yeah, thank you for pushing to re-valuate my script a mystery through-line.

  • Caivu

    I’m liking the new Joker for the most part. The HAHAHA and Damaged tattoos are too much though, and the grill might be too. I’m interested to see Leto’s take.

  • charliesb

    People seem very divided on it. I don’t think it’s the final look (or maybe I’m just hoping it isn’t) The facial tatts and the grill concern me. However I’m glad they are making it their own and not being hampered by Nicholson or Ledgers portrayal.

  • HRV

    But, like I said, it’s not a fear. It’s a dislike or disgust. I don’t know that a gay cop would want to be that flamboyant.

    • Caivu

      If it helps, homophobia isn’t a proper clinical term like arachnophobia or claustrophobia are. The focus with that term seems more on the irrational part, not the fear part (though phobia can also mean aversion, which would fit).

  • charliesb

    My choice is TAMPA BAY.

    Will be back to leave some comments after GOLDEN STATE crushes NEW ORLEANS into dust.

  • carsonreeves1

    Stay strong, my friend. Things get a little testy here from time to time, but it’s usually all fun and love. :)

  • HRV

    Read all of TAMPA BAY. Yes, same writer as THE NEW COKE, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Easy read after getting the characters sorted. Somewhat in the same vein as Lethal Weapon. Movies like this have to standout nowadays to get noticed. Updated with having a gay cop character, but not sure that’s enough.
    Also read the first seven pages of STONE so far. No comment yet.

  • cjob3

    Great exchange here:

    DENNIN
    C’mon, man… are you still really that much in love with Cloris?

    ENOCH
    I can’t help it. I still see the girl who gave me half of her peanut
    butter and jelly sandwich when mine got stepped on by Eric Sheffler in
    third grade.

    DENNIN
    Well now she’s Eric Sheffler. And you’re the sandwich.

    • cjob3

      TAMMY
      Preggars can’t be choosers.

      ^Another great line

  • Poe_Serling

    My pick this week: TO BOLDLY GO

    Why? Just a ton of fond memories.

    Like most of the SS faithful, I grew up watching the reruns of the original Star Trek and as a kid wanting to be Kirk, Spock. etc. depending on the episode. So, I think a script taking a quick peek into Gene Roddenberry’s world would make for a fun review on AF.

    Echoing ElectricDreamer, ‘I was neutral on the Hollywoodland sign opening image.’ It didn’t really take me out of the story or give me much pause.

    But I do have one possible suggestion for an opening image:

    http://www.crossroadshollywood.com/overview.html

    I’ve always found this building/location on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood both eye-catching and fascinating.

    Three ways the Crossroads of the World building might work in relation to the Roddenberry story being presented:

    1) the revolving globe represents earth… one step further – OUTER SPACE.

    2) the building itself is shaped like a ship… “complete with red railings, portholes and curved corners”… to a young and creative mind – a SPACESHIP.

    3) “Crossroads was designed originally as an international shopping center… Each was meant to give Angelinos a taste of exotic locations around the world in an era when travel was still prohibitively expensive.”

    Finally, tying this into the famous title sequence narration: “Its five-year mission: to explore strange NEW WORLDS to seek out NEW LIFE and NEW CIVILIZATIONS, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

    ***To make it work in the above project, all you would have to do is have a teenage Roddenberry see or visit the place in 1936 and possibly be inspired by it.

    That’s my two cents. Thanks to the writer for sharing his love of Star Trek with us!

    • Levres de Sang

      A terrific suggestion, Poe! Not all transitions can be thematic, but if an opportunity presents itself…

      I can just imagine a dramatic cut from the Crossways of the World building in 1936 (replete with ‘philosophical’ background chatter as to its international and even futuristic dimension) to the deck of the Enterprise in the early 60s.

      That way, we’re straight into the story. What’s more, we’ve arrived with a sense of Gene’s motivation.

      • Poe_Serling

        Gene Roddenberry was definitely a gutsy guy. One of the best stories from Shatner’s book “Star Trek Memories”…

        If I’m remembering the tale correctly, police officer Roddenberry pulled up to some Hollywood restaurant on his patrol motorcycle and jumped off. Then he marched into the establishment and headed over to one of the private booths.

        He said, “I’m looking for so and so…” One of the diners replied, “That’s me.”

        Roddenberry pulled out a script and handed it to him. The diner?

        The legendary talent agent Irving Paul “Swifty” Lazar.

        • Levres de Sang

          A wonderful anecdote! And another potential opening, dare I say…

          ** Speaking of William Shatner (and completely O.T.) I received the Fan Favorites Thriller DVD. Needless to say, I loved the Grim Reaper episode. Performances, writing and atmosphere are all top notch. Also nice to see Henry Daniell in the teaser: one of my favourite 1940s character actors… I went straight on to Pigeons from Hell, an eerie mix of Psycho and The Birds on a Southern plantation. So thank you again for a great recommendation!

          • Poe_Serling

            I’m glad that you’re enjoying the series so much – Thriller with Boris Karloff is an overlooked gem in my opinion. It’s probably hard to find airtime as the third fiddle in most markets with The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.

            I always felt that Thriller did a bang-up job with their Southern-flavored Gothic Horror, especially with episodes such as “Pigeons from Hell.” I even recall Stephen King giving high praise to Robert E. Howard’s short story “Pigeons from Hell’ in one of his books.

          • Levres de Sang

            Funny you should mention Stephen King because he’s quoted on the dvd case as having said: “The best horror series ever put on TV.”

    • Jack F.

      Thanks. Poe, for the suggestion. The Depression was still going on in ’36, and the Crossroads could definitely serve a Utopian image, promising a better tomorrow.

    • klmn

      Coincidentally, the Discovery Channel repeated this one about two weeks ago.

      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1529666/combined

      I guess I’m the only one who watches that channel.

      Poe, you might want to check it out. A lot of interviews and insider stuff.

    • klmn

      And…

  • gonzorama

    Tampa Bay gets my vote. I like what I see so far. Tried the others and this is my choice.

  • Sullivan

    TO BOLDLY GO

    I’m a sucker for biopics, so this gets my vote. Needs a few more passes to make it great, though.

    Biggest problem was the number and length of montages. Way too many and way, way too long. It’s almost a silent movie at some points.

    You have the hint of a through narrative: the all races, all people first. Needs to be played up more. There’s your story! Make that the theme, but less on-the-nose, if that makes sense.

    And I’d suggest shortening the war scenes at the beginning just to Make the point of Gene wanting to do something else.

    Some nice humour here.

    • Jack F.

      Thanks, Sullivan, for the notes. I could definitely channel the theme more through the early passages, while keeping it subtle and cutting the length.

      • Sullivan

        You might want to embrace the humour aspect more, even the campiness.

  • Midnight Luck

    or IT FOLLOWS you for the rest of your life. (VD does that)

    I agree. They all sound like I have heard them so many times before.
    None made me want to open them up.
    How many Navy Seals, FBI, Spy’s, US Marshall, hostage, terrorist, double crossing, whatever stories can we have?

    And CAMELOT CLUB, by Rick Diculous and Snappy Ginger? I mean come on. Ri(ck)Diculous.

    You cannot pay me enough to read a word of the script when this is how the work is presented. Maybe it is the best script EVER! but I will never know.

  • Lucid Walk

    I’m sorry, but I have to say a few things. I’ve been reading some scripts, and I don’t think certain writers understand the difference between a story and a movie.

    A story can be anything, but a movie is a story that can only be [and has to be] watched. In other words, just because a script is good to read, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be good to watch. It has to FEEL like a movie. Take the offerings for instance, based on the loglines alone (by the way, I mean no disrespect to the hard-working writers who made it to AO this week; congrats to you all):

    TO BOLDLY GO — movie

    THE CAMELOT CLUB — story

    THE STONE ADDENDUM — story (could be a movie if the logline were tweaked)

    TAMMY — movie

    TAMPA BAY — story (at most, it could be a TV show)

  • Scott Chamberlain

    I vote for TAMPA BAY

    Read it right through. It hooked and held. Some of the dialogue could be tightened – phrases to single words, two sentences to one, that sort of thing

    Liked the twist with Beck’s daughter, though I’m thinking these guys would know more about his history.

    Liked Danny being the action guy. BUT: What’s his flaw and how is it resolved by working with Beck? It’s like he’s too defined by being gay. What about… Beck has lost everything dear to him and found the will to carry on and do meaningful work. Maybe Danny should lose Max much earlier in this story so that while Beck learns tolerance, Danny can learn how to deal with loss… Don’t know. Beck’s intolerant and Danny is gay… what do they learn from each other that allows them to work as a team and solve the crime? Beck learns tolerance, but Danny doesn’t learn to withstand prejudice – he lives that world already. As the set up is now, you’re left with no emotion when the bad guys die.

    Whitemore seemed entirely ineffectual in the end. Was it the right choice to split the Antagonists for the finale? Was there not some other way of ending the story where each Law Man overcomes their flaw by acting as a team? cf Lethal Weapon for a different view.

    That final scene with Kelly should include Danny somehow. It’s emotionally powerful, but for Beck who was always going to do the right thing. Which means Danny should somehow have a relationship with Kelly (she could despise him for his “lifestyle” and still he catches her daughter’s killer.)

  • Citizen M

    Some good funny ideas there, Gig.

  • ChadStuart

    Thank you for your thoughts, they are very much appreciated. However, these are the types of stereotypes I would like to dispell.

  • S.C.

    I didn’t think Diqus did jifs? Gives a whole new avenue for posts.

    http://i.imgur.com/hVOcAUG.gif

    I could watch this all day.

  • brenkilco

    Read first twenty five of Stone Addendum. Well written but bluntly put this is a pure B thriller with very little logic and it just isn’t taking place in the real world.

    The hero begins his investigation by interrogating and torturing a federal prisoner. Ridiculous. And not even very efficient. If he’d placed a call and let somebody else do the torturing the “good guys” could have saved themselves a few hours. And we’re told they’re on a clock. Of course our hero knows exactly the guy he needs to torture and gets exactly the info he needs to get and we’re off.

    What kind of world are we in? The kind where shady but plugged in intelligence guys run dive bars with arsenals in their basements, where satellites can read scrawled handwritten notes from fifty miles up, where smart terrorists shoot up entire neighborhoods in an effort to quietly abduct one woman, where a guy can easily shimmy up a vertical metal shaft carrying someone on his shoulders, and where a bad guy can get his arm blown off and keep on shooting with the one he’s got left.

    By page twenty five so much havoc has been wrought that in real life ten thousand local cops, state cops. FBI agents, Homeland security investigators and God knows what all would have descended on Chicago and the secret mission of our hero would have been blown sky high. But I’m willing to bet in the world of this script all law enforcement officers just stand around and scratch their heads.

    Stuff like this does get made but a little research and realism would have helped.

    • Levres de Sang

      Maybe the writing improves, but unfortunately I couldn’t get beyond the first page. The opening scene is a case in point: it just reads flat — and even rather awkward. Also, as others have noted, the situation itself feels very well-worn.

      I only mention because the writer states that he “can’t seem to punch it into the end zone”. My feeling is that additional research would lead to fresher and more original material.

      • brenkilco

        Yes. Unfortunately it feels like the writer did all his research for this thriller on Netflix. And not even in the documentary section

  • cjob3

    I had a look at all the contenders and I’m throwing my considerable Worth The Read weight behind TAMMY. ;)

    It reminds me of that great South Park episode where Cartman dresses like an out of control girl and yells “Whatever! I do what I want!”

  • Renee

    Just from the log lines? TO BOLDLY GO and TAMPA BAY. I would press PLAY on Netflix if those two were in front of me… So now I have to procrastinate and go read them.

  • Renee

    I wanted to like TO BOLDLY GO so much, but in the end it read a bit stifled. There is a lot of love in there, but maybe not enough of a dramatised series of events.

    I am with Lucid Walk. It’s a movie, definitely. The writer just needs to let go of reality and starts playing with the material. In short: to boldly go!

  • walker

    Congratulations to all the writers for being chosen this week. Based on reading at least 20 pages of each script, my vote goes to Tampa Bay by Chad Rouch.

    • walker

      BTW my second choice would be Tammy, which was pretty fresh and funny.

  • shewrites

    Based on loglines alone, MY VOTE GOES TO TAMPA BAY.

  • RO

    Man has it been ages since I’ve commented here (been in a cave writing for months).

    My votes goes to “Tampa Bay”, an interesting log line and I think and hope the subject matter of the script will bring up some new ideas with character development and exploration.

    My second would be for “To Boldly Go”. but after finishing the script it feels more like a made for tv special in the realm of “Behind the Camera: Unauthorized story of ‘Mork & Mndy'” or “Growing up Brady” etc. It doesn’t come across as a movie as there aren’t any stakes, or consequences of failure. It’s a going through the motions of things. It’s a really fun discovery piece without catharsis. I think there is a story to be told in this, but it needs more focus. Is it about Gene Roddenberry, or is it about why Roddenberry needs to make Star Trek? Write the script as an answer to one of those questions and I think it will elevate it greatly.

  • HRV

    Okay-okay, easy now. I guess I misinterpreted what you were saying. Everything’s cool.

  • pmlove

    I’ve not read enough of any one to justify a vote. That said, Tampa Bay seems well done (easy to imagine a crotchety Clint playing Beck) and I could see Tammy generating a lot of conflict.

    All things being even, I’d lean towards Tampa Bay.

  • Scott Reed

    My vote: Go Boldly

    OMG! Super close runner-up: Tammy

    Read the first ten of all. Scanned further on some.

    First off, here’s an opening montage of all but Tammy, of which has pertinent action.

    EXT. BLAH & BORING – DAY

    Sun comes up, white puffy clouds directly overhead, majestic green mountains shadow a short building with cheap siding, a neon sign overlooks a street that’s seen better days.

    Come on guys! Make your brain hurt. Go for the jugular. Write action.

    At least in Tammy the first image is a hand pressing an elevator button. Now we’re going somewhere. Up or down, doesn’t matter, right?

    Seriously, if I don’t see action in that first paragraph, I want to put the script down!

    I remember a horror movie Carson reviewed. A big comment of his was about blending description and narrative as much as you can.

    Just some thought for you from the reader’s side.

    Tampa Bay:

    Okay, we now know he’s “sufficiently emptied the contents of his stomach.” But why? Show us. Open on the why.

    Is MARSHAL(L) also Tom BECK? Big red flags. Should be simply, crotchety old marshal TOM BECK.

    Almost two pages on TEEN / Justin and Girlfriend that we don’t see again? Is the TEEN also Justin? Clarify.

    Really focus on the action of the story, only what’s necessary. Watch your formatting, spelling.

    The Stone Addendum:

    Writing too heavy. “The man on the other side of Marsha pulls out a syringe and
    gives Marsha a shot.” I’d write, “The other man pulls out a syringe, injects her.”

    Continually think on how to tighten your sentences.

    JACK’S WIFE? Just give her a name, it’ll read better.

    The Camelot Club:

    Really? You’ve got a great opening scene that you let slip “write” thru your keyboard!

    A red-faced wide-eyed pubescent teen ogling a real live woman’s tits and ass!

    Show us that.

    You need to move the story forward. I’d move the kids Colin and Terry right from the strip club to; TITLE CARD: “TWENTY YEARS LATER.”

    GO BOLDLY:

    This is a tough one.

    I think this could be a really great story. Holy shit, all the star trek fans out there.

    I’m thinking the opening would be stronger showing an adult Gene getting rejected, downplayed, mocked, at work or elsewhere. We instantly see what the movies about.

    This may be one of those movies where flashbacks could work well.

    Not diggin’ the underline scene headings.

    Also, you don’t CUT TO a time jump. Set it up with a TITLE CARD:

    Introduce your characters more fluidly, i.e., RIPLEY, JACOBS, KYLE.

    Strive to make the story about Gene’s battles getting Star Trek developed, not so much about his past.

    TAMMY:

    I hope you got all your “Girlfriend” out on this draft, because it’s time to tighten your shit up!

    Too episodic. You need to have a story.

    First off, pages of Drunk Girl? Just give her a name… Hmmm? How about Tammy?

    ENOCH’S… Yes, what the fuck is an ENOCH?! That name’s gotta go!

    ENOCH’S accident is “SUPER” lame.

    Drunk Girl rocks! Once that scene got in it’s groove, that was some seriously funny shit.

    I think you’re missing a great opportunity with that scene. That’s Enoch’s accident.

    They end up fucking, she’s blowing him, high current sexual exploration, something happens. Electrocution? He gets here soul. She dies. He hides her, has to keep moving her body. Somewhat, “Weekend At Bernie’s.” I don’t know, something along those lines. Maybe she’s into voodoo, it all works out in the end, she comes back to life?…

    All I know is, I see a huge movie here.

    You’ve got the gift of snark.

    I think if you concentrate on developing the story with more than slapstick, you could have a $100 million plus movie.

    Good luck to all you guys. I know how hard this shit is.

    • Zero

      The Book of Enoch of an ancient Jewish religious text, and Enoch is the name of Noah’s grandfather. Used as the name of a character nowadays, I’d think it’d be used to imply traditionalism, formality, and the past. Of course, I haven’t actually read Tammy, so that might not be true here.

  • drifting in space

    My vote is To Boldly Go. I didn’t try the others as the loglines were jumbled messes and that did not inspire me to read. Carson continues to preach “write something that has a chance of getting looked at” and yet people keep reaching to these outlandish story ideas.

    If you can put together a unique but approachable story idea, your logline is a mess, and your why you should read does not strengthen your case, why should we be reading this instead of working on our own ideas? You need to FORCE us to want to read it, something we just can’t pass up.

    To Boldly Go did this for me. I felt it. I don’t have many notes from the first 20 I read that haven’t already been said, but it just wanted to point out WHY I chose it.

  • Matthew Garry

    My vote this week is for “Tampa Bay” by Chad “Bridesmaid” Rouch.

    The things I found a bit shaky in an otherwise solid script:
    -Beck’s release. There really wasn’t any reason for the bad guys to let him go.
    -The State Department’s involvement. It was never really explained how they fit into the investigation and why they were interfering.
    -Bold sluglines. That sounds like a minor thing, but my favourite reading device sometimes messes up the font if the sluglines are bolded, making it unreadable. If I hadn’t known this was one of Chad’s scripts, I likely would have just skipped it.
    -Green Hair ramming Beck’s car was a bit too coincidental for me.

    Other than that, I think making one of the protagonists gay as the divisive issue in a buddy-cop setup is an excellent idea by itself, and the execution here is pretty solid as well without going over the top with the gay angle.