amateur offerings weekend
I hope you’re working hard on your Scriptshadow 250 entry. As of this moment, I’m allowing you to take a break to weigh in on yet another batch of…. AMATEUR OFFERINGS!

Title: Insatiable
Genre: Horror
Logline: When a law student’s girlfriend mysteriously vanishes from a truck stop diner, he suspects a shady trucker is to blame. But as he races to save her life, he discovers that the only thing more terrifying than her captors is the reason she was taken.
Why You Should Read: I need the help of the ScriptShadow community! I like scary things and enjoy a good horror film. I’ve been writing for quite some time and have advanced in some of the more well known contests including Nicholl. INSATIABLE was a semifinalist in Austin in 2011. A revised version was a finalist in ScreamCraft last summer and a semifinalist in Page. It has received some positive feedback, yet here it sits on my laptop. My question is this — is the story worthy of a movie? Can it get over the hump? Is the script worth revising or should I consider it a building block, leave it on my laptop, and move on? Please help!

Title: Hell Singers
Genre: Action/Horror
Logline: Victor Kalas and Chris Sheridan are Hell Singers, members of an elite secret service that uses scientific precision to quietly eliminate vampires in New York City. When Chris and his fiancee are attacked and turned, he sets out on a vengeful quest to find the vampires responsible, while Victor is hot on his tail with a direct order to kill him.
Why You Should Read: Assuming you’re still reading this after getting past the word “vampires” in the logline, Hell Singers is like a James Bond film set in the vampire subgenre, with a hint of noir. It’s pretty cool, why not give it a shot?

Title: Three or Out
Genre: Dark Comedy
Logline: In the final days of a yearlong deadline to either improve his life or end it, a sheltered mama’s boy, with nowhere else to turn, appoints a would-be criminal as his new life coach.
Why You Should Read: March 9, 2012, a day dubbed as “the Jai Brandon experiment,” Carson reviewed a script of mine titled, “The Telemarketer.” — When I originally wrote that screenplay, I thought “entertainment value” outweighed plot, structure, “rules,” or anything else you want to throw out there. I was a screenwriter with all of 18 months on the job and thought I had this craft figured out. I was confident in my ability to entertain, though I never made claims that The Telemarketer was “better than every script sale out there,” or “better than some of the classics that have graced our movie theaters for years.” I wasn’t ever that clueless. However, I did think the story could hold my readers’ interest throughout.

Boy was I wrong.

The most memorable feedback, to me, wasn’t even about the script. What stuck with me the most were comments along the lines of “I put this down at page XX.” Or “I bailed after page XX.” It sucked to fail at the very thing I thought I could accomplish.
Since that time, I’ve read tons of screenplays and penned another unconventional script that never went anywhere. Enough is enough. I wanted to prove to myself that I had the discipline to follow the rules. As a struggling actor, I also wanted to create a story that would be relatively easy to produce, with me as one of the leads. I decided to use the central idea behind The Telemarketer – as well as a couple of scenes from that script – and write a dark comedy called Three or Out. Hopefully this time I succeed in accomplishing what I failed to do earlier: hold my readers’ interest with a compelling and conventionally structured screenplay.

Title: The Shadow
Genre: Action/Crime
Logline: A medical student busts a hit man known as The Shadow out of the hospital to help her get revenge on the man responsible for her sister’s death.
Why You Should Read: I’m a Canadian author and screenwriter, and dedicated cinefile with a affection for horror, science fiction, action and crime dramas. I’m influenced by filmmakers such as Luc Besson, Tony Scott, David Lynch, Robert Rodriguez and David Cronenberg, and bow down to the screenwriting awesomeness of people like Quentin Tarantino, Diablo Cody, John Logan, the Coen Brothers and the one-and-only Shane Black.

The Shadow is one to read because it showcases a female lead that is both smart (she’s a doctor!) and bad-ass(she get trained by a stone-cold hit man!), and uses both to extract revenge for a transgression NOT motivated by a personal sexual assault (let’s face it this is overdone and in most cases simply exploitive) or lost love. There’s a lot of blurring between the “good” and “bad” guys, and an action-fuelled examination of the many layers of grey that people have to work through in terrible situations without betraying their personal morals or losing their humanity. Enjoy!

Title: Heart Storm
Genre: Action/Adventure
Logline: A tough nurse and a bumbling policeman have two hours to get a transplant heart across a chaotic city as a hurricane makes landfall around them.
Why You Should Read: This is my latest script and it’s a big budget blockbuster of the kind that we’ve been debating on Thursdays. I challenged myself to sum it up and ended up with, “Get a heart through a hurricane.” That sounds like fun to me. I believe this is original enough to have a chance at getting made, and if the people who say that’s impossible are correct, then I’m happy to stand by this script as a sample. Thanks.

  • carsonreeves1

    I think this week is going to be a slaughterhouse. I have a feeling one script is going to dominate.

    • Tyler Givens

      LOL Why? Which one?

    • S.C.

      Yeah, I can’t – so far – see one script standing out, based on logline or who wrote it. HEART STORM sounds exciting but I’m put off by the adjectives “tough” and “bumbling” to describe the protagonists.

      • Nicholas J

        I’m put off by the adjectives “tough” and “bumbling” to describe the protagonists.

        What? Why?

        • S.C.

          I addressed this more fully in my main comment.

          Tough is like an overcooked steak. It’s a vague, cliched description of a female character. Needs to be more specific.

          Bumbling suggests KEYSTONE COPS.

          Tonally, it’s wrong. And from I’ve read of the script, it doesn’t seem an apt description.

          Happy? Satisfied?

    • Frankie Hollywood

      INSATIABLE. Current odds are at even money. Maybe a late contender will increase the pay-out, but don’t look for Vegas to bankroll it.

  • Tyler Givens

    Okay, first of all, congrats to all the writers for making to AF today. I read all the loglines. And I liked some of them a lot. It’s been awhile since we had such a strong competition here. Really, all of you did a great job. Now I’m gonna say a couple of words about the loglines I particulary liked.

    THREE OR OUT sounds like a cool comedy. I mean the premise is a bit familiar. A dude hires a weird life coach to help him change his life. Have we seen that type of story before? Why yes we have. Yet the beauty of this premise is that (if done right) it always works! It’s always interesting to watch two different people go on some sort of a journey together. But then again it all depends on the characters. I can forgive any story flaws if the characters and their conflicts are entertaining and well developed.

    The Shadow got me excited at first. But I fear that after the awkward first encounter with the hit man and their daring escape the story will turn into your ordinary by-the-book revenge action thriller, where the unlikely duo struggles at first, but then they find a common language and the goody doctor helps the cold hit man discover his long lost humanity and the cold hit man teaches the goody doctor a couple of life lessons, but prevents her from doing the wrong thing and making his own mistakes, cuz she’s a doctor and her job is to save lives and he’s who he is etc. etc. Maybe he even sacrifices himself in the process. I’m probably mistaken, though, so, please, don’t take my words as criticism. I gotta read the script first. Anyway I like the logline and I’ll give it a try.

    Heart Storm. Okay, this one is my favourite. It’s just…fucking awesome!!! You got a badass premise, you got a clear goal, high stakes and one hell of a ticking bomb. Yet the story is very simple (which is good) and doesn’t require additional explanations. I’m already rooting for these guys. And the story feels so real and cinematic. If I was a bigass richass producer I’d be writing a big fat check for you by now.

  • davejc

    Maybe we should all be writing commercials

    • Casper Chris

      Thanks for the laugh.

    • shewrites

      There’s a star in the making!

    • BSBurton

      Dave!!! Good post. Shoot me an email sometime bud :)

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    This logline grabbed me the most because “trying to cross town with a mission” stories are a powerful draw, and I like weather gone to hell, too.

    The nurse is immediately set up as interesting. I can see an actress wanting to play her, but I’m sensing the dialogue from her and from others seems stilted. Maybe inject more reticence into how people speak. Break up their thoughts, leave sentences uncompleted.

    p. 11-12. Like the early action with the helicopter. This is what I’ve come to see.

    p.12. The constant reference to “pipes” connected to the heart makes me think perhaps a plumber is more suited for the job than a surgeon. Give us more appropriate technical terminology for this environment?

    p.13. The logline says a hurricane but I don’t think anyone has mentioned one yet. It’s all about a “storm”. If a monster is coming, say so? “Roads are curfewed” which sounds strange in itself, is not making me tremble with expectation.

    p.14. His “body detoxed”? What does that mean?

    “I think we should chill for medical science” Okay, I’m getting all these odd phrases that are distracting me away from what should be a fun story.

    p.15. Another distraction. “Garish” to describe an organ carry-all?

    p.17. The odd phrase, “This is healthy, it doesn’t need to rot” These medical personnel are using phrases and terminology that don’t sound professional. Ask someone in that field to read the script and make suggestions or just sit down with them. Before moving on from a first draft of a script I’m writing with military personnel, I asked for help here on this board. K. Parker provided suggestions from everything from terminology, rank, protocol to appropriate vehicles. Just an amazing reference sheet to go by as I continued to write. Do the same. Ask for help. An easy fix.

    p.19. The police officer can tackle this woman is she’s that close. Why pull out a gun? Seems odd.

    p.20. The police officer says, “This is really illegal…” What cop says that? That made me laugh. The dialogue is steering toward spoof.

    Finally, and this is where I stop…
    p.21. The police officer after having this woman resist his command to freeze, after being pushed by her and kidnapped, responds to her question about his K-9 companion that she thinks is small enough to be a “rat”, with…
    “Aurai detects drugs, don’t you, you little cutey wutey”

    Too many odd phrases that distract, lack of professionalism in a demanding field that requires it, awkward tone for the seriousness of the mission. All easy fixes, I think, with some work. Good luck!

  • Evangelos

    Does anybody happen to have The Revenant. Sharing would brighten my soul.

    • S.C.

      Sent! Happy to brighten your soul!

      • charliesb

        Can I get that too please, birdieey at gmail dot com

        • S.C.


      • Frankie Hollywood

        Hey Scott, do you have any of the new pilots? Particularly looking to read: Lucifer, Minority Report and Preacher.

        But would also be interested in: Frankenstein, Wicked Crime, Quantico, Limitless, Supergirl, The Player (Endgame), Shades of Blue, Warrior, Cheerleader Death Squad and Contained (Cordon).

        The more the merrier.

        Please and Thank You.

        • S.C.

          Sent, all but Supergirl and Cheerleader Death Squad. Tell us if you read a good one!

          • Frankie Hollywood

            Thanks bud, I really appreciate the MASSIVE hook up. I’m starting Lucifer now, I’ll let you know…

          • Frankie Hollywood

            LUCIFER, easy/breezy, enjoyable, quick read. Lucifer’s got some great lines. I have a feeling this series is gonna live or die on how Tom Ellis (Lucifer) does.

            MINORITY REPORT, exact opposite of LUCIFER. A shit-ton of 4-7 lines of action. And a triple shit-ton of CAPITALIZATION. If I had a dollar for every word that was capitalized I could pay off my new Lamborghini tomorrow. And the lead woman (Vega) is kind of annoying. Hope they ended up making her more likable.

            WARRIOR, read this one b/c it didn’t make it past the pilot. It’s a martial arts trip. Could’ve been cool, guess the director didn’t pull it off.

          • charliesb

            MINORITY REPORT will be cancelled, and I’ll be very surprised if LUCIFER gets a second season, though that may depend on whether they can breathe some life back into SLEEPY HOLLOW.

            Shall we start the 2015/16 death pool? Or is it too early?

          • Frankie Hollywood

            The best thing about MINORITY REPORT was the future tech (and that shouldn’t be the best thing). The dialogue was TERRIBLE and cliche ridden. And the pilot’s story wasn’t very interesting. I don’t have much faith in it.

            I think LUCIFER might succeed only b/c it knows what it is, campy fun. It’s not taking itself seriously (as it shouldn’t). I can see this one doing alright.

          • charliesb

            LUCIFER on Netflix, HBO, SHOWTIME, I’m even gonna say STARZ, might succeed. LUCIFER on FOX…. I just can’t see it happening. No doubt they’ll play it out of order, send a lot of notes make a bunch to changes and then drop it. I like the casting of LUCY though, so I hope I’m wrong. I wonder if the angel in it is supposed to be the same angel that dropped in in the first ep of CONSTANTINE, or if that was just a coincidence.

            On the other hand, DOMINION was renewed, maybe Angels are the new “thing”.

            MINORITY REPORT trailer was terrible. I mean terrible. No way that a tv show produced 13 years after the original should have worse CGI effects than the movie. Where’s the grainy film quality and stylized colour palette? Even SUPERNATURAL has a stylized colour palette. The show FOX cancelled last year – ALMOST HUMAN looked more like MINORITY REPORT than MINORITY REPORT.

            And look at the producers list for it. Producers of such gems as UNDER THE DOME, TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL, SUMMER CATCH and 3 shows cancelled in their first seasons CONSTANTINE, ALMOST HUMAN, and CROSSBONES.

            I will be very surprised if the show does well.

            Did you get a chance to read QUANTICO yet? I’m curious about that one, the trailer had equal parts awesome and terrible.

          • Frankie Hollywood

            In the script the angel was a white guy with long white hair. Not sure why they changed it, maybe it was CONSTANTINE “inspired.”

            The MINORITY REPORT writer (Max Borenstein) has GODZILLA 2 and KONG: SKULL ISLAND on deck = WTF? His writing was PAINFUL, it probably took me at least 5X longer to read vs LUCIFER.
            Ouch, those producer credits leave a lot to desired.

            I haven’t read QUANTICO yet. I’m gonna try and knock out 4-5 tomorrow, I’ll start with that one and let you know.

          • Frankie Hollywood

            Just finished QUANTICO, it was really good. It’s pretty dense and there are a LOT of Flash Forwards and Flash Backs, but they serve the story well.

            Lots of characters to keep track of too (I kept referring to the IMDb page to keep them all straight). But, again, the large cast serves the story.

            There are a few cool Mystery Boxes towards the end. I really hadn’t thought much about the show until I read the script, but now I’m definitely checking it out.

        • spencerD

          Speaking of PILOTS: WESTWORLD ANY ONE?
          Any one got that?

          • Frankie Hollywood

            Can’t believe I forgot that one. I don’t have it, but SCOTT, do you have WESTWORLD?

            I remember reading an article not too long ago with Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan where they were saying WESTWORLD has (found it) “great, freaky potential.”

          • S.C.

            No Westworld, sorry.

  • S.C.

    OT: MAD MAX FURY ROAD… disappoints?

    From DEADLINE: Warner Bros.’ R-rated mega-budgeted Mad Max: Fury Road is, as expected, going to gross a 3-day in the mid $40Ms (and that includes $3.7M from Thursdays). Shouldering a $200M+ budget, it’s a bummer. The studio is hoping that positive reviews will fuel word-of-mouth and the Village Roadshow Pic will play for a while during the summer. We’ll see. It’s violent and its action-packed so the guys will continue to come out. It received a B+ Cinemascore tonight, which usually translates into a 3.2 multiple. Just not enough. It really only has two weekends until the same studio shakes things up with the Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson-starring San Andreas.

    • charliesb

      I’m not surprised. It’s R rated. And people are still catching up on Avengers. A lot of people I spoke to had only vague memories of the originals. I saw it yesterday and loved it. I hope word of mouth and that 99% on rotten tomatoes helps it pick up.

    • brenkilco

      Got like a 99% on RT. Seems like the pre opening awareness was not quite what it should have been for movie this big. But this should make it a test case for whether it’s still possible to have a sleeper or a word of mouth hit with genuine legs in 2015. Or are we stuck with the high concept, front loaded, first weekend, crap paradigm forever.

      • andyjaxfl

        I’ve read some articles blaming WB for embargoing reviews until Monday. I’m not 100% sold on that. There was a sense of excitement in my office since Wednesday because of the reviews, and people were glad that it was coming out this weekend as opposed to next or the weekend after.

      • S.C.

        Been a long, long time between sequels. Longer than Indiana Jones, almost as long as Return to Oz or The Black Bird or The Odd Couple 2.

        Youngsters haven’t heard of Max; spend $200 million may have been a mistake.

        I suspect a full review will be on Monday. Meantime, here’s another Ozploitationer:

        Here’s the script for MAD MAX 2:

        • brenkilco

          Is just being good, good enough anymore? Here’s hoping.

          • S.C.

            Highest Grossing Movies Never to Reach Number 1 on the Domestic Chart

            My Big Fat Greek Wedding $241,438,208 (opening w/e: $597,362)

            Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel $219,614,612 (opening w/e: $75,589,048)

            Beauty and the Beast $218,951,632 (opening w/e: $178,822)

            Alvin and the Chipmunks $217,326,976 (opening w/e: $44,307,417)

            Sherlock Holmes $209,028,679 (opening w/e: $62,304,277)

            World War Z $202,359,712 (opening w/e: $62,304,277)

            Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs $196,573,712 (opening w/e: $62,304,277)

            The Polar Express (IMAX) $194,949,664 (opening w/e: $30,629,146)

            Interstellar $188,017,888 (opening w/e: $49,661,813)

            The Day After Tomorrow $186,740,800 (opening w/e: $68,743,584)

            N.B. None of these films was rated R.

  • charliesb


    Stopped at page 7.

    There are a couple of spelling mistakes a few clunky descriptions. But you lost me when you had three unnecessary back to back FLASHBACKS.

    I guess I like that you are trying to do something different by not having a female characters need for revenge be motivated by personal assault. But then you go and introduce her in the most cliched way possible. Crying on a plane looking at a photograph, flashbacks to the sister that had tons of potential who’s now lying in a morgue…

    Kill the flashbacks and the exposition. It doesn’t matter that the sister wanted to be a dancer or that Christina is at a reputable school that will guarantee a job when she get’s out. The fact that the victim is the protagonists sister is enough motivation. If you still think these pieces of information are integral to the story, try to find more organic ways for them to come up. I’m assuming she’s (Christina) going to show up at the morgue, which makes the phone call from Gerrard unnecessary.

    I’ll take another look, after I check out the other scripts.

    Good luck with it.

  • tyrabanksy

    I’ll read INSATIABLE.

  • charliesb


    I only read the opening scene, but I LOVED IT.
    Will continue after I check out the others and report back.

    Nicely done.

    • Casper Chris

      I read it too. Nicely done indeed.

      Visual, dramatic and very reader-friendly. Your eyes fly down the page, wanting to know what happens next.

      Good job, writer.

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    This log line was my second pick for the most grabbing. Another doctor but this one wants to still a heart instead of keep one ticking.
    p.3. Missing a slugline, “Private office”
    p.5. Opening sequence. I don’t have any idea what I’m seeing with the description, “As the credits flash, the viewer gets an intimate view of The Shadow in action” That could be anything from taking a dump to emptying a howitzer onto a house of baddies.
    p.6-7. An important conversation here to establish the sisters relationship. That bond which will be the impetus for the logline. Yet, it’s somewhat stilted. Seems much of it would have been covered territory between them. Get to the heart of what connection they have. Dig into the emotions here, make it raw. Where’s the loyalty of blood, in spite of everything?

    I’m a bit anxious here, but I’m continuing. There is some confidence in the writing, that the writer knows how to set up blocks nicely that will be knocked down later.

    p.10. Typo, “with” her boyfriend.
    p.12. My confidence is flagging, with the lack of flashback notification here.

    p.16. Is Christina the protagonist. Why isn’t SHE the one to find all this info on the Benoit clan and The Shadow? Seems an info dump by Gerard here. Instead of the flashbacks that don’t really provide much, maybe some sleuthing by Christina? She’s a fish out of water here, milk it. And of course, you have PARIS!
    p.19-20. A shift in perspective. It’s The Shadow’s story now. The flashbacks to flashbacks, some without notification are getting confusing.
    p.25. I’m stopping here. Christina’s sudden vigilante stance has not been supported. Nothing gives her reason to completely uproot and stay in Paris like that. Nothing before gave me an indication she was bent toward making such decisions. It also mutes the mystery of what she might do, you’ve spelled it out here for me.
    I think the main thing to think about is, whose story is this? Is it Christina’s or The Shadow’s?

  • Casper Chris

    Insatiable sounds interesting. Not necessarily super high concept, but it piques my curiosity.

    To The Shadow writer: I was put off by the grammar mistakes in your WYSR.
    Take this line:

    and bad-ass(she get trained by a stone-cold hit man!), and uses both to extract revenge

    Should be ‘she gets trained’. And ‘she is trained’ is probably better. You don’t ‘extract’ revenge, you ‘exact’ it. I’m an ESL (English as Second Language) bum and I know this. You’re a Canadian author so you should know this. Good luck with the script.

    • brenkilco

      For an ESL you’re pretty exacting.

  • S.C.


    Great logline, striking idea, but with two nitpicks: don’t like “tough nurse” or “bumbling policeman”. I get the point (assuming that nurse is a woman, which they aren’t always) – perhaps “highly-compotent nurse” or “no-nonsense nurse”, or possibly “medical professional” since I don’t think nurses deliver heart transplants.

    “Bumbling policeman” could become “wisecracking cop”. “Bumbling” sounds like KEYSTONE COPS.

    The logline reminds me of an unproduced spec script (which I don’t have, by the way) called HEARTSTOPPER by Buckeye Williams:

    “Female lab technician must travel across the country in 7 hours with a new heart for the president, who has suffered a heart attack.”

    You’ve increased the urgency – 2 hours instead of 7 – but perhaps reduced the stakes, since this is just a heart not the president’s heart… an idea for the rewrite?

    OK, the script… first, small nitpick… PDF is labbled Heart Storm v.06, indicating that this is the sixth draft or at least the sixth time you’ve saved this script under this name. Don’t need to tell us this. Rename the script Heart Storm FINAL or some such when submitting to contests.

    Like the opening… the need for a new heart AND the storm set up early one. Cool. Then lots of talking. Not a huge amount of plot, not a lot of character.

    Flicking through the rest of the script, I spotted this:

    We don’t play nicey nice during these things. Your jail meat granddad must have explained that.

    I couldn’t quite get that line at first. It MIGHT read better as:

    We don’t play nicey-nice during these things. Your jail-meat granddad must have told you that.

    Adding hyphens helps clarify things, at least for me. The ending of the sentence is up to you.

    It’s a very exciting idea, but it feels a bit like a redo of HARD RAIN and I’ve already seen HARD RAIN.

    I’ll see what other people have to say and then maybe read more.

    • Howie428

      I just took a look at my loglines for this and the general logline has stayed basically the same. The big changer has been those adverbs. The nurse has been stoic, neat-freak, devoted but prickly, and abrasive. The cop has been timid and reluctant. And those are only the ones I typed! Damn those adverbs in loglines!

      Weirdly, I disagree with you on file names. When I see “final” in a file name I always roll my eyes and think what a naive optimist that writer must be! You’re right though that I should have dropped my draft number from the pdf.

      I’ve not seen Hard Rain and it didn’t come up in my research. I’ll have to take a look.

      • S.C.

        On file names… just a thought. I don’t think you need to tell people which version of the script it is, so some name that won’t get confused in your files. I’ve seen, like, Heart Storm SS before, with SS meaning Scriptshadow. That’s good, tell us who the script is for!

        Hard Rain is a move of mixed quality, however I’ve found that it’s important to familiarize yourself with any movies that might be too similar to yours, even by accident. Over the years, I’ve watched some pretty terrible films just to check that my script wasn’t the same!

        Here’s one of the better scenes:

      • Casper Chris

        Yea, “final” is bad form.

        The great Disciple Program was called version 3 or 4 as far as I remember.

  • charliesb


    I read to page 10.

    The writing was fine, but the vampire thing has been done and done again. There’s even another Underworld movie on the way. I think you need to find a way to stand out from the rest. Figure out what’s different or interesting about your vampires and put that in your first scene.

    Remember the opening scene of Blade? That is the effect you need to be going for. Not that you need a vampire rave, but it should have that kind of impact and that kind of memorability. Otherwise why make your villains vampires? You can tell a revenge story without any hint of the supernatural at all. If you’re going to use Vampires, why not make them uniquely yours?

    Good luck with it.

  • S.C.

    Couple of times I’ve noticed people leaving out hyphens.

    Hyphens are not the sexiest things in the world; nevertheless, they are often necessary for basic comprehension.

    Well known contest should be well-known contests.

    Jail meat granddad should be jail-meat granddad.

    Pain in the ass Brit should be pain-in-the-ass Brit.

    See the difference? Hopefully. Not an expert. Think this lady is:

    • Kimmo Häkäri

      My native language is Finnish and the way hyphens are used in English grammar is one of my favorite things.

      • Casper Chris

        Finnish is one crazy language. There, I said it.

      • S.C.

        I’m told the accents are terrible!

        • S.C.

          More Finnish!

          • Kimmo Häkäri

            Oh yeah! The cadence of the language is just something that is nearly impossible to learn.

    • Nicholas J

      Now you got me reading up on hyphens. I always just use them whenever I think it looks good, never really known the actual rules.

      Pain-in-the-ass is one that might be right, but it looks ugly as sin, and I’d just keep the hyphens out.

      Hyphens, to me, are one of those things that don’t always need to be used properly, as long as what you have written is clear. Otherwise it’s very easy to use them left and right and they can quickly overstay their welcome.

      • witwoud

        Some uses of the hyphen are judgement calls (judgement-calls?) but some aren’t. ‘Pain in the ass Brit’ is simply incorrect (and also confusing, because you have to get to ‘Brit’ to realise that ‘pain in the ass’ was adjectival.) Either say ‘that Brit is a pain in the ass,’ or say ‘pain-in-the-ass Brit.’

        Sorry to be a pain-in-the-ass Brit.

        • Citizen M

          You could sidestep the hyphen issue by calling him a “proctalgiac Pommie”.

      • S.C.

        You’re right, Nicholas, that the use of two many hyphens looks ugly. An alternative might be to use quotes, as in “pain in the ass” Brit or “tough as old shoe leather” drill instructor.

        Comprehension is the key here, not adherence to some textbook. (Also there are pedants out there who will bust you for typos and grammatical errors. I don’t care, so long as I don’t think the writer is sloppy.).

        In Howie’s script HEART STORM, someone refers to another character as “jail meat granddad” and the loss of the hyphen made it hard to follow.

        I’m not a “grammar Nazi”. This is a grammar nazi:

        • Nicholas J

          Jail meat-granddad.

          • S.C.

            Tell Howie, not me. It’s his script.

      • Levres de Sang

        Author of The Complete Plain Words, Sir Ernest Gowers, agrees: “It is not possible to lay down rules for hyphens without being misleading, since the general practice is often contradicted in specific instances.” He also quotes the distinguished author of an Oxford University style guide: “If you take hyphens seriously you will surely go mad”.

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    Immediately love the tone and energy to this.

    p.5-6. Often it’s what’s between the lines of a story that gives it integrity. The love between the mother and son that is not expressed here, that bubbles under the surface between utter dismay with each other, I really felt. Great job.

    I’m loving these characters.

    At first I thought it flashy with the insertion of handwriting font, but it suited the tone.

    p.13. Why doesn’t Arlen ask how he found out where he lived there? Maybe a good place for a joke about following someone home. Like, “If you followed me home because I made eye contact with you at 7-11 while swinging a “Slim Jim” then you got the wrong idea. I’m straight.
    This is labeled a dark comedy. You don’t have to play safe, play clean, play politically correct. I’m finding this all far too safe so far.

    I read to page 30. I love the characters. Each is distinctive, each endearing. But it’s taking too long to get to the point. By page 15, I think I should know what a clear goal is for Arlen and how Xavier plays into it.

    Would like to read more and will, if time allows. Good stuff!

  • jeaux

    Ok I’ve been keeping my mouth shut for awhile now but I keep seeing scripts chosen for AOW that some writers state is their second script to have made Saturday’s cut. I know I’m not alone when I ask why are some getting second chances while others haven’t been picked for their first yet? Does this tell us that the non-chosen offerings are so not ready for prime time that even the second scripts trump it? Or am I just being a little too Socialist here? Give us a hint Carson. Ok end of gripe. Back to coffee.

    • charliesb

      If you’ve been reading this site for a while you know that Carson has posted a few articles on how he chooses the scripts for AOW and what makes him pass others by. If you’re new to the site, you can find them in the search.

      He’s looking for queries that catch his attention, and not really focusing on being fair.

    • S.C.

      Aside from being an amateur – and there’s been some debate over that – I don’t think there’s any other criteria preventing a screenplay from being entered. We’ve had multiple entries from previous AF “winners”, although I think two AF slots appears to be the maximum (am I wrong? Tell me.).

    • Andrew Parker

      Hollywood is rarely about fairness. This is good practice for if you want to work in the business.

      Witness the news today that Bruce Willis is re-teaming with the writer’s of COP OUT for another comedy, this one about a down-on-his-luck L.A. private investigator. Filming is set to start next month.

      Do you think in a fair and just world the team behind COP OUT would be given a second chance at essentially the same story?

      • S.C

        That’s actually a very good point, Andrew. Hollywood isn’t fair.

        Some people will get ahead because of who-knows-who.

        Flash grabs the attention while subtlety goes unnoticed.

        I still do believe that super-high quality will shine through on AOW.

        P.S. Do you think they’ll call the COP OUT remake A PAIR OF DICKS like the original script was called (another Black List script that belly flopped at the B.O.)?

        • Andrew Parker

          I’m pretty sure the movie would have gotten a 19% Rotten Tomatoes score, regardless of title.

          Kevin Smith studied at the Weinstein School of PR. When things don’t go as planned, blame everyone else.

      • carsonreeves1

        For someone as snobby as Bruce Willis, it shocks me that he signs up for so many lame movies. He’s become a consistent entrant into the straight-to-VOD market.

        • S.C.

          Why Robert Downey Jr. did the movie DANGER ZONE (1996):

          Five hundred grand for two weeks.

          • Caivu

            Or for a fortnight.

        • S.C.


          The Verdict
          Die Hard
          Die Hard 2
          The Last Boy Scout
          The Player
          Death Becomes Her
          Pulp Fiction
          Nobody’s Fool
          Die Hard with a Vengeance
          Four Rooms
          12 Monkeys
          Last Man Standing
          Beavis and Butt-head Do America
          The Fifth Element
          The Siege
          The Sixth Sense
          The Whole Nine Yards
          Disney’s The Kid
          Hart’s War
          Sin City
          16 Blocks
          Live Free or Die Hard
          What Just Happened
          Moonrise Kingdom
          Red 2
          Sin City: A Dame to Kill For


          The First Deadly Sin
          Blind Date
          In Country
          Mortal Thoughts
          Billy Bathgate
          Loaded Weapon 1
          The Jackal
          Mercury Rising
          Breakfast of Champions
          The Story of Us
          Ocean’s Twelve
          Fast Food Nation
          The Astronaut Farmer
          Grindhouse: Planet Terror
          The Expendables
          Lay the Favorite
          The Expendables 2
          A Good Day to Die Hard
          G.I. Joe: Retaliation


          A Guru Comes
          The Return of Bruno
          Look Who’s Talking
          That’s Adequate
          Look Who’s Talking Too
          The Bonfire of the Vanities
          Hudson Hawk
          Striking Distance
          Color of Night
          Franky Goes to Hollywood
          True West
          The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course
          Grand Champion
          Tears of the Sun
          Rugrats Go Wild
          Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle
          The Whole Ten Yards
          Alpha Dog
          Lucky Number Slevin
          The Hip Hop Project
          Over The Hedge
          Hammy’s Boomerang Adventure
          Perfect Stranger
          Nancy Drew
          Assassination of a High School President
          Cop Out
          Set Up
          Catch .44
          The Black Mamba
          The Cold Light of Day
          Fire with Fire
          The Prince
          Rock the Kasbah

          • lonestarr357

            Dude, HUDSON HAWK is not skippable. It’s a barrel of fun is what it is.

    • carsonreeves1

      It’s quality.

      Most of the entries I get come from writers who don’t know what a logline is, so they’ll write something like, “A group of kids go into the forest and come out men.”

      Then there’s a second tier of loglines which show an understanding of the practice, but are clunky. Something like: “When a former FBI agent finds himself stripped of the badge he wore so proudly, he forges a relationship with a mysterious African-American hacker and the two work together to take on the increasing deception of government control over the public, which has gotten out of control.”

      Yeah, there’s a movie in there somewhere, but that logline is way overwritten. Sometimes I have to let these through though.

      Then there are loglines that have misspellings or incorrect grammar.

      My extensive reading experience tells me that all of these scripts will be bad.

      It’s rare that I get a logline that sounds like a decent movie and is well-constructed. So those usually make it through.

      If you’re sending a logline that isn’t getting picked, post it up here in the comments and let the Scriptshadow faithful help you refine it.

  • Randy Williams



    p.1-3. Like the opening but I feel Sheila’s line, “Are you a hell singer?” mutes the sudden cool twist by injecting the in-ordinary into what would otherwise be viewed as an ordinary hostage situation.

    p.4. “Fangs are in my pocket” This sounds a bit comic. How about just “They are in my pocket” The smart audience would know, the dumb ones, you’ve given them a mystery.

    p.5. I’ve read a lot of scenes where characters stand before paintings in a showing and discuss the art. This was one of the better ones. Love the mixing dirt with the paint and why. Nice.

    p.12. Bedtime scene, nicely drawn intimacy between these two.

    p.13. Twice, now, I’ve seen what’s referred to as the “exit pill”, but how am I supposed to make that connection? It’s not labeled, is it? I need Victor to take it from a bottle labeled poison or go to his balcony high above the street and look over the railing while putting the pill in his pocket and remark, “I’ve always found it difficult getting a pill down, maybe this down would be easier” Something like that.

    p.16. I’m getting antsy. I want the other side shown about now. Even if it’s only a brief scene with no dialogue. Some vampires sleeping in some loft space above the abandoned small pox hospital on the East River. I need something. The routine is starting to bore me.
    A writer it seems that is ready to give me a roller coaster ride but the incline is much too long, unfortunately, for lack of time to get to all the scripts, I’m out.

    Looking forward to what other readers who have gotten further say to see how this shapes up.

  • charliesb


    This is probably the best written of the group this week, and I finished it rather quickly. Yes its a familiar trailer, but it feels like a movie, I can already see the trailer.

    I’m reminded of BAD WORDS though, in that I can see myself laughing at the trailer, but unfortunately not so much at the movie. I think you went too conventional with this one. The first half is littered with jokes that we can see coming, and setups with very little payoff (the apartment hunt), and the second half introduces a Scooby Doo villain with unclear motives. There is a group of people who love this kind of humour, (people who love Adam Sandler, and Paul Blart movies), but I think you can take this further especially if you are going to call this a DARK COMEDY which right now it’s not.

    Each of the three things he wants to accomplish by Friday need to feel like fully fledged stories with their own mini arcs. I felt like we only got pieces of each one that didn’t really pay of humorously or dramatically.

    I think you’ve got a great character in Xavier, and Arlen is close but needs some work. Not sure if I like your villain though, is he really going to go through all that trouble for $1000. And I wasn’t exactly sure what his motives were in the end.

    I thought Marcel was a real estate developer who was using Xavier to bring the prices of certain homes down, but then it seemed that he actually was interested in giving Arlen a job. I think I might have missed something, because I didn’t understand why the FBI were suddenly involved.

    I’d take another look at your outline and try to connect things better. And if you want this to be a dark comedy instead of a broad one, then you need to find places to show that. (Someone should probably get killed accidentally).

    Good luck with it.

    • Randy Williams

      Really good notes. Hope the writer takes them to heart because the characters as rich as they are deserve it.

      • charliesb

        I know the writer said, he was thinking of producing this himself, but I think with a couple more drafts this could really sell. Xavier in particular stands out as a great character who though you’ve seen a hundred times before immediately begins to grow on you.

        Jai just needs to take everyone else up to that level, and not always go for the easy (familiar) choice.

        I read that Judd Apatow (and I’m sure many other comedy writers/directors do this too) films every joke in a movies multiple times with a different punchline to see which one lands the best.

        I think if Jai reworked his outline using this tactic it would help.

    • carsonreeves1

      Good call on Bad Words. I was the exact same way. I was like, “Why am I not laughing here?”

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on AOW!

    The writer asked if this is a movie. There’s obvious love for this script on the contest circuit. Readers here I’m sure will love the writing skills evident from the Fade In as did I.
    But, here was the thing for me.

    The title is B-horror movie. The writing and beginning of this until the reveal of what is behind all this is serious thriller equal to box office thriller giants for me.

    I was engrossed with the beginning. I only really had two suggestions, on page 12, for instance, instead of Jake and Brooke sulking in the car, perhaps have them sulking separately. Brooke goes off to that gas station across the street, notices the burnt marks on the pavement, sees some flowers there that were laid in memory of the crazy torched woman but Brooke doesn’t know about that and takes a flower for comfort. This kind of gives it a foreshadowing, a curse, so to speak.

    Also, generally, suggest getting to the disappearance a bit sooner. It comes on page 17 here.

    Oh my god, the scene with the gun and dog is brilliant. Damn if you do, damn if you don’t scene that rocks.

    Now, back to the writer’s question. Again, that title implies a B-horror to me. The story so far does not. Then we have a complete shift in tone with the reveal on pages 52-53. So, I’ve been riding along on this wave of serious thriller and all of a sudden SPOILER

    I’ve got some mutant/supernatural/ who knows monster. There has been little support for this up till then, not even creepy atmosphere. It’s played it rather straight, in my view.

    At page 56, with Austin discovering the aftermath of the sheriff’s gory demise, the effect seemed so uneventful, I found myself surprised. I think the shift in tone totally floored me and I was lost.

    I wish I could write this way. But I think a choice has to be made here, which way to go from the very start. That was my reaction.

  • S.C.

    Writer of INSATIABLE (Michael D. Morra as per title page):

    You ask the question “should I move on from this script”?

    Some people will read this script, give opinions on it, and if they’re favorable – as they have mostly been so far – you will continue to work on this script.


    But you must work on other screenplays. Maybe you already are. Hopefully. But screenwriting success is as dependent on quantity as quality – writing multiple scripts, not endlessly rewriting the same one.

    Should you move on from on from this script? Maybe, maybe not. While you’re waiting for opinion to come in about INSATIABLE, you should be working on your next script.

    Like the passage of time or a car with no reverse gear, a writer is always moving forward.


    • Midnight Luck

      I believe it is mostly dependent on the QUANTITY of QUALITY.

      I agree with you, whole heartedly, though.

      I think it can only help to move on to another script if someone has been writing and rewriting the same one for a long time.
      Tunnel vision about a project can cripple it.

      Try writing a different story from a completely different perspective and a with a vastly different storyline.
      It can only help open up the writer’s mind to new and helpful things with their other project.

      At least that’s my belief, and I’m sticking to it.

  • S.C.


    Good title, but how about…


  • NajlaAnn

    Very good selection of loglines – that’s for sure. Now to take a look see….

  • Howie428

    It’s exciting to see my HEART STORM script listed here. Thanks to anyone who takes a look.

    • S.C.

      Hello, Howie… didn’t know it was you script!

      Yeah, what I’ve read so far, it’s actually pretty good. Might try and read some more later.

    • Levres de Sang

      Best of luck, Howie! You’re one of several people I still need to thank for notes on my own script (thrilled you reached the end, by the way!)… but I guess you’ll be fairly preoccupied now!

    • spencerD

      Even if nothing more, congrats and amazing concept. I really do want to see it….least a trailer one day. Gonna read it soon.

  • NajlaAnn

    My choice: Heart Storm

    I like Rachel and the dialogue of this script. The writing is concise and crisp.

  • brittany

    INSATIABLE was the one that stood out to me the most. I started reading expecting to only get through a few pages, but I breezed through thirty three pages. It’s a good mystery and I’ll likely read some more later on. The scene in the bedroom where I left off — I feel like I need to know what’s going on with Winston. I’m sure it will wrack my brain all day while I’m at work.

    The opening scene with the pregnant girl is awesome, for sure. I don’t recall seeing an opening like that before, so it’s got that going for it. Good writing overall. The only spots that momentarily stopped me were the character introductions. They’re not badly written, by any means, but they are a bit too telling for my taste. By that I mean the description goes a bit too much into detail explaining the character’s past and such. Also, not sure if the underlining is necessary in certain parts. Kinda makes it seem like it’s assumed the reader doesn’t have the mental capacity to remember the important bits. And maybe some don’t, sure, but I think most will be able to catch onto the info without it being underlined. But other than that, the writing is definitely sparse, visual, and professional.

    I like all the characters so far, especially Austin. I almost wish he was the protag. But I like Jake’s setup. He’s feeling guilty about what happened with Brooke, the (SPOILER) baby issue was a nice reversal. Ouch. I hope he finds her. Not sure about Claire at this point. I mean, I like her but there’s not much too her thirty pages in. Maybe I’ll see more of her and Austin later, I’m sure they’ll come in handy.

    One thing I would suggest is to get to Brooke’s disappearance a bit sooner. I think it would be easy to do. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy the scenes before she goes missing, but some of it could be cut. Probably some of the “banter” scenes in the car. A little bit of this is okay, but it almost goes over the top, imo. Gets a bit too cutesy at times, which sort of gives it a slight tonal issue. For me, at least. But I do think the dialogue works well in other places. I like the sheriff’s dialogue, I can hear his twang clear as day.

    One other thing that stopped me a bit was all the talk about burly truckers and how dangerous they apparently must be in this neck of the woods… I guess I’ve never really bought into the “killer trucker” character like in the Joyride series. To me, they only exist in movies. My criticism here is partly biased also. My ex father in law has been a trucker for like twenty years and he’s about as soft as butter. Like I said. Bias. But it just gave me a laugh when Jake and the others were legit worried they were in for some trouble, kind of like walking into a saloon full of gunslingers. Anyways, not really an issue overall. Really intrigued so far and will continue reading later tonight.

    Congrats to all the other SS AOW contenders!

  • brenkilco

    Insatiable sounded intriguing. And some other comments were positive. The writing is getting praised so I’ll try digging into it. It strikes me that even with solid weekend offerings there are giveaways that the writer is not quite a professional. Every line and word really should be scrutinized and proofed. Maybe speed and a visual sense will get a writer past most readers but I don’t think it’ safe to just assume this. And I had some problems with the script’s first two pages.

    The script begins with the sound of a truck. And then the truck zooms by. What were we looking at before the truck zoomed by? Maybe the distant mountains. But the writer doesn’t say. When writing visual stuff think you need to try to play the movie in your head

    Glasses and demeanor akin to a college professor. This may seem picky. But glasses can’t be akin to a college professor. Glasses aren’t like a college professor. Should be akin to those of a college professor or akin to a college professor’s. Or just that these things are more suggestive of a college professor than a truck driver. Actually, without any feature that indicates intellect I’m not sure why we’re thinking college professor at all

    Sparks and smoke from the fishtailing trailer. What made it fishtail? Did the driver turn the wheel suddenly when he slumped over. Why the sparks. Did he strike the guard rail, sideswipe another car? The writer doesn’t say.

    No offense. None taken. The writer is announcing his dialogue is gonna be straight off the rack. How about if the waitress just sympathetically notes his sorry condition and inquires after the wife.

    Goddam rabid dogs. This line made me crack up. It’s a horrible scene. And the waitress would likely be frozen speechless for a minute. And then being nice would be rushing to assist. The rabid dog exposition could wait a bit. And if you’re living someplace where mad dogs hunt in packs, you’ve got real problems.

    The visible movement of the pregnant woman’s belly. A xenomorph does this. Human fetus not so much. Don’t know whether this is giving away too much too soon. Will keep reading.

    • Dan B

      My guess while reading was that this wasn’t an ordinary fetus, however I haven’t continued on yet to find out.

  • fragglewriter

    I’ve read two scripts.

    Three or Out – read until page 15. I think you need to do more “showing” instead of telling. For instance, the mom doesn’t like anyone to wear shoes on the carpet. Drop more hints instead of just Arlen taking off his shoes. Also for the cereal, I didn’t know what she was being fed until Patricia made a comment. The introduction of Xavier seemed forced. Can we find another way for them to collide instead of at the store?

    The Shadow 0 read until page 6. The intro seemed done before multiple times in movies before. Also, showing instead of telling with characters would be great. For instance, Christina & Janice. Instead of Janice telling her in the bedroom, why doesn’t Janice visit Christina at the hospital wearing dance attire. Maybe Christina is examine patients or in-between patients. That way she’s busy at work and chastising Janice as well.

  • Poe_Serling

    Kinda busy today but I just had to sneak a peek at the AOW script Insatiable. I see that the opening just happens to take place in the ‘mysterious hills’ of West Virginia.

    I guess it proves once again what the intrepid team of AIMS has been saying all along on their TV show Mountain Monsters – everything and anything horror-related resides in the shadows of the Appalachian Mountain Range. ;-)

    • brenkilco

      I don’t want to say that monsters, mutants and homicidal, sub-human cannibals are strictly a red state problem but….

      • klmn

        Yes, Democrats are always a problem.

        But we’ll hunt ‘em out.

      • Poe_Serling

        Hey, I’m not going to touch that with a ten-foot pole. That’s one of the main reasons I usually only dock my boat at websites like this… ;-)

    • writebrain

      That show is so horrible, and I can’t get enough of it. It’s the characters; those hillbillies are hilarious in their sincerity.

    • Marija ZombiGirl

      I hadn’t heard about Mountain Monsters yet over here so I started by googling it. Oh man ^^ I’m a sucker for that kind of TV show, I admit that without any shame at all! I’m kind of hooked on Ghost Adventures right now – I love anything paranormal plus there’s a lot of fun to be had because it’s pretty hard to take everything seriously. But Mountain Monsters? Gonna do a YouTube search for a couple of episodes. Any that you recommend?

      • Poe_Serling

        Here’s my take on things:

        The AIMS team was just beginning to gel in Season One. They were still a little rough around the edges and finding their roles within the group.

        Season Three of the show has focused mostly on the current Bigfoot epidemic sweeping through Appalachian Mountains.

        So, I would start with some of the episodes from Season Two, which features creatures with the great horror-movie names of Snallygaster, Hogzilla, and The Yahoo (wonder if that would be a copyright issue with the tech co.).

        **Bottomline: Just about any episode is entertaining in its own unique way. ;-)

        • Levres de Sang

          I hadn’t heard of this show until you mentioned it the other day, but I’m hoping to attend a lecture next week that will examine genetic evidence for the existence of the yeti, bigfoot and other “mystery creatures”.

          So who knows? If academics are taking this stuff seriously… :)

          • Poe_Serling

            The lecture sounds interesting. Let us know if they present any compelling evidence for the existence of such creatures in the
            whole realm of Cryptozoology.

          • Levres de Sang

            You’ll be the first to know! :)

            ** By the way, I’ve added Tombs of the Blind Dead to my ‘must see’ list. Would love to know what you make of Footprints on the Moon when/if you get to see it…

          • Poe_Serling

            “… I’ve added Tombs of the Blind Dead to my ‘must see’ list.”

            Same here. I hoping to watch it as a double bill with Footprints on the Moon sometime soon.

        • klmn

          My favorite hillbilly show is Call Of The Wildman. You gotta love a show about a guy who hunts for snapping turtles by wading around farm ponds in his bare feet. And those ponds are pretty disgusting, fertilized by manure from all kinds of farm critters.

          And it’s not just turtles, he catches all kinds of critters. When he gets sprayed by a skunk, it’s high comedy. Not to mention his banjo-playing assistant.

          • Poe_Serling

            Ernie Brown Jr. aka Turtleman is a hoot and 1/2!!

            I have a good friend from Kentucky. Once asked him if he ever heard of EB Jr. and his exploits, his answer: No.

            According to him, there’s a whole slew of people back there that refer to themselves as the Turtleman.

            Who would have ever thought that hunting down turtles had a crowded job market. ;-)

  • Garrett


    • S.C.

      I know you are, but what’s your pick for Amateur Friday?

      • Garrett

        (yelling) INSATIABLE!!!!

        • klmn

          Who’s on first?

          • Garrett

            Who’s on first? First base? Carson is. He’s trying to steal second as I type this…

  • shewrites

    Based on the loglines de amateurs :-), my vote goes to HEART STORM. It has all the elements of a blockbuster. I will read it over the weekend hoping that it delivers as I’d love to see another whirlwind success story for an AOW submitter.

  • Lucid Walk

    I have no idea which one to vote for

  • Mike.H

    Darn: My contact lens solution burned my eyes [ tearing & redness ] and I can’t finish INSATIBLE.

    Could someone post the ending with SPOILER ALERT warning so others won’t be spoiled. Thanks!

    • Frankie Hollywood

      Verbal (Kevin Spacey) is really Keyser Soze.

    • brenkilco

      The narrator did it, they all did it. nobody did it, he’s actually a split personality, he’s his father, she’s her sister and her daughter and it’s actually Mathew Mcconaughey.

    • Casper Chris

      Fade to black.

      So basically the same thing that’s currently happening to your eyesight.

    • Midnight Luck

      In the end, it was a childhood sled.

    • Randy Williams

      “Insatiable” made you go blind?
      And your mother always thought it would be Penthouse.

    • Guy Somebody

      It was Colonel Mustard in the parlor with the candlestick.

    • S.C.

      Save some time, just watch the endings!

    • Caivu

      John dies at the end.

  • Caivu


    Pg. 1-10

    -Winston and Jenny’s dialogue could be smoothed out to make it less obviously expository.
    -It seems odd for Jenny to mention the rabid dogs when there’s an injured woman right there.
    -I’m skeptical of the woman not immediately going up in flames after lighting her match. She’s covered in fuel, after all. Intriguing and creepy opening, but watch for things like this.
    -Jake and Claire’s banter is also full of raw exposition, both in the store and in the car. The part that stood out to me most is Claire telling Jake about Brooke… when Brooke is his fiancee. Wuh? Why’s that there? Why doesn’t Jake know Brooke’s “A God-fearing country gal who appreciates the subtle approach”?
    -“she’s a family farmhand by day, college student by night, church going girl-next-door every Sunday.” Since Claire has pretty much already mentioned this, it comes off as repetitive. Leave this part and take out Claire’s dialogue.
    -“It’s completely out of character, yet fun and refreshing.” Jake’s next line implies this so you can lose this line.
    -Were the farmhands mentioned earlier? I thought Brooke was alone here.

    Pg. 13-19

    -411 seems like a dated term for a 23-year-old to be using.
    -I was under the impression that since the group was going to meet at a diner, that they were going to catch a meal there before setting off, so Jake’s outburst about eating at the Deadhead confused me for a second.
    -I know Jake just had some major news dumped on him, but he’s really not handling it well.
    -If Jake screams Brooke’s name, that should be dialogue, not action.
    -“The Sheriff is someone’s grandfather and looks it. But the locals would caution his soft exterior conceals an unusual blend of razor sharp instincts, honed by the years, and the brash fearlessness of a young beat cop.” Can you tighten this up? It’s not a bad picture of Bradford, but four lines to describe one character is a bit much. Can you get this down to three lines, or even two?
    -Now Bradford and Jake are doing the exposition dance.

    Pg. 22-26

    -I’m pretty sure that if blood drops and a missing woman’s cell phone are found beneath your truck, the police are free to take a look inside. Probable cause, yeah? If that’s actually the case (make sure it is or not), this is what Bradford would be explaining to Winston if he has to say anything.
    -“Quiet. Very dark. Quieter and darker than one might expect.” That last sentence makes the whole line somewhat comedic.
    -The flashlight isn’t capable of shining 50 feet? That seems odd. Again, a creepy reveal of the crate, but I’m not convinced logistics of the scene.
    -“old-timer” Another odd phrase for someone in their early 20s to use.
    -“With each step, a vile odor intensifies.” There have been plenty of unfilmables up until now, but I’ve let them slide because I thought that, overall, they helped the reading experience. This is where draw the line. How do we see an odor? Show Bradford scrunching up his nose, or putting his arm over his face. Something visual.
    -Why weren’t Brooke’s stats taken down at the diner? Also, Jake seems inconsistent. He starts shouting when Brooke starts to pressure him, then ends up relatively cool and collected during the first part of the investigation (enough that he has enough presence of mind to get Winston’s address from a magazine he just stumbled on), then back to shouting at the station? A roller coaster of emotions is one thing, but this seems more like two different personalities to me.

    Stopped at page 30.

    I liked this for the most part. The story is interesting and well-paced with an intriguing mystery, and I liked Jake and Brooke enough to care about them coming out of this story safe, though I also think they both could use some deeper characterization. Claire and Austin need some beefing up as well; Claire’s… sassiness, for lack of a better word, pretty much disappears after she get’s out of the Mercedes, and Austin just hasn’t been present enough.
    There’s also a bunch of exposition that could be made less blatant.
    I may continue with this, as I’m interested in the story and on the whole things seem strong.

  • shewrites

    Haven’t read other comments yet.
    Rachel’s hate for nature feels overdone and more like the writer’s decision than an organic trait. Her calling the police dog a rat/vermin doesn’t work for me. It doesn’t fit a top notch nurse and may turn her off animal lover readers/audience.

    When Rachel goes out with the heart and drives through town, we need to feel the force of the storm and its danger right away. That aspect is strangely glossed over until pages later and diminishes the sense of stakes for the mission.

    Motivation for Rachel’s decision to brave everything to get the heart to Reese is not fleshed out enough.

    Read up to page 33:

    What I liked: clearly, the premise and the writing which makes for an easy read, except for some strangely placed commas.

    Suggestions: If you want to go the route of Rachel being a nature hater, give us a concrete reason for it. Her line about the medical word’s task being the defeat of nature doesn’t work at least for me. Perhaps a closed one was killed in an act of nature.

    Also, to give Rachel a motivation that would really get me on board with her mission would require that Reese is not a complete stranger to her. Or she lost a son to a disease and he would be Reese’ age now.

    My biggest problem with these pages is the tone. It’s too light, borderline flip and clashes with the high stake situation.

    I still think this is a winner premise but it would gain by being tweaked it to make it a “serious” movie. Well done and good luck!
    This is still my choice for Amateur Friday.

  • jonsanhueza

    My vote goes to the Shadow based on the concept alone. I could see that as a film, especially now when Hollywood is ripe for more and more strong female driven fare…

    Insatiable- sounds a lot like breakdown so not quite sure how that is going to provide anything incredibly fresh. It also reminds me of another script reviewed here but can’t remember the title, just that it ended up being about organ harvesting and it was two sisters.

    Hell Singers- sounds a bit like Blade, and we’ve had 3 of those…

    Three or out- all i could think of was grandma’s boy when i read this logline. I don’t really get the connection of why he hires a criminal and not a real legit life coach… It is a “real” profession and im sure they advertise. If it’s really funny then the concept isn’t as big a hinderance to getting made, but by concept alone there isn’t much compelling me to read.

    Heart storm- the logline is probably the best of any others, I personally just don’t care much for the natural disaster events anymore. We’ve seen a million hurricane, twister, asteroid, volcano movies come and go and they tend to put too much stock in the visual spectacle that they lose sight of making interesting characters. Again, i haven’t read anything yet, but the concept makes me hesitant to pick it up.

    I’ll try to start reading sometime this week and hopefully give better feedback.:)

  • Dan B

    Insatiable –

    Some good descriptive imagery in the beginning. The first scene with the pregnant girl was great, and I also thought it had the most authentic dialogue of the 18 pages or so that I read.

    The scenes with Jake and Claire seemed clunky. I had to re-read a few times. Lots of exposition, and I can’t see real people talking like that.

    Also, I get that we’re seeing that there’s something different about Brooke’s behavior, but busting out the pregnancy news like that didn’t seem realistic. I mean that’s big news, and you’re probably not telling your boyfriend in front of Claire.

    Austin could be a cool character, however I have no idea how this whole gang got together. We’ve got a preppy soon to be law student, a farmer’s daughter, sassy girlfriend, and the mountain man who loves weed. I know it’s great to have diverse characters, but it just makes me curious.

    Also some of Austin’s dialogue? Real Men don’t text? Just seemed off, more stuff a real person wouldn’t say.

    My other issue was with the way that the truck diner is treated like it’s one of Dante’s rings of hell. I mean I get that Jake is kind of a preppy fish out of water there, but the fact that he’s scared of it sort of turns me off on the character.

    I think your first 10 pages and set up would be better spent developing a relationship between Brooke and Jake. Maybe she tells him the news about the baby, and we can avoid the exposition dump in the Mercedes. You could have a nice scene that would really make us care about their relationship which makes Brooke’s kidnapping more captivating. I haven’t read the rest of the script yet, so this could obviously contradict some important plotting later in the script, but it’s just a thought.

    Will continue to read more. I’m intrigued by the mystery of the story, but just think it’s a bit clunky at times.

  • S.C.


  • witwoud

    My vote: HELL SINGERS.

    That’s from reading a few pages of each. I like how its opening is the exact opposite of ‘Saving the Cat’. We see a nice middle-class family being executed by a pair of cold-blooded professional killers… who turn out to be our heroes. That seems quite bold. The writing is slick and atmospheric. I can already see what it will look like on the screen. And the dialogue is good.

    People keep saying ‘vampires movies are SO dead,’ but I don’t agree. They might look it, but you know how it is with vampires. I’m sure there’ll always be a market for this sort of tale.

    • charliesb

      I agree there is a market, but usually for sequels and remakes. BLADE, TWILIGHT, UNDERWORLD, FRIGHT NIGHT, INTERVIEW. IMO, if you’re going to break in with this “genre” you’re going to need an “angle”. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, DAYBREAKERS, THE STRAIN, A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT.

    • tyrabanksy

      Hmm. Maybe I’ll read this one too.

  • IgorWasTaken

    Three and Out

    Hands-down great.

    As good as any AOW I’ve ever read.

    It took me three times to get me to stop myself – finally at page 24. (The only reason I stopped: I want to have the time to read the rest of it all the way to the end.)

    The dialogue is great. Pacing is… well, it’s fantastic. The timing of having Xavier banging on the door on page 12 is the right timing.

    Some small notes: While I’m guessing some people will object to the handwriting font, I’m OK with it as it’s used here. But – I’d suggest looking for an easier-to-read handwriting font; one that’s closer to a normal font, yet suggestive of handwriting. Also, don’t use a strange font for the hoodie, “The Sun Don’t Shine in NORTH MEMPHIS”, because that isn’t needed and it detracts from the journal entry.

    At the bottom of page 9, switching from “CASHIER” to “DOMINIQUE” without actually introducing the Cashier as DOMINIQUE was confusing. (The only thing that stopped me as I read.)

    (I recall this script (the original); I mean, I recall the setup and characters. Can’t say I recall either way if I liked it or not.)

    I read the opening of “The Shadow” (page 5) and “Heart Storm” (page 11) and IMO they are not ready for AF.

  • IgorWasTaken

    A couple years ago I would have agreed with you that “OVER BLACK:” then needs a “FADE IN:”, and it still seems odd not to have that.

    But over the past couple years I’ve seen some pro scripts that go from “OVER BLACK:” to “CUT TO:” – so it is OK. On the other hand, those have all be action scripts, so they were going for BAM! That all said, In this script, a “FADE IN:” would work better IMO.

  • andyjaxfl

    HELL SINGERS – I like the opening scene but the light bomb and blue flowery vampire death are similar to Blade II. Similarities with another movie are bound to happen. A recommendation on the vampire death: in some vampire movies, the vampire flames into ash. How about their bodies remain in tact after they die? Now their corpse becomes a problem for the hell singers to solve. Do they dispose of the body or do they leave it for the authorities to one day find? If so, what do the authorities think of the bodies? Do they have a serial killer on the lose? Just throwing stuff out there and seeing it sticks…

    For my money, John Carpenter’s VAMPIRE$ is one of the best vampire movies out there, and based on the log line this seems like a sequel-that-never-was since VAMPIRE$ ended with the former vampire hunter now vampire Daniel Baldwin and his new lady friend fleeing to Mexico, with James Woods vowing to hunt him down after one day’s head start.

    • charliesb

      I remember seeing that movie in the theatre, and the one thing that still sticks with me, is Daniel Baldwin holding the hot end of a gun to cauterize his vamp bites. So good. #JohnCarpenter4Life

    • Poe_Serling

      VAMPIRE$ is a lot of fun and should be on the consideration list for any JC marathon. I’ve always been disappointed that Carpenter could never get his remake of Creature From the Black Lagoon out of development hell in the early ’90s.

      • andyjaxfl

        Oh wow, I forgot about that. Creature from the Black Lagoon’s development used to get some quality coverage on AICN way back when.

        I find it odd that quite a few of Carpenter’s movies have been remade or are in the process of being remade, yet nobody seems willing to give him any money to make something new. Freakin’ Hollywood!

        • Poe_Serling

          At one time or another, it seems just about every Hollywood director was attached to the Black Lagoon remake – Carpenter, Landis, Reitman, del Toro, Jackson, and so on.

          It would’ve been fun to see what Carpenter could’ve done with the material in his heyday.

  • Dan B

    Three or Out – got to page 24.

    I’m getting an Indie vibe. Through 24 pages, not a ton has happened besides these two characters getting together. I’ll say they are original characters, Arlen cracks me up at the house. I like the opening with him calling people, however I can’t tell if he’s actually doing this as a job or if he was some kind of con-artist calling people for a scam.

    The thing with the shoes in the house cracked me up, good set up and pay off when they finally go see the mom upstairs. “Why’s he have shoes on?”

    Southwest joke was funny, good show of voice in the script.

    Will continue if time permits, but it’s a quick read. My complaint here is that I really don’t know what the script would be about 24 pages in. It seems like an indie character study, which can be good, but when people ask “Is this a movie?” the answer may be no.

    Either way – from what I have seen, this could be the type of thing that gets on the Black List, getting you some attention.

  • charliesb


    I read to page 8. Then I went back to page 5 and read to page 8 again.

    The first thing that struck me was your opening scene. Reese (heart recipient) likes soccer, is nice to mentally challenged kids, and has a bum ticker. I did a quick search through the rest of the script and it would seem he does not speak until the final scene of the movie. So my question is, is the likes soccer and nice guy thing necessary? Your opening scene is wasted on a character who will be unconscious for the rest of the film and in the end doesn’t really tell us much except that Reese likes soccer and is a nice kid. On top of that, if he does have a bum ticker and is on a donor list why is he playing soccer?

    The second thing, and reason I had to go back and re-read is, Don is donating his heart? Don who is currently ALIVE and not brain-dead is donating his heart? Please tell me I’ve missed something, or that this gets explained in the next few pages, because where is this hospital that would do this? Hint: Nowhere.

    Unfortunately I didn’t get any further, because I could’t get past the Don/heart/donation thing.

    I will suggest that you kill the soccer scene and start with Reese already in the hospital, or start with Rachel since she’s our main character.

    Your second scene in the hospital might benefit from a feeling of escalation, much like the building of the storm, if you make the three incidents overlap a bit, it will heighten the scene, and feel a bit more like an ER. It doesn’t need to be frantic, but it might help if it felt tense. Maybe after Rachel tosses all the stuff in the bio bag, she’s interrupted by WIMPY MAN and Franny spends the rest of the day convinced that her stuff was contaminated.
    Maybe you contrast WIMPY MAN whining and crying over the name in his hand, with CENO very calmly asking to see a doctor about a serious stab wound. The point is these scenes need to feel like more than you’re just going through the ER motions, they need to all feel like they are leading us somewhere or telling us something about RACHEL.

    A lot of people seemed to be digging this so I’m sure you’ll get some great feedback. I like the premise a lot, but I think it needs some work.

    Good luck with it!

    • IgorWasTaken

      The second thing, and reason I had to go back and re-read is, Don is
      donating his heart? Don who is currently ALIVE and not brain-dead is
      donating his heart? Please tell me I’ve missed something, or that this
      gets explained in the next few pages, because where is this hospital
      that would do this? Hint: Nowhere.

      Unfortunately I didn’t get any further, because I could’t get past the
      Don/heart/donation thing.

      Me, too.

      • S.C.

        Page 6 to 7

        Well I’m sorry, Don. But things have gone as we expected… It’s… Do you want a drink? There’s no…

        Don pats Jenison’s arm, helps him say it.

        You might have a few days, but you’re going to die… I can get a counsellor if you need.

        I’m good. Thanks.

        Jenison scuttles out, relieved. Rachel drifts over to Don.

        How many times have you heard that?

        At least six. He was one of the better ones. Is the storm a problem?

        No, OPTN will send a helicopter. Anyway, the recipient is only on the other side of the city, at St. Christopher’s.

        Am I allowed to have details?

        No… You’re going back to school.

        She gets a folder out, “accidentally” puts it beside Don as she prepares an injection.

        Don opens the folder, sees a healthy picture of Reese.

        Active looking kid.

        Don will die (euthanized?) and Reese will get his heart.

        I’ll admit, it could be clearer.

        Skipped ahead… SPOILER… Rachel injects Don, kills him, takes his heart.

        Wow… that’s one “tough nurse”!

        • IgorWasTaken

          Thanks. But thing is, I so do not expect a knowing, imminent, yet presently ambulatory heart donor – at least in a story that isn’t sci-fi.

          Plus, when we see Reese in bed, unconscious, on page 6, the slugline just says, “INT. INTENSIVE CARE – DAY”. Is that at Nearbank of St. Christophers?

          So it seems both Reese and Don are at the same hospital. Right? Wrong?

          • Howie428

            I can understand the confusion on the locations, because in writing this I found it awkward having locations in two separate hospitals. On that same page 6, Rachel says, “No, OPTN will send a helicopter. Anyway, the recipient is only on the other side of the city, at St. Christopher’s.” At the top of page 7, I tried to give the audience a clear view of the geography of where the two hospitals are, and I’ll take another look at it.

          • IgorWasTaken

            Thanks for taking my comments as intended – trying to help.

            I had assumed “Nearbank Hospital” is a real place. But now I just Googled it and came up empty. Maybe there’s a reason you like the name “Nearbank”; dunno. (FWIW, to my American senses, “Nearbank” doesn’t feel like a hospital name.)

            So if you could find a name that sounds more hospital-like, then you could do sluglines such as “ST. CHRISTOPHER’S, SURGERY” and (for example) “PRESBYTERIAN, EMERGENCY ROOM” (i.e., you could leave out “HOSPITAL” in each slugline; though, IMO longish sluglines are fine).

            I know there’s often a question with sluglines re what to put first, the specific or general. I decide depending on context/need. Here, since there is back and forth between the hospitals, I’d put the hospital name first, and then second the location within it.

            Overall, since your story is about getting from Point A to Point B, I think you want to be as obvious as possible (erring on the side of too much) about when we’re at A and when we’re at B.

            BTW, I normally wouldn’t have read your script because the genre isn’t a main one for me, but the logline grabbed me. And as others here have said, it’s a strong premise – story-wise and commercially. So, keep working to nail this sucker.

        • charliesb

          Ok, that’s an explanation. But no, that wouldn’t happen. They would wait for him to die (three days apparently), and then take the heart.

          It’s an odd choice for a writer, when he could have simply shown him on life support in a hospital room.

          Also what could he possibly be dying of that will kill him in three days, but allows him to walk around and chat up nurses.

    • charliesb

      Okay I read a bit more up to page 20.

      Why is Jenison trying to stop Rachel from trying to take the heart? Instead of him wanting to take it to the morgue, why don’t you have a second person on the list who is already in the hospital that the heart could go to? Maybe they are not a perfect match, and the risk is greater of rejection, and that’s why Rachel wants to get it to the kid. Or if you really want to be “broad” make the second recipient a rich old man that’s not on the list, but has paid Jenison off to get the heart.

      Whatever you decide, I find it hard to believe he would be threatening her with arrest because she’s taking a heart that he wants to dispose of.

  • Citizen M

    Very strong field this week. I would be happy with any of the following four. Approximately in order of liking: HEART STORM, HELL SINGERS, THREE OR OUT, INSATIABLE.


    Read to page 34. Not bad and wouldn’t mind reading further. Some of the dialogue was repetitive and there is scope for cutting a few pages. Not sure why the wimp is going after the trucker, not the mountain man. Doesn’t seem true to character. Not feeling strongly the emotions of the characters nor much dread, but this is easily fixable. Good mystery: how was the snatch done?

    Niggles: dowses/douses

    Clichés: “He’s been preparing for this his entire life”; “We’ve got no choice.”


    Read to page 34. Quite enjoying it and want to read more. Interesting concept: cop-types hunting vampires. Would like a bit more background on how they identify suspects. A couple of interesting ideas, like killing methods and slang terms.

    On page 19 I wasn’t sure what Hawthorne was chewing Victor out for. “We’re soldiers, not murderers.” What are they supposed to do with vampires if they identify them? Capture them?

    Niggles: Terrible title and ungrammatical logline. p. 22 s/be VICTOR: “Thanks for dinner.”


    Read to page 36. Enjoying it, want to read more. Couple of issues. First, this feels a little light for a feature, it’s more like a stage play; and second, I wasn’t sure when Arlen’s mother has a melt-down whether we were seeing reality or his fantasy, specifically the part with the knife (because we’d seen a fantasy scene before). Also, it could be trimmed a couple of pages to get Arlen’s offer which kicks off the meat of the action sooner. Plus I’d like to see snappier dialogue in a comedy. The tyrannical mother has been done before, but I think Patricia is sufficiently her own character.


    Read to page 11 (page 10 actual). Lots of exposition, flashbacks within flashbacks, and numerous formatting errors suggest this is a first script and needs more work before being submitted to AOW. So far no sign of The Shadow.


    Read to page 30. Really enjoying it, although I’m sure there are many errors of a medical nature. One of the benefits of transporting a beating heart is it lasts longer, so there’s no urgency. It’s the hearts packed in ice that have a few hours’ time limit and everything has to be done in a rush. Diseased hearts are generally swollen, not shriveled (page 23). But the pairing of the mysophobic Nurse Ratchet and the timid cop Tim works well, and it’s got GSU through the roof. A strong contender. The title could be better IMO.

  • Caivu

    Heart Storm

    Pg. 1-20

    -Is Wendal being mentally disabled a necessary detail?
    -“INT. NURSE’S QUARTERS” Huh? I’ve never heard of this. Nurses living on the hospital campus? Or is it just a normal apartment?
    -Is the smoothie being made in a blender or by hand? It’s a small detail, but I’m not for sure what exactly I’m supposed to be seeing here. You could also drop “liquid” from the description of the smoothie since that’s what smoothies are.
    -Rachel being a neat freak is shown by her “pristine” apartment, and her hatred of nature (that seems really odd, BTW) could probably be shown instead of told.
    -The scene with Rachel and the porter doesn’t seem like it does anything.
    -“Our task is to defeat nature.” Um, what? That’s an odd thing for a nurse to say. My mother is an RN, and because of that I’ve met quite a few nurses in my life. I’ve never heard or even overheard any of them say anything even remotely close to that. Even if we ignore that, it’s a pretty bald thing to say. And just throwing away someone’s personal property like that? Wouldn’t happen, sorry. If something’s not allowed, it’s would simply be left somewhere out of the way until the end of shift and taken home. Rachel’s not faring well on the likability front is what I’m getting at.
    -Rachel doesn’t disinfect the guy’s hand?
    -The mud on the gang’s shoes seems an irrelevant detail. Also, it’s odd that Rachel’s just all over the hospital, apparently. Try a transition from the nail scene to the gang scene, like Rachel hears a commotion from the entrance.
    -Amusing line about practicing vasectomies; the gang probably wouldn’t realize that a nurse almost certainly wouldn’t perform one.
    -Dispatch is waaaay too casual, storm or no storm. At least try to be professional.
    I’m confused as to what type of illness Don has that would give him only a few days to live but also leave him well enough to get to the hospital by himself.
    -I don’t know why you re-intro’d Elle as Reese’s mother.
    -The rooftop garden scene confused me. Why take Don outside? Just to die? Odd.
    -There should probably be some detail about weather reports from the hospital TVs. We don’t get hurricanes where I’m from, but during severe weather hospitals turn on every single TV in the building to the nearest local news. In other words, the news of the storm change shouldn’t come from Franny.
    -“His team stands back doing their own things.” Such as…?
    -All this talk of “wires and pipes” connected to the heart tells me you need to do more research. Find the actual names for these things, maybe only using the wire and pipe descriptions once to make things clear.
    -The helicopter crash is where I’d step out if I weren’t reading 30 pages. Exciting? Sure.
    Believable? At least in the sense that Don’s heart isn’t a red splotch on the roof? Nope. I know this is an action movie, and potentially a fun one, but I can’t see this happening. Rachel’s super grip and climbing in the face of a deluge just blow away any suspension of disbelief I may have had. If you want to keep this stuff, there needs to be more campiness throughout the script.
    -And now Rachel locks a fairly reasonable character in a fridge. Bravo, Rachel. Jenison isn’t nearly enough of a dick to warrant that.
    -How does Rachel hide the box? You’ve already described the box as the size of a small cooler.
    -“She tips out the backpack, spraying spare clothes, and fits the heart box into it.” No. She. Doesn’t. Again, size of a small cooler, this box is. Unless Rachel has some kind of freakish monster-backpack, how can this work?
    -I don’t know if it’s been said for sure, but I’m guessing this takes place in Florida, right? If
    so, Rachel would likely be getting a Code Gray called on her, which would direct hospital
    security toward her general area. Not this lockdown business.
    I don’t understand why you’re doing
    this. Why this patient?

    He was never selfish. We can’t quit
    on him. It’s only weather. We don’t
    stop treating patients just because
    things get difficult.”
    I’m with Jenison; sometimes shit happens and you just have to deal with it, and as a nurse
    Rachel should know this better than most. My mom has seen at least one person die pretty much every single week for the past thirty years. Its just part of the job. Going to all this trouble just because Don wasn’t selfish is, well, insane. And there’s no way Rachel is deluded or stupid enough to deny the seriousness of a bleedin’ hurricane, is there? This is ridiculous. She needs a much better reason for doing this. It doesn’t help that I didn’t know Don well enough to care about him or his supposed selflessness.
    -And now Rachel assaults a cop, steals his car, and complains about his dog? Fuck her, I’m done with this.

    Stopped at page 20.

    Philip, seriously: Rachel is an asshole. At least right now. I don’t care how good her intentions are, she’s acting way, way out of proportion to everyone and everything else. A kid’s dying. Okay, that’s a motivation. Don being selfless? I’ve known him for what, three pages? I’m still not sure of his exact relationship to Rachel or why she cares so much about him. He’s selfless. So? Why does that compel her to schlep a heart across a city in a hurricane, dying kid or no?
    You need to find a way to make Rachel’s actions seem reasonable despite all the obstacles facing her. Maybe Nearbank has to be evacuated and Rachel takes the opportunity to slip away rather than fighting her way out. That’s just me spitballing; you can probably think of something better. The point is that I don’t think Rachel needs to be such a flagrant criminal. She should still do something illegal, as that makes for good irony/tension with Tim, but right now it seems that breaking the law is more important to her.
    I think some of my issues with this script come from the fact that I couldn’t get a handle on the tone. I was expecting something fun but also relatively grounded and serious. Then I read scenes like a helicopter crash that miraculously doesn’t damage a tiny box, Rachel climbing on the side of a building during a rainstorm, or Rachel falling off a sixteen-foot balcony onto a car and being okay. If you want more schlocky action stuff, that’s okay. Schlock isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and if done well can be immensely entertaining. But push that more, if that’s what you want; tone it down if not. Right now I’m seeing a mishmash that doesn’t work for me.
    All that said, I do like the premise of this.

  • IgorWasTaken

    From “Heart Storm”, page 2 –

    Rachel eyes personal photos and a pot plant on the desk.

    In the UK, is “a pot plant” what in the US is called “a potted plant”?

    • S.C.

      Yes, I call it a pot plant. I’ve heard potted plant over here but its less common.

      Let’s do a check on a few, see which ones we think are accurate:

      A-road = Highway (more or less)
      Accelerator = Gas (pedal)
      Corner shop = Convenience store
      Fireman = Firefighter
      Football = Soccer
      Fortnight = Biweekly
      Gear stick – Shift stick
      Motorway = Freeway (more or less)
      Pavement = Sidewalk
      Police station = Police precinct
      Railway station = Train station
      Shop = Store

      Tap (water) = Faucet
      Torch = Flashlight

      Many more.

      • Casper Chris

        In Danish it’s called a “potteplante” ;)

        Police station = Police precinct


        Fortnight and biweekly are different forms and have different meanings. Fortnight = period of two weeks. Biweekly = happening every two weeks

        car park = parking lot
        cash machine = ATM
        mobile phone = cellphone
        nappy = diaper
        number plate = registration plate
        postcode = ZIP code
        rucksack = backpack
        trousers = pants

        How did I do?

        • S.C.

          The new ones you listed are right, as far I’m aware. Fortnight is used by British and Canadians but shunned by Americans.

          If I was arrested in England I would be taken to a police station. In America I would be taken to a police precinct.

          • Casper Chris

            If I was arrested in England I would be taken to a police station. In America I would be taken to a police precinct.

            Really? I had no idea. I would write station in a screenplay (I use American English in my screenplays). “Take him to the station.”

          • Fish Tank Festival

            Maybe where he’s from, it’s precinct, for instance on the East Coast. But here on the Wessssst Side and Mid-West it is station.

            You’d probably get laughed at calling it precinct.

          • Casper Chris

            Ah, so I wasn’t wrong then.

            I wanted to laugh as well.

            I’ll continue to write “station” in my screenplays :)

            (unless they take place in NYC?)

          • S.C.

            Well, that’s why I posted this. I mean, you’ll read haberdashery = notion department in some books, but I doubt most American grandmothers still say notion department.

            Here are some more:

            Benefits = Welfare
            Boxing Day = 26th December
            Drugs bust = Drug bust
            Fire station = Fire house
            Flat = Apartment (though apartment also increasingly used in UK)
            Lollipop man/woman = Crossing guard
            Lorry = Truck/Articulated truck/Semi-trailer rig, etc.
            Medicine = Drugs (if I was ill, I wouldn’t tell someone I was going to get DRUGS; she’d think I was trying to get illegal narcotics)
            Primary school = Elementary school
            Secondary school = High school
            University = College (sort of)

            We would never say rest room in England, but there are plethora of euphemisms we can use like toilet, loo, gents, bathroom if we’re in someone’s house.

          • walker

            They are called “Districts” in Chicago, which also has precincts for local electoral politics. There are 22 districts and 2069 precincts.

          • brenkilco

            Does any city other than NY designate its police districts as precincts? I’d bet no.

          • walker

            Chicago’s were originally called precincts.

          • walker

            Not that I have ever been held in one.

          • klmn

            You’ve either been very good or very lucky.

          • walker

            Actually I have been held in one.

          • Midnight Luck

            I have as well.
            Over SPRING BREAK in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
            I was thrown in the clink for “Obstructing Traffic”.
            Not one of the 10 million vehicles along the coastal highway had moved in over an hour.
            I was put in the slammer for standing in the street talking with some people in a stopped car.

            Cost my friends 50 bucks to bail me out.

            Funniest part?
            When my friend handed the police the $50, well the cops had just been delivered a bunch of pizzas and the cop, literally handed the delivery guy the SAME $50 my friend had just payed to get me out.

            Spring Break weekend is just a huge event for Myrtle Beach to make a SHIT-TON of money from false and petty criminal charges.

            They probably make a BILLION dollars just on traffic tickets.

          • S.C.

            From Wikipedia:

            Police precinct is a form of division of a geographical area patrolled by a police force.

            Police forces using this format include:

            New York City Police Department
            Boston Police Department
            Portland Police Bureau
            Seattle Police Department
            Buffalo Police Department
            Detroit Police Department
            Chicago Police Department

            However, I will take the opinion of someone who actually lives in one of those cities over Wikipedia any day.

          • S.C.

            Police headquarters?

            b.t.w. if you think this stuff is not important, maybe screenwriting isn’t for you.

          • brenkilco

            I lived in Boston for three years and If the word precinct is used there I sure never heard it.

          • walker

            And by the way, you might get laughed at. You might get tortured. You might even get laughed at while you are getting tortured, you just never know with those zany Chicago cops.

          • Randall Alexander

            That’s not accurate. Plenty of smaller, American towns have police stations vs police precincts. So I think it’s fine, either way.

          • carsonreeves1

            I still don’t know what a fortnight is. Every year I watch Wimbledon and they probably say “fortnight” 600 times during the 2 week broadcast. I am yet to understand what it means.

          • charliesb

            14 days.

          • S.C.

            I’ll see you in a fortnight = I’ll see you in two weeks

            Downton Abbey will be back in a fortnight’s time = No Downton Abbey next week, but it’ll be back the following week

          • carsonreeves1

            Why would they have a measurement for 14 days?? So confused!

          • walker

            Well the guys who thought of it would probably think we were crazy to have a measurement for nanoseconds.

          • brenkilco

            The real question is why would they have a measurement for fourteen pounds?

          • walker

            Because they are stoned?

          • charliesb

            Apparently it has to do with getting paid every two weeks and was used like biweekly.

            Edited to remove semi-monthly

          • Gregory Mandarano

            fort = forte = fourteen

          • Gregory Mandarano

            I think you mean they say “fortnight” thirty score times during the fortnight broadcast.


          • BellBlaq

            “…they probably say “fortnight” 600 times during the 2 week broadcast.”

            Really, Carson? Really?

        • klmn

          Number plate = license plate.

          • Casper Chris

            Ah yea. That’s the more common one I guess.

        • Caivu

          jacket potato = baked potato
          crisps = chips
          chips = fries
          scone = biscuit
          biscuit = cookie
          jumper = sweater

        • Kirk Diggler

          To say nothing of ‘fanny pack’.

      • klmn

        Freeway is more East coast and maybe West Coast. In the Midwest and South Expressway is more common. After all, the song is Expressway To Your Heart, not Freeway To Your Heart.

        • AstralAmerican

          Except in the Midwest, it’s still a freeway. Wifey is from the Midwest, I’m Cali-bred. And it’s freeway here, too.

          • Nicholas J

            I don’t know anyone in the midwest that uses the word freeway. It’s highway or sometimes interstate. Especially if you’re somewhere like Chicago, where the highways aren’t free!

          • AstralAmerican

            There’s the conundrum as a writer then. Wife is from Minnesota and they call it freeway and highway. Just like California.

      • IgorWasTaken

        Anyway, my point was/is:

        When it comes to the word “football”, it’s fair for a Brit to believe an American would catch on if, in a British script, if there’s a reference to “football”, it likely means “soccer”. And then once an American knows the context is football/soccer, then “pitch” instead of “field” is fine.

        But – If Brits call a fire hydrant an “asshole”, and if I were a British
        screenwriter, and if knew my script would be read by Americans, I
        probably wouldn’t write in the action, “He found a ticket on his windscreen, ‘Parking within 15 feet of an asshole'” and expect any American to even consider that “asshole” is some sort of iron fixture by a street curb.

        • walker

          Not to mention that if parking within 15 feet of an asshole was against the law, we’d all just be driving around the block forever.

          • IgorWasTaken

            Wait a minute… I’m the only guy who lives on my block!

      • Dan B

        In Chicago accents, Fire Fighter is pronounced: “Fire Fire”

      • Midnight Luck

        It’s a POP.
        It’s a SODA.
        It’s a SODA POP.

        Being from the West, I always called it “getting a Pop”.
        I have had friends who think it is hilarious I say that.
        They always call it a “Soda”. (they were Easterner’s or Midwesterner’s.)

        No one hardly calls it either anymore, let alone calling it a SODA POP.

        ADVERTISING companies (thanks MAD MEN) and corporations (thanks APPLE) have done their job, now all people say is

        “I’m gonna grab a COKE”
        “Get me a PEPSI”
        “Who wants a RED BULL?”
        “Can I have a MONSTER?”
        “Who ordered the MICHELOB LIGHT?”
        …….”No seriously, who ordered the MICHELOB LIGHT?”

        Soda and Pop are now only referred to by BRAND NAME.

        What a world.

        “Pissed my ZEPPLIN IV skipped, I took turns bashing my BANG & OLUFSEN with a TITELIST and a LOUISVILLE SLUGGER, tore my BEATS BY DRE off my head, downed a GUINESS, and proceeded to slam my PRIUS into a wall.”

    • Midnight Luck

      I feel for any and all of the writers who either speak a different language and are trying to write in American English, or are from a country that speaks “English” but has all their own word use-ments or sayings.

      As everyone can see from this HUGE listing of “it should be this, or that”, or “this means this and that means that”, or “what the hell is this”?, and what is correct or proper, or….
      An American audience reading scripts from other NON-ENGLISH-AMERICAN writers can end up being confusing and problematic.

      I hate to think, not only do all writers who want to write scripts for Hollywood have to learn English, they also have to figure out and understand all our strange wordages and inflections, and style.

      It must be extremely difficult.

      Just follow this HUGE line of responses to all the different words and names for all these different items, and it becomes so apparent how difficult it must be

    • S.C.

      “Thou shalt not kill; but needst not strive officiously to keep alive:” – Arthur Hugh Clough

      Interpreted by medical professional as it is not right to struggle to keep terminally ill people alive, especially if they are suffering.

      A looser translation would be:

      “Thou shalt not kill; but need not strive unnecessarily to keep alive:”

      • IgorWasTaken

        Wow. OK. On the one hand, that word now appears to be the perfect word for Dr. Jenison.

        OTOH, is that quote something well known amongst Brits…?

        Overall, as a word-nerd, I happen to be skeptical (sceptical) of using words with meanings (whether formally recognized or merely perceived) that are at odds with each other.

        For example, verbs: table; sanction; peruse. Each of those has two meanings that are directly opposed to each other. And in a script, I don’t think you want to chance that the reader will pick the wrong meaning of the two – or merely stop to consider which meaning is intended.

        I recall reading a discussion somewhere about “She stabbed him with a stiletto” and some people there said how cool it was that a woman stabbed a guy with a shoe.

        And so even the “perfect” word may actually be the wrong word – even when it’s not an issue of US versus UK.

        • S.C.

          That quote is fairly well-known in the medical community and among people who know such things.

          For example, in the Freddie Forsyth short story PRIDE AND EXTREME PREJUDICE, an intelligence officer quotes the line when he proposes abandoning an agent in East Germany after the man has a nervous breakdown. Another character – I think a German – translates officiously as unnecessarily.

          When I read “stabbed with a stiletto” I think:

          Vicious looking thing.

          Screenwriting is about finding the RIGHT word, not the fanciest. Quote from Michael Hauge:

          A screenwriter is a storyteller, and screenplays consist only of action, description, and dialogue, written at a high school reading level. Your goal is to outline the way that a story can be told and transferred to the big or small screen, not to dazzle the reader with the power of your prose.

          You can argue over whether the fine print is accurate there, but we’ve had a problem lately of people using what some have called $100 words: obfuscate, officious, oxymoronic. If a reader has to look up a word, it slows down his read. He may also think the writer is mocking him.

  • Fish Tank Festival

    Exciting loglines, this batch. Looking forward to diving in. However, and this is just my opinion, ALL of the titles are weak or nowhere near attention-grabbing anyway.

    If there were no loglines and I had to go on script title alone, I’d pass on these. Just food for thought.

  • Eddie Panta
  • Gregory Mandarano

    I read the first five of each, and I am thoroughly undecided. Some have stronger prose and weaker concepts, while others have strong concepts with GSU and weaker prose.

    When i get a chance I’ll go back over them.

    For now, I’d say it’s a TIE between

    Three or Out & Heart Storm

    Both of which need new titles.

  • Fish Tank Festival

    Just read that and wanted to fall out. Haven’t see either yet but come on…

  • Shawn Davis


    It grabbed me right off the bat.

    Good luck to all the writers.


  • BellBlaq

    Tots OT (no disrespect to the AOW folks but someone else already did it): Anyone willing to share Osgood Perkins’ FEBRUARY? (bell.blaq at yahoo dot com)

    • tyrabanksy


      • BellBlaq

        Thanks a bunch!

  • Spencer

    Trying to find:

    Feb 23, 2010 titan-week- gemini-man. It is not online anyone have a copy
    And drafts of the script?

    • andyjaxfl

      What is your email?

      • charliesb

        Could you send that my way too please. birdieey at g mail dot com.


        • S.C.

          Sent Gemini Man and Grackle.

      • spencerD (Please send both the review and the script, I’d like all the drafts that are available)

        Thanks. Hoping to read and write my own draft to see be the version that finally get the story on to the BIG SCREEN. Some day soon.

        Also not sure if this was ever drafted but in nearly 8 years ago words was around of a remake being made of FRITZ LANG’S METROPOLIS. Wonder if there ever was a draft?

        • S.C.

          Sent Gemini Man and Grackle. Other scripts I couldn’t find.

          • andyjaxfl

            What draft of Gemini Man do you have? I have a revised 1st draft dated October 29, 2007.

          • S.C.

            Original version by Derren Lemke, 107 pages.

          • andyjaxfl

            Can you forward that draft when you get a chance? amuller33 at gmail.

            If you want the benioff rewrite let me know and I’ll send.

          • S.C.

            Sent! Yes, I’ll have the rewrite; I used to have it once, along with hundreds of scripts I lost in a computer malfunction.

            Not sure at which point Jonathan Hensleigh came on board and rewrote the script for $1.5 million. He made it more of a James Bond script about the hero being framed for crimes committed by his double.

            I also think I remember that they did some tests of older Mel Gibson with a CGI young Mel Gibson, bit like this scene:


          • andyjaxfl

            I didn’t know of the Hensleigh draft but I’ll keep an eye out for it now.

      • spencerD,

        Posted already not sure why it didn’t appear…..I’d like the REVIEW and all the drafts there are that you have. Thanks. Ever since I saw the SIZZLE REEL I’ve wanted to read and write my own draft that will be the one to reach the screen.

        Also if you have it, The Grackle, and not sure if they ever wrote a draft for it but few years back there was word of a METROPOLIS REMAKE, if you have a draft that be great. LASTLY Rot gut by Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab. Heard about it but never found a script or much more then short blurb about it.


        • andyjaxfl

          I only had the revised 1st draft of Gemini Man by David Benioff. I’m not sure if it’s the same one that Scott also sent but check it out.

          EDIT: and the sizzle reel for Gemini Man was pretty cool. Joe Carnahan is a talented guy but he’s had some tough breaks on some potentially good movies.

          • spencerD

            Any one else who has the first draft by darren lemke, please send it. Want to read it. The draft by benioff is terrible and not worthy of the story that was represented in the sizzle reel!

  • andyjaxfl

    $40 million is pretty good for any R-rated movie. Most movies are making about 70% of their total box office overseas, so if it makes $120 million in the US, that puts it’s worldwide total in the $400 million range.

  • klmn
    • IgorWasTaken

      I’ve been following this story for a while. What strikes me about the latest bit – where he (apparently) changed the trust on an engine: As far as I know, this guy is not a pilot. So it’s like walking into the cockpit, mid-flight, and just turning some switch.

      After all, while this guy knew enough about how to hack in, I’ve read nothing that says he knows how the algorithms work that balance things out. Like, how does he know if he pushes up the power to one engine under some set of circumstances, it doesn’t cause something else to automatically deploy?

      And what if: Once he took control, how did he know that wouldn’t lock out the cockpit, even after he unplugged?

      All that said, the fact that “no one (i.e., the designers) ever thought someone would do this” – so there are no safeguards – is beyond startling.

      • klmn

        It’s amazing to me that entertainment stuff (in the passenger cabin) would be on the same system as the flight controls.

        • IgorWasTaken

          Agreed. I wonder if it’s one of those, “We must save weight” things?

          Also, imagine a scenario like in the movie “War Games”, except now a kid in 23B is flying the actual plane.

          • walker

            If by “weight” you mean “money”, yes.

          • walker

            By the way, remote control of commercial aircraft for military and espionage purposes was proposed by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff as part of the notorious and never officially implemented Operation Northwoods in 1962.

          • IgorWasTaken

            That could be a cool setting for a movie – if a story could be made relevant to today (with our drones and spoofing GPS, etc.). I’ve never heard of Northwoods, but if it could be extended, like in Dr. Strangelove. Maybe…

          • walker

            Northwoods is a favorite of conspiracy theorists because it contemplates the extensive use of false flag attacks. The declassified documents made available through the efforts of the National Security Archive detail hundreds of credulity-straining actual programs and operations of the US Department of Defense and intelligence agencies. Many of them could be turned into movies and in fact films such as Argo, American Hustle, Charlie Wilson’s War, and The Monuments Men are based on this kind of source material.

          • S.C.

            It was one of the original ideas for DIE HARD 4 but was dropped after 9/11.

            I agree, a Strangelovian villain teaching people a lesson would be a great premise. Will I write it first?

  • Midnight Luck

    well, it is only Saturday night. Maybe it will make a comeback by Sunday or next week?
    I think people are just tired of the same-old, same-old action/cgi/action/cgi/hairbrained/action/cgi/action
    type films.

    Maybe they just needed something fun. and different.

    I was so surprised I actually went and saw the first Pitch Perfect (another week where there was absolutely NOTHING of interest that came out, and I had seen absolutely everything I wanted to see) and thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it was campy yet fun humor. Kind of the style of the original AMERICAN PIE, or the original BRING IT ON, though with less or no Toilet gag humor.

    People love ANNA KENDRICK, and I think she is great as well, and ELISABETH BANKS is awesome.

    So, from a pure fun perspective, I am not surprised that Pitch Perfect 2 did that well. When the collective wants and likes of the audience show themselves, well, you get something like this, and it is SHOCKING! I tell you, it is just SHOCKING! that people would go to it! jk.

    —I actually am very interested in seeing MAD MAX as well, though I do have to say the fact that it is a REBOOT and different actors and a SEQUEL? possibly? keep me from being SUPER psyched.

    But then again PITCH PERFECT 2 is also a Sequel so I am not running out to see it right away either. I think I have time.

    I LOVE it when things don’t go as everyone expects them to. I love that it makes all those “In the know” reevaluate what they THINK they know. Because seriously, no one knows SHIT, no matter what they believe or they say.

    It is ALL educated GUESSING based on PAST PERFORMANCE! and that is as helpful as 20//20 rear-view vision.

    Everything makes sense when you are looking backward.

    • Nicholas J

      though with less or no Toilet gag humor

      Doesn’t someone in that movie make snow angels in puke?

      it is a REBOOT and different actors and a SEQUEL? possibly? keep me from being SUPER psyched

      My belief is that reboots can be great, as long as it’s for a movie that deserves it. Mad Max is 35+ years old and was made on a cheap budget.

      I think Fury Road is the movie George Miller has always wanted to make, and now he has the technology (and $150 million!) to really deliver on his vision.

      That, to me, is much different than rebooting Spiderman every five years for no reason other than $$.

      Anyway, I saw it yesterday and it was great. Exciting, intense, visually stunning, and just enough story/character. Definitely worth the money to see it in the theater, as long as you’re not epileptic.

      • Midnight Luck

        As I said, I am actually very interested in seeing it. Probably will later this week. It looks like it could be interesting, but man have I been let down continually for about 5 months. I am just not getting very jazzed by many movies out there.
        They can all make a good Trailer, but can’t make a good movie.

        Also, Mary Hart’s voice gives me epileptic seizures, so as long as she isn’t in it, I think I’m good…

  • Caivu

    The Shadow

    Pg. 1-20

    -Right away I’m noticing that the writing could be more fluid and less wordy. Here’s the first paragraph:
    “A car drives up to an isolated warehouse, near the shores
    of a large body of water. There are no signs of movement
    anywhere, the night silent except for the crunch of
    gravel under the car’s tires.”

    This is just me, but I’d rewrite that as:

    “A car pulls into an empty warehouse lot, gravel CRUNCHING
    under the tires. Moonlight shines off a nearby lake.”

    Now that might be crap, and I don’t know if the water is a lake or an ocean, but does the rewrite really lose anything? The stillness and silence, sure, but would there be any reason for any empty warehouse to be busy or noisy? Then the next paragraph:

    “A young woman, JANICE, and two men get out of the car.
    They all have bags over one shoulder. Janice is an
    attractive woman in her mid-twenties, at first glance
    looking a little under the weather.”

    Which I would change to:

    “JANICE (mid-20s), attractive and looking under the
    weather, exits the car, accompanied by two MEN. All
    three carry bags.”

    I’m biased, but I think that rewrite reads smoother.You’re under no obligation to change anything at all, let alone change them the way I did, but I do think the writing could stand to be tightened up. You’re welcome to use my two edits if you like them, but if you’re going to make changes, you can probably come up with something better than I did.
    -The interior warehouse scene is missing a slugline.
    -Well, that escalated quickly. I think you can find a better way to get bullets flying than the old double-crossing dealer thing. Blue Suit doesn’t even try to stall or give Janice a fake product? He just straight-up insults her? And her bodyguards think that’s a death-worthy offense? No warnings? Very strange stuff here.
    -Why isn’t Jean-Luc intro’d?
    -I’m on page 4, and this is really generic so far. Normally I’d be close to quitting at this point.
    -“As the credits flash, the viewer gets an intimate view of The Shadow in action.” Holy vague sentence, Batman. Show something here! This is your first chance to show off The Shadow, and you’re leaving it completely up to my imagination. The Shadow here is supposed to be a hitman, right? Show him doing something cool! Make it something
    that makes me associate “The Shadow” with this character and not the 1930s pulp vigilante.
    -Consider losing the airplane crying scene and make the phone call Christina’s first scene. Once again, I’ll rewrite it how I’d do it:


    CHRISTINA ANDERSON (late 20s) sleeps. A phone RINGS.

    Christina fumbles with a lamp switch, turns it on. Her
    bedside clock reads 2:17 AM.

    She sighs, answers the phone.


    (French accent)
    Is this Dr. Anderson?


    I apologize for the late hour
    Dr. Anderson. My name is Michel
    Gerard. I am an officer with the
    Préfecture de Police in Paris. I
    am calling about your sister

    Then the next scene. Again, use that if you want, leave it if you don’t.
    -A flashback followed by another flashback? And one that’s full of expospeak at that? Eeesh.
    Another flashback? Now from only Janice’s point of view? At least be consistent with your falashback POVs, or come up with a visual way to distinguish them. Normally I’d be leaving for good at this point, but I’ll stay around a bit longer.
    -The morgue scene is where I’d suggest cutting to right after the phone call, with a short airplane sequence to transition things.
    -I think Christina can just nod; she doesn’t have to say anything.
    -There’s a lot of talking between Gerard and Christina. Can you trim it back at all?
    -This newest flashback (page 12) isn’t indicated as such.
    -Janice is being buried in France? Odd.
    -Christina’s change of medical residency seems very abrupt. She’s just going to drop everything back home and live in France for a while?
    -Around pages 18 and 19 the writing gets really choppy. This happens. Then this happens. Then another piece of action happens. I found it very difficult to read that section.
    -Now a flashback to twenty years ago? I’m out.

    Stopped at page 20.

    I think this script needs a lot of cutting, particularly in the dialogue and action scenes. So many lines of text that don’t really do much. Lots and lots of exposition. And don’t tell me all those flashbacks are needed. Trim, trim, trim.
    At the same time, there could also be more description. I didn’t find this a very visual script, and the visuals that were there were hidden by the excess writing.
    I think there’s a good, if played-out, revenge premise here (can you add in some other element that makes it stand out?), but the writing isn’t doing it any favors.

    • Dan B

      These are great notes. I feel myself when I write something, it’s hard to see that it is overwritten sometimes until someone else notices.

      • Bob Bradley

        Or it’s not overwritten because the original has a rhythm and the rewrite is just shorter with no “feel” to it.

    • Malibo Jackk

      Good set of notes.
      Well done.

    • NajlaAnn

      I like the “rewrites.”

    • Liz Strange

      Thanks for the feedback, all great suggestions.

  • Dan B

    I’ll have to read more of Insatiable then… I thought there were some issues in the first 20 pages I read, but it seems from your notes that the script starts to pay off.

  • Dan B

    Based on the 99% RT though Mad Max could continue to gross well for several weeks. It’s rated R, and whiles it’s based on previous IP, that IP is 30 year old cult material. Pitch Perfect 2 is like the refreshing drink of water people need right now.

    Big Props for Kay Cannon – Chicago Girl from iO theater and Second City.

  • Murphy

    Three or out.

    Well written, easy to read and fast. It was enjoyable and I think mostly that is down to the dialogue, solid well thought out what I would consider pro level, it really does make this script bounce along at a decent pace.

    The only thing missing from this script is stakes, for me there was not enough stakes to keep me worried or engaged with the characters. It is a typical indie character piece that with the right actors could be engaging and enjoyable but with wrong casting could get boring, stale and cliched.

    As a writer I am not sure hoping that the cast can make the movie interesting is the wisest choice. I would like to see some higher stakes here, some urgency that keeps us worried about the outcome. His Mother could have been kidnapped and in real danger, or Monique could be, but much earlier in the piece. It all just seemed to happen by accident, one minute he is fighting with Xavier the next he is wearing a wire and talking to a master criminal, but he didn’t choose it, he didn’t take that road himself.

    Anyway, like I said enjoyable and written really well. If you can up the stakes a bit and put him more in control of his destiny then this could be something that might sell.

    Well done and cheers.

  • S.C.






  • kidbaron

    I made a promise to get back into AF. A long while ago, when Carson used to send links to the AF script through his weekly newsletter (yeah, a weekly), I used to make the time to read at least ten pages of every AF script and report back to Carson. I would love to get back to that. However, this week it’s just the blurbs. My vote goes to INSATIABLE. I liked the layers that the logline hinted at.

    • S.C.

      I understand, there can be a bit of pressure to read at least 50 pages each weekend; better (if possible) to get the scripts a week in advance.

      Kind of proves how important it is to have strong concepts, scripts that people might want to read rather than feel obliged to.

  • walker

    Congratulations to all the writers for being chosen. As others have noted, this was a particularly strong week and really the scripts that are not chosen should be put up for reconsideration in the future. After reading at least 20 pages of each script, my vote goes to Three or Out by Jai Brandon.

  • IgorWasTaken

    My pleasure. Well deserved.

    A few afterthoughts…

    I like fonts, so I downloaded the one you used for Arlen’s diary entries. I now realize one reason why I (and it may just be me) had some trouble reading those words: The font looks like a left-hander’s writing. The upstrokes (such as the with the “d” in “end”) go up to the left.

    When I changed it to Italics, it made it look more rightie, which (again, for me, anyway) is a bit easier to read. Also, you could increase the size 1 or 2 pts (though, the small size does make Arlen feel more ‘precise’).

    I still think that particular font is a bit too handwiting-y – not because I object to the style, but simply because you don’t want it to be visually hard to read. Anyway, I do like the choice of a handwriting font for that.

    As for having Xavier banging on the door on page 12. I posted earlier that that’s a great place for it to happen. Rephrasing: I think it does work, but p. 12 IMO is the latest that should happen. If you could move it up to p. 9 or 10, it could be better.

  • shewrites

    My vote still goes to Heart Storm for its concept but Insatiable is a close second.

    Read up to p31 but only because I have to go.

    What I liked: Killer opening scene. I’m grabbed and find my heart racing. The writing is strong and makes the reading a breeze. I like the concept though it’s nothing new (Breakdown was a great movie with a similar premise sans the horror aspect).

    I liked Sheriff Bradford a lot and Austin as well.

    What I liked less: The Brooke and Jake characters have too much a whiff of a romance novel. SPOILERS:

    I hate that Brooke is so “nonchalant” about being pregnant and expects Jake to just swallow it. It is tough luck and Jake’s resentment about it is realistic, not callous. However, if it’s for us to feel even worse that Brooke has disappeared, it doesn’t work for me.
    I get that it puts Jake on the suspect list but since there’s no way he could have killed her in the lapse of time between when Brooke went out and he went after her, that element is DOA.

    The banter between Jake and Claire in the first pages: too long and expositional in a clunky way.
    If those pages were to establish how in love Jake is with Brooke, his upcoming proposal, Jake’s trait as a borderline stick in the mud planner,and his and Brooke’s opposite worlds, it could have been done better. I’d rather see all that through Jake’s and Brooke’s interaction and Jake’s and Brooke’s father as well.

    Suggestions: make Brooke her more real. Make us care for Brooke more.
    Give a better set up in which Jake appears like a credible suspect
    Give more lines to Brooke than Claire
    Again, great writing and good premise. Good luck!

  • Brian


    A very easy, fast read and a good story. It could also be produced on a low budget. Arlen and Patricia are great characters whose personalities come through in their dialouge and actions. I could easily see those characters drawing a “name” actor in.

    The screenplay may be miscategorized because it seems like a drama more than a dark comedy. In my opinion, the resolution part stated to get a bit corny and should probably be toned down.
    Patricia seemed like she had a personality disorder that just disappeared once she was confronted with reality. That’s simply impossible. Any sudden positive changes for a person with a pd are always a front to draw people back in.
    The dream sequences were difficult to distinguish from the rest of the script. Did Arlen really plunge a knife through his chest? I’m guessing he didn’t because there is no real follow-up to that part, but it may help if that was made a bit clearer.

    This would have worked as a great indie drama in the 90’s or early 2000’s. Right now, though, it would be a tough sell to get it in theaters. You were on the right track with the idea of it being a dark comedy because those still sell. My suggestion would be to punch up the humor in the next draft or partner with a comedy writer or you could hire or partner with a comedy writer or comedian.

  • ChadStuart

    They’re two completely different films aimed at completely different audiences. It’s okay if one made more money than the other, the sky won’y be falling. Weekly Box Office watching can be a fun sport, but it’s ultimately meaningless. All that matters is a film’s final gross compared to its cost (and even then it means the most to shareholders). Until then, weekly winners and records are only good for getting execs laid.

  • cjob3

    I’ve been reading Jai’s stuff for awhile now it seems on other sites, and reading this, he’s really come a long way. I’m giving the nod to THREE OR OUT. Smooth, easy to read, very natural dialogue. It just carries your eyes down the page.

    HEART STORM is my runner up. It seemed off to a good start. (Though “nature-hating” is an odd character descriptor.)

    I love the idea of James Bond vs Vampires, but the opening didn’t feel new enough. My man Blade’s been using those UV sunlight grenades for years.

    re: THE SHADOW, I wouldn’t put the logline on the title page. It just doesn’t look right. And anyone who requests it will already know it.

  • Midnight Luck

    My vote: THREE OR OUT

    Stopped at:
    3 OR OUT: Page 22
    SHADOW: Page 2
    INSATIABLE: Page 5
    HELL SINGERS: Page 3
    HEART STORM: Page 5

    HEART STORM: Even though you are writing in what looks to be an “Active” voice, in actuality it is extremely passive. I think it would help you immensely if you find a different perspective to write from, and SHOW US the detail of what is happening as opposed to telling us. Example:

    “Reese smiles, watches the celebration, grimaces, clutches his
    left arm, and falls to his knees.

    In the crowd, Reese’s mother, ELLE, notices.


    He drops.”

    I am not sure how to explain it, other than to say, reading this, everything feels so passive. It isn’t making us FEEL anything. Isn’t pushing at our insides or causing any sensation for us. I mean he clutches his left arm and then falls to his knees and drops over and his Mother “notices” and says “Reese?”? I would think she would be SCREAMING from the bleachers, so overwrought with emotion she shoves other Mothers aside, tripping and falling between the seats as she scrambles to get onto the field. Something, Anything, to get our thoughts and hearts moving.

    I found most of it read like this.

    Also, we seem to be having trouble with titles this week. “Heart Storm”? I am not feeling it. Seems all at once like two random words thrown together, while also trying to be descriptive, yet it doesn’t mean anything, nor does it give you an image in your mind. Also sounds a bit too schmaltzy to me. Just a thought.


    First off, I hate to say, I didn’t even want to open it as soon as I read the Logline and WYSR stating it was another story about Vampires. Your prediction that people won’t want to read it was spot on (at least with me). I think that should tell you something though. If even you as the writer understands people are beyond tired of Vampire stories, or that the field is so full of their dead bodies it might be a problem, well, I think you might want to try writing a story about something else.

    People keep making Vampire stories and movies, so, again, I could easily be very wrong.

    For me, I got to the 3rd page and was surprised it would be an almost solid black page of action lines. I read it, but wow, two pages of regular script and then that page, could be quite off putting for readers.

    I don’t normally care about how many lines a paragraph shouldn’t have, or white space vs. dark space in a script, but to begin with such an oppressive amount of text was interesting.

    Still, I stopped at the end of that page. Wasn’t doing anything for me, could just be not my kind of thing.

    Also, HELL SINGERS as a title. I know I don’t know yet what it is supposed to mean, but I read the logline and the WYSR and instantly think it is going to be a Sing-A-Long or a Musical Vampire movie, and that is all I picture as I read.

    Also when a character asks if she is a “Hell Singer” and then says he was terrified of them, well, it doesn’t sound “terrifying” to me. But then again, neither do The Hell’s Angels sound scary.

    Just might want to think about the title.

    INSATIABLE: Again, I am not feeling the title.

    “insatiable — (of an appetite or desire) impossible to satisfy: an insatiable hunger for success.• (of a person) having an insatiable appetite or desire for something, especially sex.”

    I know I haven’t read far enough to know if the title has a particular meaning to the story, and I am hoping it does, but as of yet, I don’t see it. It doesn’t feel descriptive enough to evoke a particular meaning or feeling as to what the story is about. Does the main character want to eat until they die? force someone else to eat till they die? Have sex till they die? They obviously can’t get enough of something, but what?

    This actually could be a good name for a VAMPIRE movie: INSATIABLE.
    Sex and hunger that is unstoppable.
    maybe if I read further I would find it IS another Vampire story?

    As I read the beginning, it felt like the writer had troubles knowing where to put things. I have described this problem before on AoW, many, many writers don’t write things in the order our brains are trying to see them as images:


    The driver, WINSTON (55), has the bulky physique of a career
    trucker but his oversized glasses, kind face, and unassuming
    demeanor are more akin to a college professor.

    Winston’s puffy eyes droop closed. He slumps.
    A HORN jolts him.


    Sparks and smoke jet from the fishtailing trailer.


    Winston somehow muscles the rig under control.”

    –when I read this the first thing I thought was: “What is sparking? Where is there smoke? what fishtailing truck? is there another truck out there, and why is it fishtailing? who else is on the road and losing control of a vehicle?”.

    That is a lot to image to make sense of, and go back over to see if you missed something, when it is just a short section at the beginning of a script.

    Something about how the description of things is laid out, doesn’t quite fit together. This seemed to continue with what I read.

    I would just suggest that the writer really try to picture what is going on in the story, as images in their mind. Then just put down those images in the order they see them.

    I feel like you are wrangling your words, almost fighting them, to get them to do what you want. You shouldn’t have to fight against them that hard.

    Right off the bat there are a few things. We have, again, what feels to me, to be very passive writing and descriptions.

    In the second paragraph:

    “A young woman, JANICE, and two men get out of the car.”

    Whenever you introduce new characters, you MUST BOLD-FACE them. Here you have TWO MEN, but I believe since you are introducing us to JANICE you decided not to introduce the other two. We don’t meet either of them until we get to page 2 where one of them is introduced as: “1st Man with Janice”, yet they have never been highlighted. Also, if in the action paragraph you were to introduce a character (in bold) as 1ST MAN WITH JANICE, and I assume then 2ND MAN WITH JANICE, that would be an incredibly long and complex couple of names, when you could have just said STAN and GREG, or HENCHMEN, or whatever.

    Also halfway down the page we have

    “One man takes them, BLUE SUIT, and walks to a table where
    he drops them. Inside is a large amount of cash. He

    It doesn’t make much sense. After reading it we piece together what you actually meant. Yet while reading it, what does “one man takes them, BLUE SUIT, and walks to a table where he drops them.” mean?
    I am sure you mean you want to call this one man BLUE SUIT and that he is taking the bags from the others and dropping them.

    Also, how do we, or he, KNOW that “inside is a large amount of cash”?

    It might be better to say he “takes the bags and drops them on the ground; stacks of cash tumbling out across the floor”, or something.

    and then in the first dialogue we have

    Good. Tell Rene he’ll have his
    shipman (shipment?) as planned.”

    if you mean shipman instead, we need to understand what that means, but I do believe (based on the context of the line) it is an error and should be shipment.

    Also, I am not sure THE SHADOW is a strong enough title. I think almost anybody would picture the comic book image that is famous. It was also turned into a movie in 1994 with Alec Baldwin. I know that was a long time ago, but still the name THE SHADOW is a pretty famous thing.


    I read to page 22, and I will have to say, this was an incredibly easy read. It sped along, no real speed bumps, no glaring issues.

    That said however, I am 22 pages in, and I couldn’t tell you what it might be about. I have read 4 other script beginnings, and now, after writing all this about them, I honestly can’t remember what your story is or where it is going.

    So, that being said, my point is, you have a great easy-going writing style, which is reader friendly, but now I believe you need to RAMP UP your story so it is more memorable.

    OK, so now going back over it, we have a kid and his Mom. Him making telemarketing calls that then gets him in trouble with a guy who tracks him down, and I can’t remember how the guy would do that when the phone was blocked? Does he literally just happen to stumble into the same grocery store as the kid, and the kids name just happens to be said out loud? I might have to go back and reread to see if I missed something which makes it obvious how this guy came to be there. And if it was an accident, how he happened to remember and know that this kid ARLEN was the one who called him and that he was going to come after him? Why exactly did Arlen make him so angry? He called him as a sales call, and I have received my fare share of those, but I don’t remember wanting to go track them down and hurt or kill them. I HATE the calls, yes, but once I hang up, I pretty much forget about it.

    I think it is also important to remember: we as the reader, need to be guided along. so your Logline says

    Logline: In the final days of a yearlong deadline to either improve his life or end it, a sheltered mama’s boy, with nowhere else to turn, appoints a would-be criminal as his new life coach.

    First, I read and I think “Why is he on a year long deadline to either improve his life or end it?”
    Second, I think, “Why on earth would he be so distraught that he must END HIS LIFE if he doesn’t improve it?”.
    Third, “What does IMPROVING IT entail?”

    So your logline feels like it is missing something. He appoints a would be criminal to help him improve his life? How will that help him improve it?

    If you want to keep it mysterious, then the FIRST thing you need to show us in the opening scene is WHY is he going to kill himself if he isn’t able to improve his life? And what does IMPROVING his life look like?
    Having a Helicopter Mom does not make for such a tough life it must be ended. I am not saying it hasn’t happened, but you aren’t showing us that. You show us a typical scene with a typical kid and a fairly typical Mom and a bit of angsty (slightly) teenage stuff. I don’t see some huge thing where the kid must hire a scary-ass person to whip himself into shape or it is time for 2 bullets to the head.

    So, because we don’t know why there’s this yearlong deadline to either hang himself or better his life, you must, must, quickly get us to the thick of it. Long scenes of him on the phone as a fake telemarketer doesn’t really tell me anything. Family squabbles with his Mom and teen angst stuff don’t either. Yes teenagers do amazingly stupid things when they believe LIFE-JUST-CAN’T-GET-ANY-WORSE (and believe me, it really really can, and most likely will), but in a movie situation, it is very difficult to pull off the believability that a kid would have to OFF himself or hire a thug to help him straighten his life out.

    I get the IRONY you are going for, but we need some meat.

    Also, the Title. What does it mean? He tried to take his life 3 times? he’s giving himself 3 tries? He wants the hood to join his family so there are 3 of them and they are getting out of dodge?
    I don’t know what the title means, and it doesn’t really have much impact or staying power. It doesn’t HIT from the knees or anything.
    Find what is central to your story, what it is “About” and a title can come from there.

    Good luck to all the entrants this week.
    Happy trails.

    • cjob3

      great notes.

    • davejc

      Holy cow! That was fantastic notes!

    • davejc

      Passively active voice is something I myself am guilty of. And I’m ashamed to say it usually has to do with page breaks.

      Reese smiles, watches the celebration.

      (a line of direction describing the celebration, specifically what causes him to smile)

      Reese grimaces.

      He clutches his left arm.

      In the crowd, Reese’s mother, ELLE, notices.

      He falls to his knees


    • lesbiancannibal

      One thing I never could stand about Scriptshadow, all the damn vampires

      • Jai Brandon

        Nice reference. My all time favorite vampire movie!

      • Midnight Luck

        me neither.

        the best, and ONLY vampire movie out there worth seeing.

    • Jai Brandon

      Lots of time and effort spent here. Much thanks, Midnight! On behalf of all the contenders. As for my script:
      There are no teenagers in Three or Out ;) The call to action, where the reader knows exactly where the story’s headed, begins on page 27. Everything before that may seem unnecessary, but I promise I haven’t wasted any pages.
      “Three or Out” refers to the three goals Arlen hopes to accomplish, or he’s going to remove himself from the planet. I can see now how weak (and confusing) it comes across, so it has to go. Those who have read it, please help me to rename it!

      • kenglo

        Looks like Jai’s gonna get his day in the sun!! Good job dude! I loved your script, although I haven’t read the latest iteration….did you add more of the sister? Just curious…I’m on a little deadline here!!!

        • Jai Brandon

          Haha, what’s up Ken? Wish I could be crowned this early, but Carson could go in any direction. Heart Storm & Insatiable are getting lots of love too. The draft here is much better than the first draft you read. The sister gets the same amount of screen time though, so no changes there. You’ll just have to read it when you get the time. It’s at least [x] worth the (second) read!

  • Midnight Luck

    Sounds so very meticulous and organized.
    Maybe a little too.
    Though she does make a good point at the end.
    And all within ONE YEAR!
    Nice job!
    Glass is half full kind of person I am guessing?
    It all does sound like a good plan.
    I wonder how many people have gotten it to work like she plans here?
    I also wonder how many people stuck to her plan?

    I do hope it works.

  • lesbiancannibal

    Ah ok, I get the title Hell Singers – as in van helsingers right? Still doesn’t work for me though.

    • Caivu

      Curses. I was just about to mention that.

  • ericjeske

    Vote goes to: Insatiable
    I had the pleasure of trading scripts with Mike last year and really enjoyed this read. I think with a Carson review, Mike could take this script to the next level. Yes, Mike, this is a movie, one that is very visual and easy to see on the screen. Hopefully Carson can pick out some of the things that weren’t working for one last rewrite!!

  • Scott Reed

    Here’s my notes for “Insatiable” to page ten.

    Pg1: The opening is confusing. With the action you’re describing, I’m expecting something big from Winston and his truck. “Sparks and smoke?” Then he just goes inside the diner?

    Note: Don’t over-use your scene headings, keep it simple. Just use,


    Then you can bounce back and forth.

    The real action is the eerie mountains of WV and the girl in the diner. Show Winston’s truck winding thru the dark, ghostly hills. He pulls up to the diner, hops out, goes inside, starts to order. Then the distressed Young Woman walks in.

    I see her as sitting crazed, zombie-like, at the counter. Patrons notice her, but sit tight. She searches, grabs a knife, matches from the register, goes outside.

    All this on page one.

    Pg2: Winston watches her thru the blinds, sees her douse herself with gas. He dashes outside, too late. She’s ablaze. Everyone’s horrified.

    Pg3: Jake and Brooke wind their way through the same mysterious, spooky mountains. Not “Colorful” ones. Jake’s freaked because he’s not from there, it’s scary. Maybe he’s superstitious. She tries to assure him.

    Have their conversation in the car about the wedding ring and other exposition. They can talk about meeting Claire and Austin.

    It’s too confusing with Jake and Claire. I thought THEY were getting married. You don’t need a jewelry store, that has nothing to do with the story.

    Pg4: They pull up to the farm in WV, not NC. Keep everything heavy on WV.

    I didn’t read on, but you have three locations. WV, NC, and NY. Keep it focused to two if possible.

    Pg5: First time Jake’s been at the farm, Brooke shows him around. She’s hot and bothered, can’t wait to show him the barn. She hops on him, Jake’s not into it because he’s afraid of Big Earl. But, DAMN! Brooke’s half naked, what can he say, he’s on it.

    Right now Jake is way too pussy. Have him man up. A NY lawyer? He may not be Jason Statham, but I wouldn’t present him as a complete boob.

    Then Big Earl moseys up! Eyes them in the stall. Not a good first impression for a future father-in-law.

    Pg6: Some SERIOUS ass-kissing.

    Pg7-8: Off to the “Deadhead” diner to meet with Claire and Austin. P.S.; I don’t like that name at all. First thing I thought of was Jerry Garcia! This is supposed to be scary, not “Up in Smoke.”

    Shorten up the dialogue, too much banter. Try not to use your dialogue for so much exposition, use it to divulge your characters attributes.

    As far as characters, give more physical descriptions. You should show there personalities thru their actions.

    My main point is to help you see what’s important to have on the page. Make sure everything is as clear as possible.

    Good luck!

  • Caivu

    Three or Out

    Pg. 1-6
    -Wow, I’m four pages into this in no time. This thing moves. Nice. Only thing I can think of is that Arlen and Xavier’s banter goes on maybe a hair too long.
    -I’m not sure why Patricia has to be waited on. Is she obese? An amputee? In a cast? I’m sure there’s a reason, but I haven’t seen one yet.
    -Not sure how I feel about the handwriting font. On one hand it makes sense, on the other hand you risk readability or format issues.

    Pg. 8-30
    -What’s Arlen babbling about? I guess this price haggling is to show he’s a good manipulator?
    -Why is Xavier so coy with Arlen?

    Stopped at page 30.

    There’s not really much I can say about this. It moves quickly, has some interesting characterization, and the comedy isn’t overblown. This is probably the fastest 30-page read I’ve had on an AOW. Story is the main issue, I think, mainly that it doesn’t seem strong enough; I can’t really explain why, but it seems more like a TV episode plot than a feature. As good as Arlen and Xavier are as characters, the problems they have to solve don’t seem big enough, even with death on the line. I’m also just realizing now that there’s a hint of Arlen’s Friday deadline in the scene where he marks off the calendar, but I wonder if that’s a bit too subtle.
    At no point did I want to stop reading, but I only feel like reading on just to see how this story plays out over 85 more pages, not necessarily for anything in the story itself except for the two leads, and I don’t know if their chemistry is enough to carry things for that long. Good writing, though: very confident and quick.

  • Caivu

    My vote this week: Insatiable
    I didn’t feel like stopping at any point during my read, and I liked the characters and story more as a whole than in any of the other scripts.

    Very close second: Three or Out
    I thought his had the best writing and characters this week by a long ways. Probably the best dialogue, too. The writing was fast and seemed effortless, with no big issues that I saw. The story just wasn’t enough for me, though, and that’s what it comes down to AFAIC.

  • Jai Brandon

    Mother Smothers
    Five Days til Heaven or Hell
    Stuck in a Rut
    Solace or Suicide

    Alternate titles for Three or Out. Any of these pop?

  • Liz Strange

    Thanks everyone for the feedback! I appreciate the time you took to read my screenplay. All the best to everyone.