A recap for those unfamiliar with the Scriptshadow Tournament. The first round went for 8 weeks, with you, the readers of the site, voting for the best script each week. Those 8 winning scripts are now competing in the Quarterfinals. To spruce things up, we’ve added a wild-card entry to each Quarterfinal week. Wild-Cards were scripts that garnered a lot of votes on their respective week but fell short of the win. The best of those near-misses have been voted into the Quarterfinal round.

Last week, we had a major upset, as a wild-card script beat out both of the seeded entries. This just proves that NO ONE IS SAFE!

Here’s how voting works. Read as much from each script as you can then vote in the comments section which script you think deserves to go into the semifinals. Please explain why you voted for the script so that we know you’re a real voter and not a friend of the writer. It should be an interesting week. Some contestants have had a long time to rewrite. Some have had no time. I’ll leave it up to the writers if they want to summarize their changes in the comments.

Voting closes at 10pm Pacific Time Sunday evening.

Good luck everybody!

Title: Jump
Writer: Andrew Bumstead
Genre: Thriller
Logline: After losing their loved ones in a terrorist accident ten years ago, three strangers get the chance to rewrite history by transferring their minds back in time to that fateful day.

Title: Log
Writer: Alison Parker
Genre: Horror Comedy
LOGline: A weekend of debauchery turns to terror for a group of friends staying at an old lumberjack camp when a bloodthirsty log springs to life and embarks on a murderous rampage.

Title: Cratchit
Writer: Katherine Botts
Genre: Mystery & Suspense/Fantasy/Horror
Logline: “A Christmas Carol” reimagined, told from the point of view of Bob Cratchit as he and Ebenezer Scrooge race to track down Jacob Marley’s killer — the same killer who now targets Scrooge and Cratchit’s son, Tiny Tim.

Okay, so before I announce today’s winner, I want to say that I love all three contestants. I’m not mad at anybody. I’m not calling anybody out. But I have received e-mails in regards to the voting this weekend. While I believe it’s natural for there to be campaigning in any contest (heck, it’s an integral part of one of the biggest movie contests in the world – The Oscars!), I agree with the e-mailers that the campaigning may have been the difference between the winning and losing script this weekend. We’ve never had a vote with so many people that was this close before, so this is a unique situation. But taking everything into account, I’m calling Quarterfinal Round Week 2, and the winner is: CRATCHIT by Katherine Botts. Congrats, Katherine! You’re an official semi-finalist! Excellent showings for both Andrew and Alison. Keep in mind that you guys beat out half-a-thousand entries to make it to the top 8. So keep writing and keep getting better! A reminder that next week THERE WILL BE NO CONTEST due to the holiday. I’ll be alerting the three entrants for Quarterfinal Week 3 next Sunday.

  • klmn

    I won’t be voting, but to put you in the spirit of the holidays…

    • witwoud

      Old stuff is better than new stuff.

  • Wijnand Krabman

    I struggled myself through 21 pages of Log. I see it’s potential; being different than everything else except Rubber. A living Log who murders and rapes for no reason. Ok if someone wants to fling you in the fire one could get mad, but why should a log rape people? You would expect for a log to rape other logs. I think if you are under the influence of marijuana this might make sense? I can’t see any other reason which moves this one. For me a big no; too absurd, not funny and not scary, but I see this winning the contest.

    • The Colonel

      “You would expect for a log to rape other logs.”

      That’s gross, the other logs aren’t alive.

      • Wijnand Krabman


        • Randy Williams

          I think Yule Logs, a christmas tradition, were connected with sexual orgies. I think if you looked hard enough, you’d find other connections between logs and human sexuality in culture.

          • witwoud

            Including what witches were supposed to do with their broomsticks…

      • gazrow

        “That’s gross, the other logs aren’t alive.”

        Neither is Wyatt, but that doesn’t stop Log from sodomizing his corpse!

        • The Colonel

          Yeah, but Wyatt was alive. I should have said “inanimate objects.”

          It’s one thing to fuck a dead body, but quite another to fuck a hole in the ground, or a coconut. Or an apple, have you ever tried that? You can do a pumpkin, or a bowl of pudding–

          • gazrow

            “It’s one thing to fuck a dead body, but quite another to fuck a hole in the ground, or a coconut. Or an apple, have you ever tried that? You can do a pumpkin, or a bowl of pudding–”

            Nope, never tried it. Nor would I. But I guess it explains your love for Log!

          • The Colonel

            Nor would you? How can you be so sure? Have you ever tried bath salts? I bet if you tried bath salts you’d fuck a bowl of pudding.

          • gazrow

            Dude, you do know bath salts are meant to go in the bath water not up your nose, right?!

          • The Colonel

            Not this kind!

          • gazrow

            LOL. You’re as nuts as LOG!

            You and Alison should write a script together! :)

          • smishsmosh22

            yesyesyesyesyes. Bath Salts are just the name of the drug, they are not actually bath salts for your bath. I assume Todd knows this from his research for Lurkers…. :)

          • The Colonel

            Um, yes, my “research.”

          • The Colonel

            Shit, I wouldn’t want to get in her way, she drops scripts faster than I can drop the top on my car.

  • Scott Crawford


    • Marija ZombiGirl

      Please put down my vote for CRATCHIT :)
      I won’t be in this weekend so I won’t have time to give better feedback. I read the first 25-30 of each and I vote for CRATCHIT because I like Katherine Scriptchick’s writing style, sense of structure and how to tell a story. The subject may not be to my personal tastes but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good story well told. Hope this counts for something…

      • ScriptChick

        Thank you for the vote, Marija!

    • OCattorney

      OCattorney votes one-half for “Jump” and one-half for “Crachit”… but what I’m really doing is voting against “Log”
      From “LOG 2: The New Branch “An EMT picks up the severed head of Dylan in the Firebird and places it into a clear plastic bag…irefighters discover the remains of Chuck’s body in the trunk of the car.
      I’m voting on the basis of “Story Value” and I see no value to this scene. Or, the premise.
      OK, “Jump”: Andy, or Bumsy, you’ve done a great job of physically writing the script, but it’s not a story that impresses me. If there’s a way to go back in time, why can’t you change a major event? The idea that “karma” or “fate” will eventually restore an event that you stopped, doesn’t work for me. But, for setting goals that are difficult, and the other rules Carson gave us, you get half a vote.
      Next, “Crachit.” I would vote for this, but the Original Idea was to write a script in 12 weeks. By borrowing characters, instead of creating them, you’ve avoided the most challenging part of screenwriting. The Hero has a goal, and the Opponent puts obstacles in the way, and both of them change dramatically as a result, right? Well, we already know how these characters changed in “A Christmas Carol”. Katherine, scriptgirl, you haven’t taken on the challenging work of Creating that the others (except “Log”) did. This contest was a chance to take an Idea, perhaps a bad idea, but an idea that fit with the Rules Carson gave us, and create a Hero who Changes. Think of your Protagonist as a range of values, and the Plot moves him from one end of the range to the other. The events in the script should ideally affect the Hero so much, his personality shifts. That’s the goal, and you did it, but you did it because the original material already had that kind of Change. Also, in the original, the idea of a miser in London, making his employees work impossible hours, you kind of ignored that. Americans have worked a 40-hour week for so long, we almost forget that England was much, much different. So, for choosing a Story that allows the Hero to change, half a vote.
      What is “Story Value”? Basically, is this a Story that large numbers of people will pay to see in a theater? With a bit more imagination and fewer silly rules, “Jump” could give us that kind of a Story. right now, Andrew just hasn’t gone far enough to make this a must-see Story. When I try to imagine a movie, in a theater, with a log committing gruesome acts, it’s something I would not pay to see. The writing has value, but none of the impressive things about the writing will ever appear on the movie screen. – Bill Hays

      • The Colonel

        You’re voting “against” a script? No offense, but that’s some bullshit.

        • smishsmosh22


        • OCattorney

          I tried to explain HOW I was voting. When I go into a theater and watch this as a MOVIE, rather than a script, does it have “value”
          for the audience? I didn’t see anything in the script that gave any kind of “value” but I did find the writing to be amped up and excessive. OK, let’s think about the most important points of a script. Do we feel empathy with the Hero? Does the Hero change? When it’s a log, an inanimate object, you lose everything that audiences need. (And you can say the log isn’t the hero but it is the Title Character.) When I see reviewers who are “laughing at the insanity”… that’s fine for you, but I don’t think it should take a spot in the next round away from “Crachit” … I didn’t say it should be burned, just that I vote for two other scripts that were better written and actually had characters we could care about. Maybe if a good script doctor took a look at “Log 2: The New Branch” they could fix… but that would be pouring money down the drain, because it isn’t a script, its’ a SATIRE and maybe it works on that basis. – Bill Hays

          • The Colonel

            It’s not constructive (or good manners) to say that someone’s screenplay has no “value.” Particularly when they busted their ass to write it, particularly when lots of other people are telling you they love the thing. Might not have value to YOU, but it absolutely has value.

            By the same token, saying “it isn’t a script, its’ a SATIRE” is both insulting and wrong. It is most assuredly a script, a script that’s gone through repeated revisions and has gotten better each time. Also, I can name 10,000 movies that are satires, and the scripts on which they were based were “satire,” too.

            Also, the apostrophe goes before the S. Also, if you think the Log is the “hero” of the script, you didn’t read the script.

          • Kirk Diggler

            “but it’s not constructive to say that someone’s screenplay has no “value.” Particularly when they busted their ass to write it,”

            Which is ultimately meaningless. The only value that matters is sale price. If it isn’t sold or optioned, then it has zero value. Unless you think blood sweat and callused fingertips count for something?

            Think of all the Nichols or Austin finalists who’s script never sold. What ‘value’ do we assign those scripts? Bragging rights? A congratulatory email? A certificate they can hang on their wall? And what will that buy them? Not a thing. Not even a cup of coffee off of a taco truck.

          • The Colonel

            What are you talking about? Unless something sells it doesn’t have value? That’s not true at all. I know two dozen utterly fantastic scripts that haven’t sold, and I value them all. I know fifty amateur musicians who have never gotten paid more than drinks tickets and they’re some of the best performers I know.

            My mom never sold a plate but she’s one of the best chefs on earth. No value? You must be trolling me.

          • Kirk Diggler

            What is the point of writing a spec script? Have you figured that part out yet?

            So glad you enjoy your mom’s cooking but this isn’t about making omelettes. A spec script isn’t written for the personal enjoyment of any one individual, it’s written solely with the idea that it can get sold to a willing buyer or in lieu of that, generate heat for the writer.

            You like ‘two dozen’ of your friends scripts eh? How much are you willing to pay for them? Yeah, thought so.

          • The Colonel

          • Linkthis83

            I actually disagree with your position here. I say “actually” because you and I are usually on the same page.

            If you write a script that doesn’t get bought, but gets you contacts, or simply plays some sort of role in the progression of your career, then it has value. Whether it’s monetary or simply improves you as a writer, it has value.

            I’ve heard countless writers talk in interviews about scripts they wrote that were the reason they eventually had success in the industry but were never bought and made.

            Plus, spec scripts are your representation until you have an agent. They have much value. A lot of times, it’s impossible to quantify that value.

          • Kirk Diggler

            Perhaps I’m being cynical. It’s a bad habit. But I refuse to follow the notion that just because someone took the time to write a script that it automatically gives it value, particularly when the value is being assigned by someone who didn’t write the script but merely claims to ‘really like it’.

            Yes, learning experiences can have great value, I get that, but not every script can be thought of that way. Some are just a waste of time and effort, and i say that from my experience.

          • Linkthis83

            you just refuse to see the value! Unless the value you assess is that deeming things valueless is important – which is still valuable ;)

            I do get the context for which your originally posted.

          • smishsmosh22

            well I got a producer contact and a handful of contest laurels out of Log so far, so, it certainly has value to me.

          • Kirk Diggler

            Well, good for you. Advancing in a contest does not make it a good script, since the bar for contests is rather low. I advanced to the 2nd round of the Austin with a script that was essentially a first draft but i’m not on here bragging about it because I know it doesn’t mean much.

          • smishsmosh22

            Scott Crawford pays me to brag about it. He thinks it encourages other writers. I don’t see what’s wrong with that. Or even how we got to this place in this discussion. Surely you don’t think all spec scripts have zero value. If so, why are you here?

          • Kirk Diggler

            Why indeed.

            Sure, some spec scripts have value, even if that value can only be measured in baby steps. Okay?

          • Scott Serradell

            “I do think all spec scripts have zero value. And don’t call me Shirley.”

          • smishsmosh22

            by that logic, every script in competition this week has zero value.

          • Kirk Diggler

            At the moment, yes.

            For the obtuse hotheads out there, value as it relates to money ( the only thing that matters in Hollywood), not the high regard in which something is held.

          • OCattorney

            That’s not what I meant by “Story Value.” Each individual has to decide whether a movie has “value” to them. “The Sound of Music” is still at the top of the all-time list because, at the time, Julie Andrews’ portrayal of Maria had value to many women. I haven’t figured out how to accurately assign a number, but I’m using the responses here to help me refine my theory.
            Now, a much different problem. Hollywood celebrities are speaking out against domestic violence and sexual assault. In Los Angeles, I see Public Service Announcements on the subject. You said you added a rape .. In your script, a woman is trapped, you imply that the log is about to rape her and then you go to screams… It worries me that no one here sees what I’m talking about. The campaign against sexual violence in movies has been going on in Hollywood for decades. It’s an issue actresses love to promote.
            “Crachit” will have more value by the time it becomes a movie because the producers will add “the Christmas spirit” that moves us to be generous and humanitarian to each other. To me, if a script has more than one rape scene, it gets a low score for “Value”.. but at the same time, for many – far too many – those scenes add value in their judgment. So, “Story Value” is complicated, and I’m trying to judge these scripts based on how a large group of people who buy tickets to see a movie in theaters would judge it. – Bill Hays

          • smishsmosh22

            Okay, you know my script is about a Log which isn’t real, right?

          • OCattorney

            That would certainly be one way to improve the movie…. the Log is a symbol of a real person who is killing campers…. but I don’t understand how that works with all the graphic descriptions of a log flying thru the air and… But no, I didn’t know that.

          • smishsmosh22

            Oh, no, I meant that in real life, Logs dont kill or rape people.

          • OCattorney

            OK, I’ll go back to my previous position. “Jason” was a killer who terrorized a summer camp. Thought your “Junior Lumberjacks” was a satire on the standard summer camp, by putting axes into the hands of juvenile delinquents sent to a penal institution for a summer of attacking dead trees with murder weapons heavier than Tec-9’s.

            Chuck gurgles blood from his mouth as the Log twists the branch, winding Chuck’s intestines around it like spaghetti on a fork… The Log spins faster and faster, until the entire length of Chuck’s ntestines have left his body and are wrapped around the Log.


            Thanks to the magic of movies, for this Story World, I see Log as being real. In this Story World, a log kills AND rapes people. If there’s some other explanation, it should be in the Log Line.
            A clown is understood to be outside of reality. A log, in your script, at least in the first 50 pages, I see nothing that says it isn’t real or the violence isn’t real.
            But… for the target audience, “Story Value” is something different. They get “value” out of the Creativity.. Maybe what the script needs is to cross genres. Ever hear a balled “The Streets of Laredo”? What your script lacks is a ballad, where the narrator explains what’s going on.

          • smishsmosh22


          • Kirk Diggler

            I believe you are touching on the idea of ‘theme’ within a script. And yes, this is extremely important and more often than not, ignored.

            Theme is one of the easiest things to conceptualize; Love, Forgiveness, Redemption, Sacrifice.

            Theme also happens to be the hardest thing to properly develop from beginning to end. And when it is there is often goes underappreciated by readers. Which is why most writers skip over it or leave it muddled.

            But they shouldn’t.

          • Dallas Cobb

            At the same token, those scripts also sometimes sell and then aren’t produced, so I think “value” is a bit subjective. I’ve met writers who have written a draft of something that they have no intention of optioning or selling, but they want it as a writing sample/showcase of their voice in that particular genre.

          • smishsmosh22

            yeah I mean Erica is the protagonist to care about, not Log, the killer hahaha. It’s okay, not worth arguing about IMO.

          • Randy Williams

            Yeah, I don’t understand Log as satire. It’s a slasher movie, isn’t it?. You live vicariously through the characters, realizing you are smarter than most of them are and would survive if you were in the same situation. You identify with the one as being the smartest, in this case, Erica, who I personally connected with and felt her coming to terms with her family history and her identity, and you see her through her journey as death rains down around her in fun.
            Personally, I’d let my kids watch Log before Crachit. Log provides many lessons as do most slasher movies. Drugs and sex are not without a cost. Listen to your instincts, there’s safety in numbers, among many. Cratchit, although exhibiting superb writing and story telling, I thought with lots of imagination apart from the original material (disagreeing with OP again) I would not want my kids seeing the loveable Cratchit being a murderer. Marrying a woman with kids already and supposedly Tiny Tim is his only natural child, implying Tim’s handicap is some punishment for his father’s crime?
            Me, I’d rather go see Cratchit at the movies than Log, but value depends on the audience and who has control over the remote, doesn’t it?

          • gazrow

            “Personally, I’d let my kids watch Log before Crachit”

            Wow! Just! Wow! That’s way scarier than anything in any of this week’s scripts!!!

          • Randy Williams

            I’m not listening to you. You admit you hate Log. Why would you hate anything anyone did here out of goodwill?

          • gazrow

            I just can’t get my head around the fact that you’d be comfortable letting your kids watch a corpse being sodomized by a log, but hey each to their own as they say.

          • The Colonel

            But it’s funny sodomy! Haven’t you seen Super Jail? It’s nonstop depravity, but it’s funny and sweet.

          • OCattorney

            The slasher isn’t a person… it’s a piece of wood.
            I thought the script was a satire of slasher movies… because the antagonist is an inanimate object.
            Thank you for writing out your thoughts. You’ve given me a LOT to think about, how people and maybe writers think of the “value” in certain movies. One point. Each of us has a unique set of values. I vote according to mine. didn’t imply yours are wrong, but for the large number of people who buy tickets, slasher movies are on the “No Watch” list.

          • smishsmosh22

            Hey OC I totally respect your view, Log is not for you, no worries.

      • smishsmosh22

        no worries that you hate Log so much you are voting ‘against’ it, but I’m not sure I’m following your reasoning…. not that you owe me a further explanation, but you’ve quoted a two second scene from one of the last pages of the script as having no story value…. how much of the script did you read? just curious, as it’s such an odd scene (really part of a wrapping up loose ends montage) to point out.

        • Scott Crawford

          I’m with you all the way on this one but I’m busy this weekend so I’m cowardly not wanting to get involved in any of the several arguments that are already developing.

          So I support you, peace and love, but I don’t want to get too involved!

    • Scott Serradell

      Fuck. I have tried three times now to write out my notes and each time they get erased (Lord only knows where my mind is) and I can’t do it a fourth so — My vote is for LOG. It was tough: Andrew wrote a real clean draft and overall was one of the better improvements I’ve seen in the tournament, but I agreed in the end with Randy Williams about the maturity level in the story. I love Katherine’s writing — The vivid and rich atmosphere and the care for her characters — but there was a passivity in the action that hindered the characters (therefore the drive of the story) from being truly movie material. Thus I chose Alison because of her fearlessness in the exploration of her material; it’s as though she sits and stares at the abyss, asking “what ELSE can Log penetrate?” Also, the concept is still proving a winner. So — sorry, but that’s what I got this weekend. I’ll be better next…

      • smishsmosh22

        thank you! This is a really tough week, your vote means a lot. Hopefully your notes will show up too…

        • Scott Serradell

          You are welcome. But I will email you my notes; literally, I absentmindedly erased them myself THREE separate times. My brain is currently mashed potatoes…

          • Scott Crawford

            Stay strong, Scott.

          • Mike.H

            I warned some high school gal using public library to save her term paper multiple times YET she weepfully stated she LOST HER WORK. I told her multiple times, to save her work file homework1, homework2, homework 3 every 20 minutes AND into flashdrive. Did she listen? Nope. All previous work lost despite my good natured advice. SMH.

          • Scott Serradell

            Was her heart being painstakingly ripped from her body by the love of her life like it were the cruel punchline to a 25 year long joke? …No? Then please excuse my lack of sympathy…
            (Sorry Mike. Not directed at you. Just where I am at the moment. But goodness! Getting that out didn’t feel too bad…)

          • Scott Crawford

            OK, just while we’re on the subject. As I’m writing my script now, I’m saving to an external hard drive (a memory stick) and not my computer’s internal drive. The laptop I’m writing on is only really working in safe mode, so I can’t connect to the internet while writing (I’m writing this on my Mac). If I could, I’d save to Dropbox.

            I’ve learned to press Crtl+S every ten minutes or whenever there’s a pause after a lot of writing or whenever I feel like it. Saving a large document can mean waiting a few seconds before typing again, but it’s worth it. If I have a computer failure, I might lose a hundred words or so, but like an old IBM word processor, I can usually store those hundred words in my memory. So I can always make up for that. But not if it’s longer.

            At night, I upload the file to Dropbox, overwriting the earlier one, confidant that, if my house burned down, I’d still have what I’ve written.

    • smishsmosh22

      I believe I have 10, E.L Drayton voted for Log. :)

      • Scott Crawford

        Belatedly! Thanks, I’ll add the quotes later (out and about at the moment).

    • Scott Crawford

      Would it be sexist to imagine this weekend might end like this?

      Let’s have a nice clean fight. Good luck to all three writers!

      • klmn

        Everyone loves a good catfight!

    • Angie

      Is there more than one Angie on this site? I have not voted yet so who is the Angie mentioned above?

      • ScriptChick

        Oh, I think that might be Andrea_Moss’ vote?

        • Angie

          Ah yes, sounds right. My vote tomorrow.

      • Scott Crawford

        Oh, I see what I did! I mixed Angie with Andrea! I am so embarrassed. I’ll it down to the fact that both your names begin (on this site) with an “A.”

        • Marija ZombiGirl

          That or having an early taste of Xmas eggnog, perhaps? ;)

          • klmn

            Or Wild Turkey.

        • Angie

          No problem. Scott. I just freaked wondering how you you could know which screenplay I planned on voting for.

          I’m embarrassed too, about any typos in my comments.

    • Linkthis83

      Put me down for CRATCHIT.

      Of these three scripts, it’s the one that gets me the most invested/interested.

      • ScriptChick

        Thank you!

    • Cal

      Woah 15 1/2 votes CRATCHIT vs. 16 votes LOG… this is coming down to the wire.

    • OCattorney Voting against “Log”… that was a statement about the overt violence against women in the script, and… hey, Real Writers use descriptive and emotional language to get a point across! Seriously, they do. Donald Trump made statements to get his name in headlines and after a while, no one noticed any of the other Republican nominees. (And one was ex-President Bush’s brother.) However, let me make amends. The problem with “Log” is the characters. Bland, boring compared to the log. I would have the owners of Junior Lumberjack camp sign a contract with the court system to give “tough love” to juvenile offenders that are about to graduate to the Adult penal system, and “Last Chance for Tough Love” is on their t-shirt. I want to see the faces of the campers when they see the new arrivals, and realize these are the worst Predators that urban decay has managed to produce. And now the danger has a human dimension that is real… except, these New Predators are here for a reason. A Home Invasion gang is looking for new recruits.

      • Scott Crawford

        You’re getting a bit weird. What I was pointing out was, if we exclude one person’s vote because they’ve not commented before or because they haven’t commented in a while, then we might have to start removing lots of peoples votes for all sorts of reasons. We don’t do that.

        In short, it doesn’t really matter, ultimately the best or most-liked script will still win, even without certain votes.

        • OCattorney

          The ONLY weird thing is… I submitted my script for “The Glow” and for three months, Carson never told me my script wasn’t in the contest.
          I come here… I offer great suggestions… I’m trying. I think I’ve figured out what’s wrong with “Log”…. it needs more Empathy for the human characters by making them three-dimensional… Right now, what the script screams is “I have no Empathy for other people.” And that’s a heavy burden for a writer. –
          Even in a slasher movie, even in a satire of slasher movies, you need to show more Empathy than I’ve seen here, by any one… – Bill Hays

          • Randy Williams

            Can we please get The Glow on an AOW?. I want to read this thesis on empathy.

          • Carmelo Framboise

            Still, you don’t have to be able to write a better script than someone in order to judge his work.

            It’s an opinion, and should be expressed if you want to. Many great teachers are bad artists themselves anyway.

          • Angie

            Agree. Easier to see the flaws in someone’s script than those in your own. One of the best all time note givers from years ago submitted a script for Amateur Friday that earned a What Did I Just Read.

          • OCattorney

            That’s a complicated subject. I submitted a 50/ 65-page entry because I wanted everyone to read the important plot points, and it seemed like everyone was so busy, they were only reading Log Lines or the first 5, 10 or 30 pages and the last five. My thought is the same as two weeks ago. Anyone who wants to read “The Glow” can send me an email, and that includes Carson. If Carson wants “The Glow” for an AOW, send me an email and we’ll discuss the terms. Current draft is too short for a proper AOW review.
            Been talking about the difference between Conceptual and Intuitive writers. I would love to get feedback and suggestions from fine Intuitive Writers like Brian and Katherine Botts (scriptchick.) Writers who naturally write about the Characters and how their personalities lead them into places where the plot might not want to go.
            Anyway, congratulations to all three. Writers tend to think in terms of Conflict, and adding conflict to make things more interesting. It was fun to take a position against sexual abuse and log rape, because it made the voting more emotional. The Log people got into the debate. – Bill Hays

        • Scott Serradell

          If I may humbly chime in here, Scott…

          As usual you are performing well above your pay grade. But amongst the many tasks we’ve all come to relay on you for, I’m drawing the line at baby-sitting. Mr. Hays has apparently eaten some sour grapes and needs a nap. Like mothers on the first day of Kindergarten, we just have to walk away.

    • AstralAmerican

      My vote: CRATCHIT

      since JUMP has no chance of winning unfortunately despite the writer”s professional touch and imagination

      • Scott Crawford

        Fair enough. It’s your vote and I’ll change it.

    • Carmelo Framboise

      I vote for Cratchit.
      It was a veeery close call between Cratchit and Log.

      I still feel that the great Log is a short script stretched out to be a feature length.

    • Angie

      This seems like many more voters than usual. Great show.

    • Kirk Diggler

      Voting for Cratchit – Like I said last time, even though I’m not completely sold on the this adaptation, it creates a nice atmosphere and has the best overall writing.

    • Linkthis83

      I’ve seen crazedwriter around SS off and on for a long while. Assuming it’s the same, consistent guest.

    • Garrett

      My vote is for “CRATCHIT.” A terrific reimagining and a very tight 10 pages. Great work Katherine!

    • crazedwriter

      Not my 1st comment. I don’t comment every week or even every two weeks. But I’ve been popping in for years. FWIW.

      • Scott Crawford

        No problem. Yeah, I remember you now, of course. crazedwriter! Sorry, with guest comments and all these accusations… forget it! Changed.

    • Daivon Stuckey

      Put another vote down for LOG.

      I think that one of the most important qualities of a script is voice, and I’ve read very few screenplays that ooze it as much as Log. Smishy is one of our most valuable writers. Besides being fucking talented, she’s super nice, and cute too! Also a sexy voice. But I digress.

      When I first read Log, I don’t know if I thought much of it, but upon re-reading, and since, it has stayed on my mind when many other scripts haven’t. The latest re-write made it even better, and I definitely love it.

  • gazrow

    My vote: Cratchit. I didn’t vote for this in the early rounds but Katherine has improved it considerably in the rewrite. As for the other two entrants…
    I like Alison. I like her writing. I like her table reads. And I hate LOG! I couldn’t understand the love this one got in the early rounds. It made me feel like the kid in The Emperor’s New Clothes. I just don’t get it. Sorry.
    Jump moves too fast for my tastes. the pacing feels off to me.

    • smishsmosh22

      awww. thanks gazrow :)

    • The Colonel

      Just for the record I think Alison is a horrible, reprehensible person, nearly Trump-like in her sheer lameness, but I love Log.

      • Scott Crawford

        Agreed. Horrible. And another thing – I don’t think she does look like Linda Hamilton c. 1991!

      • gazrow

        I’m the complete opposite. I think Alison is pretty cool. I like her. I just HATE Log! And given your earlier comment I’m starting to get worried!

        Be careful your love for Log doesn’t give you an STD like splinters!! Lol.

        • smishsmosh22

          I think it’s so funny that people either love Log or hate Log. It’s cool to see who shares my sense of humor on this site. I really can’t fault you for not finding the same things funny as I do. Come check out our table read today, we’re doing one of the previous amateur friday winners, The Runner.

          • gazrow

            Hi Alison, thanks for the heads up. Will definitely check out the table read. Oh, and if it’s any consolation I hate Rubber just as much as Log, if not more. :)

          • The Colonel

            Yeah, but Rubber is boring and stilted. Log sings with a joie de vivre!

          • Scott Crawford

            Love it or hate it. People could LIKE it. This has been discussed many times before, but some people would rather their script splits opinions, love it or hate it, rather than have a majority only like it (in between love and hate, almost indifference).

            For that reason, such writers embrace the quirky (like Log) or the cheesy (like me, I like cheesy) and say if you don’t like this, then it’s not for you, but if it IS for you then you’ll love it. Savoir?

      • Dan J Caslaw

        Trump won, the Swamp lost. The Swamp’s gonna keep losing for the next 8 years. Enjoy it!

  • smishsmosh22

    Log writer here!

    I would call this rewrite a SURGERY, not a band-aid. I had so much fun writing this new, 5th draft, I even gave it a new title on the cover page. Log 2: The New Branch. But I still intend for it to be called Log if it’s ever made!

    I copied down 16 PAGES of feedback from commenters during the first round. I analyzed these notes, and found the main issues people had to be the following:

    – For those who had read several drafts, they felt Log had lost some of its ‘magic’ while trying to be more commercial or mainstream. It’s ‘half balls to the wall and half not balls to the wall’

    I’ve addressed this note by leaning more towards COMEDY than horror. I’ve added more wacky scenes, including two extra ‘Log rapes’, an inflated sex doll, butt plugs, more sap, Loggy style, etc. Also, I got rid of a TON of set up scenes, so now we first meet Erica as she’s in the car driving to the camp. This moves up the first epic death scene to page 17, rather than page 27.

    – Rosa subplot is too weak and confusing.

    Deleted! I wrote a BRAND NEW OPENING that completely gets rid of the Rosa storyline. SPOILER: Now it opens with Wyatt singing for Junior Lumberjacks kids around a campfire when he is brutally murdered and raped by the Log… right in front of 9 year old Javier’s eyes. Years later, Javier comes back to the property, determined to kill the Log, and prevent it from killing or raping anyone else. He will save Erica like he couldn’t save Wyatt when he was too young and weak.

    This is my FAVORITE change. I love Javier. He’s kinda crazy and he adds a lot more comedy in place of serious subject matter. He also replaces another problem area:

    – The black metal band Death Face. A lot of people have bumped on this subplot as it wasn’t connected well enough to the main storyline. And I never figured out how to do that. So I deleted them. Almost entirely, except for one mention of them on the radio at the end.

    Other issues I addressed:

    Too many POV shots. (I deleted at least 70% of POV’s… I’m a director, so that was HARD, but I’m learning. Will work on using this less and less.)
    Kiwi thinking Chuck and Erica have a domestic violence issue. DELETED.
    Kiwi’s backstory too complicated. DELETED.
    Carrie/Wyatt shouldn’t see the kid smoke crack on the VHS tape. CHANGED.
    50’s music confuses time period. DELETED.
    The beaver. Okay, almost no one mentioned liking the beaver, so I got rid of most of his scenes. (Sorry Eric….)

    Things I still need to work on, if I’m being honest. Log’s intro scene. I’ve got a few ideas but I ran out of time to implement them and make sure they worked. I’m expecting notes on this. Also, with some of the new dialogue being quite fresh, it needs work to sound more natural.

    But all that said, this is my favorite draft of Log. It’s the funniest. I had a really good time writing it. And I’m grateful to everyone here for helping me get it to where it is today. I never thought a script about a Log that kills and rapes people would place in a ton of screenwriting contests, or even get me a producer contact in LA, but it has. I got to experience a production company asking me “So, what else you got?” for the first time! And they liked one of my other ideas! So whatever happens, I am very happy with this experience. Best of luck to everyone in the quarter finals and thanks for including me.

  • Guest

    I asked this already but never got many answers. Or Help to find what I was looking for.

    I read about a movie that as time has gone on I think is either in production for 2017-2020 area. Or is unproduced “BLACK LIST” website or Blog page Logline I read. IE:
    The Definitive Spec Script Deals List (1991–2012) or the actual list. The Logline for this story is…About two Assassins or Hitmen who fall in love (Speculation: I think was that they had the same target and was set in Europe)?

    Anyone help?


    • Citizen M

      There was an amateur script on SS in March 2015
      Title: Drawing Dead
      Genre: Crime
      Logline: An opportunistic and ambitious sniper-turned-hitman gets the opportunity of a lifetime to fulfil his ambitions when he gets the job of killing the woman he’s falling in love with.

      It’s set in America but they mention going to Oslo.

    • Malibo Jackk

      • Guest

        That didn’t give me any help or give me closer. That was just a waste of comment.

        • Malibo Jackk

          Duh… That’s why it was deleted.
          Thought it was a similar premise, ie — foreign country, assassins, one
          assigned to kill the other.
          But then realized each were not assigned to each other, only one assigned to kill the other.

          (And if you’re writing a similar concept, keep in mind — the industry wants to see a different twist.)

    • Citizen M

      You’re probably thinking of ALLIED aka Untitled Steven Knight WWII Project.

      Brad Pitt’s character, Max Vatan, is a Canadian secret agent parachuted
      into Casablanca to assassinate the German ambassador. He quickly unites
      with his local contact, resistance fighter Marianne Beauséjour, played
      by French actress Marion Cotillard. She must pose as his wife.
      …and of course they fall in love.

  • Scott Serradell


    But first a heartfelt Thank You to everyone for their well-wishes and support. It’s strange to wake up and have the future you were working towards suddenly be a dream from yesterday. But it’ll be okay — and sometimes a hug, even digital ones, are all that’s needed.

    Anyway. ‘Nuff said on that whole subject. ONTO SCRIPTS…

  • urban.spaceman

    My second screenplay is an extremely similar idea to JUMP, although much less interesting it seems now. Damn you Bumstead!! (Am on page 2)

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making the #4 seed in the Scriptshadow Tournament!

    Reading the title, I didn’t remember anything of what this was about. That’s a negative. Once I started and saw the Seattle Space needle in it, I started to remember.

    The first time, I had trouble with how easily Anna accepted this mission. I suggested a bit more prep work on Madelaine’s part to ease her into all this time travel business. I didn’t like a few pages of time travel lecturing. Would a damaged young person like Anna be concerned about history? Lincoln? Hiroshima? Personally, I wouldn’t be. I wanted a more personal emotional need to be addressed. Some of that does occur later, like on page 22. But as Anna is introduced to this organization along with the others, I found it incredibly unbelievable how flippant it all was.

    Those concerns were not addressed in this rewrite, but I still continued and finished it. I’m glad I did, because I enjoyed the way this moved quickly and for the most part I was firmly engrossed in it. Still, I think the potential is there to elevate this beyond the well done choreography of a thrilling rescue attempt. And that it was for me.

    First of all, the tone, I felt it is very young adult. I felt the jumpers reacted and spoke more like teens than their ages. When Marcus explains, “I’ll try to dumb this down for you cretins as much as I can, So, please, no questions”, it felt he was speaking to teens. Throughout the script as bad things happen, for instance, Anna gets stabbed, characters come back with jokes about gingers, for instance, that for me felt out of place. Their bravado was unmistakably juvenile, I thought. “I won’t let you down, I promise” This after just a bit of prep. In a sense, as I said the first time, this felt like a TV pilot of a Saturday morning show.

    In “Source Code” a similar concept of sorts, we get clues to an underlying facet of the protagonist’s journey that will be revealed later. Here, we get some indication that something else is going on but there are not really clues the audience can piece together. We get no chance to think anyone is a bad guy and can’t be trusted or that Anna will at any time be betrayed. We get that sudden reveal by Alkooheji on page 62 but no clues before that. After that Madelaine is confused about how he would know. Nothing is really tied up except that Kronos knew somehow? Disappointed I wasn’t made to think, to cringe that the jumpers were being played.

    Once they jump, it really picks up. The sibling interaction between the brothers and the action on the ferry was the best of the three pieces of their mission. Really, really well done, I thought. It only accentuated for me, how kind of boring Anna’s part was in this, and she seemed more like the protagonist and how little creativity was used in the airplane scenes. Nothing that I had not seen before in hijack movies. The passengers ramming the cockpit door? Things seemed to be set up for the jumpers to make the impact, but in the case of Anna’s job and in the airplane, others were involved. That’s why I thought, too the brothers on the ferries hit the mark.

  • E.L. Drayton

    Wow, what a diverse MIX of scripts to choose from this round! Time-travel, a blood-thirsty Log and a Classic Tale re-imagined! Each could not be MORE different than the other!

    I remember voting for Jump and for Log during their respective weeks! Unfortunately, I didn’t think my vote would count for much (being a newb commentator at the time) so I didn’t vote during Week 01 (even though I’ve been a daily visitor and reader of this site for a while now…), but if I had my vote WOULD HAVE gone to Cratchit! Ugh!

    I’ll be spending the day reading (as I prefer to do before casting my vote) the first 50 pages of each and will have my vote later on this evening!

    My Vote Here:

    Congratulations to you three!

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for a wild card spot in the Scriptshadow Tournament!

    Read more of this than the first couple times. Got to page 60. I’m not much to begin with into period pieces but the writer writes with such grace and fluidity and with a magical touch when it comes to settings and visual movement, that it’s not a chore at all except for perhaps times where keeping track of a Past character and present character within a scene needs special attention. The writing is pure pleasure..

    The base material is something I’ve always loved and I have enjoyed all the different television and theatrical versions. To follow the story from a different perspective is something I don’t remember seeing before. So, this is a positive. Cratchit is played very simple and sympathetically in all the versions I’ve seen. I’ve never read the novel, so I don’t know how much the writer here has added to the complexity of Cratchit’s life based on the novel or hints of it that the novel might have contained.

    So, to begin with I’m protective of Cratchit and this script adds so much more layers to him, makes him more flawed and his background and choices so much more Dr. Phil than Dr. Seuss that it’s somewhat difficult to break that protectiveness and go with the flow. Does that make sense? Yet, at the same time, I’m used to seeing little interaction between Scrooge and Cratchit in most versions and here, they move about town and time as a pair of Sleuths and it’s really entertaining to see them together so much. I loved Cratchit going against type and roles are reversed when he tells Scrooge who’s wasting time wooing Belle, “You can’t waste time being sentimental”. I laughed out loud here.

    Earlier readings, I got more of a family friendly tone, but reading more, and how adult the conversations and relationships become, the business discussions, I take back my criticism that showing Tiny Tim’s charred body was too much. I think it’s fine.

    I really loved the atmosphere in this. The vortex travels “Gaslights like landing strips” are cinematic and full of magic. Full on director bait, I thought.

    For me, the script in what I read feels like two things. One, a fun murder mystery with an odd couple as detectives. Okay, we are presented with suspect #1, Fezziwig. and on to the next. Then, it is a bio of someone we thought we knew all about and the facts are far from pretty. I can imagine that redemption is in store for Cratchit at the end as it was for Scrooge. For me, however, I’m more tuned in at this point for wishing for redemption for Marley.

    • ScriptChick

      Thanks Randy! I did actually modify the discovery of Tim with you in mind, but going back, what I have in there now is more accurately how I’d imagine it to be on screen. Kay, director hat off! I tried focusing more on character work this draft so I did actually give more thought to Marley than I ever have before and I think his soul can be at rest now. ;) If you do end up reading to the end, I’d love to hear the rest of your thoughts! Thank you for all your comments!



    JUMP: Definitely has the best opening ten pages of the three. Really good. Cinematic. As soon as we arrive at Quantus, though, it all becomes too predictable for me. It wears its inspiration on its sleeve and falls into cliche I think.

    I’ve been watching TIMELESS on TV and this, though unfortunate timing, doesn’t scream big screen compared to that.

    I’d lose the two guys and find a way to have Anna as the sole jumper and put her through the three past scenarios. She can fail at two and succeed at the third. Maybe the two guys can prep her for jumping into their past selves…

    CRATCHIT: Great writing. Unique take. It’s not my genre at all, though, and not sure it could realistically get made at the moment.

    I could see this, though, as a Guy Ritchie style, film so you never know.

    As a writing sample CRATCHIT really shines.

    LOG: Be careful making changes/edits for the sake of it.

    I actually read LOG looking for reasons NOT to vote for it but couldn’t find enough…

    I think this could be made for 600k or 16 Million and give a nice ROI based on either. I’d love to go and watch a midnight screening of this after a few drinks with friends. That’s why…


    • Scott Crawford

      Be careful making changes/edits for the sake of it.

      Agreed. It was mentioned the other day; you have to be careful which feedback to act on, you can’t follow all of it (I’m speaking in general, not about Log or any particular script).

      Polish an Oscar too much and you’ll see the tin beneath the gold.

      • BMCHB

        Varnish [a] log too much and you’ll have a [foot] stool.

      • smishsmosh22

        I’ve been polishing my Log for months and BOY ARE MY HANDS TIRED!

        …and covered in sap.

  • ScriptChick

    CHANGES TO CRATCHIT! Had to try my best knowing the stiff competition I’d be up against! Modified end of Cratchit/Irish Fighter fight scene, delved more into the father and son angle(s), altered transport to the past, beefed up conflict (and budget, hehe) while in past, altered threat against Cratchit and family’s life in 3rd Act, worked on streamlining 2nd half so less busy, retooled dialogue throughout, particularly C/Marley, C/Helena and C/Scrooge big moments, and added a little twist near the end. Easter egg too on a character’s name for any die hard Dickens fans out there!

    One of my favorite movies is Ghost which I feel is a mix of genres that worked so well when they were smashed together. And I think it was the inherent (if literal) darkness of the black/white Alastair Sims Christmas Carol that drove me to explore this side of the classic Dickens tale for a modern audience. I love spectacle and I love gothic horror. I would go through all of Dante’s seven stages of hell if Guillermo del Toro wanted to direct this.

    Usually around Christmas I take stock of my relationships and I wonder — if I was to say this, if this were to happen — can a relationship become too broken to mend? Can a person change? I hope you find my dark heart of a story still beats with promise and hope…for some.

    Thank you for giving me another shot at the Tournament and good luck to all the other contestants!

    • Scott Serradell

      Katherine: What struck me so much in this draft (and your writing in general) is your capacity to bring out certain emotions through subtly and nuance. To me this comes from a writer who not only can “see” their scenes but feel them as well. If my previous criticism spoke of a “lack” of something I wasn’t experiencing it this time around. The foreboding nature of the fog, for example, that crept in and out of the early part of the script was eerily palatable. But more so this applies to your characters and how you present them. Early, when Tim offers his earnings to his father you have Cratchit reply “I can’t deny people their matches.” I don’t know why but that single line just felt imbued with love, sorrow, and dignity. Later when we are witnessing Young Scrooge with Belle there was a playfulness about him being so smitten that feels energetic and unexpected. Much of the story I read had such qualities and when I am able I plan to finish it (I read to about pg. 48-50).

      But in my above criticism (“passivity of action”) I just wonder if having Cratchit and Scrooge, once they start going into different time periods, essentially be witnesses to the story — instead of actively driving it — holds the same water for today’s audiences. It’s a lame criticism actually (because I think there’s no real reason it can’t be the way it is) but I’m just trying to realistic. At any rate, it’s very good. Best of luck to you.

      • ScriptChick

        Hi Scott! Thanks for letting me know more how you felt. It is something I’ve wondered too, as the original Christmas Carol has an introspective/fly on the wall approach that really isn’t seen too much these days but I feel it works for that movie. For mine, my hope was that as they explore the past, they see themselves and others in a new light while doing the detective work of reassessing prior altercations. Did any of these fights characters had in the past actually lead to murder? Anywho, thanks for the nice comments. If you do happen to finish it, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

        • Scott Serradell

          I will finish it, so I can let you know when that happens…

          But can I spitball for a sec? (And this will probably seem bonkers-as-all-fuck, but please hear me out…)

          You are right about the original “Christmas Carol”: Like most literature from the 19th century it employed a third-person narrative, thus it was told from an OBJECTIVE point of view. The anomaly of that particular story is that it was is also a mystery, meaning it unfolds in a REVELATORY way (e.g. it ends with the “truth”.) BUT…though Scrooge is the main character he is still a passive witness to the events throughout; whereas older, or pre-modern, audiences could follow a story without having to place themselves “inside” one of the characters, it is not the same for us nowadays…

          What’s interesting is that a few decades later we saw the rise of the SUBJECTIVE narrator in the mystery: Dr. John Watson — for though the tale was from his perspective his gaze was directly on Sherlock Holmes — and with a character so illuminating suddenly Watson became transparent in his presence. This paved the way for an entire genre of detectives and in each (with minor exceptions) the mystery always unfolded from their POV (regardless if it was written first or third person). Therefore we, the reader, are experiencing it SUBJECTIVELY…

          SOOO — Therein lays the trick. The basic structure of “Christmas Carol” is, like I said, revelatory — of which you have added the mystery of Marley’s killer. But by making Cratchit (and/or Scrooge) the “eyes” from which we see the story (subjective aspect) then you keep the original structure while “updating” it. ALSO if there was a way Cratchit could “control” his going back in time, where, instead of being a witness, he’s actively trying to solve the truth. Then not only is there a mystery but a mutli-timeline mystery. Kind of a unique idea, IMO.

          Anyway. Take what you want (if anything) from this and please disregard the rest.

  • Poe_Serling

    As I stroll into the Scriptshadow Cineplex this weekend…

    All three of the coming soon posters for the above projects would make me
    stop and check them out.

    So, congrats to the featured writers coming up with eye-catching concepts.

    Which one would I probably go see:

    My vote goes to:


    Once again, my choice has zero reflection on the talents of the other two

    As I wrote a few weeks ago…

    The Cratchit logline states “A Christmas Carol” reimagined… ”


    Cratchit kicking butt in the boxing ring. This one had the flair and energy
    of those Sherlock Holmes films directed by Guy Ritchie.

    Though the story isn’t exactly in my wheelhouse, I thought the writer has a
    very clear and concise writing style. I appreciated her attention to all the little
    period details.

    Points for taking a classic tale and giving it new spin!!

    • BMCHB

      Glad someone else saw a possible Guy Ritchie film here, too.

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for a #5 seed spot in the Scriptshadow Tournament!

    Read the whole thing. I don’t know how many drafts I’ve read of this. Always entertained with each draft. I do like this one the best. I think adding one character who acts as a backstory filler, a suspect, and a warning really has cleared up the clutter of characters and various locations and added another layer.

    As always, I find the voice distinct. A personality reflected in the energy of the writing, the comedy, the often playful format, adds to an untypical slasher story to create something that really grabs my attention from page one and doesn’t let up.

    Some notes…

    Page 9. Thought Erica’s reply, “nothing logical” could be some joke there perhaps off Javier’s plastic ax?

    Page 42. Kiwi’s line,”the fact that your boyfriend just got brutally murdered” At that point they are still thinking a wolf killed him? “Murdered” isn’t usually used for animal attacks?

    Page 45. “Blood spurts like Old Faithful” Just mentioning this because “Jump” uses the same description but describing a bomb going off under water and water spurting up. I feel the description here matches the tone of the script, whereas in Jump, because of the more serious nature of the subject matter it did not. Anyway, funny two scripts here mentioned Old Faithful!

    Page 63. I did not like that Javier runs away crying like a baby after being butt fucked. I kind of grew very fond of him and seemed contrary to the fight in him. Perhaps he’s just stunned. He could even on page 79 as he says his goodbyes to Erica say a line in a roundabout way about being a victim of rape that might resonate with Erica?

    Page 65. Erica explains the termites, cracking her joints, etc. I loved the office scene in an earlier draft. Her just explaining it takes away that fun. There are some touches of this earlier in the script, but maybe something similar to the office scene could take place in the cabin that really nails it down?

    I want to say here that I’m totally in love with Todd. I think it’s important when writing a relationship, a romance, the hint of romance or courtship in a script that the object of your protagonist’s heart be someone you either completely want for yourself or completely don’t want and don’t want the protagonist hooking up with them either. Todd is so endearing, so funny and hot.
    Hated to see him go. Damn.

    Page 71. Erica uses Pledge again. Seems a repetitive use of a prop. Something else, perhaps?

    Page 78. A criticism I’ve given before. Still think all the animals fornicating on page 78 is a bit much and a momentum killer. I like my woodpeckers manic but chaste, like Woody. But, you obviously like your animals.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Really like the opening of JUMP.
    On note: Some description on pg. 3 sounds like you’re trying to explain
    instead of dramatize.
    Might suggest something along the lines of —

    Ext. Space Needle–Ground level – Night.
    Pure chaos.
    Massive debris rains down.
    People scream, scrambling over each other.
    Smoke, burning fuel, dust, and death.

    • Scott Crawford

      Seems like two different ways of describing the same thing, both acceptable:


      On the ground, plane and space needle debris rain down on the people, crushing many of them.

      The rest of the people scream and run each other over in their attempt to escape.

      Pure chaos.

      Maybe could be broken up a bit, like Malibo did.

      • RO

        I’d start to write it out like this:


        People SCREAM and trample over each other, trying to dodge falling airplane and space needle debris.

        • Scott Crawford

          Yeah, it’s a bit of pyramid writing, I think. You start with big picture, then move on to the detail. Nice one.

      • Malibo Jackk

        (The difference IMO is the difference between describing something
        — and dramatizing it.
        Did not mean to claim that the example is anything more than an example
        of one way to suggest drama.)

  • The Colonel

    Hot damn, the new draft of Log made me LOL three times in the first four pages, that has to be a record for me.

    “It’s like wiping a felt tip pen.” Allison, that’s the funniest joke I’ve heard in weeks, haha.

    • smishsmosh22

      I mean, don’t you hate it when that happens? hehehhehehe. Yeah I laughed while writing it so I’m glad you liked it too!

  • smishsmosh22

    I voted for both Cratchit and Jump in the previous rounds! So I’m honored to compete against you both. Whoever wins definitely deserves it. :)


    Your first ten pages are possibly the best of the competition. Some of your choices after that, to me, read like first draft/easy choices which is to be expected in this competition and kind of the point of it.

    Keep working on it as it has serious potential.

  • Duhhhhhhh

    Can people please stop splitting votes between two scripts. It has to be the most moronic thing any human could possibly do.

    What is the fucking point?

    Earth to whoever you are.

    Please tell me you understand how voting works?

    It involves voting for someone.

    Splitting a vote in two makes it a pointless.

    How can people not understand this by now?

    • BMCHB

      Eh, no, it doesn’t make it a pointless [vote].

      I came third by half a vote in Round One and have absolutely no problem with that.

      Once Scott’s happy counting them up, it’s all good IMO.

      • Duhhhhhhh

        No, it is absolutely pointless. Just because you came third (or let’s say hypothetically you even came first) because of half-votes, that doesn’t make this practice okay.

        It’s not okay. It’s downright retarded.

        This line of thinking is like third grade.

        The concept of “voting” means that you’re casting a vote to whoever you want to win. Two people cannot win (they can draw, but that’s not the same thing).

        You can’t split your vote between Trump and Hillary. You only get one vote and you only get to use your one vote in full, not splitting it in half. Because it makes no fucking sense.

        The very definition of voting means that you are voting for ONE script. If people don’t understand this simple concept then they need help, fast.

        If people can’t decide between who they think is the better script, then that’s their problem. It shouldn’t be left to Scott to add together meaningless half-votes.

        • BMCHB

          ‘It shouldn’t be left to Scott to add together meaningless half-votes.’


          They are not ‘meaningless’, my round was proof of that.

          Half votes will not work in the semi final nor final, but as long as there are more than two competitors, they do… with the caveat that Scott is willing to count fractions and decimals…

          • Duhhhhhhh

            How was your round “proof” of that?

            As I said already, it wouldn’t matter if you came third, or second, or first, or any place due to half-votes.

            Half-votes is a corrupted system and anything resulting from that corrupted system does not prove that it works.

            That’s why we don’t use half-votes in the election, because it is a flawed concept and makes zero sense when you actually think about what a vote is.

            Can I split my vote three ways today? Apparently I can, but it doesn’t make it any less moronic.

          • BMCHB

            Ha Ha. As long as your vote does not go to at least one candidate, it makes a difference.

            Quit while you’re behind.

          • Duhhhhhhh

            I know this is clearly too complicated for you to get, but if you understood that voting is about who it does go to, and not about who it does not go to, you might not be so behind on the matter.

            It’s a simple concept.

          • BMCHB

            Not for you, apparently.

            Occattorney’s vote has made a difference in this competition.

            Who have you voted for? Nobody, that’s who.

            Vote. Make a difference. Then feel free to wax lyrical about the unfairness of the system.

          • Duhhhhhhh

            Clearly you’re the only one still struggling to get it.

            Once again, it matters not if Occattorney’s half-votes makes a difference to the outcome. Splitting votes is a corrupted system. Anything resulting from that corrupted system does not prove that it works.

            And I have voted for someone. Three people in fact. You’re the one who says it is okay to split votes, not me.

          • BMCHB

            You’re a funny onion indeed.

            Who have you voted for?

          • Duhhhhhhh

            28.2% of my vote is going to Cratchit, 31.9% is going to Log and 32.6% is going to Jump. But that still leaves me with 7.3% of a vote.

            I’m still trying to decide what to do with it.

          • smishsmosh22

            I’ll give u a cookie for it.

          • The Colonel

            “I know this is clearly too complicated for you to get”–

            Man, never say that. You know someone’s lost an argument when they start saying the other side is too dumb to follow.

          • Duhhhhhhh

            Uhhh… I said that after the “Quit while you’re behind” comment.

            So, I guess he lost first.

    • Scott Crawford

      I know, I know. It’s a pain to keep track of too. But people can use their vote anyway they want, I’m just adding them up to help out.

      • Duhhhhhhh

        But you shouldn’t be put in a position where you have to add up meaningless half-votes.

        Anyone giving a half-vote doesn’t understand the concept of voting.

        (I’m splitting my vote between all three)

  • The Colonel

    My vote: LOG.

    I’ve long loved Log, and the new Log is hands-down the best log of all. There are very few madcap movies that can keep the insanity going while the plot plays out (most start crazy then get lame in the third act when they have to wrap things up), but Log is batshit crazy all the way through. It’s also one of the funniest scripts of 2016, pro OR amateur, and had me laughing out loud throughout. I almost never laugh from just reading something, so that’s high praise.

    Also, I want to give a special shout-out to Alison’s sheer audacity for coming up with such a bonkers concept and pulling it off. Some huge percentage of being a winning screenwriter is devising original, enticing concepts, and Log sings with originality from the first page. I constantly reference Evil Dead 2 when discussing Log, and I can see Log being an equally visually inventive and distinctive winner. It’s a great achievement.

    Jump is well written, and as others have said, has a great opening. Unfortunately it fell off for me when they get to Quantum, because it seemed to switch gears and turn into a TV show, with the jokey, on-the-nose banter; etc. I though the time-travel explanation was passable, but I don’t believe for one second that these random people would instantly volunteer for a potentially fatal mission after one minute of exposition from a guy who calls them “cretins.” (I also don’t believe anyone calls anyone “cretins” anymore.)

    Cratchit is also a pleasure to read, but one would have to be interested in A Christmas Carol to be interested, and I’ve always despised that syrupy tale (even when Bill Murray was in it). I also think the opening fight scene is far too derivative of the neuvo Sherlock Holmes movies. I think the script is marketable as shit and would do well, it’s just not for me.

    • smishsmosh22

      I write Log for you so this comment makes me VERY happy. I agree, this is the best Log of the pile. Javier, the sex doll, the butt plugs, I mean, I was laughing my butt off writing that shit. I want it to be as bat shit crazy as it can be.

      • The Colonel

        You solved the opening, too, and get them to the camp in a blink of an eye.

        Note: I’ve already refreshed this page several times to see where the vote count stands, I think I’ve got some serious PTSD after last week’s shit show.

        • smishsmosh22

          Yeah, I think I had to write that big set up in the earlier versions as a writing exercise. I was trying so hard to have developed characters. But now I know my characters so well, I don’t NEED to show everything that happened leading up to them driving to the camp. I mean, I might have lost a few tiny details but mostly, I think the important stuff is there, sometimes moved around… writing Log has been like taking a course on screenwriting.

          • The Colonel

            And it’s so important to get down to your story. In earlier versions the car ride up to the camp took what, three or four pages? I remember the fun banter, but now you’re instantly in the thick of it, far more compelling.

          • smishsmosh22

            yes and that car ride didn’t start until like page 19! Then they saved a beaver which was supposed to be my ‘save the cat’ moment for Erica but really was pointless now that I look back on it. We feel for Erica (hopefully) because of her issues with her parents, we don’t need to see her saving an animal. In this new draft, the car ride starts on page 5. :) In fact, the entire script takes place in the woods now, except for that very last interior scene in the kitchen.

        • smishsmosh22

          most votes come in on Saturday night so I try not to stress too much on the first day. But if Log doesn’t win, please rest assured I will do everything I can to get Log made. The option is available, for any producers reading this!

  • jbird669

    Put me down for Crachit still! I enjoyed it when I came out and the rewrites only confirm my initial instinct. Congrats to everyone who made it this far!

    • Duhhhhhhh

      Can I interest you in splitting your vote in half?

  • wad_d

    Hi, I breezed through your first 19 pages. They were solid and I had no issues, but one small thing. When she says “I mean, if you accidentally prevented Lincoln from getting elected, suddenly we’d still be practicing slavery.” For me, at least, I feel like she should instead suggest like a ‘bad’ thing that’d you’d prevent, only the unintended consequences could have made it worse. Like if we somehow prevented the attack on Pearl Harbor (or it never happened), then maybe the U.S. doesn’t enter WWII much later and . I’m not suggesting that should be your ‘fix’ (that’s just an example), and I might not be making sense here, but when she said that Lincoln line, I guess I ‘liked’ her a little less, because I didn’t think a reasonable person would think like that (and yes, I know she doesn’t think one would want to prevent a Lincoln presidency, but it still struck me as odd). But other than that, I thought the first 19 were great (I had to stop to get back to work).

    • The Colonel

      Good note, and agreed. I was also taken aback by the idea that Lincoln alone stopped slavery– of course, he was a forward-thinker, but I don’t believe for a second that slavery would have continued if he wasn’t president.

  • The Colonel

    ” written by the writer with the most experience”

    How would you know that? Why would it matter? I feel like that’s something the writer’s mom would say.

    • Scott Crawford

      Could you say, reading something, that it FEELS like it’s been written by someone with the most experience, i.e. the most practice? I think you might be able to, hand that would a compliment.

      • smishsmosh22

        no doubt Katherine IS a better writer than me! but is hers the best concept…. hmmmm…. ;)

        • The Colonel

          Not the best, the “harder to pull off.”

          I have a thirty page synopsis of a JAWS reboot, and I can tell that shit was the easiest thing I’ve ever written because, of course, all the characters already exist fully formed in my mind.

          • Scott Serradell

            From the Things-I-Should-Never-Admit-To file: I once wrote a 20 page “re-make” of JAWS. The twist: All the action was from the shark’s perspective, written from his POV. Quite possibly the dumbest thing to ever come out my brain, but I still like the title: “The Head, The Tail, The Whole Damn Thing”.

          • Scott Crawford

            I think you should dust it iff, make it a feature, it could make the Black List. It would never get made, probably not, but it would get a lot of attention. I’ve never seen a POV monster movie. And I don’t want to write one so you should write it.

          • Scott Serradell

            Actually Scott! Maybe I’ll dust it off for the shorts contest. Because even 20 pages was stretching it; a feature would be painful to write.

  • smishsmosh22

    hey Paul thanks so much for your vote! Glad you got some laughs out of it. :)

  • -n8-

    Just finished reading all of JUMP. Here are my impressions…

    Well, wait, first want to congratulate Andrew, Alison and Katherine. Just getting eyes on your script in this tournament is the win. No matter who advances. It’s so difficult getting people, and I don’t mean just industry peeps, to actually read your work. Hell, I still can’t get my mom to read any of my scripts, but hey, that’s a topic for another post.

    I digress. Anyhow, back to JUMP…

    The good – This script starts off fast and moves at a pretty good clip. It fits the standards of its genre (action) for the most part– one line action paragraphs, snippy dialogue, movement, movement, movement. And Andrew did a great job of GSU-ing the fuck outta it. Good work!

    I also appreciated a couple of the twists. Most notably, Alkooheji knowing about Anna’s past and the mission. Didn’t see that coming. Great job on that too.

    The bad – Man, I gotta be honest (without being harsh hopefully) but I really wasn’t buying the concept that Andrew set up. Mainly because the rules of his concept weren’t ironclad. Trust me, I know how difficult it is to tackle time travel. I have a pilot utilizing that conceit as well. But if you are going to include time travel then you must stay consistent in your rules.

    The thing that tripped me up was how Madeline was able to give Anna the card and tell her that she’ll have the opportunity to make a better decision about stealing the mustang. Which when I read it at the time seemed fine enough. But then when we get to the jumping hq, we discover that in order to break the continuum and go back in time one must jump into some watery chamber (a la STRANGER THINGS/MINORITY REPORT). My question– how does Anna jump back to the moment before her and her BF steal the car, if she’s not in the watery chamber?? She’s in jail at that moment. But finds herself in the Volvo when she opens her eyes. That’s a very, very bad break of the rules. Pretty much a deal breaker.

    Now that’s not to say that I was expecting WESTWORLD level of consistency in regards to the rules of your conceit. Just no glaringly obvious writerly rule breaking.

    Side note: I’m sure WESTWORLD will have some inconsistencies too before the season is over but at that point it won’t really matter cause I am so engaged with everything on the show: the characters, the music, the look and feel etc. Which leads me to my next point…

    The ugly – I really do applaud you Andrew for tackling such a high concept story but man, the tone of your piece was all over the map. I mean you had things as heavy as plane smashing into Seattle space needle but you had characters quipping with barbs all throughout. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but mostly those quips came at the expense of suspense and tension. And honestly, I didn’t really feel like shit peeps would say in the situations you presented them.

    The one I really rolled my eyes at was the ginger comment (not that I’m the ginger protector, make fun of them at will if you want). Mainly cauz the tech genius sprouts it at a moment when the big twist happens (Alkooheji’s reveal). Stakes are raised with that reveal and now homebase knows their is a traitor in their midst. I take that to mean that this a dire point. The mission in total jeopardy. And then you have him say “my mom told me never to trust gingers.” Ick, man. Ick. Totally wipes away any emotional attachment I have to the moment. It tells me that the writer isn’t taking this seriously at all (not that it has to be super pretentious like a Denis Villeneuve flick) and that I shouldn’t either.

    If you want to make a fun comical version of your concept then do that straight from fade in. Once you introduce massive tragedy right away, it’s hard to pull back and make it fun and light. I mean, look at movies like White House down or say the expendables, two relatively recent lighter fare action movies. But right from the beginning both those films clue the viewer into the lighter tone. And that though it might be dealing with death, destruction and terrorism, the filmmakers want us to not take it so seriously. Imo, you mislead me. And by that you lost me.

    Still, I think you have the basis of a good yarn inside this version of JUMP. There were character moments I responded strongly to– Givens and Sam being the best, most well defined relationship. I enjoyed the brotherly love and almost Dude where is my car vibe between the two of them as they try to stop a terrorist plot aboard a ferry. Fun shit.

    And regardless, no matter what, you’ve already won in my book cause you gonna get all this free ass feedback (take it or leave it… My impressions most especially). And that’s gold.

    Best of luck to you with this script.


    • Scott Crawford

      Nate, you’re doing great and I’m sure the writers really appreciate the effort you’re making.

      But… please make sure you get in your vote before the deadline, and preferably before I go to sleep, which is 1600 Pacific on Sunday. Your vote almost didn’t get counted last time! Which would be a shame.

      • -n8-

        Bruh, I know. It’s just I work weekends (bartender) so it’s diff. But I got a good head start this time.

        You keep up the good work as well, kind sir.

        PS, I’m jonesing for that murder mystery inside NASA. Dust it off and finish!

        • Scott Crawford

          You work weekends? Then I’m sure people appreciate your contributions even more.

          As for the other thing, that script never “blasted off” (see? I can write comedy). I’m sticking with the Die Hard at BLANK script I’m writing now (I think you might like it).

          If you want to read a half-decent NASA-based actioner, try this one, TAKING LIBERTY:

          There are some similarities to what I was writing ten years ago and this was twelve years before that. Almost got made too, with Martin Campbell directing. If you’re going to read it, please do so AFTER all the other scripts this weekend!

  • smishsmosh22

    thanks for your kind words about Log! :)

  • Jaco

    Vote goes to CRATCHIT. The other scripts are well-written – it came down to the opening pages/overall concept for me.

    I vote (-1/30th) of a point to the person who commented below (above?) about splitting votes – get over it.

    Anyways, one small, small, tiny (tim!) suggestion regarding the intro of CRATCHIT – try holding the reveal that this is Bob until he knocks the Irish Fighter out . . .maybe we only see his bare skinny back . . . he’s getting the shit beat out of him (and doesn’t seem to mind) . . .and then he flips the script and punishes his opponent . . . have someone say a bit of dialogue once the Irish guy hits the floor that clues us in that the skinny guy is Bob.

    I like how it reads now for sure – just wondering whether if you hold the reveal until the end of these if it would amp up these pages even more.

    Regardless – good luck to you (and to the other writers as well).

    • ScriptChick

      Thanks, Jaco!

    • Duhhhhhh

      Get over people who don’t understand the concept of voting?

      Not sure I was ever under it, but now that I know you’re one of them, it certainly explains a lot about you.

      • Jaco

        No idea what you are talking about – as usual – but okay.

        • Duhhhhhh

          “No idea what you are talking about – as usual – but okay.”

          Oh look, Jaco edited his original comment, and is now pretending not to know what I’m talking about.

          Man, this is one sore loser move if ever I saw one. But it’s nice to see how low you’ll sink.

          And what is this “as usual” statement? I’ve never spoken to you in my life until today.

          • Jaco


          • Duhhhhhh

            “And, thanks”

            You’re welcome. I’m happy to school you anytime.

  • Mayhem Jones


    LOG: Alison SUCKS!!!!!! So I got the most painful deep tissue massage EVER today (good ole Flavia does do a f*cking NUMBER on me) so I had to alternate LAUGHING with CRYING because of the incredible pain her jokes caused my stomach muscles and back! I’d be like “Hahaha…oh..OW..OW OW OW!!! OWWW!!! GODDAMN” ::takes shots of ibuprofen:: “OK–HA HA HA! OW!!!”

    I gotz zero “notes”–you’ve rewritten it so many times and incorporated so many excellent notes from the SS crew I’m treating it as it’s supposed to be: just a fun read! PS: NO WAY IN HELL AM I SEEING THIS IN THEATRES!!! SCARY!!! Welllllll, unless I get invited to the premiere because you’re directing it…… ahem I do expect an INVITE…. then I may just spend 70% of the film looking down into my popcorn! hehehe ;)

    Just a side note: in addition to your effortless, cotton candy sweet style of writing…I liked when you did stuff like this: “It stops, then attempts to BURROW ITS HEAD INTO HER SKIN!” The capitalized actions had me roaring (AND IN PAIN). So thanks, and f*ck you I need more ibuprofen now!!!!!! :) (Still finishing it BTW… I’m going to be busy most of the weekend… I wanted to get my vote in early & not miss the deadline!)

    CRATCHIT: Sooooo happy to see Katherine getting a buncha votes as well!!! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: YOU ARE SUCH A GREAT WRITER!!!! There is an art to being this _____ on the page… what’s the word I’m looking for? BRIGHT? Your words twinkle like strings of LED lights. It’s a visual experience for me. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE submit to AOW when it comes back, and often, so I can read more of your stuff!

    JUMP: I think someone else mentioned this, but I had forgotten what JUMP was about until I started reading it then I remembered EVERYTHING!!!! Extremely strong opening! And I also stand by my previous comments about this being an absurdly commercial idea.

    Phewwwwwww when I first saw this lineup all I could think was: BRUTAL!!!!!! Such promising talent all battling out for a lone spot they all deserve! Good luck to everyone!

    Time to take a nice… hot…. bath. Wait. HOW DID A WRAPPED UP DURAFLAME LOG GET IN THE BATHTUB!? AHHHHHH!!!!!!

    • Scott Crawford

      Erm… do you have a vote?

      • Mayhem Jones

        LOG! Thank ye kindly!

    • smishsmosh22

      lol thank you so much hahah

  • JakeBarnes12

    My vote’s for Cratchit.

  • smishsmosh22

    Hey everyone, today Twitch Film is table reading a previous Amateur Friday winning script, THE RUNNER by Jeff Doka. Come swing by in the next 10 mins when we go live to check it out. You can submit a script for a free table read at (from that site click on ‘Watch Live’ to see today’s broadcast, starting at 4pm PST)

  • Dallas Cobb

    With my election fatigue slowly dying down, and my school fatigue at an all-time high, I figured I’d try to get back to sorts with a review. Congrats to everyone who participated and thrived during these last couple weeks I’ve been absent; you’re all truly inspirational and fun. While I don’t have as much time as I would like to dive into these entries, I’ll do what I can.

    My Vote: LOG

    Title: Jump
    Pages Read: top of page 10
    Review: Even in this draft, I’m still surprised by the plane crash and it still strikes a deep chord with me — page 4 seems familiar, like we’ve seen all these visuals before, until the ferris wheel image which is semi-different and cool, yet felt a little “Final Destination”-y to me — its a bit difficult for me to get behind Anna in 2027, as I can’t really gauge her character and I don’t know whether to like her or not — It’d be cool if we didn’t learn Madeline’s name in the action lines above her dialogue, let us just learn it in the dialogue — even though the inciting incident is creeping up around pg 8 and I can feel it, I’m slowly losing focus and interest — the writing here is really good, and reading some of the dialogue out loud really adds life to these words — I’m really indifferent about this one; its a really cool concept, but alot of this feels too familiar that I can’t fully get behind it, and I’m almost wondering if the concept would be better suited for TV.

    Title: Log
    Pages Read: to the middle of page 9
    Review: Looks like I’m finally jumping on the LOG. I’ve got to admit; I have HATED LOG since the beginning: while Alison herself is truly remarkable, the subject matter and genre have never resonated or clicked with me at all, and I just could not understand the hype. Now, this 5th draft (5th?! holy cow!) isn’t perfect by any means; but this draft is much much improved from its first draft. — Hate the title page, makes this seem like a sequel when its not — felt like I read the word “log” like six times just on the first page — great page 2, the whole thing — show us the connection between Wyatt and Carrie maybe by having Wyatt wearing the same necklace before he dies, or clutching his identical necklace to Carrie’s before he dies — It’s funnier if Carrie doesn’t apologize for slapping Javier — still repulsed by raping murderous logs, but this reads much more humorous/comedic than the previous drafts — the two PLEDGE lines are hilarious on bottom of page 4 — I’m curious how “Log inches closer” like how does it actually move, by slithering or humping its way? — capitalize Erica’s name during her intro on top of page 6 — nice reversal on page 7 — interesting that I didn’t feel there was a character I could connect to as the protagonist (I’m sure it’ll be Erica) but I was still engaged — I’d never watch this movie, but this is really crisply written.

    Title: Cratchit
    Pages Read: to the top of page 6
    Review: I missed the first week of round 1, so I didn’t get a chance to open this script the first time around — WOW, what a command for words and language! — the imagery is swift, the scenes are concise — yet there’s an energy lacking for me — I want MORE of the characters, instead of having to recollect what I already “know” about them — adaptations can still be/feel original, because its YOUR interpretation of the source material you’re working with, but I didn’t really FEEL that here — the dialogue feels very in tune with the tone and time period — very good writing and effort here, but it just didn’t engage me within these first pages to really be in it.

    • smishsmosh22

      ahhh thank u for the notes and your VOTE!!!!

      • Dallas Cobb

        Do not get me wrong: I HATE LOG!! I would never go see this movie and raping logs to me are just not funny; but in the spirit of this contest and screenwriting, you have a true command with language, visuals, and storytelling — what a tough week!! But it would be wildly entertaining and truly beneficial for Log to be in the semifinals — and well, you deserve it/all the succss!

        • smishsmosh22

          hahah I don’t understand how anyone can HATE a script! But you voted for me, so, I can deal!

          • Dallas Cobb

            I guess the fact that you’ve incited this much of an emotional reaction out of me, means that you’ve effectively done your job as a screenwriter, storyteller, and entertainer!

  • -n8-

    Just finished reading the entire draft of Log. Here are my impressions…

    Well, first I wanna applaud Alison for all the hard work she’s done on this concept. Seriously, bravo! I hears this is a fifth draft. Man, such dedication to the craft has my utmost respect.

    The good – I gotta say, Alison’s enthusiasm not just for screenwriting but also for this particular concept is infectious. Her fire literally burns through the page. Every choice of action, every zing of dialogue, all the set pieces and jokes revolve around her excitement to tell the story. And man, does it sell me. Even if this isn’t my norm go-to style storytelling, I can’t help but be emotionally connected just by the sheer will of the author. Props!

    I also truly appreciated the detail work she did with the characters. No character was hollow. Each resonated with their own individual personality. My fave being kiwi with her one liners (“rancid”) and Todd with his inability to grasp the sitch. I chuckled for a good minute at “like a felt tip pen.” Fuckin brilliant!

    The bad – I’ma say it, though it might make me unpopular, but I feels like the beginning of the last draft drew me into the story better. It was funnier. Had more mystery. And was bolder. I didn’t particularly like the reveal of the raping log so early. Sure you establish the runner that the log likes a good male bum to hump. And yes Alison does milk that shit for all its worth all throughout the script but it kinda lets the air outta the sail too quick imo.

    I felt a bit more emotionally drawn in when I wasn’t certain in the last draft as to what log did with the mom before the teaser out. But as written now, I already know. And then I kinda tune out cause there really isn’t nothing to uncover. Except how this chick is gonna deal with being half log. In the last draft, which I did vote for, I felt that the little bit of mystery to what the log is truly capable of gives the reader something to lean into besides all the wild zany set pieces and puns. It also sets up a better arc for Erica.

    But I might be in the minority with that thought. Plus I know everyone applauds rewrites but someone’s gotta say it– sometimes rewriting just to rewrite or to please all the notes is wrong. Dead wrong. Rewriting is a tool, like any other tool. Not to be abused or over-used. I mean, I rewrite as much as the next pro/am but it’s the true professional that knows when to stop him/herself from chucking out shit that works. But again, just my thoughts.

    The ugly – This is where I get real (and hopefully somewhat helpful) but the story missed the mark to me. Not the concept. I LOVE the concept. Killery rapery log hell bent on doing his thing. Check and double check. The characters were cool too, even if they played into the Cabin in the woods cliche a little too close for my deepest appreciation. But the story…Not the plot… the story. It was inconsistent. Basically, as written, it’s a coming of age story (with horrorific twists) of a half tree half woman. But that’s not what got set up at the beginning. Sure it’s a fun twist to have the lead keep the acorn and all three generations of women live an arbor loving life. But that didn’t quite make sense to the character the writer created in the beginning.

    If that’s where we are going to land, then i feel like we need to see Erica slowly piece it all together and gradually start to see how her mind adjusts to the idea of being a logahuman. She can’t get all geared up to take down this log/father/baby daddy in one sequence only to suddenly flip at the climax. Doesn’t add up. It’s a bad arc for the character. And that’s where this script falters. In my humble opinion.

    Still, I applaud Alison for giving full legs to a concept that doesn’t directly scream feature film. Her ability to make any story work out of a murderous log speaks to her voice as a writer. I’m sure this script will get made once all the story points align itself. And I’ll definitely watch and cheer her on.

    Good luck with the script!


    • smishsmosh22

      thanks for your notes n8 :) I did feel that I had to rewrite it for the semi finals or I would be at a disadvantage against the other scripts who would surely have updated drafts. And there WERE things I wanted to improve! So I’m happy with it. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be better….. :)

  • A. Rhodes

    My vote: Log.

    I’ve got to stick with Log here. Cratchit is a close second -it’s atmosphere is amazing. I could read it in mid July and it would still put in the wintry Dickens world. Great writing.

    But Log. What can I say. So much energy. So much confidence. So unique. It’s the one I most enjoyed reading and the one I thought of afterward the most and the one I learned the most from.

    Great job to all writers here though. Tough week.

    • smishsmosh22

      Thank you A!!!! :) How’s your rewrite going?

      • A. Rhodes

        It’s goin great! Thank ya. Excited to get it where it needs to be.

  • Poe_Serling

    Quarterfinal Round 2/4….

    It’s great to see so many votes so far. I got a feeling this one will come
    down to the wire.

    It’ll be interesting if the Thanksgiving holiday weekend will produce a
    low (off doing other things) or high (extra time to read the projects)
    vote count.

  • Lucid Walk

    When you’re too busy writing your own script to read someone else’s, and can’t vote *sniff*

  • ScriptChick

    Thanks, Mercutio! Will brainstorm titles, see if any stick. :)

  • ScriptChick

    Thanks, Justin! This made me smile at work while I was skimming through. :)

  • pmlove

    Casting a vote for JUMP.

    It needs to get to the action faster and finesse some of the paint-by-numbers scenes at Quantus, especially the mixed messages about training that is never really shown and the ‘I don’t know if she is ready’ bit. Suggest finding a way to add time pressure to their decision making – then you avoid questions about them deliberating and the training section, with the added benefit of making them ill equipped to deliver. Plus you’ll whip through the Quantus section (perhaps Quantus just round them up, rather than wait for them to come to Quantus). Not sure how you’d do that but a “momentary temporal wormhole just opened but we don’t know for how long, this is our only shot” or something might do it. Ultimately, your problem is there is no time urgency at the beginning because you can always just go back in time – so try to think of a way around this.

    The humour needs work – it’s a fine line between Anna being likable and snarky but it should definitely remain. I like the ‘only get one shot’ aspect of it. Change the title and ‘jumpers’ – don’t remind us of a bad film in this genre. Go and rewatch some of the later Mission Impossibles and Edge of Tomorrow for films striking the right tonal balance between action and humour.

    LOG – straight out of the Henenlotter collection. I’m sure it will find a cult audience but I’ve already seen Bad Biology which features a killer/rapist penis and I’m not sure that that’s a watermark that needs surpassing.

    CRATCHIT – I’ve read a few of Katherine’s scripts now, but this feels like a script written to exploit a public domain property, rather than a story that needs telling. But I’ve never really enjoyed a ‘reimagined’ work, so perhaps I’m not the target audience.

    • pmlove

      I ended up reading all of JUMP.

      The architecture is all there, but still a little cut and paste – the airplane needs something new (feels way too similar to the Liam Neeson film NON-STOP as is, plus the wait-to-see-who-the-terrorist-is saps some energy). Splitting the plot into three (four, including the ‘home’ plot line) dilutes things too much and makes each individual plotline seem thin. I suggest considering consolidating to two. Put Givens and Anna together – Anna’s character is weak at the moment as she has nobody to bounce off. Givens adds some good comic relief (loved the bottle hit part). Play up a bit the fact that they are novices – Anna is a bit too keen to be jumping on trains etc, giving her a confused character. If they’re together and interacting, we’ll like them both more.

      Also consider more defined set pieces – the whole thing acts as a chase sequence at the moment. Films like MI benefit from having a quick plan, then we watch as it all falls apart, needing them to come up with a plan B. Then a plan C. etc.

      There’s a few complaints on here about time travel logic – I think if you play on your existing humour, this could be avoided – the trope is that there’s an explanatory scene, but consider playing on this with a ‘you want me to explain quantum physics to you in fifteen minutes?!’-style line (especially if you add in the time pressure-element suggested above). Just a thought.

      Also consider playing with the idea of the mole back at Quantus before revealing who it is – there must be a bit more drama to be milked here.

      The plot is generic (this isn’t a bad thing – many are), so you need to amp up the charm factor.

    • pmlove

      Turns out Bad Biology is available on Youtube for free. It starts with the immortal line ‘I was born with seven clits’. For the avoidance of doubt, this is not a recommendation.

  • Citizen M

    Read the first 30 and last 10 pages. It finished okay, but the beginning was painful to read. I had to force myself. The big problem is that by page 30 we are still setting up, preparing for a mission and we don’t even know what our three protags will be required to do, nor do we know much about them or why they might be willing to risk their lives.

    The only positives were the flashes of humor, which is where I feel the writer’s talents lie. And the idea that you arrive back at a previous time with a knowledge of what might happen. How does this color your actions, like Anna re Johnny? That was a good avenue to explore. The rest of the stuff was just cliche scenes and characters from other movies. The small bit of action I read at the end where they are in an elevator didn’t seem particularly original either.

    The idea of just sending the mind back was a good one, but then what to do about the bodies back at Quantum? And how did the business card go back with Anna in the first time jump? And if jumps take the power of a 747, how did they jump Anna out of prison?

    Notes while reading:
    p. 2 – What is Anna’s emotional state? I can’t tell from her actions.
    p. 3 – A phone won’t hit the floor with a RESOUNDING CRASH, particularly if it’s carpeted.
    p. 4 – Too much cliche writing in these scenes. Unconvincing.
    p. 6 – “What’s your mom’s number?” Good riposte.
    p. 9 – How did Anna time jump out of jail with no apparatus to send her. I’m sure jail authorities don’t like it. Anyway, do they now have a comatose body on their hands?
    p. 10 – “You left.” Good. She knows how he would have behaved.
    p. 11 – Cut on lip. What is the significance of this?
    p. 13 – How did Madeleine know Anna would arrive at that time? I don’t understand the time rules.
    p. 13 – Two men… New characters. I think ‘two men’ should be capped.
    p. 13 – “Am I not a woman?” Good riposte from Judy Dench cliche character.
    p. 15 – “We’re philanthropists.” Yeah, right. Maybe have them get money from insurance companies to prevent accidents, or play the stock market. How do they determine who they will help, anyway? There are so many accidents every day.
    p. 17 – Mumbo-jumbo time stuff. Still setting up. Something has to happen. We have no problem, no plan.
    p. 18 – They agree to the mission far too quickly. They should ask questions, establish what they will need to do, assess the risks and potential impact on their lives etc.
    p. 19 – Temporal displacement takes more power than a 747. Believable. So how did they displace Anna out of jail?
    p. 20 – Glass wall. Mention it when describing the scene under the slugline.
    p. 20 – Jumpers. Precog cliche. And why have three connected when only the one (Ramirez) is taking action?
    p. 20 – Timer. What timer? Should have been set up.
    p. 22 – Good flashes of humor.
    p. 22 – Why is it necessary to access her earliest memories? Surely all they need are the memories around the time of the attack so they can plan the action she needs to take?
    p. 27 – Why do these three consider themselves worthless piles of shit? Motivate better. Knight in particular isn’t worthless with his inspirational school talks.
    p. 28 – So she was pregnant. What happened to the baby? (answered later)
    p. 30 – Still setting up >:o(
    Last pages: Action scenes seem cliche. Final scenes make a nice ending, although it leaves too many questions open like what happened to their original bodies.

  • Cal

    My Vote this week goes to…


    The first thirty pages were fantastic, and the re-write is considerably tighter. I am officially hooked, and can’t wait to read the rest of it. Well done Katherine, the writing is tight and shows that you have a strong grasp on your craft. I like the mystery and thriller elements, it adds further darkness to a traditionally dark tale, and as we approach the winter months I can’t think of a better time for a piece like this to hit the market. I wish you all the best with it.

    My runner up this week is…


    Although I will say that I actually enjoyed the first draft more. The extreme absurdist graphic violence so early in the script was too much for me this time around, and I thought some of the humor was lost from the first draft. I understand Smish that the audience you have for this story might be into it for that very reason, so take this with a grain of salt, but I do wonder where people will draw the line. I commend you for doing so much re-writing though, and giving us a completely new take. Congrats again for taking such a big risk, but I’d encourage you to find the balance that serves the story so you don’t lose people too early that otherwise might really enjoy the story if the absurd violence wasn’t so overly strong.

    • ScriptChick

      Thanks for the vote, Cal!

  • Citizen M


    Read the first 30 and last 10 pages. Plenty of action but not enough setup and motivation for the action.

    How did the five friends happen to be going to the camp at that time? My suggestion: a brief scene with a lawyer where he tells Erica now she’s 21 and can sign contracts she must fix the camp up and sell it because it’s the only asset left for funding her mother’s care.

    Kiwi and Dylan are a couple, okay. But I don’t get Erica, Todd, and plumber-boy Chuck. Is Todd a relative of Erica’s? (Later we learn there’s a picture of him on Erica’s fridge.) How come he’s with them, he doesn’t seem to fit in. Are Erica and Chuck a couple? They don’t really act like it. Maybe Kiwi set Erica up with Chuck and she plans to seduce him at the camp?

    The ending is okay, but I would like an early scene in Erica’s House, so when we get to it at the end we know this will be the closing scene. Also, we don’t know enough about Erica’s goals to realize she has achieved some sort of fulfillment, presumably.

    Notes while reading:
    p. 1 – Maybe have establishing shot of camp entrance in the moonlight, so later when Erica arrives we realize it’s the same place.
    p. 2 – Maybe the kids could jeer Javier more. “Javvvy, go to the lavvy, the log’s too havvy.”
    p. 4 – NSFW!
    p. 5 – Carrie’s in a nightgown? Should have been mentioned when we meet her first.
    p. 6 – Erica s/be capped. Is she wearing pants? (Later i gather she must be wearing a skirt.)
    p. 9 – A man is hit by a car at speed, bleeds, but can still walk and talk? Not believable.
    p. 10 – “…not knowing where I came from.” Set up that Erica wonders about her past. What has happened in her life for 21 years?
    p. 16 – Dripping is plumber-boy Chuck’s specialty. LOL.
    p. 18 – Guts would spray a lot of wet shit as well as blood. Erica’s germophobia should be set up.
    p. 20 – Orange light in log needs to be set up in first scene.
    p. 21 – Todd’s fear of trees is unconvincing. It adds nothing. Consider ditching the concept. The bit of irony near the end doesn’t justify it. Or motivate it much better.
    p. 23 – “red velvet interior” I don’t understand what he’s talking about. A coffin lining?
    p. 24 – Why is Erica worried about losing Todd as well as Chuck? He seems to be just a spare wheel at the moment. Comic relief who isn’t particularly funny. Why does she care about him?
    p. 29 – So is Erica wearing a skirt with no panties?
    p. 30 – “Take this. Be careful.” Set up that they are fearful after Chuck’s death. They aren’t acting nervous enough. What do they fear? They should be speculating about what killed Chuck, maybe using a bit of gallows humor.
    p. 30 – If the first aid kit is on the road where they hit the man, isn’t it a long way away? How will Dylan get there and back without the car?
    Last pages:- A nice enough ending, but I don’t get the feeling that things have come full circle and Erica’s journey is somehow completed.

  • Scott Crawford

    Very good points. First rule: particularly in scripts it doesn’t matter how bloody or sweary you are. It should be tough material. Second rule: Got to find different places. I’m not revealing mine yet although I’ve left clues lying around (and at least one person I know worked it out because I’d discussed it with him before) and it’s place of researched very thoroughly (which is tricky ’cause it’s top secret). Third rule: I’ve re-watched WHD a few times and it’s actually pretty good in a lot of places but the comedy is ill-placed, as is the little kid. I get the point about him trying to save his kid but she’s just annoying!

    I think you’ll like mine; it’s got explosions, lasers, landmines, people getting their heads crushed, gassings, skydiving, cruise missiles, floods, satellites. Lots of stuff is happening in the story which I’m really pleased about.

    What i learned from watching/reading Die Hard type stories is that, often, the hero(es) go on three “missions.” They’re hiding from the bad guys but, when they break cover, it’s three times to do three different things. McClane goes to the roof to call the police, drops a bomb down an elevator shaft, and finally goes to the roof to stop the evacuation. Three things. Casey Ryback blows up the villain’s helicopter so they can’t use it to escape, rescues the sailors and sinks the enemy submarine. Three things.

    When I started thinking about SPECIFICALLY what the heroes of my story could do to stop the villains, that’s when the story started to come together… for me.

    But I’ve still got to write it so back to it…

  • Citizen M

    Tough call between Log and Cratchit, but my vote goes to LOG.


    Read the first 30 and last 10 pages. It’s well written and reads very easily, but I have difficulty understanding why I am reading it. The moral stakes in the original Christmas Carol were clear — Scrooge needs to find a heart. But here, I don’t know. The logline promises a detective story, but there was no detecting in what I read, just some witnessing of past events basically giving backstory which I couldn’t connect to the murder, and a final bit of action.

    In a mystery, the protag finds a clue which leads to action which leads to the next clue, etc. But here, except for the very end, there is no real action.

    Although the stakes are big in that Cratchit needs to save his family, it is not clear what he needs to do to save his family. There doesn’t seem to be any connection between the stakes and what he is doing with Marley’s ghost.

    The scenes of Marley being dragged down by chains were well done and quite spooky, but for the rest I didn’t get much atmosphere or feeling I was in Victorian London, despite the presence of Match Girl and carolers etc. I think it needed more street life. Also, Cratchit’s boxing didn’t seem to be important. Is it used somewhere, or is it just a character tic? At the end Cratchit puts up a poor fighting performance against the older Scrooge, considering his hobby.

    Notes while reading:
    p. 1 – It would be more dramatic if we saw the brick coming through the window. Scrooge should get violently angry at the damage.
    p. 9 – Why do small boys run from Cratchit?
    p. 9 – Boz was Dickens’s illustrator, from memory.
    p. 11 – Shouldn’t the ghost announce that this is a vision of the future? Otherwise, what is Cratchit to make of it?
    p. 15 – This is too mean of Scrooge on Christmas Eve. Build up more to it.
    p. 16 – What happened about the brick through the window? We seem to have forgotten it.
    p. 21 – So Marley is Cratchit’s father? Why not more reaction from Scrooge about it?
    p. 25 – We are getting a flashback within a flashback. What actually are we trying to accomplish with these scenes?

    • ScriptChick

      Thanks for the notes, Citizen! Boz was a pseudonym. Augustus was Dickens’ brother. :)

  • BoSoxBoy

    Only had time to read about 10 pages of each. My vote: CRATCHIT

    Cratchit: Though I would have liked it to get to Marley’s spirit quicker than page 10, it read so well that I didn’t mind. I felt like I was there, in the period. My only complaint was the opening scene. Seemed confusing. Two people talking about two others – could be tightened up. Otherwise, I really liked.

    Log: Really well written, but I couldn’t get past the absurdity of it, which may be more “me” than the script. Some little things that I think could be improved on the portion I read, which again, I enjoyed:
    – dialogue was a little stiff for me (“I know. I’ll get my shovel”, “I’ll save you, Mr. Hudson!”, “What do you want?!”, “Here, this’ll help you keep your eyes peeled, man.” , “It’s going to be okay.” ).
    – Carrie is referred to in the narrative as Wyatt’s “better half”. But how do we know this? Maybe put a framed photo of Carrie and Wyatt in the bedroom scene.
    – Erica tells a complete stranger that’s injured that she’s looking for directions to a property she just “inherited”? Seems forced. Why would she mention she inherited it just to get directions? Should be more organically introduced into the conversation.

    Jump: Here’s the thing with me and Jump – I just don’t dig time travel stories because I can never suspend belief enough to get there, but I thought this one had the best dialogue among the three scripts – the story just wasn’t for me.

  • AstralAmerican

    With the exception of last weekend’s “upset”, popularity contest as often noted in various comments including (sometimes) Carson’s.

  • Reader1

    I only had time to read 5-10 pages of each, but my vote goes to CRATCHIT.

    Like others, I also can’t get past the absurdity of Log. And the fact that Rubber made a whopping $100,370.00 at the box office, I’d much rather have a script with an actual shot of being a box office success advance. And Cratchit definitely has a chance of being a Christmas classic.

    Jump, well written but a couple small gripes. “Twenty thousand people have gathered” and then right after “twenty-somethings.” Using the same number twice, so quickly makes me do a double-check. How about “thousands of people have gathered.” Also, if the phone rings and rings and rings, that’s not going “directly to voicemail.” Again, small things, but…

    Congrats to Cratchit, I truly hope (and pray) you pull off an “upset.”

  • Scott Serradell

    Andrew: I not only liked your premise but I also liked your approach. I think a lot of people can identify with the ‘if I knew then what I know now’ scenario. But instead of going the simple and selfish route (“30 year-old man wakes up as a teenager again and uses his years of wisdom to seduce the prom queen”) — instead, you take a personal tragedy (loss of a loved one) and couple it with a social tragedy (terrorist attack). This gives Anna’s (and the others) actions not only heart but weight. It also broadens the world of the story and gives a deeper scope to the obstacles that must be overcome.

    I also liked the choice of some of the visuals, specifically with the Space Needle and the Spock watch. Whether it was intentional or not, both of these objects represent past versions of what the future was to look like. But in choosing these objects I saw a VISUAL way (like a symbol) of saying neither the past or the future have any real certainty. For a story involving time travel I think this help illustrates the premise and/or theme…but in a non-verbal way; it’s storytelling trying to utilize its medium (the image). In other words it tells me you’re looking for other ways to tell your story (not just through dialogue) and that made an impression on me.

    But, as I said above, there was a “young adult” feel that started to shake its credibility. The break room scene (pg. 23) has a “Breakfast Club” vibe to it — where once our characters dispense with the sarcastic introductions they were free to get into their honest feelings. To me that renders a character immediately boring because, really, what else is there to know about them? Not that everyone need to be mysterious and intriguing — but silence does speak louder than words sometimes, and you have a potentially more interesting character if the audience can’t immediately figure them out. Take that for what it’s worth. Otherwise, this was a much improved re-write: Very clear and very well-written. Best of luck.

  • Craig Mack

    My Vote is for Cratchit. It’s a clever take on an old idea. Executed reasonably well. It feels most like a “movie”.

    Enjoyed this version of LOG. Just not my thing.

    JUMP has a decent hook – just couldn’t get into it. Lost me in the first 5.


  • Midnight Luck

    I am telling you, this is a movie I have been waiting to see. The preview is awesome and hilarious.
    Looks like it could actually be a really great comedy.
    I’m going today, screw waiting for cheap Tuesday, that can be used to see THE ARRIVAL.

    Today, it will all be about THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN

    • Scott Crawford

      She’s OVER 17, so any lascivious comments I make about Ms. Steinfeld are almost acceptable. Almost.

    • Joe Schmoe

      Currently a “Certified” 95% of RT. I think Hailee is an incredibly gifted actress, some of her projects aren’t that impressive, but still… My only problem with this is, even with no makeup, her hair messed up and ugly clothes, I think she’s way too attractive for that role. Especially when she’s compared to the Danny Devito character in Twins.

  • Scott Crawford

    OT: Oy, Americans… and ONLY Americans…

    What do you call the second finger on your hand (it’s script-related)? The index finger?

    Also, just out of interest, what do you call the middle one?

    • The Old Man

      2nd finger is the ring finger. The middle finger is (are you ready?) the middle finger.

      • Scott Crawford

        I’ll go for the middle finger. Are you sure the finger next to the thumb is the ring finger?

        • klmn

          No. The finger next to the little finger is the ring finger.

          • Scott Crawford

            We’ve sort of adopted pinkie from America, but ring is ring. I always count from the thumb. Wow, I got a lotta response to that question!

    • 5 Finger Death Punch

      Depends if you’re starting from the pinkie or thumb. 2nd from the pinkie is Ring, second from thumb is Index. Middle is Middle.

      • Scott Crawford

        Yeah, we call the index finger the “forefinger.” It’s just one of those things you want to get right.

        As it happens, what I was looking for was the thumb. “He moves his thumb to the weapons trigger button” I thought it was a trigger not a button, in which case it would be “He puts his index finger on the trigger.”

        Got to get these things right!

        • klmn

          What sort of weapon are you talking about? In a rifle or pistol, the proper finger to work the trigger is the index finger.

          Most semiautomatic pistols have a safety that is activated by the thumb.

          • Scott Crawford

            Exactly! This is when you’re firing a missile from a helicopter and you’re in the gunner’s chair. Most people might think it’s a trigger, but it isn’t. Just as for the pilot, weapon release is button called (on an Apache anyway) the weapons trigger button. It might also also be called the weapons release button. I may change it later, do a bit more research.

            Some people criticize you for being so detailed about weapons or anything, but I think it’s so easy to tell now when someone doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Like if you say “Butch Cassidy slipped off the safety on his revolver.” most people would delete your script!

            (Out of interest, because they’re two of the most used pistols in law enforcement and the military, the Glock and Sig-Sauer P220 series don’t have safety catches. If its a Sig-Sauer and it’s a New York cop, it won’t have a hammer either. Virtually no guns used by the NYPD do. Safety reasons.).

          • klmn

            My favorite pistol, the Heckler & Koch P7 series doesn’t have a manual safety either. There is a grip safety, and a unique squeeze-cocker mechanism. Squeeze the grip, the pistol cocks. Relax the grip, and it decocks and goes into safe mode.

            It had another unusual feature too – a gas delayed blowback action.

            Sadly it’s no longer in production.

          • Scott Crawford

            It was proudly advertised as the most expensive production pistol of its day, which is why Hans Gruber uses one in Die Hard – it shows the terrorists’ level of sophistication and the extent of their resources. It was even nickel-plated. These details reflect on the characters as much as what sort of clothes they wear.

          • klmn

            It was also used by GSG9 – the German antiterrorist unit.

    • Randy Williams

      If you’re white trash like me, it’s the nose picker for the second and the birdie finger for the middle. We wouldn’t know an index from a wild turkey.

      • Citizen M

        I though white trash hands went thumb/index/middle/middle/ring/pinkie.

    • smishsmosh22

      the more important question is, what do you call it when you combine the index finger, the middle finger and the pinky? ;)

      • The Seether

        The Shocker.

      • Citizen M

        A mitten?

    • Scott Serradell

      I call them both Ralph. Why?

  • Dan J Caslaw

    Putting a vote in for JUMP (read the first 10 pages of all 3).

    • Randy Williams

      Dan, if you’re seeing this. Is there an email I could reach you at? I’d like to ask you something.
      touchthermo at g mail.

      • Dan J Caslaw

        Just emailed you now.

  • Scott Crawford

    OT: First day of writing my screenplay – wrote 15 pages or about 2,142 words. In one day.

    My system seems to work! I took my synopsis/treatment and wrote down a list of scenes. I’ve written the scene headings for every scene and the first line of every scene. Gives me something to start with. And just doing THAT, I’m already 10% of the way through the rough draft.

    The next stage will be to flesh out each scene. I was going to start with the scenes that were mostly action or visual first, but I might instead start with the dialogue-heavy scenes. It’ll look like a transcript when I’m done – all dialogue, almost no description – but it’ll be longer.

    Psychologically that’s important. Being able to look at the screen and see that you’ve written so many pages… it’s the opposite of a blank screen.

    Also a shout out to Highland, the excellent and simple screenwriting program which allows me to write the way I want to write and turn it into screenplay format later. Its also really easy to read to with the choice of fonts and colors (I go black background, white letters with the scene headers in beige but I think you can change it).

    i’ll still transfer to Final Draft 9 for the… final draft, but Highland is better for first drafts.

    • -n8-

      Props! Get it done my man!!

      Hmm to Highland. I like how it reads. And I’m so over FD. Thinking gonna write my next pilot on Fade In. But maybe I’ll do highland.

  • Scott Carter

    My vote is for Jump. I read all of Jump. I read 30+ pages each of Cratchit and Log.

    Jump isn’t perfect. It takes a little while to get going, and there were a couple plot holes, but still, I loved the hell out of it. I started reading it before bed and couldn’t stop.
    Not only did the characters want to save lives, but they articulated how insignificant their lives were compared to those they could save. I think in a lot of scripts the motivation feels thin. This didn’t.

    Once it got going, Jump felt like a DIE HARD movie (one of the good ones). Or maybe even an old war movie, the kind where the heroes are on separate parallel missions that all need to succeed for them to win the war. For me, that increased the tension. I would pay to see Jump in theaters.

    In regards to Cratchit – I love the idea. A buddy version of A Christmas Carol with a killer on those loose! And I love reimagings. I’m still pissed NOTTINGHAM never made it to the screen (Robin Hood tale with the Sheriff as the good guy, just trying to keep the peace with a rich boy thief on the loose). And I loved WITHOUT A CLUE – 80s Holmes and Watson comedy with Watson as the real genius and Holmes as a dumb actor. OK, sorry for the tangent, but I had to do those two shout-outs.

    I just kept waiting for Cratchit to bring something significantly new to the table, to be MORE different. And maybe it does eventually. But everything I read seems to follow the same beats as the Christmas Carol story I already know. Maybe it all comes down to Cratchit.

    Cratchit is a bare knuckles brawler and a bookkeeper? It took away the Everyman quality. Also, in the end, if my son was going to be killed – I hope I’d be a little more aggressive – more like Ray Liotta from NARC. As it is, Cratchit seems to defer to Scrooge when they start their exploration of the past.

    I think one reason A Christmas Carol (and Scrooged for that matter) work for me is that Scrooge is moved when he visits his past. Even though he puts up his tough façade again soon after, he is briefly humbled by past joys. Here, Scrooge doesn’t do that. So I have an unrepentant old miser and a differential father as my two heroes?
    I will say the writing in Cratchit is very good. The writer definitely has talent. The sentences flowed.

    Log – This might just be a case of “not my cup of tea.” I mean, the opening had a great camp factor to it — who doesn’t love a homicidal sex-crazed log — but then it switches to modern day, and I feel like the story meanders and the humor – the outrageous factor – doesn’t seem as strong. But this is a really tough genre.

    • ScriptChick

      Thanks for the notes! Yes, I would LOVE to see Nottingham!

      • Scott Carter

        I’m sorry my notes weren’t more favorable. That’s the way it is, right? Not every script clicks with every person. Obviously you’re talented though, and the majority (or close to the majority) are loving your work. I hope on some level you’re allowing yourself to enjoy all of the praise!

  • Linkthis83

    OT: THE GRATEFUL EIGHT update (you know, the one you didn’t ask for :)

    Two scripts have been eliminated. This list will eventually be pared down to four scripts to coincide with the timing of the SS contest. When there are four scripts remaining, I will read those in their entirety.

    I’m attempting to tailor my assessments of these scripts towards the most effectively written. I can’t eliminate personal taste completely, but I want scripts that get me invested. Whether by premise/concept, dramatic question, impactful writing, jokes so good they won’t be denied…etc.

    I will not use arbitrary things that have nothing to do with craft: budget, will an audience turn out to see it, isn’t my thing, this would never happen, public domain…

    I bring up public domain specifically because if you think anyone can take something from public domain and EASILY turn it into something else, you are mistaken. I’m willing to bet that many amateurs couldn’t adapt public domain material into effective storytelling via the script format staying true to the original, let alone a new angle. In fact, I think Katherine is taking on a bigger ask by saying “A CHRISTMAS CAROL re-imagined” — talk about stacking the odds against yourself out of the gate. And yet, the script is finding a way.

    Scripts that move on in TG8 will do so by which ones keep me wanting to read further. This round I read to p25 of all (with the exception of THE BAIT, THE SAVAGE, AND T,K,&S — I’m waiting for the tourney drafts to read).


    (in no particular order)


    (eliminated: LOG – 21 DAYS IN THE AMAZON)


    Ben, I think you did an awesome job with this project within the time-frame you were given. I think you did an exceptional job of processing feedback and implementing it effectively.

    The thing that didn’t work for me was a lack of an effective dramatic question/mystery. I’m going to compare this unfairly again to THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT and why that one was effective.

    In October of 1994, three student filmmakers disappeared in the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland while shooting a documentary called “The Blair Witch Project”.

    Based on this the dramatic question is: What happened? And since it’s their footage, we feel we get to find out. We get to see/experience what happened to them. Thus, we are basically invested before we enter the theater.

    I think with yours, you haven’t set up enough of a dramatic investment. Why do we want/need to see this unaired episode?

    If we knew the families of those who were lost in that episode were suing the channel that made it, then the footage leaking out on the internet might be intriguing.

    Or, if we knew that it was due to this unaired episode that the show was canceled, then we would want to know why it was cancelled. Something along these lines.


    Alison, Alison, Alison. I gotta hand it to you, what a wonderful redoing of the opening segment of this script. The first experience I had with this script it felt supremely jagged. This time around, felt like I was being told a story.

    JAVIER: I’ll save you, Mr. Hudson! (loved this line)

    EAT A BEAVER — I loved this too. I was going to shower you with all kinds of praise for this cleverness, and then realized this is borrowed. It’s still effective, I just can’t give you all the credit for it. But I did want to!

    I even liked that you included a dramatic question for Erica: A rusty trombone?

    I’m kidding, of course, but you did provide one. At first it’s more implied based on the time jump and bits of info revealed, but then you have Erica actually ask “What if he thinks I’ll turn out just like her?” That’s good. I dig it.

    For me, in the end, LOG penetrated the good penetrable, but wasn’t effective enough overall. It’s so extreme that actionable feedback is difficult. This thing is what it is. I love when writers embrace their concept/intention and I appreciate you doing that. Hopefully the next one you do will resonate more with me. Keep on logging.

  • Scott Crawford

    THIS weekend, that’s the LEAST controversial thing that’s happened.

  • Dan B

    JUMP – great concept. Deja Vu was a big script like $5M sale that covers a similar concept, though which despite some negative criticism on the movie, but for $5M that script had to impress a lot of people.

    Opening beat sets everything up, the big terrorist attack – pretty standard way to set things up, but it works. It sets up Anna and her relationship, we know something is going on (and it is paid off later in the first act).

    This script moves pretty fast, she meets Madeline around page 8, inciting incident and the story begins. Anna gets a dose of this time travel, and she’s in. I like the scene where she now knows what’s going on. She pulls off the crime, and calls out her partner for leaving her. I’m not crazy about the next sequence. She’s at her apartment with her passed out partner, then she uses google to find the consulting company that visited her. This seems easy, like she googled “broken infinity symbol” and got the corporate website for this secretive high tech time travel group? Just seemed like an easy choice. My thought, have Anna trying to research what the hell this company was, and then have Madeline surprise her in the apartment… maybe a line like “You’re not going to find us that way.” I would imagine Madeline’s group isnt something Anna would just be able to find herself.

    Then Anna is at the company – and she’s there with two other prospects. One guy is the miracle guy (I’m assuming the woman and son were his lost ones). They give them the pitch we want you to time travel and stop the attack. Everyone is IN right away. I feel like there should still be some shell shock from what the hell is going on. I know if I am invited into a group of time travelers that stop international terrorism, I’d still be in a “processing stage.” I know this is pushing the story forward, but it doesnt seem organic.

    Also, I’m struggling a little bit to understand the world. The prospects watch three other jumpers stop a robbery. Do these “Jumpers” also need loved ones to do their mission? Why did we need Anna, and the other three to have relationships with people lost in the Seattle Attack? Why not just recruit like special forces type people for this project? Is it explained why later, maybe.

    This also brings up another point about how the system works, these Jumpers are in a special pod or something that lets them do their time travel. And from what it sounds like it’s “temporal displacement” so this sounds like their conscience is sent back into their bodies during the past (is that correct?). So, how was Anna able to time travel from holding a business card in the holding cell? It’s hard to understand how this technology works.

    Then in the break room, the guy who survived the plane crash walks in and calls himself the “Miracle guy?” This guy who survived a plane crash calls himself the miracle man? I don’t know, I’m not buying that — are we making him sound like a douche because he’s actually going to wind up being a bad guy involved with the attack?

    I stopped reading here, but may finish. It’s a great concept, but it has been done before, and I feel like there are some execution issues here that need to be fixed if it is going to be as good as what has been done before.

  • Final_boss

    VOTE: Log

    Enjoyed the first few pages of Crachit a lot, but there were a few spots where first lines of the action lines were repeated. IE on Page 2 – where we see Marley’s name a bunch of times. It’s hard to say no to a killer lumberjack though. I mean, how terrifying is that. So it’s log for me!

    • smishsmosh22

      thank you boss!!

  • Enrique Bertran

    I read Log and loved it. Read the first draft and thought it was really unique, it is funny and inappropriate.

    LOG gets my vote!

    • smishsmosh22

      thank u so much Enrique!

  • smishsmosh22
    • Randy Williams

      LOG TRUMPS HATE, she says & we’re STRANGER TOGETHER.

    • Scott Serradell

      (I don’t know what this has to do with anything but…)

      JULES: I want you to go in that bag, and find my wallet.
      RINGO: Which one is it?
      JULES: It’s the one that says “Log Mother Fucker”.

    • klmn

      Somehow I pictured Log as bigger than that.

  • Nick Morris

    Vote: LOG

    Congrats to all of this week’s writers! All 3 are gifted and can paint very evocative imagery with the written word. But of the 3, LOG speaks more to my own warped sensibilities and it’s the only one that demands that continue reading beyond the opening few pages.

    That being said, LOG has undergone so many changes from draft to draft that I’d have to caution against editing the heart and soul out of it. And I think I still prefer the opening scene from a couple drafts back with the “troubled youths”.

    Regardless, it’s pure, ridiculous fun and it’s still a blast to read.

    Good luck, writers!

    • smishsmosh22

      thank you Nick!!!! This is my favorite opening actually. These kids are still juvenile delinquents.. they just don’t end up in a wood chipper anymore hahahhaa…..

      I will take your words to heart.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Just wondering.
    How would these scripts fare, fair, or flare if they had been submitted to the Nicholl?

    Heard Gale Ann Hurd suggest that this year (presumably those 2016 entries) they would try something different. She suggested that they were looking for scripts that were 1.) personal to the writer and 2.) had something meaningful to say.

    • Kirk Diggler

      What do you think? The Nichol might go for Cratchit (no further than 2nd round) because the writing is quite good. I seriously doubt the other two would get any traction.

    • klmn

      I don’t expect anything different. And since Carson is running contests, why bother with Nicholl?

  • carsonreeves1

    Whoa. 7:30 on Saturday and it’s 16 to 15 1/2. Yikes. We’ve never had a race this tight before.

  • Kirk Diggler

    Jump – Read 22 pages – open with some unsettling imagery when a 747 crashes into the Space Needle. The action is well described.

    Overall, this feels a little slight. The character development of Anna is minimal, she’s a risk taker and carries a torch for her dead boyfriend. The dialogue lacks any gravity in light of the situation being portrayed (undoing a terrorist attack), it mostly seems played for laughs. The set up comes rather fast and furious, there’s very little ‘debate’ about what Anna is going to do, she simply does it because that’s what the script calls for.

    If anything, this feels like something you might see on the sci-fi channel on a Saturday afternoon. it’s not bad, works at a certain level, it just isn’t serious material. The presentation is well put together and it’s very readable, but it doesn’t leap’ into new sci-fi territory.

    Log – read 38 pages of this new draft. All I can say is that i gave this a fair shot. There were a few amusing moments, Chuck’s intestines flying around on the ceiling fan would be pretty funny. I guess. The ‘what if Todd was one of us’ and the recurring jokes about his name.

    But – for fuck sake. This looks like a screenplay, reads like a screenplay (an easy read at that), but seems to abandon any actual screenwriting technique.

    No subtext in anything anyone says, clumsy foreshadowing, loads of OTN dialogue, lack of dramatic irony, I can go on. It’s main objective seems to be to titillate and disgust. Not there’s anything wrong with that. A little goes a long way, I always say.

    What’s this about? A girl with a box full of splinters who needs to discover her past? How do I know this? She tells us more than once. I get it, the way the story is told is not supposed to be subtle. But lack of subtlety doesn’t have to equal lack of nuance. If everything is in my face from the get go then I’m no longer shocked by page 15. Jeez, there’s no where to go but to the pond silt once Log ass-rapes poor Wyatt face down in a fire in the opening pages.

    I might be accused of ‘not getting it’. Au contraire, I do get it. It just isn’t any good. It’s one thing to think outside the cardboard box, but screenwriting, for me, will always be about story and character and this lacks it on every conceivable level. I have a good chuckle when people talk about what a great concept it is….. What???

    There is no concept. Log is a gimmick. It might make for a funny 5 minute short. Hell, shoot the prologue with the little kids and Wyatt and call it a day. But if this ends up winning the contest, it doesn’t speak well to all the things Carson has tried to instill to the readers of this site for close to a decade now.

    Story matters. Writing funny unfilmables in action lines does not translate to funny onscreen. Slick, easily digestible writing is not a virtue by itself, it’s the very LEAST thing any one should own before submitting to a contest. Anyone who wants a pat on the back because their script is a cinch to get through is barking up the wrong bird feeder.

    Carson has talked about the burden of investment when reading. How much is the author requiring of the reader in time and energy in comprehending the story? No reader likes to slog through an unwieldy script. A low burden is what we aim for, but what does it say when the burden is ZERO? Log requires nothing of me. It literally has nothing to say.

    Yeah yeah, get in the spirit, it’s fun, it’s daring, it’s blah blah blah. No thanks.

    Best to all the writers, no one said this was easy.

    • Citizen M

      Most mornings I feel a little woody and think about sex. Alison pushed the concept to its limits and beyond.

    • gazrow

      “I have a good chuckle when people talk about what a great concept it is”

      Anyone who thinks/says Log is a great concept is:

      a) Clueless.
      b) A liar.
      c) Both.

      I seriously doubt there’s a pro screenwriter alive wishing they’d come up with the idea.

      • Wijnand Krabman

        If we focus on the positive, Allison did come up with a different story, I’m pretty sure she wrote the thing in less than 13 weeks. She is a good writer, she did let a lot of people read her drafts, she helped other people, she has a lot of sympathy on this site and she obviously did some good marketing.

        I agree with you that it’s not a great concept neither are the two other scripts in my opinion. I’m not that negative about its chances to get made, there is an audience for this. The number of votes it gets proves this.

        I think Log will make it until the finale where it meets Break them up.

        • Kirk Diggler

          I agree this can be made. It’s written for the extreme low budget horror crowd. It’s a niche script/film. No foul in that.

          Her writing skills (screenwriting) were more on display in Lazer Sloth, which I voted for. Log is polarizing. It is what it is. I’m on the North Pole and she’s on the South.

        • gazrow

          I just want to make it perfectly clear that I admire Alison for her work ethic and willingness to rewrite the hell out of what I believe is a flawed concept.

          I never entered the contest nor do I have a horse in the race. I have no ax to grind with her or anybody else. I think Alison has a good imagination and talent and I wish she would devote all her energy on something much more marketable but hey it’s her life.

          I believe at this stage it’s pretty much a forgone conclusion that Log will win this contest and that’s a huge shame for both the contest and Alison. She will be left believing she has a great script with a great concept and it is anything but.

          And that is the last thing I’m going to say on Log ever again. :)

          • Angie

            Could not agree more.

          • ShiroKabocha

            “I wish she would devote all her energy on something much more marketable but hey it’s her life.”

            Remember this was written for the 13-week challenge. She came up with the concept very quickly. In such short notice, it’s incredibly hard for an amateur / semi-pro to come up with a truly marketable, winner story (there are some writers who’ll never come up with a single decent concept in their lifetime). And yet she managed to write (and rewrite ! the amount of work done on this script is amazing !) a script that not only appealed to a lot of readers but got the industry interested as well. Not bad for a silly “experimental” script eh ? :)

            Of course she’s still learning (she started this screenwriting thing not so very long ago), so obviously there’s gonna be hits and misses. Hell, even seasoned pros have them. But she’s learning fast. Seriously. She’s not gonna be on this site very long I’m telling you :) She’s dedicacted and passionate, but most importantlty, she puts the hours, and it pays.

            Now I’m like you, this premise didn’t appeal to me at all (neither did Crachit or Jump btw), but to say that it’s not marketable is preposterous. It’s super easy to market and you could have a lot of fun with the promotion, be really creative. The genre is very well defined, even though it is niche. In fact niche might be better, fresher. And you know what ? Even though it’s not my thing I’d definitely watch this on cable or wherever cause I’d be curious at the very least. But I do like horror as a genre so I’ll easily give those movies a chance (unless it’s torture porn, don’t like those).

            Alison had a lot of fun writing Log so she obviously did not make it to pander to anyone. She wasn’t chasing the audience or anything, she just wanted to take part in that community challenge. Her script may not be to everyone’s taste but to imply like some did that this script was a waste of time because it can’t go anywhere reeks of envy to me. Where are those naysayers’ super marketable concepts written in 13 weeks ? And when did Carson ever say that this was a “best concept” challenge ? Where does it say that your amateur script should be written so it could be immediately marketable and sold as a movie ? This was a contest to help get our creative juices going, to help some of us finally put idea to paper, and see what we could come up with in a short amount of time, like pros would. Why are some people suddenly acting like Alison should have written this mind-blowing, guaranteed four-quadrant / blockbuster script ? (funny but I don’t recall it was a problem for other entries…)

            Of course in the future, as she hones her skills even more, Alison might want to pick more mainstream stories and work on crafting those golden concepts and characters. Or maybe not. Maybe she’s happy with quirky, weirder stories :) But what I can tell you for sure is that unlike most wannabe writers on this board, she’ll definitely get her scripts made :)

          • gazrow

            Um… I think I already pointed out in my last comment that I was done with this. Frankly, I’m bored by it. If you read through all my comments this weekend you will see that I have not been disparaging to Alison in the slightest. Indeed, I have been complimentary about her as a writer and a person. My issue is with Log not her.

            To all those people who proclaim their love for Log, I say this. Talk is cheap. If you truly believe in this script put your money where your mouth is and give Alison the money from your own pockets to film it.

          • ShiroKabocha

            Yeah I definitely wasn’t pointing fingers at you, but your comment echoed many others and I wanted to chime in on that because I truly believe there is a market for her movie, I know there is, and I felt that some comments had nothing to do with the fact they genuinely thought the movie had no commercial appeal whatsoever.

            As for giving Alison the money to finance her movie ? Why are you even bringing this up ? Are we producers now ? Is this contest about which movie to finance now ? If we had that kind of money, don’t you think we’d rather invest in our own movies first ? But even so, who’s to say that those who voted for her wouldn’t want to give her some money to make her film ? I don’t believe in crowdfunding, unless it’s for charity, because a lot of those projects, they don’t have a proper business plan. But if Alison comes up with the cast and crew, a production schedule and projected budget, why wouldn’t those people want to fund her ?

            Again, the money issue has never been brought up until those talks about Alison’s script’s “marketability”. This is a contest to vote for best script, for the story that got you the most invested, that managed to pull you in, despite being written in only 13 weeks (though Carson eventually changed his rules on that). Not which script would have the most chances of making it to the big screen. Because there were many scripts with less cinematic / marketable ideas, written with less skill in this competition. Yet the comments have never been as antagonistic as with Alison’s script.

            Personally I’d be happy to pay for my seat in the theatres even though it’s not my type of story (it’s my genre, but not my favourite subgenre). But there have been other scripts / concepts posted here over the years that have really got me excited, and that I would definitely help produce if I could because I’d love to see them on the big screen one day. Not easy when you’re not necessarily on the same continent as everyone, but I’ve saved the comments and contacts and if I’m ever in the position to produce, and their scripts haven’t been bought yet, I’ll definitely reach out to those writers.


      • Kirk Diggler

        You want to know what a pretty good low budget horror concept is?

        The Final Girls. Here’s the logline.

        A young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980’s, finds herself pulled into the world of her mom’s most famous movie. Reunited, the women must fight off the film’s maniacal killer.

        Great concept, easy to visualize the one sheet. Unfortunately, the film itself was strictly played for laughs and coupled with poor directing, over the top acting, and the failure to capture a true 80’s feel, it failed to live up to the promise of the premise. But the concept was great.

      • Malibo Jackk

        Put me down as —

        d) Crazy

    • pmlove

      Excellent comment, wish I’d seen this earlier.

  • Haque

    Log LOG as my vote. I love the changes Alison made. The comedy is sharper, clearer. Really good jump from the last draft.

  • TheQuantumPhysicistofSocks
  • Comma

    It’s hard to vote for me this time.

    LOG: the beginning is sooooo much better now, at page 4 (log sodomizing the man) I wanted to cast my vote immediately without reading anything else – but it wouldn’t have been fair for the other writers. And, who knows ? Maybe Jump too did a jump in quality with a new rewrite. So I kept reading. The problem came after the first death. It’s hard to accept that the characters decide to move the dead body – their reaction to the death is… I don’t know… it doesn’t feel real. Talking about going to the police immediately ? Maybe they can’t go, phones don’t work, car broken, ok… but they should talk about it. Some must say they shouldn’t move the body (not to save the car’s velvet).

    JUMP: I can’t buy the character having the business card after she’s sent back in the past (with no visible time-travel devices). Are theese two things explained later in the script ? I won’t vote for jump unless someone says to me that those things are explained.

    So, now, I must force myself to read CRATCHIT – I read about 10 pages last time without interest, the concept is not interesting for me. But seeing how close the votes are this week I think I must read more of it to make my choice.

  • Comma

    I vote for LOG.
    Even if there are some credibility issues, the concept is original and the writing is entertaining.

    I read 20 pages of Cratchit, without understanding the deep reason of this adaptation, then I read a comment that explains what I suspected (spoiler………………….
    Cratchit is the murderer). I think this structure would work with an original material rather than a classic tale. Even before reading this spoiler, I had the feeling of a creative writing class exercise, like take a classic tale and give it a twist. Now I know what the twist is. Sorri, it doesn’t work for me. There’s something clever in Cratchit but I don’t think that to bury it in the classic tale is a good idea. Anyway, it’s very well written.

    • ScriptChick

      Welp, all I can say is if this were a game of Clue, and Mr. Marley = Mr. Body, you would be out right now. But thanks for skimming? Sorry you were forced to read….

      • Comma

        I was ‘forced’ only by my sense of responsability, and it wasn’t a pain at all, it was a good read and more solid than log. I wasn’t your public I guess. If you win, you deserved it. Log has just more freshness, fancyness, visual appeal.

  • Comma

    some notes on LOG:

    >She knocks something onto the floor. An unopened condom. It’s not going to be used tonight.

    Why must she find an unopened condom? A condom makes me think of ‘preventig a birth” which is exactly the opposite of what happens, and the author must speak to tell us that (“It’s not going to be used tonight”). So, I don’t think that the character finding a condom is a good thing. It’s misleading. Maybe a used condom, so that the reader can think ‘If that would have been an unoped one, maybe she would be protected’.

    >SUPER: 21 YEARS LATER In the back seat of the car, Erica, 21

    This is a built in spoiler. 21….21. I can’t decide what is the position of the author about the fact that -spoiler- ………………………….. Erica is the daughter of the log (I haven’t finished the script so I’m not 100% sure). Is this supposed to be a reveal or some kind of dramatic irony (the reader knows that Erica is the daughter of the log but she doesn’t)? I think it could be work better as a reveal, but in this case a lot of work is neaded to concel this! I would start with a date in the past, and then passing to ‘present time’, letting the years vague so that we can’t do the math (Erica is 21, ’21 years later).

    >DYLAN Are you kidding, this is a palace compared to a crack house.

    I think the joke works better the other way… “are you kidding, a crack house is a palace compared to this place”. Otherwise, the wording should stress the fact that the character knows very well how a crack house looks like.

    >ERICA I want you to deflower me.

    We learned a few scenes before that she never had sex with her boyfriend so this line was strange to my ears… Maybe that should be prepared by Erica saying that she wanted to do sex with him but she couldn’t.

    >ERICA We can’t just leave him here.

    Why not? I’m not an expert in police procedures but I think you should never move a body so that the police can examine the scene.

    >KIWI (CONT’D)
    Hey, you know what’s funny?
    You’re a germaphobe, and Todd’s a
    hylophobe, right? You’d make the
    perfect phobic couple.

    Not only the moment is not appropriate for jokes, but the joke doesn’t work for me. A claustrophobic and an agoraphobic, that’s a good couple. A germaphobe and a coprophile, that’s a couple. But a germaphobe and a hylophobe… mmmmmmm.

  • Angie

    #4 Seed – Jump

    Pg. 1 Good opening with ticking that ties in with the time theme. Ryan’s last name omitting the spaces. Vandenberg? Ringing of the dial tone? A dial tone is a monotonous sound. Either a phone rings OR you get a dial tone. The call, not the dial tone, goes
    directly to voice mail. Anna is a pot smoking pregnant girl. Not the most sympathetic intro to the main character. I’m still on the crucial first page.
    Pg. 2 Action starts the story moving here. Good.
    Pg. 5 Fast forward 10 years to 2027. Can you can build the new world that might exist then? If it does not matter, and definitely complicates the story, consider starting the action at 2017, and the past at 2007.
    Pg. 13 Marcus is a 17 year old. Is this an odd age choice?
    Pg. 14 Marcus is too disrespectful (even for a teenager) especially if he is trying to get them to fulfill a momentous task.
    Pg. 15 Anna leans back in her chair and rests her feet on the table. This goes back to characterization. It struck me more as an action a defiant GUY might take rather than a woman. So far, Anna’s presentation is juvenile/masculine, and unsympathetic. She is a slob (dirty shoes) on top of a thief.
    Pg. 17. Given’s dialogue. “…know how to lay it on thick.” Expected something different
    from him. “..know how to make us feel warm and cozy?”
    Pg. 21 Marcus’ dialogue. “…Then mind to his limits,” should be “its limits.”
    Pg. 25-27/ A get to know you scene that works. Gives the screenplay heart. I now care about the characters because I sympathize with their pain. I understand their low self-esteem as shown by calling themselves worthless piles of shit I believed their bonding.
    Pg. 37 Stealing the Mustang. Wonder what cars will be like in 2027. What safety mechanisms will they have to prevent theft? Will they even be self-driving? What about future police tactics for dealing with thieves? This is what I meant earlier by the world that needs to be built for the future.
    Pg. 60 Givens dialogue. “…I didn’t want the safety on…” should be “…the safety
    Pg. 62 A surprise. Good.
    Pg. 69 Gretchen and Ramirez sabotage the mission to save lives. Working for Kronos? That did not seem like a strong motivation. “…crumples to the floor like a sac…” should be sack?
    Pg. 73 Like that Anna is a badass.
    Pg. 74-END. Flew by. Enjoyed the suspense and action. Liked the bittersweet ending for Anna.

    JUMP feels like a movie and has a chance to find a producer/director. It’s a great concept. I suspended my disbelief in the idea of consciousness rather than body going back in time.

    Once I got to know these characters, I liked them because they felt real and I rooted for their success. Was 25 pages in a bit late to get to know them? Maybe, but there was a lot to set up about Anna. Though at times there was some flatness to the feel, the script seems producible. There have been other time jump movies. Jumper 2, which was supposed to be released last year has been delayed due to budget problems. While this is not a totally new concept, JUMP is a different take. One that may not strain a film’s budget.

    #5 Seed – LOG2
    Out of respect for the love that many have shown for this script am severely curtailing my comments since I can offer nothing constructive. Usually outrageous and sometimes sacrilegious, absurdist humor is difficult to pull off for the majority of audiences. Producers might want to see if the writer can bring some of that imagination to other scripts that need punch-ups. Alternatively, producers might want to see something else from the writer. Alison seems gracious and helpful to writers, just could not connect to this particular script. Wish her well, but the subject matter was triple not for me.

    Wild Card – Cratchit

    Pg. 2 In 1841, Cratchit is 36. Seven years earlier he was 29 when Marley was murdered at age 53.
    Pg. 4 Both smirks should be smirk singular.
    Pg.11 Wife Helena is 36.
    Pg. 12 Eldest son Peter is 15. Eldest daughter Martha is 16. Meaning Cratchit had children at age 20 and 21. Many younger Cratchits (4 – Belinda, Nancy, John, and Tiny Tim) show how fertile is Peter Cratchit.
    Pg. 14 Peter’s expression is grim. Wonder why. Isn’t he old enough to work and bring income to the family? A semi clue, perhaps.
    Pg. 15.Mystery Box continues of why the little Match Girl follows Cratchit.
    Pg. 18 Interesting. The ghost of Marley has aged during the interim 7 years.
    Pg. 19. Deaths of Scrooge and Tiny Tim in vision connected to Marley’s murder. Unless they find the culprit, a grim fate awaits all. Goal and stakes. Good.
    Pg. 24 It is 1806 and Young Marley is 25. Baby Cratchit is 1, born the year before, 1805.
    Pg. 28 E Belle wrote is different from E Scrooge wrote.Keeping an eye on this important clue.
    Pg. 33 Marley’s first enemy is Fezziwig. Another clue. Good.
    Pg. 40. 1832
    Pg. 41. Past Fred is 23. Had forgotten who he was by this time.
    Pg. 44. Peter (6) in 1832 has only Cratchit to care for him. No mention of Martha and the other kids?
    Pg. 46. The little match girl is 4 (1832)
    Pg. 46. ” ” ” ” is 5 (1833)
    Pg. 48 Helena formerly Mrs. Bantry is 28 in 1833. How many children does she have?
    Pg. 52 Past Scrooge (how old is he again?) already has a cane.
    Pg. 55 Why must Cratchit be the one to kill? Why doesn’t Scrooge do his own dirty work? EDIT. Got the answer at the end.
    Pg. 79 Caroler Boy – finally a connection. Also Little Match Girl.
    Pg. 82 Tiny Time gores out to buy more apples for a pie his family is making yet stops to munch on one. Is this action to allow the Little Match Girl to get him?
    Pg. 88.”…before Markley can hand it TO crumb…”
    Pg. 89 to End. Charles Dickens as Cratchit’s clerk was a bit much but good shtick.

    The years and the ages had me crazy. All these matter more on the page than on the screen. How will the viewer tell the difference between the Little Match Girl at age 4 versus age 5, Marley at 53 vs 60, between Cratchit at 27 versus 28?

    Not original because it uses source material but makes it new mew with a different take. The mystery storyline kept me guessing. The script is meticulously researched (Westminster Abbey) and written. The visuals, mystery boxes, all the past and present characters and their actions and twists.orchestrated if not perfectly, then close. If it doesn’t make it to the big screen, it can at least make it to the small screen for a Christmas movie

    Okay, now. Now, I vote for Cratchit.

    • ScriptChick

      Thanks for the vote! There are a lot of kids running around. I may cut one, actually Dickens didnt names one, just another mouth for the fam to feed. :)

  • Urugeth

    Please put down my vote for Log, with Cratchit a very deserving runner up.

    JUMP: I wanted to start by saying that this opening scene was gangbusters. Hell of a way to open up a script. The problems for me started about 20 pages in, when we got to the Agency. We just get hit with all. This. Exposition and All. These. Rules at once and it pulled me out of the story. I started thinking and dwelling on the mechanics of the time travel instead of what was happening with the narrative. things like “Wait, she got sent back in time from the jail cell, but now there’s these Memory Rooms and people hooked up to diodes and stuff. Why?” I know with a story like this you kind of have to get all this information to the viewer so that you can then play in the world yo’ve created, but I just think it needs to be doled out a little more discreetly. I mean look at ‘The Matrix’ or ‘Minority Report’. They SHOW us their world with all these little idiosyncrasies and crazy, out there tech and only after we’ve been thoroughly wowed and confused to they go back and tell us what’s happening. All of their exposition comes in the form of answering questions, rather than just a full blown info dump. Just something to think about on the next draft.

    Also, *****SPOILER!!!****** this might just be a personal taste thing but I feel like there should be something where if you change the timeline the memories from the new timeline will eventually push out the memories from the old, because otherwise our heroes are being cheated out of ten years of experiences with their loved ones (especially in the case of Anna, who will have no recall of anything about her child and will be robbed of all of the first ten years of his life. These two as written at the end are now basically strangers to each other).

    CRATCHIT: This script is just filled to the brim with strong, assured writing. 5 pages in I was pretty much certain this was going to be my vote. I loved the tone, the evocative yet economical description, the strong establishing of character. I was all in. Plus I’m a sucker for reimaginings of stories we all know and are familiar with. The only thing that kept this from being my vote was that the story went places I didn’t expect and didn’t quite care for. My disengagement came about 25 pages in and it came more from my personal taste than any kind of quality in the craft. The story just shifted away from being my cup of tea. That said, I still feel this is the best WRITTEN script of the bunch.

    LOG: I’m joining the chorus here because Log just flat out entertained me. I honestly cant remember the last time reading a script made me actually laugh out loud, but when I got to the bit where Carrie grabbed the Pledge, I just lost it. I was cracking up at my desk like a crazy person. It was so magnificently ridiculous. I also loved the ‘voice’ of the script. The author’s asides. I mean I knew 10 pages in where everything was going and saw every twist and just didn’t care. It was just a fun ride. I’m very glad my script hasn’t gone up against it yet.

  • Reader1

    I hope Carson takes into account the number of “1st comments” and new people votes Log is getting. Because without them Cratchit would easily be ahead.

    • Scott Crawford

      If we were to discount first-time comments, then Log would have 18 votes and Cratchit would have 16.5 votes. Maybe we should discount ocattorney because he wasn’t voting FOR Cratchit but AGAINST Log? That would make it 18 vs. 16. Alison is still in the lead.

      Math(s) isn’t your strong suit. Let me do the adding up.

      • Reader1

        2. AngelCatkthx (1st comment)
        12. jamesrhomer (1st comment)
        16. TheQuantumPhysicistofSocks (1st comment)

        20-3=17. Cratchit has 17.5. So who’s not good at math?

        And that’s not including new names.
        11. Haque
        18. SamRoberts80
        20. Urugeth


        And it’s not like Allison hasn’t been accused of campaigning for vote before.

        • Scott Crawford

          “It doesn’t matter,” who voted for Cratchit, is also a 1st comment. You forgot that. Still better at math!

          Seems like you have a prejudice against Alison. Good for you. But if you were more of a contributor to this site, like me, you’d recognize the contributions of Haque and Sam. They’ve commentated before, they’ve voted before (remember that i have to go through all the names) and I’m glad to have them back.

          And Urugeth has been with us for some weeks now, (shout out to Urugeth!) so why single him out?

          Face it, some people LOVE themselves some Log and they want to see it win. Such people might not be so bothered about seeing other scripts win, hence their previous lack of presence.

          What about you? You only show up when you’ve got beef to pick. Where were you when we were celebrating Brett’s Lifetime success? Where were you when we were discussing whether or not we needed backstory? Where were you–

          — ah, fuck it, I’ve got a script to write. Just go back down your hole.

          • Reader1

            I don’t want to see a script with ZERO commercial appeal win. But it’s a screenwriting contest, not a movie contest. So if the people want a script that will never get made to win, so be it.

            Continue on being the Supervisor and Guardian of the comments, Scott. You are quite the powerful individual. All Hail the ‘ford

          • Erica

            I would love to borrow your magic crystal ball that tells you what script will have ZERO commercial appeal and which one’s will be BLOCKBUSTERS.

          • Reader1

            It’s not a crystal ball, it’s common sense. Everyone’s comparing Log to Rubber, which made a paltry $100K at the box office. And you’re Allison’s friend, I’d expect no less from you.

            A Log that rapes people. Yeah, blockbuster’s written all over that.

          • smishsmosh22

            it’s like Sausage Party, but with a Log.

          • Midnight Luck

            that’s funny.

          • Erica

            I’m friends with a lot of people and yes Alison’s one of them. To say it’s common sense is just silly. Have you seen the Horror film market at all? Movies get made all the time for next to nothing and turn a profit, there is a huge demand for them.

            If you don’t like the script, that’s fine, your choice and it’ neither right or wrong, it’ just your choice, but to bash scripts because YOU think they have no commercial appeal is just down right silly.

          • ShiroKabocha

            Exactly. Log obviously has an audience. It might not be blockbuster numbers, but it also may be more than some haters think, especially nowadays when there are so many more markets and venues to broadcast your movies. Besides, Alison is a director and she lives in Canada so this could be made super quick and super cheap :)

          • ShiroKabocha

            Maybe I’m imagining things but I’m pretty certain I’ve seen the name jamesrhomer more than once these past couple months. Maybe he posted as a guest or changed his account like you did at one point but I’m almost certain this is not the first time he’s commented here.

            I could be totally wrong though…

          • It Doesn’t Matter

            Actually I’ve posted hundreds and hundreds of times. I’m just posting anonymously.

    • -n8-

      By that same logic, the votes from peeps who’ve read the whole script should have more weight. But I honestly, I don’t buy that either. It’s all unscientific.

      All of it… Unscientific.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Like the opening scene of CRATCHIT.

    Question for English majors —
    Should “wraps” be “wrapped” in the following sentence/sentence fragment?:
    ” A kerchief wraps around (under) his chin, tied on the top of his head.”
    (Am assuming it is not in the process of being wrapped as it is reported to already be tied
    at the top of his head.)

    Who’s the expert?

    • Scott Crawford

      NOT an expert, but “He has a kerchief wrapped under his chin and tied at the top of his head.” SEEMS like proper English, just about.

      • Malibo Jackk

        A QUESTION for all grammar nazis (you know who you are.):

        What about the COMMA?
        Does it suggest that the CHIN is tied atop the head?

        What’s grammatically correct?
        And what’s considered acceptable (for screenwriting)
        even though it may not be grammatically correct?

        • witwoud

          I don’t know if it’s incorrect, but it’s certainly ungainly to have the past participle (‘tied’) so far apart from the subject (‘kerchief’). It would be better to place them together:

          ‘A kerchief, tied with a knot on top of his head, holds Scrooge’s jaw shut.’

          As for ‘wraps’, I don’t like this either. (Sorry, Katherine!) The kerchief itself doesn’t wrap. It’s Scrooge, or his valet, who has wrapped it around the chin.

          Mind you, A CHRISTMAS CAROL begins with a wonderfully ungrammatical line: ‘Marley was dead: to begin with.’ Which just goes to show that you can get away with anything, if it sounds well.

          • Malibo Jackk

            Am tending to agree with your last point.

            With screenwriting, the sound and flow of the words
            are probably more important for a smooth read.

    • smishsmosh22

      I say wrapped.

      Unless we are seeing the kerchief floating in the air and tying itself on the top of the head, in which case, it would be wraps.

      Although ‘a scarf wraps around her neck’ sounds correct.. so.. nm, I don’t know!

  • AstralAmerican

    Vote: JUMP

    That is one hell of an opening!

    And if JUMP has no chance of winning, Scott, my vote goes to: CRATCHIT.

    • Scott Crawford

      If Jump is the one you’re voting for, then Jump it is. Still got about 12 hours left so you never know!

  • Malibo Jackk

    Yeah, keep hearing the same story about many successful projects.
    Here’s another:

    Rebecca Eaton, executive producer of Masterpiece, (love that gal)
    turned down Downton Abbey.
    The series then made the rounds of other media outlets — and everyone turned it down.

    (Ok, so how did it make it’s way back to Masterpiece?
    She heard that Maggie Smith had signed on. Then called to see if it was still available.
    But she never expected it to become as popular as it did.)

    • Scott Crawford

      Turning down projects that go on to be successes – we have a history of that ourselves.

      I Am Ryan Reynolds?

      • Dan B

        Well, it’s on the Black List… if it ever got made is a different story. Although Ryan Reynolds may be one of the few people I can think of that would do it, seems to have a good sense of humor about himself.

  • Carmelo Framboise

    I feel that at this point we should be reading the whole scripts. Sadly, time is relentless. Only now I found a couple of hours to read the scripts so I could only check them out superficially.

    Congrats to everyone for writing, rewriting and marching on with their script.

    The best logline belongs to Log, the best first page to Jump and the best first act to Crachit. I would like to be able to judge the scripts in their full length even more because we have a thriller of a voting in hour hands.


    Like the previous time, I find that it is well written and I am sure it has more meat than Log and Jump – after all it is based on a classic. The voice suits the original work and the era and that’s a very good thing.

    What I am not sure about is WHY you took these choices. WHY do we have this interprpatation of the story. Why not, one might answer. But I do not understand your deeper motivations and intentions, as a writer and a creator. Just so you know, I am not a Christmans Carol die hard fan who is angered because you tweeked the story and made it your own. I don’t have a beef with music covers, I don’t have a beef with movies that change the books – in fact I like them. I am talking in a higher artistic level, and am trying to figure out why you wrote this story. Again, it is unfair, as I haven’t read the thing but from the 20something pages I get a feeling that it is not exactly clear in your head either. Wish I am wrong. Maybe I am iliterate and I am missing out something. It is quite probable. :)

    Still, great work!


    Good job on that opening. Story flows until you start laying out rules.

    I must say, I am a fan of sci-fi only if it is as good as The Terminator, Stalker, The Matrix, Alien, Timecrimes and so on. It is very hard to make rules that make sense and matter.

    It is a bit convoluted and unlogical. Of course time travel is full of logical holes but there where once again so many questions in my head after the first travel that the whole thing came tumbling down.

    I am sure you can fix it though. Just keep it simple.


    I am impressed with the changes that you said you made, and saw them and they only did good to your script. The omitting of both Rosa and the band are totally justified.

    Again, I am not sure about the concept, about your point of view, about what you are trying to say with this. Ok, ok its a fun movie (for some people at least) a parody(?), a spectacle and so on. But, after we get the gimmick of the killer-Log, it becomes mildly entertaining, with not much to offer – at least to me.

    You have done a good job coming up with the concept, a great job rewritting it, a wonderful job promoting it here, sending it and having success at competitions and getting feedback. Your work is alive (just like the Log!) and this must feel awesome! :)

    I bet you and the Log will make it. My advice would be to kick it up a notch. To combine it with something else, don’t let it be a horror movie. You have to elevate it without compromise cause otherwise it will be an ok, fun movie. A short movie actually.

    So, after what was a very hard process and a careful thought, I vote for Cratchit as I feel it has more weight than Log that is a short film material at this stage.

    • Scott Crawford

      Thanks for taking part, Carmelo.

      When we were doing AOW, I always felt that what we were doing was trying to HELP Carson choose which script to read and review on Amateur Friday. It was accepted that most people would not be able to finish all five scripts, so we have to take a punt on which i the best based on what we could read, e.g. the opening pages.

      Can you tell what script is like by the opening pages? Maybe, maybe not. It’s a SHAME we can’t always get to the “good bits” of people’s scripts, but then that’s the problem.

      A script should be nothing but good bits. Not that it has to be non-stop comedy or non-stop action, but you can usually tell within the first few pages, ten pages whether the writer is a good writer or whether they don’t really have a story to tell and they’re just reading water. Whether the characters are going to interesting, lots of stuff.

      So anyway, whatever you can do is great. I think by the final or the semis, it may be that people will have to read the WHOLE script. It’s going to be tough particularly for those who’ve already read several drafts of one script.

      • Pat

        I agree that we should be reading whole scripts and I will do my best to read them for the upcoming weeks, but sometimes 3 days isn’t enough time. I’m hoping to read them all next weekend because I feel that it is the only way to properly judge a script. The script I wrote for this competition only really started to reveal itself by about page 25 so anyone who didn’t read up until that point wouldn’t see all the pieces that were set up and what they would amount to. So when I only read a portion of a script I worry that I will be missing out on all the careful planning and payoffs that actually occur in the story.

  • Pat

    This week I only had time to read the first 20 pages of each script (that’s what happens when you work Friday and Saturday) but I wanted to give some thoughts and VOTE for LOG. It was a tough decision for me this week, but for me LOG is exactly what it set out to be; an immature, ridiculous splatter movie and so for that reason, it feels like the most complete vision of the writer.

    The script provides an interesting idea and an explosive opening, but from the opening I felt that the scene structure was off and I worry of how that will affect the script as a whole. What I mean is that though each scene plays out on the page and there is a logical flow, when thinking of the scene playing out on a screen, the scenes are incomplete.

    The opening of the script is almost without dialog, which works in many movies, but those movies also take time to establish the environment and the characters. In JUMP it is all too rushed. The plane crash should be the kicker at page 10, not page 3, the script as is doesn’t provide enough time to develop an emotional connection with any character. For reference, the Final Destination movies don’t actually start with a horrific accident, the accident happens at about 10 or 15 minutes in.

    Another example is when Anna is arrested, Anna gets a quippy line directed at the cop but the cop never says anything. Not before the arrest, not during the arrest not even after Anna mouths off. It’s a little detail but if this scene is incomplete, I can imagine that many other scenes are the same way.

    I am a big fan of bad movie, but I am not a fan of slasher movies so I have difficulties working out my feelings for this script. Someone in the comments compared LOG to the movie RUBBER and so I think that is the best place to begin with my thoughts. For LOG the set up works, the characters are funny and play off each other well but I always felt that I didn’t understand the monster. I know that it’s a log, so perhaps trying to understand it is wrong, but in RUBBER the telekinetic powers of the tire are established early on and the tire itself is searching for love. Though the entire premise is ridiculous, it’s grounded by establishing the rules and goal of the monster. Maybe this is established after page 20, but my recommendation would be to establish it earlier so the concept is easier for an audience to accept.

    I voted for Cratchit earlier in the competition and I still feel the writing is clear and I enjoy reading this alternative take on the tale, but in revisiting the script I have been struck with a feeling that the script relies too heavily on the source material, but that I mean is that to fully understand the characters in CRATCHIT you have to have an understanding of A Christmas Carol.

    For me, in the script, Scrooge isn’t mean enough and Cratchit isn’t downtrodden enough and this hurts the script. Scrooge talks a big talk with his cousin and he makes Cratchit try to collect money on Christmas Eve but he doesn’t actually do anything bad. The cousin doesn’t actually pay Scrooge and Cratchit doesn’t actually collect any money. So Scrooge comes across as a jerk, but not as evil.

    As well, I feel that the introduction of Cratchit is backwards from what it needs to be. It is established that he is a boxer which has a sort of “wow factor” and tells the audience that this is a different type of Christmas Carol, but it muddles up Cratchit’s character. Cratchit is fighting because he needs money, but it is later shown that he has a job, so to a reader it seems like he should have money. But, if Cratchit is shown at work first, if he is cheated out of money or not paid his wages and then he hits the boxing ring, the audience will understand his situation.

    As well, Cratchit is too accepting of Scrooge which hurts the audience’s perceptions of Scrooge being evil and makes it seem like Cratchit may be a little bit like Scrooge. When Scrooge asks Cratchit to collect debts on Christmas Eve, Cratchit objects for a moment then tries to make it about himself by asking for a raise. Cratchit doesn’t really seem to care that it’s Christmas Eve and instead seems more interested in himself. Then he goes out and actually tries to get the money! If he knocked on the door and just wished them a Merry Christmas and never asked for money, then the reader would understand the difference between Cratchit and Scrooge, but as it is, it is hard to tell.

  • Erica

    My vote this week is for LOG,
    With a very close second Cratchit.

    Just on my way to work so I’ll post notes later, I do love the concept of cratchit but once you get into it, the fact that you’re dealing with a murder, kind of those me off as a Christmas movie. I love that it’s different but I’m just not sure right now. I’m wondering if this would be better as not a spin of the old tale but a new story all together. It’s so hard getting a story we know and have watched a million times out of our head while we read this one.

    Jump, I’m just not sold on the concept yet but I do think it’s well written.

    Log, I’ve read this a few times and have read the complete script. Besides the silly premise of a LOG, it’s fun, and that’s what it’s all about for me. It’s well written and an easy read, as I was able to buzz right through it.

  • Poe_Serling

    Coming Soon to a Theater near you…

    Scriptshadow: Civil War

    The tournament voting process causes a rift among former SS allies.

    • Kirk Diggler

      “It’s not personal Sonny, it’s strictly business.” Michael Corleone

  • crazedwriter

    My vote: Cratchit.

    Cratchit. Even though A Christmas Carol’s been done a few different times and in a few different ways, I really liked this approach. Bare-knuckle fighting might not be for the family, but there’s nothing wrong with a PG-13 spin on a holiday classic.

    Log. I admire smishsmosh’s dedication and balls-to-the-wall approach, but this is too batshit crazy for my humble brain.

    Jump. Nothing personal, just not a fan of mind-to-mind transfer plots, or mind to animal plots either (I’m looking at you Kevin Spacey). Though I do really like that it’s set in Seattle — though I’m sure it’ll be filmed in Vancouver, BC.

  • Stephjones

    Log: Read to page 20. I fully support writers who push boundaries and try for something different and although I’m not usually a fan of any sort of horror, especially gross out horror, I could see effort and ability reflected on these pages. My biggest issue from what little I read was the lack of build up and tension. Log sodomizes a corpse in the first five minutes, which is fair warning for what’s to come but after that degree of graphic and unsettling imagery, it was hard for me to muster interest in reading more of the same.
    I suggest a slower build to create more of a mystery surrounding Log and his shenanigans. Maybe pull back some and just show the aftermath of when Log runs amuck, at least in those first few pages? Wyatt, dead and bleeding from the ass, without the reader being sure of exactly how that went down might possibly be more compelling? I dunno, Allison. I hate to make suggestions when I’m sure to be influenced by my own squeamishness. At any rate, I’m glad I checked it out cause I could see how well you handle yourself on the page. You get high marks from me for sheer audacity as I appreciate the courage it takes to write something so polarizing. Best of luck with it.

  • -n8-

    Finally finished the whole draft of Cratchit. Here are my impressions…

    But first, I’d like to commend Katherine on taking a more than well trodden story and inject new life into it. I feel like finding new stories inside of well known narrative universes is one of the more challenging aspects of our profession. I don’t know if I have the talent to do it. And I gotta say, mixing dickens with a murder mystery procedural is pretty inventive. Kudos!

    The good – The thing that struck me right away is that Katherine is definitely a writer. I don’t mean that lightly. Her command of prose speaks to an innate talent. I wouldn’t be surprised if she has a day gig that was also writing based. Out of all the scripts this weekend this one felt like the closest to a pro in feel for action/description lines and setting. Katherine did a good job of painting a pretty clear environment with the ghost of Christmas past time traveling vortex stuff being the most memorable.

    Also want to highlight that the dialogue stayed consistent with what I felt to be accurate speak for the time period (though I am not in anyway an authority on 19th century Londonese). Still it speaks to Katherine’s professional level of craft. Great job with that!

    The bad – Man, I gotta say, as inventive as this story is, it’s all over the map. The structure of this thing had me pulling out my hair after every narrative beat. I mean, I can vibe with utilizing the template of the ghosts of Christmas to propel the drama forward. That’s the implicit contract with a script titled “Cratchit.” So sure we will have an extended chunk of the flashbacks to sort of set up all the possible culprits of Marleys murder. But damn, that lasted waaaaay too long. Boy did I grumble when I looked up and saw page 60 and we were still dealing with the ghost of the past. That’s an hour of film and we are still in suspended narrative motion.

    That’s a long time to do setup.

    Way too long in my opinion.

    I wanted to bail on the script then. And the only reason I kept reading is cause I’m committed to finishing everyone of these quarterfinal scripts to fade out (sorry again Paul for only getting halfway on yours). But I kept going hoping that now we were out of the past, the drama would pick up… No dice.

    In fact, we kept flashbacking. But now without the device of the ghost. Which honestly, imo, is cheating by the writer. When we get to the reveal of Scrooge and Marley’s beef showing how Scrooge treated the two randoms that Marley was generous with in another flashback, I stopped and went, but who’s POV is this. I dunno. Maybe it’s not a big deal, but I feel like you can’t set up a rule (ghost shows protag past events) and then have the most important FB, the one that sets up the twist of who the killer is, come from the author’s POV (not character) just to inform the reader. I felt very cheated.

    The ugly – I’ma come out and say it, I really really wanted to enjoy this script. One cause I was disappointed by the other two scripts this week. And two cause of everyone’s praise of Katherine for her writing chops (deservedly so, I might add). But honestly, this script frustrated me. All of it felt like arrested development. Essentially this is a buddy cop police procedural with supernatural elements. But outside of the ghostly stuff, which I def felt Katherine’s passion for and did enjoy for the most part, the other major elements (the buddy relationship, the detective procedural) fell flat.

    Cratchit and Scrooge weren’t pushing the drama forward for at least half the script. Nor did I feel the nuances of the contrast in their relationship. That’s the sell of any two-hander. The mini ideological battles that the two leads have over the course of them having to work together to achieve a goal. The only thing I got was Scrooge was greedy. Cratchit a brawling character of poor circumstances (his absent father). But we already knew that going into this story given the history of the IP (well not the father identity bit).

    Still, I wanted more. Don’t wanna compare other work, but the thing that sold me on Oddyseus and his Boy was the deeper look into Odds character by the writer. Much deeper and unique than the old texts those stories are based on. That was missing in Cratchit.

    And even though, I’ve tried to stay away from critiquing finer points of craft within this competition cause I know how fast the writers wrote their pieces, I gotta say that this script was over written. A lot of the action/descriptors can be trimmed significantly. As well as the dialogue. It was way too much explaining and expositional and emoting convo. Made the read much much longer than it needed to be, in my humble opinion.

    Still, I gotta applaud Katherine for her efforts here. She clearly has a talent for writing and a passion for this story. And there prolly is a cool re-imagining type film here. Just needs to be seriously dissected to bring the narrative up to the level of the concept.

    Good luck to you with the script!

  • -n8-

    So my vote… I dunno, gonna be honest, none of these scripts did it for me. They all disappointed me equally and for different reasons:

    Jump – flip flopping on its own rules
    Log – an unsupported character arc
    Cratchit – passive narrative with passive, underdeveloped characters

    And I so want to not vote cause it wasn’t earned by any of the writers, but I can sense the umbrage in Scott Crawford if I put in all this work of reading the damn things from cover to cover and then not voting… So…

    I’ll vote for Log. When in doubt, all things equal, I’ll support raw passion and enthusiasm. I think Allison has everyone beat there.

    And still, I think getting free and hopefully beneficial feedback is the real win.

    Congrats to the writers.

    • Scott Crawford

      Umbrage isn’t the word for it. Thanks for the vote!

      • -n8-


        Well played!

  • Stephjones

    JUMP: Read to page 8. I actually enjoyed the first few pages and thought the writer showed skill. Where he lost me was when Madeleine began that world building exposition dump. I suggest focusing on that bit in the next rewrite. Best of luck with it!

  • Kosta K

    With Log, I’m still finding it hard to visualize the “Log” on screen :/ Jump, I surprisingly had a great time with, but I think the concept needs to be pushed a bit more. Maybe give it more of a cyberpunk feel? Set it way into the future? I don’t know.

    My vote goes to Cratchit. I liked Log and Jump, but I think Cratchit comes in as more of a complete package. The writing compliments the concept very nicely. Good stuff :)

    • Dallas Cobb

      Interesting you point that out. One of my qualms with Log was that I couldn’t necessarily visualize how it moved. Did it float, did it slither?

      • Marija ZombiGirl

        It wasn’t clear to me either. And this kind of confusion is a good example what happens when the writer doesn’t ask enough questions about their story.

  • Jarrean

    JUMP: For me the set up doesn’t work. After this major catastrophe, Anna is magically able to find a Spock Watch in all the debris and chaos. Let alone, you describe the level of visibility being smoke — she’s only able to find her way because of the lights from the firetrucks.

    Not to be a stickler, but 10 years seems like a long time re-build (an unfinished) structure that initially only took roughly 6 months.

    Be careful with characters. I’d say, use all first names or all last names, but don’t mix and match. Tad bit confusing on a first read.

    I think maybe you jump (no joke) into the story too quickly. We don’t really know Anna outside of her possibly being pregnant and a bad ex-girlfriend? Then, she takes on this bad girl persona, where her voice is very in tune with a man’s. Or better stated, all the characters sound alike.

    On page 21, I’m confused by the concept of jumping. At first, I thought it had to be done by the individual themselves. But, from the description given by Marcus– they have the ability to send others back in place of?

    Page 43, sex of the Security guard needs to be fixed.

    On page 82, Mads and Marcus know Ramirez is behind it, but earlier conversations said they thought Gretchen was the culprit? Then its explained how Ramirez knows, but if he works for Quantus then it doesn’t make sense/add up.

    The dialogue for the Quantus ppl is off from what their supposed intellects are suppose to reflect.

    I thought this was Mads operations, so why does Marcus seem to know more about it than her?

    Page 94, why are there separate red buttons for each jumper? When the jumpers were initially introduced they all awoke at the same time.

    Its nor explained WHY Marcus is turning against the group.

    Lots of plot holes that need to be filled in. With so little dialogue, you can go back and beef it up. After finishing the read, I think the time traveling is more confusing than it was made to be. For instance, do the jumpers have any memory of the years that transpire while theyre gone?

    For some positives. It’s a quick read. Especially after the Quantus stuff. (Apologizes if I missed any of the obvious stuff. Running on a few hours of sleep._

  • Stephjones

    Cratchit: Read the first 12. There’s some serious writing chops on display here! And I think this might have some commercial potential in today’s market, but…it didn’t hold my attention. The first few pages I was all in, but by page 10 I found myself re-reading sections and then by page 12 I was checking out. Suspect I’m just not interested in another version of the original story but others obviously feel differently. Best of luck with it!

    • Scott Crawford

      I’m gonna bed soon – past midnight here! Can I press you for a vote, steph?

      • Stephjones

        Log. Was scrolling down to post it. Thanks, Scott.

  • carsonreeves1

    6 hours left. 25 and 1/2 to 24. It’s a photo finish!

    • Mayhem Jones

      SOOOO EXCITING!!!! I’ve been obsessively checking the vote tally, when I could, all weekend!!!

      • Dallas Cobb

        Wow, me too! Between this and Patriots football…and the British Literature essay due tomorrow that I haven’t started yet…it’s been one wild Sunday!!!

    • Kirk Diggler

      It boggles the mind how many last minute Disqus accounts are being created as we speak.

      • gazrow

        “It boggles the mind how many last minute Disqus accounts are being created as we speak.”

        It’s not the first time nor will it be the last. Some people will do anything to win! Worst of all I seriously doubt that Carson will discount any of them.

        • Kirk Diggler

          Speaking of Everton, you guys almost lost to Swansea!

          • gazrow

            Um… who was speaking of Everton?! Not I. We absolutely suck at the moment and it’s quite painful to watch. :(

          • Kirk Diggler

            It’s a long season. Plenty of frustration to come. I’m not sure what’s missing. Everton always look good on paper but their ‘stars’ always go missing when needed the most. Ross Barkley in particular.

          • gazrow

            I actually thought Barkley was one of our better players yesterday to be fair. Though that’s not saying much unfortunately.

          • Kirk Diggler

            Speaking in general terms, past history. He is quite a talent but like Lukaku, can be maddeningly inconsistent. Amazing that he is only 22 years old. Thought he was older. If he ever does put it all together and become a superstar, Everton will probably sell him.

        • Dan B

          I scrolled down a bit but haven’t seen too much of an issue. Most of the recent comments seem to at least carry some analysis of the scripts.

          • Kirk Diggler

            I was taking the piss, as the English like to say.

          • gazrow

            You got me hook, line and sinker! :)

          • gazrow

            I took Kirk at his word. Should of checked first. Not any last minute Disqus accounts being created as far as I can see… yet!

  • Dan B

    Apologies for the late vote – but I’m in for LOG.

    Left some notes for Jump earlier, but here’s what I got for these two.

    LOG – is the idea gimmicky? Sure. But it is also original, and it has a lot of potential to be a fun movie. I didn’t get to read all of the new draft – but I liked the new opening more. I see some of the connections from the opening will play out in the second and third acts? Is the Homeless Man a grown up Javier? Didn’t read far enough to find out for now. There’s some good humor in here, I like the asides (some don’t because they aren’t on the screen – but I feel like they offer a vibe for what the writer is shooting for). There could be some punching up on dialogue/jokes – for instance do people actually call each other “bro” still, or just people impersonating “bros”? Also I’m a little mixed up with some of the characters – well mostly just Todd. Why is he there, no one seems to like him. Also Chuck the plumber, I didn’t expect him to be an actual plumber his all his gear and stuff, kinda made me laugh. Funniest part I read up to though was — Erica getting her hand sanitizer after being covered in intestines and blood. Funny stuff.

    Side Note – when Wyatt is killed, and Javier is running away – he runs into the girl (can’t remember the name – sorry) – but she’s out in the woods for some reason, then later we indicate that she gets her nightgown caught on something in the cabin. If a girl is walking around in the woods at night, I would indicate that she was wearing her nightgown then, I had to double back and re-read because I was confused as to why she was in a gown later. Also – give her a reason for being out there in the middle of the night – maybe she has a tray of hot chocolates for everyone, and that’s why she’s out there in a gown. It just seems weird that she was just “out there.”

    CRATCHIT – really good writing, but I’m just not super into the first act. I love a good murder mystery, but not sure how the “reimagining” of a story is helping that. Fact of the matter is a Christmas Carol is a timeless story that tugs at your heart strings. Changing the narrative to a murder mystery didn’t really hook me. Scrooged with Bill Murray is an excellent “remake/reimagining” to do the movie as a comedy, however the plot is essentially the same. Also, this just came on a little to slow in the first 20. We see the Marley murder (which I liked as an opening), but later there are some extra scenes that slowed things down (my opinion – Cratchit’s conversation with the Irish Fighter post fight wasn’t needed. I may be wrong, maybe that guy comes back in a big way – but if he doesn’t I’d say cut it). In general – I like the new characterization of Cratchit — being a family man, but with this tough guy angle.

  • chymiy

    Comes down to Cratchit and Log for me.

    Cratchit: Read 25 pages
    Cratchit is really well-written. Clear and concise, evocative action lines. Impactful choice of words. Liked the visuals of the chains pursuing them. Not gonna lie, though. Not really interested in another reimagining of this story. But what I read is definitely better than I expected it to be, which is a testament to the skill of the writer. I could picture the movie as I was reading.

    Log: Read 25 pages of this new draft (and all of a couple of previous drafts)
    Log is not as technically well-written as Cratchit, but makes up for it in some ways with a very clear and unique voice. The new intro is infinitely better than in the previous drafts, and Javier is a nice new addition to the cast of characters. The dialogue is a little rough in parts, but I really think this draft has gotten Log back on track to recapturing some of what was lost during earlier revisions. It found its fun again. Also, I love that Log is an original concept.

    So it’s a tough choice, but I’m going to go with the more original script.

    Vote: Log

  • Gimme a break

    This is DEFINITELY a legit vote. Cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough cough.

    The analysis and breakdown of each of the scripts is thorough and enlightening. Nice job.

  • MKD 44

    My vote is for Cratchit.

    All three have improved each time I’ve read them. Congratulations to each writer for the hard work with your rewrites, it’s paid off. Really strong writing on Cratchit and Log and such a cool premise in Jump.

    After much deliberation and too much ice cream Cratchit did it for me. (When it’s close I usually will visual the trailers for each and if all three were in theaters right now and I was at the ticket window, I’d put my money down and get a ticket for Cratchit) The writing was solid and the story moved (although some scenes go on a little longer than I thought they should and I’d like to see another side of Scrooge and a fuller Cratchit)

    • ScriptChick

      Hey, thanks for your vote, MKD 44! Can you tell me what page # you read up to so I know to what extent you are feeling the above critique on long scenes and S/C characters?

  • E.L. Drayton

    Looks like Scott C. is asleep, but the voting should still be open for at least the next 2hrs? And since he stopped tallying votes Log has gotten 4 more votes! Which would make the final tally (unless more votes should come in on the last hour):

    Log = 29 votes

    Cratchitt = 25.5 votes

    WOW what a weekend! It was pretty much neck and neck for a good long time but for a photo finish, Log came out victorious yet again, causing controversy of either you love it or you hate it in your wake.

    In no way trying to take over for the GREAT Scott Crawford, but here are those Quotes for ya so you don’t have to scroll through for ‘em! ;-) (hope you don’t mind…)

    Log Votes (BEFORE 10pm PST)
    26. Dan B | “is the idea gimmicky? Sure. But it is also original, and it has a lot of
    potential to be a fun movie. I didn’t get to read all of the new draft –
    but I liked the new opening more.”

    27. Foxtastic17 | “Go smishsmosh!!”

    28. chymiy | “The new intro is infinitely better than in the previous drafts, and Javier is a nice new addition to the cast of characters.”

    29. Anthony Dioniso | “While I think the talent deserves a vote, in the end I think Log has a much better chance of actually getting filmed vs the adaptation.”

  • Tywin Tales

    Count my vote in for Cratchit. As it stands, it’s the more commercially viable subject than the other two I believe. Irrespective of who wins I think Scriptchick definitely has the writing chops for the long run with her more evocative writing style. Good luck to all.

  • Kirk Diggler

    E. L. Drayton wrote: “And since he stopped tallying votes, Log has gotten 4 more votes!”

    Which reminds me of a legendary Hollywood story involving Jackie Gleason, Milton Berle and Forest Tucker (from F-Troop).

    Uncle Miltie and Forrest Tucker were both rumored to have schlongs of equine proportions. One day at an L.A. Country Club, or it could have been at the Friars Club steam room in New York, Jackie Gleason saw them both and wanted to settle the score once and for all, who had the biggest dick in all of Hollywood?

    Was it Berle’s bullwhip or Tucker’s massive trouser trout? Bets were laid down, thousands of dollars were at stake as Gleason procured a yardstick and urged the two to whip it out and be measured. It was the East Coast vs West Coast, New York born Milton Berle vs California based actor, Forrest Tucker.

    Forest Tucker, being considered the challenger, whipped it out first. Never before had anyone laid eyes on such a beastly python, it look like it could strangle a moose if need be.
    Every man in the room was wide-eyed and slack-jawed.

    Except for Uncle Miltie himself, who seemed unconcerned. Jackie Gleason, who must have had first hand knowledge of the gangling ham hock that Berle was hiding in his pants, turned to Milton Berle and said, “Just pull out enough to get the win.”

    Log seems to be Milton Berle in this story, pulling out just enough votes to win.

  • klmn

    I know both Katherine and Alison (online only) and neither one asked me for a vote.



    (no pie post next weekend because of Thanksgiving).

  • Gimme a break

    Extremely happy Carson made the right, and just, call. Congrats Katherine, you truly deserve the win.

    • kalel

      Okay, scriptchick, you can stop talking to yourself now. It’s embarrassing.

  • Poe_Serling

    Congrats to the winner and the other two writers.

    Like I mentioned below, all the featured screenwriters in the tournament
    benefit in one way or another – a new script, feedback for future rewrites,
    some exposure for their project, etc.

  • Gimme a break

    This is exactly what campaigning looks like.

    • kalel

      Scriptchick, you might as well just post under your usual account.

  • JakeBarnes12

    Glad to see a well-written script beat a cheap gimmick.

    • Gimme a break

      Up vote!

    • Thaddeus Arnold

      Well that’s a cheap shot.

    • Daivon Stuckey

      Glad to see petty writers who get whiny when something they don’t like does well expose themselves.

    • Anthony Dioniso

      Which script do you think would make more money? Hmmm.

  • Dallas Cobb

    Wow…so nailbiting, all the way to the conclusion! Good freakin’ job to Smish and Bumstead! — interesting to note that both current semifinalists were BOTH WILDCARDS!

  • Carmelo Framboise

    So, who won?

  • cjob3

    This is why we have an electoral college. ;

    • Anthony Dioniso

      We have an electoral college so that the 3 highest of population states don’t get to have 100% of the say in how the country operates. So that the people that provide the bulk of the food to the 3 states, the fuel to the 3 states to survive, the children of the 3 most popular states in order to survive, don’t get to make minority choices for an entire country.

      Do you really want a candidate to only campaign in 3 states and disregard all the others just to win the popular vote?