The Scriptshadow Tournament pits 40 amateur screenplays against each other that you, the readers of the site, will vote on. Ultimately, YOU will decide the winner. These are the first five entries. Read as much as you can from each of the entries and vote for the week’s winner in the Comments Section. Although it’s not required, your vote will carry more weight if you explain why you chose the script (doesn’t have to be elaborate, just has to make sense). I say “carry more weight” because a vote for a script without any explanation from an unknown voter may be seen as fake and not count towards the tally. I will announce the winner of this week here, in this post, on Sunday, 10pm Pacific time. That script will then go into the quarterfinals. Let the tournament begin and good luck to everyone!

Writer: Nicholas Malik
Genre: Action/Thriller
Logline: After a viral outbreak causes animals to de-evolve into their monstrous, prehistoric forms, a troubled CDC investigator races to the Manhattan epicenter to stop the virus and save his trapped son.

Writer: David Kushner
Logline: Based on true events, BURNING BRIGADE tells the story of the captured Jews forced by the Nazis to burn Holocaust victims, and their daring attempt to escape their captors.

Title: Cratchit
Writer: Katerine Botts
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Fantasy
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.

Title: The Honorable Doctor
Writer: Ben James Johnson
Genre: Sci-Fi/Thriller
Logline: In a dystopian future ravaged by a never-ending war, an insane military surgeon pits his enslaved cyborg experiments against a general’s men in a battle to the death.

Title: The Bait
Writer: Billie Bates
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Logline: An untrusting woman attempts to seduce men prior to marriage for concerned wives-to-be, but when she falls for her latest bait while he remains rocksteady in his denial of their mutual attraction, her world is turned upside down.

WINNER OF WEEK 1: “BAIT” by Billie Bates. Congratulations, Billie. Under the Scriptshadow Tournament rules, you may start incorporating changes into your script for its Quarterfinal Showdown. Good luck!

  • witwoud

    Awesome! Bring it on, and good luck to everyone!

  • Bitches!

    Second comment, bitches!


    • jeaux

      Haa. Dock that commenter a day’s pay for napping on the job!

    • The Soul of Gary Collins

      Nigh on 6 years I have sat at this laptop, pressing the refresh button every ten minutes, like Desmond in Lost entering his digits to stave off the end of the world, in the hopes that someday I may be first.

      History is kind to those that are first and I yearn to join their pantheon, to leave feint footprints on the ocean of time as testament to the truth that I too lived and loved and lost.

      Once more I am defeated.

      • jeaux

        Well written post! Will you speak at my funeral? There’s a C note and a box of slightly used porn in it for you.

        • The Soul of Gary Collins

          Can I bring my laptop? Don’t want to miss out on my chance at being first.

      • ScottCrawford

        I had to wait until I got into the Apple store to get a wifi signal and comment – and its new-phone Friday.

      • Citizen M

        All good things come to he who waits.

        Unless Death comes first, of course.

      • smishsmosh22

        my god this is awesome.

  • jeaux

    Cool. Gonna be fun. Until I’m out of the contest.

  • Wijnand Krabman

    Since no voting rules are established we can make our own. I suggest to vote from 1 to 5. Five is highest.

    • ScottCrawford

      Is it a proportional mark out of five, i.e. four is double two, or is it more of a curve? I ask this in all seriousness because I’ve never though Carsy’s marking was proportional.

      • Wijnand Krabman

        have no idea, but of course I can split votes if necessary.

    • klmn

      It’s an elimination tournament. One winner each round. The other four go home.

      Vote for the best script.

  • pabloamigo

    Based on loglines alone I’m interested to see how David has tackled Burning Brigade, so will start there I think. Good luck to all this week’s scribes.

  • Billie B

    Hi guys, writer of The Bait here. Now excuse me while I run away and hide behind a gallon of Ben & Jerry’s.

    I won’t offer notes this week. I kind of freeze up when the spotlight’s also on me ;). But I’ve opened and read the first 10-20 pages of every script, and there are definitely a few stand out writers in the mix. Katerine in particular has a writing style I could read all day!

    Thanks to everyone who takes the time to read my work. I look forward to hearing your honest thoughts.

    Good luck everyone!

    • TajRoy Duane Calhoun

      Hey, just wanted to say—haven’t read yours (and anyone’s) scripts yet, but yours is hands fxxxing down the one that grabs me the most. So really good concept.

      • Billie B

        Thanks TajRoy! I can’t take credit for the entire concept. My friend had the idea for a Baiting Agency ensemble movie a few years back (more emphasis on the girls baiting, spy like undercover stake-outs, sistas-before-mistas type thing) but it always felt super ‘man hatey’ when we tried to break it down.

        She was sweet enough to let me run with the idea in a simpler form for the 13 week challenge. Hence the shared ‘story by’ credit :).

    • smishsmosh22

      Hey congratulations Billie! Looking forward to reading your script!

      • Billie B

        Hey Smish! Thanks so much :) I hope The Log shows up on here in the next few weeks!

    • jbird669


      • Billie B


    • crazedwriter

      I have Hitch in mind, when I think of your Bait concept. Hope it’s as good!

      • Billie B

        Not yet! But give me a few rewrites ;)

    • LaughDaily

      Interesting premise Billie. Really caught my attention.
      Gonna try to check it out this weekend.

      • Billie B


    • E.C. Henry

      You’re a doll–literally!

      • Billie B


        Director Barbie: “She’s ready to get behind the camera in an outfit that is both FUN-ctional and fashionable. …And with her new articulated ankle, this professional can go from running-around-the-set flats to movie-premiere heels!”

        –or stumbling out of bars in a depressed drunken stupor from bad film reviews! ;) gotta love those articulated ankles, Matel. So 2016.

    • Vic in a Box


    • Cal

      Hi Billie-

      Congratulations on winning the first round! That’s quite an accomplishment, and it seems that many people really took to it, so hat’s off there!

      I finally had a chance today to sit down and read the whole script, it was great fun! Love the story and I think it really has film potential. I don’t see any reason to be to critical with notes, you wrote it fast and quick for this competition and I think it really came out exactly as it should. I think you have a great grasp on these characters. They all have a real voice and I get a feeling they could be pretty close to home — Billie, perhaps? : ) — As you move forward, I would encourage you to remember that inspiration that you first had for it from inception, and no matter what anyone says trust your gut instinct and always go with that and hold tight to your feelings. When rewriting there’s times when someone gives me a note and I know for a fact it’s the best thing for the story, and I implement the change, and additionally there’s many and more times I know the note is not right for the story, so I don’t. Trust what you feel and know, and I think this will turn out just great.

      A few things I jotted down while reading, I’ll just list them here…

      – Pg. 13 – I thought the banter about the buns was great.

      – Pg. 75 – Missed character title for BRAD… I’m sure you already got that

      – Pg. 80 – Cracking up when all the randoms are chiming in about LA — ain’t that the truth. Haha.

      Overall great work. Congratulations again, and I wish you the best moving forward.

      • Billie B

        Thanks Cal! Sweet of you to take a look and offer your thoughts.
        I went through all the notes and found half cancel each other out in opposition. So I’ll apply those that resonate, but try to stay true to the original vision :)

  • Comma

    Good luck to everyone. May the best writer win.

    • Erica

      Or woman…;)

      • Wijnand Krabman

        Is there in English a female version of writer other than authoress?

        • Altius

          No…’writer’ is gender-neutral.

        • witwoud

          ‘Poetess’ is the only other word that comes to mind. Both hopelessly old-fashioned now. And even back in the day I’m not sure how common they were.

      • Zadora

        Or script…

      • ScottCrawford

        May the best ERICA win. All other Ericas in the competition can go to Heck!

        • Erica

          hehehe, hear me Roar!

      • Comma

        I edited my comment 1 second after my first version with ‘man’, then ‘man/woman’, and finally ‘writer’. I hope that is gender neutral enough!

        • Erica

          Well, really Zadora nailed it, may the best ‘Script’ win, gender has nothing to do with it. ;)

    • Kirk Diggler

      Didn’t you read Carson’s article the other day? Apparently being the best writer has nothing to do with Jupiter’s moon Europa or Monday’s in Kalamazoo.

  • fragglewriter

    I haven’t been able to keep up this competition, so I was clueless as to how the winner(s) would be chosen. But wow! Based on the above logline(s), this will be a difficult tournament. I haven’t read so many intriguing logline(s) in one blogpost in a long period of time.

    I will try my best to read all and choose one. This will be so difficult.

    • Erica

      Agreed, this isn’t going to be easy to pick.

  • Erica

    I’m really hoping that Carson isn’t going to leave us hanging and will announce the 40 scripts (well 35 now). I don’t think I can take this stress…

    • ScottCrawford

      Stress is part of being a writer, along with carpal tunnel syndrome and weight gain (might just be me).

  • Billie B

    I really wish the fact this was a 13 week challenge was clarified above! I’m feeling naked in a whole new way without that qualifying statement. ;) LOL

    • Nick Morris

      Yeah, it sucks that we can’t tell which scripts were completed within the parameters of the 13 week challenge. But given that I know yours was (and despite the fact that rom coms aren’t really my thing), I gotta say your writing is super clean and easy to visualize as a movie. Great work, Billie!

      And yay for bold sluglines! ;)

      • Randy Williams

        I read most scripts on a cellphone. Not a fan of bold sluglines. Maybe it’s my vision ( I wear glasses) but they appear fuzzy against normal type on my phone.

        • Nick Morris

          It’s definitely a polarizing topic that comes down to personal preference, Randy. I know Carson hates them too. :)

          Personally, I like the added distinction between scenes, but since so many don’t feel the same I’ve been tempted to stop using them myself before. Not that I’ve ever had complaints about them specifically, but still…

        • Billie B

          That’s interesting. I struggle to read PDFs on my phone at all. I have the Kindle app, but I read it with black background and white text. Anything else bugs me.

      • Billie B

        Ohhhhh thanks Nick!

        I’m also a huge fan of bold sluggies… pretty sure I’ve missed a few in this draft, though. ;)

        • garrett_h

          If you’re using Final Draft, there’s a setting where you can automatically bold the slugs. At work so I can’t tell you exactly where it’s at, but I’ve got it set up on mine.

          • Billie B

            I use FD. Great to know, thanks!

            I’m gonna have a nose around settings and see if I can figure it out. Or Google…

          • bold and the beautiful

            Elements >

            Element name:
            Scene Heading >

            Set Font… >

            Font style:

          • bold and the beautiful 2

            Elements is under the Format menu (I have it on my tool bar, though most probably don’t).

          • Billie B

            Awesome! Thank you :)

    • garrett_h

      Yeah it would have been nice if maybe the 13-week scripts could have mentioned that in their submission to Carson. Then again, people could just lie.

      • Billie B

        I actually meant in Carson’s post today. It just says it’s a script tournament. Anyone stumbling across the site, blind, might think people’s lifelong work is on display ;) That’s what made me feel exposed!
        I wouldn’t normally share my work this early on in the process.

        • garrett_h

          Ah I get you. That’s a good point. Some people haven’t been keeping up or reading since the beginning of the tourney announcement, so they won’t know.

  • Erica

    Okay, off to work, I’ve read 5 pages of each so far, too hard to just pick as I believe they all need equal consideration so I will continue reading and making notes tomorrow.

    Just wondering if I can vote a tie between two scripts? How will that work or can it work?

  • ScottCrawford

    I like the way Katherine took my suggestion for rewriting the longline (ego!) and made it BETTER! The PD mashup Hollywood’s been salivating for.

    • Billie B

      A hundred times this. It better reflects the quality of her writing, too, I think.

  • Lucid Walk

    I’m going with THE BAIT, ’cause I can envision it as a movie the most. And because the writer used their last name for the title, haha!

    • ScottCrawford

      I’ve heard this premise before (being honest) but not testing fiancés BEFORE their marriage. It’s always testing people in FAILED relationship.

      But… the title sounds a bit too much like a horror movie. Even if this is soft R-rated, the title should be in pink on the poster. So how’s about:

      (The) Honey Trap
      The Wedding Test

      If I think of some more, I’ll post them but I think The Wedding Test is a great title that will SELL your pitch. Trust me.

      • Billie B

        Yeah it’s dull, agreed.

        I like The Honey Trap! Sounds more playful than The Wedding Test, which would better suit the tone. But I guess a chick flick with the word ‘wedding’ in the title wouldn’t be terrible, either. Going off of history ;)

        Thanks Scott!

    • Billie B

      Nice ;) I didn’t even pick up on that. Thanks Lucid!

  • Wijnand Krabman

    Burning Brigade: I read 20 something pages, your writing is good. The plural of jew, Jude in German is Juden, no S needed. I think all Germans should talk German anyway. There are a lot of war movies made. I saw that they just found the tunnel which was used by the jews to escape july the first 2016, making it obvious that you really wrote this script in 13 weeks! :-). Well done! If I weer you I would speed up things in act one. The nazi’s do a search of the town and then come back an other day to capture the rest of the jews and our protag. Why not do that in one take? You use the time between the two raids to let the jews debating to leave or to stay. At the end they stay otherwise the story should stop. Or give us more background of the jewish family and then let the germans capture them.

  • jeaux

    Prehistoric sounds like a fun movie. Will try to read all, but this one interests me out of the gate.

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on Round 1 of the Scriptshadow Tournament!

    Started with this one. We don’t see many romantic comedies on here. I love the genre. Thanks to Carson for choosing one so far to compete! I read the whole thing. Liked it very much for what it was. The writer, I thought, certainly nailed the genre. The potential is there for much more, I think. More on that later.

    First of all, the writer may expect some heat, I believe, for all the “fillers”. It’s not so bad at the beginning but it really is a distraction in the back half of the script. I hope everyone remembers, we were given only 90 days to finish these things, which included bios and outlines. I suppose the writer at whatever point he or she started, kept to those guidelines and didn’t have time to make the most of this?

    Pages 1-5. There is a certain slant to this as though a heterosexual man is writing these pages. We get a lot of the physique and sexiness of the protagonist and other women but the men are just “handsome figures”. Maybe give us more of their maleness, sexiness?. For example, the line, “she fist bumps his arm” could be,, “she fish bumps his achingly flexing bicep” or something along those lines. Turn both sexes and preferences on here? We’d appreciate it.

    By page 8, I’m not sure I like Michele or more, want to try to figure her out. Perhaps the Santa Claus analogy when she explains her psychology behind her actions seems a bit tame and not personal? All children are robbed of that myth. I know later we are given the reason. Her “childhood sweetheart left her for a Walmart catalogue model” but it’s a bit late in suggesting an underlying psychological need for me and it’s a weak one that doesn’t have any other bearing on the plot as it goes along. That guy never shows up. More on that later.

    When she goes to the hobby farm and sees Brad there, it seems a bit unfounded that she suddenly loses all her expert role playing because she knows him from before. The loss of vision makes things funny but I needed more to knock her off center. Going off the previous paragraph about her underlying need, what if her parents separated when she was a child because one of them cheated and as she’s at the hobby farm she gets a call that they are going to get back together after many many years? Maybe even include the parents in the story? I just needed a bit more emotional impact to set her askew.

    Up to page 24. It’s all rather light and a bit slapstick. From this page onward, it really gets better. There are several things working at different levels. The comedy starts to really hum. The dynamics of relationships are really poked at and given flavor. I’m really loving the relationship between Michele and her friend Billie. Friendships like this in scripts that ring so true and intimate are difficult to write, I think, and the writer has nailed it so well, I thought. The ballpark scene, great. I love the little inserts from outsiders, the teenage kid, “That lady didn’t even indicate”. Lots of LOL’s are coming, page 48 & 49. Billie has some of the best lines. Smart, smart writer.

    Page 54 hits the mark. We get a twist here. Very good.

    There are some dated references I thought. Spice Girls, Sixty Minutes, other references could be updated?

    Now, on page 63, we’re getting Tanya’s goal here to mess things up. After some really smart comedy, I’m getting nervous at this revelation of revenge that things will get slapsticky. I think what is needed here is much more complication. Several threads coming together. Can we have something hanging with Billie? I suggested bringing Michele’s parents into the story. Can something be hanging with them? So we get more than just the suggestion Tanya is going to crash their party and that’s it?

    Lots of question marks, filler in this last part, it really shows. The all is lost interval is much too short. Those hanging threads I mentioned above can be resolved here as Michele licks her wounds?

    Liked the ending. The scene on the plane mirrors the cinema audience’s own shared experience.

    Good work and good luck!

    • Billie B

      This is Awesome, Randy. I’m in shock you took the time to read the whole script. Even if I’m hoping most people stop at MP ;).

      And you’re right. A ton of filler, especially from MP on. That’s how I write my first drafts. Bare bones then flesh out in rewrites, and lots of question marks to push me through ‘writers block’ and to remind me where to return to once my subconscious has figured out the answer ;) I know some writers work the other way— meaty as hell then whittle down— but I get lost with that approach.

      Thanks a million times over for the thoughtful notes! All this will go on my list of things to consider as I rework it. Cheers :)

      • Magga

        I read to page 30 and enjoyed it (didn’t read any other scripts so far, so your concept was appealing). Three things:
        Gecko is as 80’s as it gets. Don’t say he’s too 90’s :) (if it is Gordon Gecko you’re referring to and I’m not misunderstanding.
        I’d show Michelle waiting by the door and purposely run into the guy. Makes us immediately know we’re not witnessing the actual cliché, but a play on it, and sets up a question that gives the first few pages subtext for those who haven’t read a logline.
        If she bases all her moves on romantic comedy clichés, establish it earlier. Lets you get away with more, even for people who aren’t as into the genre.

        I liked reading it, and might keep reading even if I don’t get to it before the vote

        • Billie B

          Thanks Magga! All super helpful notes. Thanks for taking the time.

          Yeah, that 90s reference and the Gecko ref were from two separate scenes that got melded together. Thanks for the pick up!

  • Poe_Serling

    Looks like there’s a new Master of Suspense in town.

    I thought Carson might announce the Top 40 scripts today and then
    feature 5 of them each week.

    I guess he has other plans.

    Good luck to this first batch of writers.

    • smishsmosh22

      that’s what I thought would happen too. It’s going to be a loooooonnnnnngggggg 8 weeks!

    • klmn

      That’s gonna suck for the writers who get the word late in the contest.

      If all the entries were announced at one time, all 40 would be equally motivated to rewrite.

  • brenkilco

    Have read the first twenty pages of Cratchit and first dozen of Prehistoric. Not going to harp on the prose because everybody who banged one of these out- and full disclosure, I didn’t finish mine by the deadline- had limited time. But in both cases I had problems with the setup.

    In Prehistoric we’ve got CDC people investigating a bear. A dead bear. Though it takes a minute to realize it’s dead because the writer doesn’t tell us it’s a bear carcass. Why the interest? They’ve brought in a consultant though he seems to have no idea why he’s there or what they’re dealing with. And then, although apparently the situation is serious enough for everybody to be wearing Hazmat suits, the consultant leaves to take his kids to the zoo. Excuse me. The interaction with the wife and the pee pee jokes from the kids are stock and dull. I’m out.

    In Cratchit we get Bob Cratchit as a part time bare knuckle fighter. Seriously? OK Downey’s Sherlock Holmes knows Kung Fu so whatever. This is a reimagining. This isn’t a post Christmas Carol Story. It’s A Christmas Carol but very different. And it loses me. Marley was originally a damned soul looking to redeem Scrooge. What’s his motivation here? What possible difference can it make to him if his murder gets solved? Presumably he and the perp will be hanging out together soon enough. And why does Marley need Scrooge to go back in time? Couldn’t he handle the job himself and then drop a dime on his killer in the present? Scrooge’s eternal salvation doesn’t even seem to be relevant to any of this. On page twenty the guys are back in time as invisible and incorporeal spirits. So they’re not going to be altering events. Sticking with Marley until the deadly deed occurs doesn’t seem like any big deal. No sleuthing required. And except for the direct cops from the book the dialogue lacks any Dickensian flavor. This may pick up but the opening needs work.

    • jridge32

      That’s exactly how I felt about the bear scene, but you said it much, much better!

  • Comma

    I gave myself the goal to read the first 5 pages from each script. I arrived to page 10 with ‘Honorable doctor’ and ‘The Bait’. I hope I’ll have the time to read more from all the scripts before casting my vote.

    Honorable doctor -> I suggest to change the name of the doctor. I wonder if the name will be ever actually pronounced in the movie. Let us guess your reference instead of throwing down THAT name :)

    • Billie B

      Agreed. I’m on it!

      • Zack Snide Er

        Totally unsolicited, I know, but how ’bout… Breakups to Makeup.

        • Billie B

          No such thing as ‘unsolicited’, here! I like it! I might have to tally up all these suggestions and put them to vote. :)

    • Ben James

      Thanks for checking it out, man!

  • ElectricDreamer

    Congrats to all the candidates that made the first round.
    Looking forward to reading all of the scripts.
    However, I wish Carson would include the WYSR pitch in the post.
    They’re always included in Amateur Offerings, why leave them out for the tournament?
    I’d like to read the pitch that convinced Carson to choose these scripts.

  • JakeBarnes12

    “An untrusting woman attempts to seduce men prior to marriage for concerned wives-to-be,…”

    I don’t even know what that means and I’ve read it five times trying to understand.

    • Myster82

      my guess is she is hired by the ‘wives to be’ to seduce their partners before they get married.

      not sure why she is untrusting though.

      • Billie B

        I guess I was trying to throw in her wound. ‘A woman with trust issues’… perhaps.

        • Myster82

          Oh no, i wasn’t saying don’t include it. I meant i have no idea why she is untrusting because i haven’t read it yet.

        • JakeBarnes12

          Bille, the “untrusting” part is clear.

          “…attempts to seduce men prior to marriage” is also clear.

          What is throwing me is the ungrammatical use of “for concerned wives-to-be” following “prior to marriage.”

          Have you left out a phrase like “joins a club for concerned wives-to-be.”

          As it stands, it makes no sense.

          • Billie B

            Thanks Jake. I’ll have a think about how I can word it better.

            I guess I was relying on people to make the connection themselves based on the title and the fact she’s seducing the men for jealous fiances who want help putting their minds at ease.

            I’m definitely open to suggestions. It’s still a work in process.

          • JakeBarnes12

            The problem (at least for poor dumb me, LOL) is the “for.”

          • Billie B

            Okay, now I’m with you. Maybe the point is if they’re wives-to-be, saying ‘prior to marriage’ isn’t necessary, anyway.

    • You are so sad.

      Man, you must really be dumb.

      • JakeBarnes12

        Yup. Pretty dumb.

        Especially when the English makes no sense.

      • Dramedy

        Oh, buddy, you don’t have to keep using a guest account to insult people. Why don’t you use your real account to do it? You don’t want people thinking you’re a coward, do you?

    • wlubake

      It’s awkward, but I can follow it. I’d probably change it to:

      A cynical woman is hired to seduce engaged men for their concerned fiances, but her world is turned upside down when she falls for the one target who doesn’t jump into bed with her.

      • Billie B

        I like ‘cynical’, and I can see a version of this working, for sure. Thanks for this.

        • Jonathan Soens

          I’m not even sure you have to specify she’s untrusting or cynical. I mean, that is kind of baked into the premise (anyone with a business like that you’d assume they’re cynical or untrusting). Now, if she was a true believer, I suppose it’d be worth saying, because it’s unexpected or at-odd with her business.

          But that’s just my take.

          • Billie B

            Thanks. I hear you. I think you might be right.

      • JakeBarnes12

        Got it.

        Thank you, wlubake.

        The problem is the preposition “for.”

        It’s too weak (i.e unclear) to convey what Billie means.

        I was reading “marriage for concerned wives-to-be” as one sense unit.

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on the first round of the Scriptshadow Tournament!

    Read 30 pages. I’m not much into Dystopian stories unless they have some character I can really identify with. So far, there are none here for me personally. The writer keeps us at a distance. We can identify with one’s suffering in the form of the boy but doesn’t everyone suffer in a Dystopia? I think the only reason I might keep reading is because of the strength of the writing and visuals. The writer knows what fills each frame and does it with particular flair. Awesome. This is a true movie script in that sense, I thought. For me, more of a sample that gets an assignment than a story I’m interested in, however, but I can see fans of this kind of thing being fully satisfied. Good luck with it!

    • Ben James

      Thank you Mr. Williams! Appreciate the feedback and kind words.


  • wlubake

    First impressions on Loglines:

    Bait – I think this movie exists. I don’t know that for sure, but there was at least a similar version with David Schwimmer a while back (reverse gender). Kissing a Fool I think. Also, I believe there is a term for this that would make a great title: Honeytrap. Anyway, it is a good concept. It just feels familiar.

    Honorable Doctor – I don’t feel a goal in this logline. High concept, but will there be a story?

    Cratchit – I get what you are trying to do here, and Christmas movies sell, but it feels like the concept abandons everything that makes A Christmas Carol a holiday classic.

    Burning Brigade – If done well, this is the kind of concept that gets award-whore directors and actors excited. But I’m not excited to read/see it, as it feels like it would ruin my mood for a month.

    Prehistoric – This should be a movie already. If executed at all well, you should be able to sell this. First one I’ll read.

    • Billie B

      Thanks wlubake. I thought I’d seen every Rom Com on the planet, but I have not seen Kissing a Fool! I will check it out ASAP.

      Also, I love the title The Honey Trap. Scott Crawford suggested the same thing.

      Cheers :)

      • huckabees

        This title is already taken by a novel but it would also fit your story:
        “Venus Guy Trap”.

        • Billie B

          This is great, too. And now I’m officially embarrassed I didn’t try a little harder on the title.

          I guess The Bait is better than Untitled Romantic Comedy. By a hair ;)

      • brenkilco

        Kissing a Fool is godawful. I don’t believe its leading lady was ever heard from again.

    • Bud White

      I’m going to try and read these over the weekend but my quick two-penneth on these loglines:

      PREHISTORIC – I think the concept is marketable and the logline is pretty clean. I am not sure what the “troubled” adds to things. It feels like either the writer needs to tell us what’s troubling the investigator, or just leave it out altogether. I think both the goal and the problems facing the protagonist seem clear enough without it.

      BURNING BRIGADE – As wlubake says, this is clearly not a comedy but I like the simplicity of the logline on first reading. I’m a bit confused as to why the Nazis would have forced them to burn other prisoners given they had the concentration camps, but I presume that’s all explained in the script. The use of “captured” and then “captors” is a little jarring. Maybe “imprisoned” works better for the first line?

      CRATCHIT – I don’t really like the title, but it does at least position the script firmly next to the Dickensian ouevre. I’m not sure it entices anybody who doesn’t know who Bob Cratchit is, but then maybe they won’t be watching this film anyway.

      One thing that I’m wondering about is this bit – ” the same killer who now targets Scrooge and Cratchit’s son, Tiny Tim”

      Read quickly, that seems to suggest that Cratchit and Scrooge have a son together. I know what the writer was going for, but it might need a well positioned “both” in there to make it more readable.

      THE HONORABLE DOCTOR – Lots of cliches in here that don’t do much to entice me in. Having read this back a few times, there are quite a lot of redundant phrases – for example, most battles in a “never ending war” would be “to the death” presumably. I’m not really clear on what this is going to be about, but it sounds like a fight between some cyborgs and some “general’s men” (Otherwise known as an army, right?), for no discernible reason. Unpromising.

      Lastly, I’m not sure how the titular doctor can be honorable if he is then immediately described as insane in the logline.

      THE BAIT – As others have said, the title is a little generic and there are 3 “Bait” movies listed on IMDB for viewers to get it confused with. I agree with “The Honeytrap” or “The Wedding Test” as being better suited.

      I’m an avowed rom-com hater so the concept doesn’t excite me, but I’ll say that the idea of a woman being hired to try and seduce prospective grooms seems more original than most rom-coms that my wife makes me watch. Lots of others have commented on this one so I haven’t really got anything new to add.

      EDIT – and shamefully I forgot to congratulate each of the writers for making it this far. I attempted this challenge and failed dismally (I’m still outlining!) so simply being here is a great achievement. Well done all.

      • ScriptChick

        Scrooge and Cratchit have a son together — lmao! Never read it like that but will take your suggestion. No yaoi here, folks!

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on round 1 of the Scriptshadow Tournament!

    Read 30 pages. If I had time, I’d probably read more. The characters I know. They fit like a comfortable slipper and never disappoint. So, the writer has that going for her at the start. I don’t think there’s been a version of A Christmas Carol or some variation on it that I didn’t enjoy.
    I like that we first see Cratchit boxing. This was a surprise. I wondered however why when he goes home there is no attempt to hide his wounds or that his wife doesn’t notice anything. There could be some fun physical business there.

    I’m trying to get my bearings on how serious of a mystery suspense script this is. Am I going to made to think a lot and navigate through twists and turns like some British mystery or is this Murder She Wrote.? The writing is superb, I thought, but I’m getting more Murder She Wrote so far, although the visual of Tiny Tim’s charred body seemed like CSI. Too much, I thought. The townhouse swirling time vortex scene gives me promise the writer is racking up Dickens to meet current CGI levels. Loved that.

    I can’t deny I favor totally original material unless the script totally flips expectations. I’m not seeing that here.

    • ScriptChick

      Thank you for the notes, Randy! Seem to apply most to the tone so I’ll look into it. Script does flip expectations IMO, but I would definitely say the last half is more original than the first half if that addresses your last sentence note.

  • JakeBarnes12

    “In a dystopian future ravaged by a never-ending war, an insane military surgeon pits his enslaved cyborg experiments against a general’s men in a battle to the death.”

    Didn’t I see this on Futurama?

    If you want to keep the sci-fi cliché dump, okay, but at least change the weak word ‘men.” Just to stay in the OTT tone of the logline “genetically enhanced super soldiers” would work better, for example.

  • wlubake

    PREHISTORIC – I am 5 pages in and I losing confidence rapidly. The dialogue feels forced and there has been nothing to hook me yet. We open with an Elephant trying to deliver its baby, but leave before anything notable happens. No tease of note. Nothing weird, except that she’s delivering early. Then we cut to playful banter for 3 pages that feels inauthentic. I’ve lost interest.

    This concept should be one that captures you right away. Off the cuff – I’d start with something like a hunter stalking a deer (like DeNiro in Deer Hunter). The deer runs off some, and the hunter follows, rifle in hand. He sets up for his shot and POW – the deer is dropped by a predator. The hunter, disappointed, can’t make it out, so he looks through his scope for a better look. The predator looks up to reveal it is a saber toothed cat of some sort, fangs dripping with blood from its kill. The hunter stumbles back in fear/surprise, only to step on and crack a stick. The cat looks up and thrusts toward the hunter. CUT TO: our crime scene investigation, with the hunter’s body badly mangled. We meet our investigation team, and the movie moves on from there.

    I think you have to challenge yourself more here. And this is NOT a slow build concept. People walking into the theater will have seen prehistoric animals in the trailer. They expect them early.

  • Wijnand Krabman

    The Bait: I really like these kind of stories although the starting point is a negative, meaning why would you hire somebody to check on your fiancee? If you are not sure better look for somebody else. Besides the question if it is a death sin to have an affair.
    Your opening is very strong I laughed a lot, after page 6 the fun is gone and you start some establishing of michelle and her work aas MUA. This doesn’t interest me at al,l the dialogue with billie is very in the nose and turns back michelle from a super woman to an ordinary girl and I don’t want to see that. She has done a negative thing and we need to fall in love with her, i would make more fun out of arguing couples and let michelle have fun with it being to big for this world. Eventually she will fall down when she meets her next bait.

    • Billie B

      Thanks for taking a look Winjand. I appreciate the feedback :)

      Re establishing her role as an MUA: SPOILER— He IS her next bait ;) She just doesn’t know it yet.

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on round 1 of the Scriptshadow Tournament!

    Read to page 20. Interesting this begins in Lithuania. I found a huge book in a thrift store last year and read it cover to cover. I recommend it. “There Once Was A World” A 900 year chronicle of the shtetl of Eishyshok. A rich, beautiful culture and history Lithuania has, Jewish and otherwise. I particularly love the pagan aspect of it. Paganism lasting longer there than any other place. LIthuania, I think, has that horrible history to deal with too, it’s believed, that more children of that country killed Jews than any other country. High schools were let out so the students could bash Jews to death.
    Anyway. The subject matter is difficult but such a long list of great movies have dealt with that history.
    The logline here offers some focus on one grisly aspect of it. It’s kind of what I came for, to be honest. The first 20 pages only offer up presentation of a family helping Jews in their community. I’m always intrigued by their use of secret compartments and there’s a good one here that telegraphs but otherwise, it’s generic characters with dialogue that borders on platitudes at times. All rather sedate. I think the writer has to give us something else. Some involving action. Place us already in the camp. Place us at the juncture of a capture and resistance. Marigolds won’t suffice for me to get me beyond page 20.

    • klmn

      You’ve read the cursed book.

      God help you.

  • Billie B

    Hey RS, thanks so much for taking a look.

    I have wondered if it needs to be her sole profession. It would offer ‘career stakes’ if she at some point no longer believes in what she’s peddling. But there are other stakes/wounds attached to her main job, too, so it’s definitely something I’ll consider, but it would involve quite a few changes at the story level. If something’s not working, though, I’m all for trashing it down the road. ;)

    Thanks again!

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on round 1 of the Scriptshadow Tournament!

    Really like this concept. Reminds me of TIME SHARK! I hear the writer of that one was going to submit to the tournament. Hope he made it.
    I read to page 20. To be honest, I was a bit confused at times. I loved the opening and being surprised. Okay, this writer is going to have some fun with me. Then we jump to a bear in Columbus Ohio, (we really jump around all over the north and central U.S in just the first 20 pages, it’s amazing). The writer doesn’t describe the bear as doing anything. Is it dead or alive? Only until someone kneels down do I get a hint that it might be unmoving. Anyway. Loved the beginning but then it stalls a bit. Unclear visuals and overall, a lack of action that I’d expect from an action thriller in the beginning. Could the bear go on a rampage before collapsing perhaps?
    Then we jump all over the place and end up, I think in the lab and the elephant turns out to be a prehistoric mammoth and I’m confused. I think I read the description on the top of page 9 like five times to understand it. Whew! Slow down when you got these trailer moments, speed up with all the rest.

    Love the back and forth between father and child. Some great lines there. Love having to tell him five times to do something. This felt like a father wrote this. Loved the writer made one character Asian. The first twenty feels very modern and hip and fun and marketable. Something Hollywood would read. I’d read more if time allowed. But no time. I’m out for today.

  • jbird669

    Carson, how’s voting work? We supposed to rate from 1-5, or pick the one we like the most out of 5?

    • klmn

      It’s an elimination tournament. One advances, four go home. Vote for the one you think is best.

      • jbird669

        So just vote on what we like and he tabulates them. Got it.

  • Wijnand Krabman

    Not knowing if the writers get a chance to rewrite and not feeling Ok with voting for just one I’m gonna split my vote in three. Bait, Burning brigade and the honorable doctor. The other two are not for me. Each script has its strong and weak points and I will read them better when they go into next round.

    • Dan B

      I don’t think anyone is adding 1/3s

      • Wijnand Krabman

        we’ll wait and see. If this make my vote not valid I can live with it.

    • Scott Crawford

      Sorry, I’m not the judge but I’m not adding up thirds. You’ve got to pick a winner. We’ve eight more fucking weeks of this! We have to have eight winners, not twenty-four runner-ups!

      • Wijnand Krabman

        Ok Scott, f*ck it! Count me in for Burning brigade and have a nice day!

        • Scott Crawford

          Thanks! I’ll add it now.

  • Thaddeus Arnold

    It was technically for those who followed LWAS, I believe, but there really isn’t a way to confirm each submission took part in that. I say, the entire point of the exercise was to give you a feel for what it’s like writing for the studios when given a deadline and your work will have to stand against everything a studio might read, whether written in 3 months or 12.

  • Billie B

    Hi GBV, what a contribution to all our scripts. Just wow. Thank you. :)

    There’s a lot for me to chew on, here. I will most definitely take all of it in to consideration before I tackle my next (or should I say ‘first’?!) rewrite. Thank you!

  • crazedwriter

    Would love to get a post from Carson on his breakdown of why he chose these 40 scripts.

    • klmn

      There’s no evidence he’s chosen 40. Just 5 so far.

      • Thaddeus Arnold

        There’s no evidence he chose these 5! *Dramatic sting*

    • Wijnand Krabman

      that won’t happen, imagine what happens when only 5 regulars manage to get into that 40? the others will be pissed for 7 more weeks :-)

    • Malibo Jackk

      The darts don’t lie.

      • Billie B


  • klmn

    My vote = Cratchit. Well-written and imaginative.

    The Honorable Doctor. Easy to read style. “Dr. Frankenstein” and his underground operating room look like it’s modeled on Rob Zombie’s Dr. Satan.

    The Bait. The notes included in the script are distracting. It looks like every noun or verb has a qualifier.

    Burning Brigade. The 2nd sentence “NAZI OFFICERS guard the military post, canvassing their surroundings like angry watchdogs.”

    Why would officers be doing guard duty? That sounds like an enlisted man’s job. And I don’t get the angry watchdog reference. Unless the camp was under attack, the guards would more likely be bored.

    Not for me.

    Prehistoric. The chitchat on p2 lost me. When Carson said dialogue didn’t matter, he was wrong.

    • witwoud

      And why are the officers ‘canvassing’ — are they up for election?

      • brenkilco

        Canvassing does, in fact, have a secondary, or depending on the dictionary, primary definition to scrutinize. But of course, it’s never used that way. You see that a lot in amateur scripts and it’s a giveaway. Words that are technically correct but have accepted shades of meaning that the writer clearly doesn’t get.

    • Nick Morris

      There’s also a crazy dude called “Dr. Frankenstein” in an underground military operating room in Romero’s DAY OF THE DEAD.

    • Billie B

      Thanks for taking the time klmn :)

    • ScriptChick

      Thank you for the vote, klmn!

  • jonsanhueza

    My vote goes to Cratchit

    It was honestly the only script that pulled me into wanting to read more. Very polished writing and a new spin on an old story that I think Hollywood might actually consider. I do think the boxing was a bit too close to how Sherlock was updated recently so I would definitely change that and go in another direction, but all in all, I was impressed.

    Prehistoric was a bit hard to follow. We start of with a “mother losing her child”, but don’t find out it’s an elephant until later… How would this be shot without us knowing it’s an elephant off the bat? Also, we’re looking at a bear in another scene and find out later it’s dead. These aren’t minor details, these are descriptions that need to be told to us immediately or else we’ll just be confused and forced to go back and reread several times… Not something any reader wants to do.

    Burning Brigade – the writing felt professional, but I couldn’t help but feel it was a rather bland intro to another WW2 Nazi movie. It could’ve easily been Schindler’s List or Xmen. We’ve seen scenes like this a million times. That’s what made QT’s Inglorious Basterds so interesting was we start off with a man chopping wood. Followed by a polite conversation over milk w an SS officer. It’s different.

    Honorable Doctor – the intro wasn’t easy to follow. I think I kept getting pulled out of it because you’d have each line of song (which should take about 2 secs of screen time), paired with lines of scene description that would take 10 – 15 seconds or more… It didn’t add up, and so every time I read another line from the song I kept getting yanked out. And then we find out it’s a reimagining of Frankenstein. That should be in the logline I would think.

    The Bait – couldn’t get behind the premise, though I’m not really into rom coms to begin with, but the lead really turned me off. Her whole ruse is to spray herself with cold coffee, flash her chest, show up at a gym in a sports bra… I couldn’t help but think what serious intelligent actress would want to play this part. Roles for actresses are already objectifying enough, but this was just throwing it in people’s faces. Couldn’t she seduce men by being powerful and intelligent or just have an incredible sense of humor? She’s basically described as every other attractive female background actor in Hollywood. Plus the breaking the 4th wall in the prose really hurt the read for me as well. Sorry for the negativity, but just wasn’t for me.

    • Billie B

      Thanks for atleast giving it go. Time is precious. :)

    • Dan B

      The baby was an elephant?!!

    • ScriptChick

      Hey, thanks for the vote! In my eyes, Cratchit is more like Tom Hanks in Road to Perdition but I totally see the comparison to Sherlock Holmes since G.Ritchie and writers updated the story.

      • jonsanhueza

        Yeah, it wasn’t the character overall, it was just taking a previously intellectual character and making him a boxer in the reimagining. Just that one choice.

  • Poe_Serling

    To be perfectly honest, all five projects this week are really not in my

    But after reading the loglines and cracking open a few of the scripts…

    My vote: Prehistoric

    The title has a catchy B-movie flair about it. Also, there’s probably an audience
    out there that would dig seeing today’s animals changing into their primitive forms.

    >>I’ve read other projects by Billie and Katerine – both are talented writers
    and I encourage them to keep plugging away.

    >>Doctor and Brigade… the subject matter is just a bit too dark for me.

    • Billie B

      Thanks Poe :)

  • witwoud

    My Vote: THE BAIT.

    I love it when ancient plots resurface in modern scripts; kinda gives you a sense of continuity. The disguised ‘stranger’ who tests the fidelity of a fiance(e) or spouse by trying to seduce them was a common theme in commedia dell’arte and comic opera, so it’s good to see that it still has legs. You can’t keep a good story down.

    Anyway, I enjoyed The Bait a great deal, and if this really is the product of only three months work then that’s very impressive. Despite all the little holes and mistakes, it already feels like a professional script. The structure is solid. The story is crystal clear. The theme is given the right amount of emphasis. It contains a pleasing ‘B-story’ involving the best friends. It has plenty of dramatic irony. And it’s sprinkled throughout with all the little sight gags which frankly are the things that’ll make an audience laugh. A kid falling off a ship while in pursuit of a Pokemon = hilarious.

    Perhaps the third act could do with some more work. Readers will already suspect that the abandoned fiancee (Amy or Tanya; better pick one) is going to reappear and throw a spanner in the works. Maybe you need to make it a more surprising spanner. And maybe the break-up between Michelle and Brad needs to feel more insurmountable. The reader should be thinking, how are they ever going to get back together after that?

    All in all, though, this is a really good effort. A potential champ.

    Runner-up Vote: BURNING BRIGADE. Although the language is often awkward, the story is well-told and made me want to turning the page.

    Of the others I read about 20 pages each. Apologies — I know I should provide more detailed feedback, but I’m afraid my overriding thought with all of them was: what the hell’s going on? where’s the story? who’s our lead? what’s the point of this? how long before I can bail? The importance of getting to the story early and making it as clear as possible cannot be overemphasized. If you can’t do that, then whatever other qualities your script may have is going to be lost on the reader.

    • Billie B

      Hey witoud, thanks so much for the suggestions. I’ll definitely take it into consideration.
      Cheers! :)

  • brenkilco

    Read Burning Brigade to page 20. I have no particular criticism of the story, though I think the writer might have focused on more telling details than the makes and models of Nazi vehicles and weapons. The weight of Holocaust stories seems to press down on writers and the characters here tend to come across as both too noble and too wooden. The script isnt as carefully detailed as the Pianist or as overtly suspenseful and genre oriented as Inglorious Basterds though the opening contains a little of both. Just don’t sense anything unique so far

    The honorable Doctor seems so far from the sort of thing that I would like that it’s the one I didn’t crack open. If it’s genius please somebody tell me.

    So my choice comes down to either Bait, which has the most professional sheen, or Cratchit, which I think has the most potential, though I’m thinking it’s not there yet. Hmm. My vote goes to Cratchit. God, this is really an apples and oranges exercise isn’t it?

    • Billie B

      Thanks for taking a look bren!

    • ScriptChick

      Thank you for the vote, brenkilco. Very tight race. Taking your notes into consideration for the rewrite. Currently at 10 pages of notes on Cratchit, go SS community, go!

  • smishsmosh22

    I just want to say congratulations to Nick, David, Katherine, Ben and Billie for writing the first five scripts to make it into the tournament!

    I hope that all who entered will participate in the voting process.

    I shall cast my vote tomorrow!

  • Jake N. Asher

    My vote goes to “The Bait”. Which might not exactly be fair, because I’m a huge rom-com enthusiast and one of the guys trying to get them back into the mainstream. But as a story, I think the Bait has the best set-up. Michele’s character is set-up early on, which lets us get to the romance faster. The hook here is better than a lot of the rom-coms we had to suffer through in the early 2000s, and the dialogue is top notch. I have an eye for good dialogue, and that was certainly delivered. If I have any notes, it’s that there may not have been enough meat in the second act. I didn’t have any real issues with the plot choices here, but maybe add a little more. 83 pages is great for a found footage or documentary like set up, but for a regular rom-com, I’d aim for 90 or more pages. But good job otherwise, I hope you advance in the contest.

    • Billie B

      Hi Jake, great to meet a fellow Rom Com enthusiast ;) I think we’re a dying a breed!

      This really is a 90 page script once I replace the ‘place holder’ beats with filled out scenes (mostly scattered through out the second half). But even 95- 100 pages might be what I strive for in rewrites.

      Thanks for taking the time to check it out!

  • Linkthis83

    I feel like three of these scripts are fairly strong and I the feel like movies based on the early pages.


    Best overall writing.

    p1 = would Marley’s VALET refer to Ebenezer as “Scrooge”? I feel the VALET would say “Mr. Scrooge”. Although, instead of changing it, I would keep it to reveal some character. Even in this awful time for Marley, he would still take that opportunity to mandate proper etiquette from his VALET.

    SCROOGE: Why one would commemorate his own financial ruin is beyond comprehension.

    Loved that line of dialogue. So much story relevance, character insight, etc. in one moment.

    p15 = stopped. By this point, I’m loving the writing…the story, however, is boring me a bit.


    Best storytelling.

    p20 = stopped.

    Billie, what I like about your writing is that you are always telling a story. I love that. This is definitely a movie based on premise alone. Hopefully there’s enough substance contained within to carry it. You’ve done a good job of laying the foundation for it thus far. I’m curious to see if the substance you’ve set up plays out well. I do have my doubts about what you’ve chosen to focus on, but then that just means you get to show me why you’re the awesome writer :)


    The concept I’d most want to see at the theater with credible writing.

    p9 = stopped

    I found the opening pages to be extremely interesting and well written. I liked learning about the characters through their actions. I like that you open with a putting characters into a story relevant situation. With the subject matter at hand, I think your script deserves more “space” to set up the story.

    I think the conversation between Isaac and Mendel needs to be reworked a little to land that moment more effectively. Every script has these “moments” that either bolster the intention for me or hinder it. For me, this moment is when Isaac says:

    Days like today, I’m finding that hard to believe.

    I just don’t like the phrasing. I know it’s set up to allow Mendel his reply, which I also feel could be more effective.

    Otherwise, I’m really into this one. But that’s based more on concept aided by your writing.


    p8 = stopped at the SMASH CUT. I didn’t like the use of it here based on what you had set up just before it. The bold statement to Eve then no reveal for the audience.

    This specific moment coupled with another moment I felt could’ve used more character action than a one word response is when Dr. F called the one guy a “Lackey”. I feel I understand the purpose, but I feel a dismissive gesture builds the character of Dr. F and his response here weakens what I feel about him as a character.


    Nick, I’m not going to lie to you, you have a fantastic idea/premise/concept. However, I was out of your script by “Oh shit. A mother is losing her baby.” You MUST write in a manner that an audience is watching. You used your action lines to inform a reader of information that wouldn’t be on-screen in order to have a baby elephant reveal. It’s highly ineffective and creates distrust. Also, it makes me feel like you don’t have control of what you are creating. And this scene is too quick and makes no story promises worth investing in.
    I feel like I understand the tone you’re going for in these early pages with the dynamic between the characters, but it is exposition heavy and not intriguing.

    The greatest moment of your early pages is this…and I promise, I loved this one line and feel your need to do more work on honing this intention:

    NATHAN: “Disease didn’t force him into the city. A predator did…”

    • Billie B

      Hey LT, thanks so much for checking in and offering your thoughts. Means a lot!

      • Linkthis83

        My pleasure. I’m a fan :)

  • Myster82

    Congratulations to the first five writers.

    I decided to read ten pages of each script. I’m impressed with how much you all managed to do in 13 weeks. What a feat.

    My vote goes to – THE BAIT

    It was a quick and fun read. It felt effortless – i didn’t have to work hard with it. I will definitely try and finish it.

    • Billie B

      Thanks for the read and kind words. :)

      Sorry, but I haven’t seen the Pilot for Atlanta making the rounds…

  • Daivon Stuckey

    So he really is going totally random with which ones get picked. Interesting.

    • Dan B

      It’s honestly the fairest way to do it. Even though it may make sense to have a Comedy bracket, a Thriller Bracket, randomness is the fairest way.

  • Dan B

    Was a tough vote for me, but I am going with THE BAIT. Some notes here…


    815 area code and a Chicago location, do we have a Chicago based writer here?

    Overall – this had a cool vibe, it was fun, and I could picture it as a rom/com. It’s got a concept to work with as well, that is going to drive some conflict — so you’ve got the tools for a solid rom/com. I enjoyed the writing as well, so I am going to be a bit nit picky with these notes, but it’s really because I liked the script and these are things I would recommend thinking about.

    p.1 – Gecko, he’s so 90’s… Gordon Gecko is an 80’s pop culture reference. I know Gecko works with the whole finance thing, and the 90’s line has a cool comeback later, but these two don’t mix.

    p.3 – Who is Todd? We’ve been calling this guy SUIT the entire time, and we continue to call him SUIT after. Probably just something that was edited, but forgot to rename him SUIT.

    p.4 – we’re going to watch a Hockey Game… I know the Blackhawks are all the shit in Chicago now, but there’s a continuity issue here. The first scene, meet cute, has this summer vibe to it. There’s iced coffee, no one is wearing a jacket, and the girl is in a blouse that gets soaked and we have an impromptu wet t-shirt contest. But then we go and watch a winter sport? I know the Stanley Cup is still on in May, but it may just be easier for continuity to make this a Cubs or Sox game – which makes you think summer.

    p.5 – I like the description of the Irish Bar… loosely irish theme, makes me think of a suburban irish bar or bennegans. However, it sounds like this story is set in Chicago, and I feel like this location sounds more like a suburb setting. (Super nitpicky, I know, but this is where I live, and I’m having trouble placing where this story takes place now. It sounded like the city before, but now it feels suburban).

    p.6 – Typo? is “Either” supposed to be “Neither”?

    • Dan B

      As for the others – CRATCHIT was the honorable mention for me. Not much in the way of notes, it was just really well written. I feel like the fairy tale re-imagining ship has sailed, but a well written script with a cool fresh new take could still garner interest in your other work.

      THE HONORABLE DOCTOR – I didn’t know what was going on here from the title and log line. Who is the protag? The title is the honorable doctor, but the doctor is a nut job? Also, once we are in the script, we meet the doctor and he is Doctor Frankenstein? So is this a re-imagining of Frankenstein? If so, I think you need to provide credit and state that this is based on Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein.

      BURNING BRIGADE – Pretty decent writing, you set up a story with stakes and tension quickly. We find these heroes in danger quickly as they watch the SS coming in.

      Couple issues – how do you communicate that Beware: Danger of Disease is in German on a sign? How would we know what it says if it is in German? I think you just say they pass a sign with a skull/crossbone picture like you mentioned. That says everything you need to know.

      they pass “deceased Jews” – this is a toned down word. You’re going to a war zone where bodies are ravaged. Something like “Jewish Corpses” puts a darker more grisly tone to it.

      Rabbi Mendel asks how many trucks are there? I’d advise cutting this line. Who gives a shit how many trucks are coming? It’s the SS! This little pause for questioning slows the story/danger down.

      PREHISTORIC – Honestly the writing was a bit confusing to me. The first line had a weird tone. “Oh Shit. A mother is losing her baby” – this is the sort of “voice” that belongs in comedy, or Sharknado. And it is the very first line. Also – the dialogue from the get go is pretty on the nose. I understand it’s a way to layer in exposition, but I feel like it could be in a more authentic way.

      I do like things better when we pick up with Nathan. His interactions are more authentic in general. Liked the prank he pulled on the cop.

      • ScriptChick

        Thanks for the comment, Dan! Will ride that IP train as long as it’s fun!

    • Billie B

      Hey Dan, thanks for the notes.

      I’m a former Aussie who now lives in Illinois. But your suburban pick up is spot on. ;) I’m out in the burbs! I’ll definitely pay attention to this in my rewrite.

      Thanks again!

  • Matt Edward

    These notes will be ongoing… But first…


    Some notes on the opening:
    – The “Oh shit” opening aside… I’m all for this as an element in your action lines but this is a bit early. I’m in the camp of you need to generate some goodwill and trust with your audience before you drop in something like this.
    – The opening dialogue… Expository for a first line and it feels forced in as a means of breaking up the action. I get the reason for this, but you need to try to tap into a more natural exchange for the situation or streamline the action lines to avoid this needed break.
    – I like the location reveal on the birth.
    – Getting to the grizzly bear… There’s not much of a bridge from the last scene to this.
    – Lizzy Zhang gets a last name… But Nathan doesn’t? Is this solely for the purpose of the “Slow Ride” line (cause “Lizzy’s easy” works well, too).

    I stopped after a page and a half just based off the build up of things that made me pause. In regard to the concept, there’s a major logic jump considering that if animals were to devolve they would regress to less evolved forms. I’m no scientist (in case you were wondering) but from the logline it seems you’re alluding to animals turning into dinosaurs or the like and that’s not on the ancestoral chain of an elephant. Maybe this goes in another direction or there’s an explanation later on. It is forgivable as you seem to be going in kind of a fun, monster/rescue/ticking clock direction so I don’t think the scientific community will be keeping score. Best of luck with this script!

    • Dan B

      This is the second note I’ve read regarding the Oh Shit line, which I also commented on.

    • ScriptChick

      Thanks for the notes, Matt! Appreciate the specifics. “Mary” was a homosexual term the Irish Fighter was using to egg Cratchit on if that helps.

  • Kirk Diggler

    “An untrusting woman attempts to seduce men prior to marriage for concerned wives-to-be, but when she falls for her latest bait while he remains rocksteady in his denial of their mutual attraction, her world is turned upside down.”

    This logline needs work. It’s jumbled and needlessly wordy. Don’t describe your main character as “untrusting”. I read some of you early pages and that is not what stood out about her character. The word also creates uncertainty when coupled with “attempts to seduce men”, which I think is poor use of a passive verb. I remember your protagonist being confident, almost calculating and cocky.

    My first stab might be something like,

    “A woman who makes her living testing the fidelity (or faithfulness) of men who are engaged to be married, begins to question her own feelings about love and commitment when she falls for the one guy who refuses to take her bait.”

    You get rid of ‘untrusting’ because it’s not the best description of your female lead, you get rid of ‘attempts’ because it’s passive and not indicative of how good she is at her job, eliminates the familiar refrain of “but when”, the wordiness of your “while he remains rocksteady in his denial”, and ditches the vague and overused phrase of every romcom like ever, ‘her world is turned upside down”.

    Mine isn’t perfect, but I think it’s less a mouthful and more directly communicates your simple but solid concept. Hopefully I can give your script a further read sometime this weekend.

    • Dan B

      Not disagreeing that the longline could use improvement, however within the first 10 pages, the main character’s point of view is established that “Good Guys are like Santa Claus” and “Santa Claus is a lie.” She sounds untrusting, in my opinion.

      • Kirk Diggler

        That may be true, I just don’t think ‘untrusting’ works where she has it now.

        An ‘untrusting woman attempts to seduce men’ implies that she doesn’t trust that she herself can seduce men rather than her view on men in general.

        It’s unclear, to me at least.

    • Billie B

      Great advice, thanks KD. A few others have offered ways to improve it, too. So hopefully between everyone’s suggestions I’ll come up with something better.

      • witwoud

        My go, for the hell of it:

        ‘A cynical woman who makes a living from testing the fidelity of soon-to-be-wed men on behalf of their suspicious fiancees is confounded when her latest target refuses to be seduced, and dismayed to herself falling in love with him.’

        • Billie B

          I love the overall intention. So maybe a whittled down version of this? Something like: A cynical woman who tests grooms-to-be for fidelity, has her world turned upside down when her latest target denies their mutual connection and she falls head over heels. ??

          • witwoud

            Yeah, that’s better. Mine was too wordy.

  • Ben James

    Writer of The Honorable Doctor here. Thanks to Carson for hosting this tournament and best of luck to all the scripts. I appreciate all the feedback and I’ll be dropping in and out of the comments section over the weekend and hope to start reading the other scripts later tonight.


  • ScriptChick

    Hey ScriptChick here! Thank you for the 1st Act reads, skim to the ends and whenever you felt like stopping. Reading the “why’s” is really informative to me. If I’m allowed to post the “Why I Should Be Picked”, then I’m more than happy to. Gonna process all the info over the weekend like a good screenwriting Ro-Botts.

    • Billie B

      Hey ScriptChick, congrats! I’d also be happy to post my ‘submission’ if people are curious. Although I think I tied in the scene contest for automatic entry. That might also be why I made it, since Carson’s never been a huge Rom Com guy…

      • Dan B

        He’s got a Rom/Com on his top 25, I just think the struggle is that there’s not many great rom/coms out there. When a concept hits though, it hits big.

  • Billie B

    Thanks Nodestar. All good points. :)

    It does seem like making it her true bread and butter might be a stronger choice. I’ll definitely have to consider this going fwd.

  • Billie B

    Oh he does? I didn’t even know this. Actually yes I did. Your Bridesmaid’s a Bitch, right? I never got to read it.

    • Dan B

      Executive Search was what I was thinking of, but that actually makes 2. Also gave a good rating to “Set it Up” which was a blacklist script.

      With Rom/Com I think the most important thing is concept. You can have a fun indie rom/com like What If, but that story lacked a flashy concept. It was still good, but a concept takes that from being an indie to a bigger movie.

      If you check Box Office Results sorted by Rom Com, you can see everything has a big concept that invites conflict. The Bait hits that note, so you’re on the right track.

      • Billie B

        I think I read Set it Up, actually. Enjoyable read. It’s all coming back to me now. I missed Executive Search.

        I think the take away is that Carson really doesn’t have a ‘type’, even if he thinks he does! I’ve definitely been surprised by more than one of his top picks. The Ends of The Earth, being one. Although on quick scan, it looks to have been bumped.

        Maybe I’ll try a time travel Rom Com next ;) Although I vaguely recall C already reviewing a time travel Rom Com…

        • Dan B

          I think the one you’re talking about is Keeping Time, writer got repped off the script I believe. I’ve read that one and it is pretty good.

          And I agree, if you’ve got a great concept… Who cares if it isn’t your type. A great idea is a great idea

          • Billie B

            That’s it! Keeping Time. I think it Got a Worth the Read. I know I read it… don’t remember a whole lot about it, unfortunately.

            Good for the writer if she/he did get repped, tho.

  • Gojuice

    I am going to read at least 30 of all by Saturday evening EST and post, but wanted to confirm I had that long. When are the votes tallied? I didn’t finish my script in time, but am still working on it. In the meantime, I’m excited to participate for those who did submit.

  • Billie B

    Thanks RS! Even if I don’t progress, maybe we could do a script swap some time. I know time is hard to come by, though, so no pressure on that.

  • Kosta K

    I read the first ten of all of the first round entries without reading any of the other comments. I didn’t want any other opinions swaying my vote :/

    I actually liked the logline a lot, but the first ten pages left me disoriented.

    The comic book sound effects threw me off immediately. The descriptions and action need a lot of work. I had a hard time locating where I was in the world.

    The main character is also a little annoying. I don’t know if that’s a story choice, but I was really hoping that the shit that hits the fan at the zoo would’ve shut him up a year later :/ Maybe start by putting him in a situation where he actually shows some competence (What happened with the grizzly bear? Why would his wife call his partner’s phone and not his? Why would he leave the scene to take care of his kids? Why would a theorginoligist date this guy? And it’s “Theriogenologist “, Googled it.). I think if you take your time, you might be able to do a better job here. As it is now, it all seems way too rushed. SWOOSH!

    Really liked this. Made it to page 10 and kept going. The descriptions and choices here made for a very cinematic read. Good stuff. Gonna go back for more when I get a chance.

    I liked this one, too! Solid writing. Scrooge could’ve used a better intro, though. Maybe more details in his description. But other than that, I might save this one for December! ;)

    I’ll tell you when I decided I didn’t like this one: It was the second I read “Dr. Frankenstein.” But a funny thing happened on the way to page ten: I was having a good time! Of all the entries, if I had a choice of which of them to spend time with on the couch, this one would win hands down. Definitely gonna save this one for later ;)

    This one is alright, but I don’t like seeing people this ugly. If she got him in bed, I would say it’s grounds for a meltdown, but if you met a great person with similar interests, I mean even though she’s a woman, why wouldn’t you opt for the good time?… uh, wait, I didn’t mean it like that ;p He didn’t even make a pass at her. More like THE TRAP.

    The writing is solid, though. Another good contender.

    Maybe there’s a wild card round down the line where some of the entries can battle it out for a second chance?

    In any case, I just want to say good luck to everybody. I find it really great that so many people rose to the challenge and actually got a fucking screenplay done in time! Cheers!

    My vote goes to: BURNING BRIGADE

    • Billie B

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

      I should make it clearer that they kiss, however briefly ;) Call me old fahioned, but if I walked into a bar and saw my boyfriend/fiancé/husband brushing lips with another woman, I would lose my shit!

      • Kosta K

        Lol. Get with the times! ;p

        • Billie B

          lmao never!

    • Ben James

      Awesome, man! Thanks for checking it out.

    • ScriptChick

      Thanks, Kosta! A table read I go to only gets through 10 pages a week so it may be until December before they get to the end. ;)

  • Eldave1

    Okay – read some of all of them (generally ten pages).

    I am probably biased because I write Rom/Coms myself – that being said – I vote for BAIT.

    First, I think it has a killer premise.

    For the most part, the writing is professional and engaging.

    Most of the dialogue was very solid.

    There were a couple of spots early on where bits of Michelle’s dialogue felt like it was shoving the “what I do for women” thing down my throat a bit. I think it was mentioned four or five times before we got to Amy (where I thought the dialogue was great with the hotdog/buns and all). This is a minor complaint, but I thought this aspect of Michelle’s crusade ought to be downplayed a bit at first and built up a little throughout. Up front – doing it for the cash is enough.

    One minor suggestion. I would like to see Michelle a little more private eye-ish in her preparation. As an example, maybe she has flowing red hair when she first meets SUIT. Later when she is in the car with FIANCE – she removes the a red hair wig exposing her real hair with a comment to Fiance – you’re were right, he does love redheads (or something akin to that). Also, I think the scene with Amy has some potential to provide this element. Maybe she has a personality checklist she goes through with her client to make sure she is as appealing as possible to the man. e.g, she asks the same XX number of questions each time:

    1. Mary Ann or Ginger? (maybe that reference is too dated – but you get the point)
    2. Cocktail dress or blue jeans?
    3. Legs, Ass, Breasts or all three?
    4. Fine dining or pizza?

    Not exactly those – but show us the prep or science she has developed to get that zero percent failure rate. (It could even be that once she finds the guy she falls for – it turns out the client didn’t really have a clue about her man at all).

    Anyway – just ramblings on my part. I think this has real promise. Best of luck to the writer.

    • Billie B

      Yes yes and yes. I love this idea of playing into the ‘type’. I palmed my forehead on reading this for not including it to begin with.


  • Ana

    I’m curious, after reading the logline of ‘Burning Brigade’…did anyone see Son of Saul?

    • wrymartini

      Yes, it’s incredible and absolutely harrowing. One of the best films of the last few years, and just about the most powerful treatment of the Holocaust after ‘Shoah’. Haven’t read ‘Burning Brigade’ yet, but the logline looks nearly identical, so a pretty tall mountain to climb!

  • Mayhem Jones


    Let’s be honest. ALL OF THESE “win” for not having to face-off against LOG!!! ;D

    Maybe the “WYSR” portion was removed because many said it was their LEAST favorite part of AOW?

    Also–SORRY THIS IS BRIEF, but it’s my birthday weekend!!! I just wanted to make sure I posted ’cause this tournament is gonna be fun!

    PREHISTORIC: Oh my God. I read the first page and went: “How is a human giving birth to an ELEPHANT????” But then realized I was just a moron who had read it wrong. Your writing style is awesome: brisk, clean, conversational… but for whatever reason I had difficulty following the story. I understand all the jumps from a “cinematic” point of view–it would make for an exciting VISUAL EXPERIENCE as a real movie–but I just had problems following it on the page. HOWEVER, I really liked the log-line for this! Interesting idea coupled with obvious urgency. Good luck!

    BURNING BRIGADE: We’re thrown head first into the story immediately. Vivid, detailed writing evoking panic and sorrow. Never felt like I was getting weighed down with description–it read very quickly for me. Extremely impressed with the opening and your desire to tackle such a difficult subject. Is it me or is the competition ’round these parts heating up??

    Cratchit: Haha! This is just the kinda bizarre, whimsical thing I can totally see on The 2016 Blacklist. LOVE this concept with a twist on familiar characters! Scott C. helped with that logline, right? It really nailed the idea. Your writing is fantastic and breezy, the story moves along at an interesting pace. Honestly, if this was an AOW I would have given you the second vote or a split vote without a doubt!!! Great job, K.

    The Honorable Doctor: “Dystopian” in a logline always has me hooked. The opening scene, like PREHISTORIC, I think would have played out better for me (personally) visually. Love the clipped, authoritative Dr. Frankenstein dialogue which matched the tone of the descriptions.

    The Bait: Not gonna lie, I went into this as an AVID hate-hate-hater of rom-coms. GAG!!!!! HOWEVER (!) the log line piqued my interest. THEN… I started reading… BILLIE? Like, holy crap. This is freaking AWESOME! Carson keeps yammering on about marketability… and he’s right! AND THAT IS THIS!!!!! I’m going to try to read as much as I can this weekend. Seriously, I love this idea and I love your writing!!!!!! I also love having my mind (and pre-convieved notions) completely blown apart. Seriously. WOW!

    BTW…is the writer of that leo-dicaprio-SS-250-finalist “BAIT” still around? I STILL WANNA READ YOUR SCRIPT, YOOOOOOO.

    SIDE QUESTION: Am I the only one who watches the Eric Andre Show out of morbid curiosity? During the entire thing I go: “WTF am I watching?”. Before I can switch the channel, it’s over.

    PEACE OUT!!!!

    • Billie B

      Happy Birthday, Mayhem!!!

      I don’t know if it’s the Moscow Mules or the Molly, LOL but I am seriously loving the LOVE spilling over to all of us ;). Enjoy your self and stay safe!– that’s the mom in me coming out ;) mmmmwah!

    • Ben James

      Cool. Thanks for checking it out, Mayhem!

    • smishsmosh22

      hey… thanks for your kind words… :)

    • ScriptChick

      Thank you for the compliments, Mayhem! Great help from Scott. Taking all these notes into the next rewrite. Feel encouraged!

  • Zack Snide Er

    Read the first 20 of all: went with The Bait…

    1. The Bait: I really like this script (so far). It’s sometimes funny but always fun. What makes it stand out for me is that Michelle is a great character. It’s ironic that she’s the bait who takes men to task for objectifying women. The scene with Bobby and the models was terrific in how the “subjects” went to bat for him and after her. That combined with Michelle’s attraction to him seemed to really change the script right around where I left off.
    My only worry’s are whether Michelle herself and Bobby have enough going on as characters, and as a coupling, to sustain the script. That may or may not be related to the low page count.

    2. Prehistoric: The premise is great and although it has it’s faults, I think theirs a lot to work with. The creativity and action writing stood out as the biggest positives, Specifically, I was really into the scenes involving the creatures (the bit where Nathan puts his fingers in the bite, the birth scenes). The comedy in the script didn’t really work for me, and none of the characters stood out, except maybe zhang.

    3. Burning Brigade: I don’t love the title or that it’s a Holocaust script but, it still drew me in. The writing, especially the dialogue, was terrific and the scene where the family’s hiding place was discovered was powerful. As others have said it’s very professional, and cinematic.
    I think an issue a script like this might face is that to a certain extent, the esteem to which its held is tied to the readers familiarity with the history on which its based. It’s possible that I haven’t given Burning Brigade it’s just do…

    4. Cratchit: It took me a few pages to get into this but it got really good after the ghost of Jacob Marley showed up. The Cratchit and Scrooge premonition scenes were also great. Overall it’s a really creative premise, and the writer did a terrific job of setting up the promise of it in the first twenty pages. As to why I didn’t pick it: hmm, maybe the relationships didn’t click for me inside the first twenty pages.

    5. The Honorable Doctor: My favorite stuff was the Lucas flashback scenes and, in general, the descriptive and action writing. The script just didn’t come together as a whole, I think.
    In particular, I found the introduction of Dr Frankenstein so early coupled with the jump between Eve and Lucas sort of threw me for a loop. I wasn’t sure what I was reading asides from the Doctors creations taking on the Generals creations. Also, I thought Dr Frankensteins dialogue came off a tad bit childish during the party scene and the motives, no matter how small, we’re not conveyed effectively. The motives and the two sides differences could be starker.
    All in all the author did a good job of setting the table for the conflict and left me at page twenty perfectly willing to read on.

    • Billie B

      Thanks Zack! You’re right, the script might need some fleshing out in subplots— giving them true beginning middles and ends, so as not to sag in the middle. Noted!

    • Ben James

      Right on, thanks for the notes! I’m taking in all the feedback and it all helps.


  • Kirk Diggler

    Cratchit – read to page 21 – solid writing, nice descriptions of the time and place. Interesting choice to make Bob Cratchit a bare knuckle brawler.

    One problem. I’m not invested enough to care who killed Jacob Marley. Not compelled to read on and find out.

  • klmn

    This just in – Aaron Sorkin has opened a new box of unfrosted Pop Tarts. He’s toasted two…

    Aaaand – he’s headed for the couch.

  • Lisa Chapman

    The Bait by Billie Badass Bates. Read all of it and I see the movie and I think a good rom com is one of the most difficult things to write. All of the notes from the people wayyyyy smarter than me are more than enough to polish this, so I’ll let it go at my vote. Totally enjoyed the read and we need more stories that make us laugh.

    I’m sure the others are good, but I was in the mood for a smile.

    • Billie B

      Hey Lisa! Thanks for reading, girl. I still owe you an email… I need to know ALL your latest. Good things, from what I hear ;) Well deserved!

  • Dallas Cobb

    My past week:
    – hospitalized for an inflammed intestine
    – moved into a new apartment
    – started the fall semester of my senior year of college ((finally! after 7 years))

    Needless to say, I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS CONTEST! I did not submit, unfortunately, but I cannot wait to read all these scripts – this is gonna be frickin’ awesome and I don’t care, I’m excited about it. There’s going to be so much benefit from this, and I cannot wait to absorb as much of it as I can ((while procrastinating on my schoolwork LOL JK kinda!)

  • A Man is No One

    I read about 60 – 70 pages of each script, and after careful consideration, I’m placing my vote on Cratchit.

    Prehistoric – It’s already been said before, but I think the biggest takeaway from the notes below is that not enough happens fast enough. People would come to see this movie expecting action, and at the moment the dialogue overload is the exact opposite of what one would expect from this premise. Show us the story, don’t show us people talking. There’s great fodder here for a story, but at the moment I think it gets lost under the cuteness of the dialogue.

    The Honorable Doctor – I think the biggest disservice done to this script is the name of the Doctor. While it could be considered a play off the famous character and the IP, this isn’t a re-telling but a wholely original story. I think it’s an unnecessary callback. Regarding the sluglines – I think this is the second disservice done to the script. The minislugs – while a very effective tool – here are used in a lackluster fashion that doesn’t add or takeaway anything to the read. In the second half of the script the numerous transitions between North Side and South Side could be just as well done with minislugs that give description – otherwise what’s the point of using them – just to delete Int. and Ext.? All that being said, the script’s prose is far more effective than it’s dialogue, and the story is compelling, but ultimately could be beefed up a bit with more unique set pieces for the action in the second half.

    The Bait – Most people here have already done the script justice in their analysis of it. I’d like to add that I do think it’s insane that there is so much filler. ??? on the second page? It couldn’t have taken more than an hour to just go through them and delete the fillers and add something ANYTHING. I’d probably have voted for Bait, but the lack of ‘completeness’ detracted so much from my appreciation. It felt like an unfinished draft, and it’s kind of like not having enough time to add the ‘fixins’ in a plate you’ve prepared for gordon ramsay but you cooked the meat very well. That being said, I’d rather vote for plate that got everything on there.

    Burning Brigade – While the concept is great, I think the execution flounders in taking far too much time to show us what we’ve seen a thousand times before. This isn’t the Diary of Anne Frank. I don’t see why the story even needs to start with the ghetto being rounded up, nor why it should take as long as it does. The story does pick up further on down the line, and I appreciate and applaud the amount of time and effort that is applied to add a heavy spiritual component to the script. I bailed around page 70 when there were 2 pages of polish dialogue. When you write dialogue ALWAYS write it in english – unless it’s something simple and encapsulated that is effective to have in another language. When it’s people singing for 2 pages I couldn’t take it. Put it in english, and use a parenthetical to explain it’s spoken in a different language. I think it’s a strong effort, but I think ultimately it will fall to the wayside for scripts that are more exciting, or more compelling. I think the concept here is strong, but the concept could be approached in so many different ways that I’m not sure if the one chosen is the best for the story. That being said, I think it deserves a second look.

    Cratchit – As a re-imagining of an IP property this script is written by an author who already knows both the marketability and effectiveness of creating a story that ‘twists’ a well known story and takes us in an unfamiliar direction. My vote for this script, however, is not because of its marketability, nor ultimately for its story, but simply for the level of craft put on display here. It should be clear to anyone that Katherine’s prose, dialogue, and story telling style is both vivid and evocative, while also lacking in amateur choreography, and effectively pushing the story forward with every line. My biggest concern with the script is that it completely abandons the character arc which scrooge normally takes. The redemption of a christmas miracle is a tried and true formula, which accounts for one of the most beloved films of all time – namely It’s a Wonderful Life. While I applaud Katherine for taking it in another direction, I do think that the redemption can still be featured in some fashion without it changing the end of the story. Of note, the biggest problem people here have with the story is not in how well its written, but in that Marley is neither a sympathetic enough character, nor is his death compelling enough to warrant interest in finding out why he was murdered. I think careful consideration should be taken on these notes, and a re-examination of the first ten pages of the script might better HOOK people into the story so they are interested enough to stick around for the rest of the story.

    • Ben James

      I appreciate the feedback and will definitely take the notes under consideration.


    • Billie B

      Thanks so much for taking a look! I 100% agree with you that it wouldn’t have taken an hour or so to replace the fillers with something, anything, other than ‘flesh out scene here’ Etc… on the existing draft, if one had an hour. I’m not proud of this!

      And 24 hours prior to the end of the contest I was trying to give away my potential slot because I wasn’t even close to done on a readable first draft, let alone at a place I’d be willing to share with the public. Then Carson announced 24 hour extension, and I made a pact with myself that if I could [roughly] polish the first half and at least conceptually expand the second half to make the script at least 82 pages minimum (not quite movie length, I know), I’d enter.

      At 11.15 Central I hit send. I didn’t feel good about it. I felt like an idiot presenting such underdeveloped work to the world. But a deal is a deal. And until I have real deadlines, I think I’ll continue to submit anything and everything I’ve pledged to submit, ready or not. ;)

      Now I think I’ve officially had one Grey Goose too many (or 4?!)! and will fall into bed before my posts get lengthier and my sense gets smaller. ;)

    • ScriptChick

      Thank you for the vote! Redemption is an idea/theme I want in my story for sure and I want to beef it up for ol’ Bob in the rewrite. Wish I had kept the Marley I had a rewrite ago but his personality changed to try and clear up some things people had notes on.

  • Kirk Diggler

    Prehistoric – read 27 pages – I enjoyed the dialogue between Nathan and his kids, Izzy in particular. It’s a fun script that moves at a good pace. A few niggles here and there.

    The death of Simone – one second she’s celebrating in a lab with champagne, the next second a wooly mammoth is goring her to death. The moment wasn’t milked for drama the way it should have been. And how does a newborn mammoth have the ability to kill so quickly? Even prehistoric newborns would be very vulnerable and might not immediately have that killer instinct. But hey, just go with it I suppose.

    Which brings me to the scene of the puma giving birth to sabre-toothed kittens. It’s confusing as to who kills the hikers, surely the kittens aren’t capable, it appears there is something off camera doing the killing but then why is the person who operates the go-pro so slow to react the fact that his companion is being attacked by something? Again, a little confusing.

    The first big attack scene with the elk and the giant wolf is maybe a little over the top, especially when you add in a giant bird of prey. It’s a little convenient that they all converge at once. And why did Nathan allow Izzy to get anywhere near the danger in front of him, he of all people would know to stay away the moment he sees a giant deer waltz down the street, but somehow his daughter gets caught up in the danger.

    Still it was fun and moved quickly, and again, the naturalistic dialogue was a highlight. Just needed some clarity in certain spots.

  • Ben James

    Thanks for the checking it out and the notes, man!

  • Poe_Serling

    Even though I cast my vote for Prehistoric hours ago, I can’t stop thinking
    about the probably greatest film ever in this often neglected sub-genre:

    One Million Years B.C.

    A prehistoric man is banished from his tribe and hooks up with Raquel

    There’s a logline I would upvote about a ‘million’ times.

    As a kid I remember this movie popping up on TV about every few

    And why not?

    This one had it all: cavemen, dinosaurs, giant spiders and turtles, rival
    tribes, and even an erupting volcano.

    And the cherry on top…

    It was produced by Hammer Films with Ray Harryhausen special effects.

    Fun fact: It was a remake of the 1940 Hollywood film with same title. That
    pic starred Victor ‘Samson’ Mature.

    • klmn

      Some of those cave girls had great bods.

      That’s what the term “the good old days” refers to.

      • Poe_Serling

        Speaking of the good old days…

        I’ve noticed a few reviews of The Magnificent Seven remake have started to trickle in. Kind of mixed reactions from the critics so far… doesn’t mean it won’t make some $ at the box office.

        • klmn

          It looks like they tried to hit the mainstream tropes, but I think they should have had a few experts on Western history review their choices (art direction, costume design, etc) before they started shooting.

          Still, it looks like a fun movie and I intend to see it – but probably not in the first week or two.

        • brenkilco

          Trailer looked awful. And the iconic theme was nowhere to be heard. What we got inexplicably was House of The Rising Sun. A real FU to fans of the original.

        • garrett_h

          Blair Witch reviews are trickling in as well, and so far they’re all good. I was skeptical at first, but now I’m cautiously optimistic.

          Between the very good Lights Out and excellent Don’t Breathe, and now apparently Blair Witch, horror has had quite a good year.

          • Poe_Serling

            Yeah, Lights Out is closing in on 140 million worldwide with its international take > than domestic now.

            Don’t Breathe pushing toward 90 million worldwide after two

            Blair Witch is predicted to ring up some solid numbers this

            Plus, it’s just that time of year when people start getting into
            the Halloween spirit.

            I’ve already seen a ton of ads for Universal and other amusement
            parks as they gear up for their annual horror night activities.

          • garrett_h

            I’ve seen the ads too. We used to go to Universal every year in my younger days. Gonna try to get the wife to go but she’s a total scaredy cat lol.

            What’d you think about Lights Out and Don’t Breathe?

          • Poe_Serling

            I haven’t seen them yet. Probably rent them from Redbox in the next few months.

    • Kirk Diggler

      1 Million Years Before Carson.

    • brenkilco

      Ray Harryhausen dinosaurs and a fur bikinied RW in her sixties glory. From a certain point of view the perfect movie.

  • gazrow

    My vote goes to The Bait with Cratchit a close second.

    The Bait – I really like Billie’s writing and think she’s got a great voice. This script still needs work but she know’s that herself and if she makes the quarter-finals she’ll have plenty of time to get it up to scratch.

    Cratchit – Some really solid writing on display. I’m just not a fan of reimagined stories. It feels wrong to me to take characters somebody else created and make up a whole new story with them. Hence, the reason why I ultimately voted for The Bait even though this script is more polished and closer to the finished article.

    • Billie B

      Thanks gaz :)

  • Myster82

    OT – I’ve managed to get hold of the pilot script of ATLANTA from someone from Reddit.

    Here is the link if anyone wants to read it

  • peisley

    Cratchit caught my eye and reads well. It’s the most likely to get some attention since alternative versions of famous works is pretty hot now. Also, it’s a familiar Christmas theme with a twist and they’re always looking for new/old holiday fare.

    • ScriptChick

      Thanks for the kind words, peisley!

      • peisley

        You’re welcome! Here’s to it getting somewhere not only in Carson’s competition, but out there in the final frontier.

        • ScriptChick

          Have you looked at the others enough to consider this a vote?

  • Vic in a Box

    Haven’t read any of them yet, but damn, these loglines are lookin’ real good in my opinion. Great job everyone!

  • Billie B

    Hey guys, we’re headed out of town so I won’t be checking in for a few days, but I wanted to post my submission/WYS for those of you who asked.

    Thanks again to everyone who took the time to read and/or offer notes. Such a supportive community. This is what I came for. :) Can’t wait to return the favor in the coming weeks.

    Have a great weekend!

    Title: The Bait

    Genre: Romantic Comedy

    Logline: An untrusting woman attempts to seduce men prior to marriage for concerned wives-to-be, but when she falls for her latest bait while he remains rocksteady in his denial of their mutual attraction, her world is turned upside down.

    Why I Should Be Picked: I think I tied or won the ‘scene contest for automatic entry’. If I’m wrong about this, here are the back up reasons:

    a) Carson said it takes 7 years or 7 scripts to reach a level of professionalism that’ll get you noticed. I just reached both with this script. Let’s see if he’s right.

    b) One thing hasn’t changed since the RomCom heyday. Love and laughs still drive the human condition. They belong together.

    With The Bait, I wanted to capture the nostalgia of the nineties RomCom while honoring today’s edgier, real life lovelorn. Let’s be honest, we’re a desensitized and far more jaded generation. But I honestly think there’s hope for us as long as we can find our one true love…

    Ha ha ha, just kidding. We’re all screwed. But movies are for escapism, so let’s keep the lie alive ;)

    • witwoud

      Yeah, I liked how your script began all cynical and judgemental (ie, modern) and ended up warm and forgiving. Which is what a comedy should do.

      Re the new logline. It says ‘… when she falls for her latest bait…’ but surely she’s the bait. He’s the prey.

      • Billie B

        So true. She’s the bait. I guess I was considering the job at hand ‘the bait’, but it’s not right at all. Thanks for picking up on this!

        The title will change, anyway, but I’ll definitely scan for any references within the script before my rewrite.

  • Scott Crawford

    [[Strong]][[u]]Scriptshadow Tournament Week 1 of 8 votes so far: 0 votes[[/strong]][[/u]]

    [[strong]]Prehistoric[[/strong]]: 0 votes (0%)

    [[strong]]Burning Brigade[[/strong]]: 0 votes (0%)

    [[strong]]Cratchit[[/strong]]: 0 votes (0%)

    [[strong]]The Honorable Doctor[[/strong]]: 0 votes (0%)

    [[strong]]The Bait[[/strong]]: 0 votes (0%)

    • Carmelo Framboise

      Great job as always Scott!
      If my vote still counts, I just voted for Burning Brigade.

      • klmn

        It appears as if Scott’s vote tally is in moderation – who is flagging it?

        Anyway, thanks to Scott for keeping tabs and congrats to Billie for her apparent win.

        • ShiroKabocha

          Not necessarily flagging. Apparently when you make too many edits in a short amount of time your post will go into moderation too.

    • Matt Edward

      My vote is for THE BAIT.

      It’s posted below deep in the comments so want to make sure it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

  • Magga

    Haven’t had time to read any of these scripts yet – Bait is the one I’d pick up first, but I can’t really vote before I read something from everything – but why do we only have until Sunday to vote? Are all of you really going to read five feature scripts by Sunday? Why not just announce a winner on Thursday in a separate article? Good for clicks and comments, too, and I’d certainly feel more comfortable casting a vote then, rather than deciphering from the loglines whether I’d like a romantic comedy or a story about the holocaust to win.
    Still, this contest is a lot of fun!

  • jridge32

    Honorable Doctor gets my vote:

    “It looks like the plains of Africa. In Columbus. With fences.” (nice)

    Some of the action hasn’t been conceived properly: “A SPARKLE OF LIGHT coming from Brax’s diamond wa–WHAM! A brown blur SLAMS into the Brax and the group.
    CHAOS! Everyone flees to the exit. Brax SCREAMS. Then yanks his hand away from a —
    WOOLY MAMMOTH.” It’s tough visualizing this; why was it only his hand on the mammoth? Wouldn’t Brax have been knocked over, or killed by this thing?

    Perhaps there should be a tad more set up before these animals suddenly begin wreaking havoc. A baby ostrich with razor sharp teeth, pregnant elephant, grizzly bear (presumably dead?) — what is going on? Some mystery is good, yes, and we don’t need all the answers up front. But we do need a few. We’re dropped into the middle of this epidemic (of sorts) without any frame of reference. And then it’s 1 year later. Better world building is needed.

    Burning Brigade
    Evil Nazi soldiers. Innocent Jews being slaughtered. Writer focuses on one family in particular affected by all of it, but there’s no real story being told by page 20. We know how unconscionably horrible a period the Holocaust was, but need more from the narrative by this far in.

    The writer is doing something different with this story, telling it from a certain character’s point of view we don’t oft see. The opening boxing match was fun. But it all just feels so terribly familiar. Hard to get involved.

    The Honorable Doctor
    Page 17-20 is somewhat confusing: not sure what all is happening, or why Frankenstein is getting so irate.

    Otherwise, what it seems like we have here is Lucas, one of the mad doctor’s test subjects, breaking free and getting revenge perhaps?

    Lucas’ initial capture is an effectively tense action sequence (even though the reader doesn’t know why it’s happening yet). Writing in general is pretty good.

    The Bait
    “—a beautiful but equally harried business woman” (it it important for us to know this character is just as beautiful as she is annoyed?)

    “He reaches into the seat and pulls out her dirty shirt. SNIFFS long and hard, eyes closed. Intoxicated” (by the scent of his iced coffee that he spilled on her?)

    ??” (I’m lost)

    “Oh shit he’s done. Not in a I-should-try-and-bang-that-chick kinda way. More like I-gotta-bang-that-now, kinda way” (there’s a difference?)

    “She tilts her head, not in the slightest bit buying it, pulls off her engagement ring—
    —drops it in his beer. He just stares down at it. Fiance picks up the beer from beneath his nose, takes a swig, then walks out with the beer AND the ring. Damn girl, you go” (what was the point of dropping the ring in the beer, then drinking the beer? Why not have a sip, then leave the ring?)

    “A few framed pictures on the wall from movie sets. ?? INSERT PICTURE— Michele stands with??” (not getting the use of question marks)

    GUY Ever heard of a cell phone, lady?
    MICHELE Girl… I’m probably still a girl— (probably still? why make this distinction?)

    Too many detail issues to distract us from these characters and their story.

    • Ben James

      Thanks for the vote! And appreciate the feedback.


  • Scott Crawford

    OT: Here’s how I learned to write loglines, by listening to Pilar’s (mostly) annual logline competition. Here’s this year’s one. With Matt Belknap!

  • Lucid Walk

    OT: Finally! We got a trailer!

    This is probably gonna win next Oscar’s Best Original Screenplay. Don’t believe me? Send me your email, and I’ll send you the script. Allons-y!

    • Scott Crawford

      Oh, I thought you were going to post the trailer for PASSENGERS! Might THAT win Best Original Screenplay?

      • Lucid Walk

        Hasn’t been released yet. And it could

    • brenkilco

      You’re joking. Ghastly, new age treacle. Guaranteed DOA at BO. Is this the best project all these gifted actors could find?

      • Give it a rest

        Maybe these “gifted actors” with decades of experience, and Oscars, know more than some unknown, unproven, wanna-be screenwriter.

        • brenkilco

          Mebbe. Two words in my defense. Seven Pounds. Remind me to troll you in December.

      • Kirk Diggler

        I used the same word as you. Thought about using saccharine. But yeah.

    • huckabees

      I’d like to re-post my initial reaction from a few days ago:

      “This trailer felt to me like someone tried to massage buckets full of sugar into my eyeballs. With a screwdriver.”

    • Steffan

      steffanralphdelpiano @


    • Kirk Diggler

      Looks like pure holiday treacle that’s supposed to make me feel good about shit.

  • Erica

    My vote: The Bait,
    Very close behind and wish I could vote a tie, Cratchit.

    This is a great start to the Challenge, all solid entries.

    Overall, I liked this concept and think it would make a good movie. I didn’t care for the opening as others have mentioned, I was a little confused by the Bear being dead. For me the opening didn’t set the proper tone of the movie. The first scene to me would have been better as a second after a big hook opening action/thriller scene that would draw us in, and I don’t count the first delivery scene, it seem out of place. I’m sure the story will come back to it but I really didn’t know what was happening. The “oh shit” line was a turn off for me.

    The Honorable Doctor,
    I’m not sure but for me the title just didn’t work. I liked the logline but when I went to read the script it turned out to be a new take on a Frankenstein movie. Guess I was expecting something different.

    Burning Brigade,
    I don’t really have notes on this one, I only read the first 10 pages. The writing seems good but I’m just not into stories like this.

    Loved this story, I’m a huge Christmas fan and I love my Christmas movie’s. I think I own almost 40 Christmas movies. I would gladly add this one to my collection. I think it’s a great take on the classic story. I can’t really offer anything more. It’s a easy read, before I knew it, I was on page 21. If I have time, I’m try and continue reading this on.

    The Bait,
    Next to Christmas movies, Romantic Comedies are awesome. I love the way this story is going. I especially like that the next target was the photographer who she just and a little tiff with, I think that captures the the who spirit of the Romantic Comedies. I also read up to page 24 and will most likely continue reading. Only thing I caught and I don’t know if it’s been said yet (not going through 234 comments), on page 10, you have INT. and it should be EXT. for the establishing shot.

  • RO

    Congratulations to everyone on these submissions.

    After going through all the scripts, I vote for The Bait. It was the only one that intrigued me enough to read to the end (despite the draft having some parts action lines and things missing in the final act). It had an easy to register goal. There are some chemistry moments I would have preferred to see not in the second act, but otherwise it was an enjoyable read. I could think of at least two dozen film Directors in Canada that would make this as an indie film.

    If I could vote second, it would be Cratchit. I enjoyed the take and dialogue, but I didn’t get hooked enough into it to finish. I will be going back to it.

    I got to 15 pages in Burning Brigade, there’s lots of great character, but I was waiting for the story to start. A little too slow for me, but I really liked the mother and will go back to this script in the future.

    The Honorable Doctor felt like a film produce from The Cannon Group Inc in the late 80s. I was with it until the first flashback of Lucas.

    Prehistoric lost me on the first page. That opening dialogue exchange did not register with me the way the writer intended.

  • ocattorney

    Notes for “Bait” by Billie Bates: I’m going to vote for this one, over “Prehistoric”, but it seems a shame that both of them can’t move on to the next round. First, the title. My image of “Bait” is this: The FBI has an informant working for a fence who handles stolen jewelry. The FBI are able to set up in time to film a man (SUIT) buying half a million in stolen diamonds from a thief. The FBI hopes to follow SUIT long enough to find his boss, or who is buying them next up the food chain. The FBI is on alert when a lovely woman makes contact with him. They think she’s part of the criminal organization but they’re never seen her before. We go through Act One pretty much as presented, except the FBI is watching and they decide to make Michele their “bait” for the criminal organization, which leads them back to the Mountain Home in Colorado somehow… not really your story, but that’s what “Bait” would suggest to me, if all I saw was the title – Bill

  • ScriptChick

    Thank you grizzlylincoln for your analysis of what’s on the page as well as for your suggestions. I believe “balls” is period language but maybe because we use it now in the present, that’s why it feels too modern? Hot chestnuts were sold on the Victorian streets so maybe the Irish Fighter can go after those. ;)

    • grizzlylincoln

      Yeah! I think referring to them as “Chestnuts” might add some period flavor to your story. Good luck! It seems like you’re getting a lot of votes.

  • FH

    I agree with others on The Bait title. My initial reaction was also that it had something to do with law enforcement.

    I’d suggest:

    or if you wanna stick with a “the” — The Temptress

    • Malibo Jackk

      Actually like the title — Bait.
      It’s clever.

      If you’re afraid it might be misleading, perhaps:
      (A Romantic Comedy)

  • Levres de Sang

    My Vote: There seems very little between these five contenders so I’m just going to give notes based upon my initial impressions.

    Firstly, well done to all the authors for completing these drafts in a little over 13 weeks. It’s very inspiring to those of us who didn’t. I also want to say how impressed I am by the volume of detailed and insightful notes already provided this weekend. Scriptshadow at its best! My own notes have tried to take the form of Early Draft Reports:

    THE HONORABLE DOCTOR: As an admirer of Franju’s Eyes Without A Face, I was excited by the slugline UNDERGROUND SURGICAL THEATER. I also have no problem with your appropriation of the Frankenstein name. In fact, I liked its semi-meta quality. The same goes for characters named Rorschach and Kinski. However, I’m struggling to reconcile these fascinating genre tropes with the contemporary prison setting and characters such as “soccer player”. The next draft should clearly define the tone / audience for this material. (Or maybe it’s me wanting this to be another Eyes Without a Face?) Genre expectation also had me thinking the Doctor should be more urbane at the social event rather than just irritable.

    N.b. Loved the description “nervous and frail as tissue paper”.

    THE BAIT: The opening sequence is well written and memorable. It also feels like the most screen-ready sequence on show this weekend. However, without having read beyond the first 15 pages, I worry how this will develop beyond simply repeating that opening gambit? Indeed, as per my logline concerns a few weeks back (please excise that clunky “while he remains rocksteady in his denial of their mutual attraction”), I wonder whether there’s a concrete goal? With that in mind, I think Billie’s rewrite should focus on structure and eliminating superfluous scenes. For example, Michelle’s “I want eternal happiness…” speech could become an audience-positioning V.O. that immediately follows the initial bait reveal. The protag’s goal should dictate the structure in this kind of story — and I’m not sure the glamour-shoot interlude adds anything in this respect. Having said that, I’m confident as to this one’s potential going forward.

    BURNING BRIGADE: I’m not personally a fan of “Based on True Events” pics, but this script seems very well researched and exudes authenticity. The next draft, however, might want to focus on how this stands out from all the other Holocaust stories. For me, the burning bodies (mentioned in your logline) is an extraordinary image and one that should remain central to what we see on screen. Indeed, it would make for a startling opening reveal. Your next draft should also seek to refine/eliminate cluttered sluglines, remnants of research and odd word clusters (e.g. “return to spectating the Nazis”).

    CRATCHIT: This is well written (especially so for a 13-week script) and the opening murder scene is done with considerable dramatic flair. However, my overwhelming feeling here is that I’ve seen it all before. Your next draft must find a way to make us care about these reimagined characters / events. It should also seek to eliminate some exposition-heavy dialogue early on. We can see from the visuals that the Cratchits struggle to make ends meet. Sorry I can’t be more helpful.

    PREHISTORIC: My problem with this one is TONE. I suspect the author is going for a bantery PG-13 vibe, but the next draft still requires clarity in this respect. Namely, there doesn’t appear to be any connection between your first two scenes. In addition, the dialogue feels VERY exposition-heavy. Opening your next draft with a monster attack (or at least an indication that one is imminent) should go some way towards resolving both of those issues. It’s also what that PG-13 audience will have paid to see!

    What I Learned: Original stories must be clear in terms of tone and structure. They must position the audience early. True stories and IP reimaginings have an advantage in this respect (we’re familiar with the story beats to a certain extent), but they have to make us care about their take on familiar material.

    • Ben James

      Thanks for the notes, appreciate it!

  • jbird669

    Put me down for Cratchit. I’m a sucker for a new take on popular material. This is my favorite Xmas story (the 1951 Alastair Sim film is an all-time classic), and this is well-weitten and like another poster said, Hollywood is always looking for new Holiday material.

    • ScriptChick

      Thanks, jbird669! My Dad’s favorite too, so watch it almost every year. My fav is probably Muppet Christmas Carol. Kermit and Michael Caine make a killer combo. :)

  • ScriptChick

    For any wanting it, here was my submission:

    TITLE: Cratchit

    GENRE: Mystery & Suspense, Fantasy


    “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.


    I want to prove to myself that I can write a competitive script in a limited amount of time, not just for this tournament but for the larger Hollywood market. Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines! I want to showcase a fresh perspective on a classic Christmas tale in a dark tone that fits a few of my other scripts.

    Furthermore, watching “A Christmas Carol” every year, I always wonder about the other characters. We only see parts of their lives. What if we could see more? …And I love British accents and murder mysteries across the pond, so yeah, I’d watch this!

  • Malibo Jackk

    Wasn’t going to vote.
    Then saw how few votes PREHISTORIC was getting.
    It gets my vote.
    Didn’t care for the opening scene and I’m willing to overlook a lot
    if the script holds my interest. And this seemed to.
    Call it a strange attractor but I could see Hollywood trying to make something
    from the concept.

    Good luck to the writer.

  • klmn

    OT. News from the Venice Film Festival.

    A lot of this reads like satire. The sex life of a tentacled extraterrestrial?

    “..a cannibal love story with Jim Carrey and Keanu Reeves about a young girl who ends up on the menu in a futuristic United States?”

    I can’t wait for Carson’s reviews.

    • Malibo Jackk

      As a joke, once considered writing a script that could best be described as
      West Side Story — but with cannibals.

    • Comma

      I saw ‘la region salvaje’ (tentacled extraterrestrial) yesterday. 10/10 for me! The script does have many flows, but this is a visual/experience/author movie not a sunday night entertainment. I truly enjoyed it. Even if the tentacled alien and his sexual appetite made me think a lot to ‘Possession’ (a masterpiece). I think that the strenght of the movie is that it’s simple and complex at the same time. And the author toke his chances (in this, I think he mets one of the best scriptshadows’ precepts). Definetely a movie which polarizes the opinions. Cinema at his highest level.

  • Pat

    I have read to about page 20 of each of the screenplays and my VOTE is for CRATCHIT as this is the one that has intrigued me the most and is the one that I most would like to read to the end.

    As others have mentioned, this is a great B-movie concept however I just couldn’t get into the character of Nathan, he was just too child-like, in fact I had to go back and re-read his age because I thought I had read something wrong. If you want a wacky character like who is a pain in the ass to all those around him, then he actually has to be the best in the business, that’s how Sherlock works, however Nathan isn’t the best at his job which left me wondering why anyone puts up with him.

    I liked a lot in this script but ultimately I didn’t vote for it because it had too much going on and therefore didn’t explain the little details presented withing the story. For example, I never understood why Isaac and his family weren’t taken in the first encounter with the SS? They didn’t hide, it just seemed like they knocked on all the neighbours door and ignored them. As well, I never understood the plan around hiding the other families. Isaac’s family does this only after the SS show up, why not try to hide people before?

    I went into this script a little worried as I am not a fan of rewriting/reimaginging unless there is a major change of scenery (for example, Oh, Brother Where Art Thou?), I just feel that the new story is forever stuck in comparison to the old story and that the old story is better. However! I enjoyed this script, it is well written and the characters play off each other well. My complaint is that when Marley’s ghost shows up, he sort of just tells Cratchit and Scrooge that he was murdered and they must now solve his murder. This felt rushed and a little random as this took the plot of the first pages and pulled a u-turn into a different direction. I would suggest setting up a mystery surrounding Marley’s death or perhaps some mysterious threat against Cratchit or Scrooge so that this u-turn feels more natural.

    Like others I was immediately confused by the name Dr. Frankenstein, I couldn’t tell if this was a re-imagining or just the use of an iconic name. I think to clarify this, you need to use the name Frankenstein in both your logline and script, or in neither. As for the story, I had trouble getting into it. I found the first ten pages to be rather aimless and that turned me off the story. I think you either need to stick with Lucas or explain why the doctor is at the conference in order to give the plot some forward momentum.

    I wanted to vote for this one as I liked the idea and I liked the set up, but all the ?? left in meant that I could not bring myself to vote for a script that was unfinished.

    • ScriptChick

      Thanks for the vote and notes, Pat! Oh, Brother Where Art Thou is a great movie.

  • fragglewriter

    Okay, so I read as much as I could from each script, but unfortunately, the scripts did not meet my expectations based on their respective logline. However, I wish each writer Good Luck in the tournament.

  • Ben James

    S’all good. Thanks.

  • ChadStuart

    My two cents.

    Prehistoric – Didn’t interest me enough to open. Despite the machinations to get there, it’s still just monsters munching on people and a generic father and son story. It could be anyone battling the beasties. I need to know more about why this guy is battling these beasties, i.e. what’s his personal connection to it.

    Cratchit – Also wasn’t interested enough to open. Besides “A Christmas Carol” being the most over adapted story known to man, this twist lost everything about the core of the story. There’s nothing in the premise that says Christmas or deals with the theme of greed. Therefore this same premise could be grafted on to any story.

    The Honorable Doctor – The title and the logline seem to be completely opposite in tone, which didn’t compel me to read. But Dystopian futures and cyborgs just reeks Cannon films to me, and that’s not interesting to me.

    The Bait – One of the more interesting concepts this week. I do like a good romantic comedy. But, this felt very familiar to me. To reignite the genre something special will be needed, and this logline didn’t leap at me enough to convince me this one is it.

    So I guess my vote is for Burning Brigade. I got about 15 pages because the concept piqued my interest. It could use a little tightening in the story at the outset to really engage the reader more. Jews and Nazis are well covered territory, and we really need to feel like we’re being told a new aspect of that story, more so than another interesting factoid from the war.

  • Ben James

    Well, there is a bit more to the weekend, but it appears The Bait has a strong lead and is poised to take Round 1. Congrats and best of luck in the Tournament!

    I cracked open the other scripts last night and thought I’d share a few notes, as I appreciate the feedback I received on my script The Honorable Doctor, and really getting raw reactions and notes on your work is the benefit of a Tournament like this and one of the best parts of Scriptshadow, period.


    I made it to page 10. I liked the banter and there’s a good set up, but it felt like there was a lot more mystery and anticipation to milked out of the premise and slowly revealing what’s going on with the animals. Once the wild action with the mammoth happened and then the time jump skipped a year, I felt I wasn’t established enough in the world before to keep going. I’d consider maybe stretching out the reveals and building the mystery more in the first act and then time jump at the end of act one into act two. Just a suggestion.

    Burning Brigade

    The subject matter is intense and very well established in the first 5 or 6 pages, but after that I started to get lost in the various family dynamics and made it to page 17. The setting is extreme, Nazis lurking in their neighborhood, killing and kidnapping, and I wanted this family to win or triumph or escape or something, but it felt like too long spent on character interactions when I really I needed the next plot development to happen.
    As a suggestion, if some of the character scenes can be transposed and sprinkled amongst later scenes it could add some more forward thrust to the first act. Keep the marigolds scene, though.


    I didn’t make it too far, but the thing that stuck out for me was that in the logline it says they’re looking for Marley’s killer, but it sounds like Marley was on death’s doorstep anyway and the Dark Figure just made it slightly quicker by suffocating him with a pillow. If I was a studio reader I’d be thrown off by this. As a suggestion perhaps he’s recovering and tells his Valet to send the Doctor home, that way when he’s offed it makes the killer a killer and not just a speeder-upper. Unless I’m totally misreading the context and he’s just gotten a tooth pulled, although he does vomit blood. Anyhow, that was what stuck with me.

    The Bait

    I like the opening sequence, and the concept is good, like marketable good, so I can see why your script is leading the pack. The set up really makes it clear that even though the guy gets busted, the real loser is Michele who’s so far out of touch with real love that she’d allow herself to pretend to seduce men for money and essentially has given up on love, and therein starts the potential for a huge transformation where she will go through the the various trials and tribulations of the plot and will find love again for herself and grow and all that rom-com reversal stuff. I don’t know the genre all that well, but the basics are there right from the start, so kudos. I didn’t make it much further but as a note it seemed like Michele was a little too jaded, when as the lead there needed to be something to hold onto to like her just a bit. As a suggestion, maybe she really needs the money for something she wants to do, like open her parachuting school or rescue her grandfather from a shady old age home, just something so that her jaded view on love was not also the only reason to make money off breaking up engagements. But maybe that happens and I didn’t get far enough.

    Anyway, all the best.


  • ScriptChick

    Thank you for the vote, Nodestar and your very indepth, thought-provoking analysis. Very happy for you reading to the end.

  • Kirk Diggler

    Burning Brigade – Skimmed to page 20. To be brutally honest, I don’t want to see this movie. No doubt, specific stories of the Holocaust will always make an interesting subject for a film. But I have to ask myself, is there anything about this script that brings a different perspective that we haven’t already seen before?

    This starts out every similar to many other films about this tragedy, Jews are force into a ghetto, atrocities are committed, a family discusses what they have witnessed and say things like “They will come for us next.” There is push back from one of the more religious family members “God will protect us”, prayers are prayed, more crimes are committed, more Jews are killed, and finally they realize they are in a situation from which there is no escape…. until they formulate a plan to do so.

    It’s all very dramatic and heart wrenching and tough to stomach. The particular event dramatized here, the digging up and burning of the tens of thousands of bodies of the Ponary massacre, including women and children, is particularly gruesome.

    And I don’t want to read a script about it. I’ve seen The Piano, Schindler’s List, Defiance, and many others, including Night and Fog. All had their own very specific takes on the Holocaust. The Burning Brigade’s opening pages just seem too run of the mill for me, I know what’s coming even before it happens.

    I also think it’s important to find a script that is ‘producible’. Even if this was a great script, it’s a tough sell, and the current spec market is not at all receptive to this kind of story and never has been. These type of scripts are the domain of writer/directors who can get it made themselves. Reproducing this time period is expensive. And even though there is some uplift present in this story (some Jews escaped by tunneling out with a spoon), it’s still incredibly dark and dreary. The title itself is somewhat unsettling, especially if that nickname was coined by the Nazis. Hard to see how the Jewish prisoners would have called themselves that, although I admit I don’t know for sure.

    Good luck to the writer though, it’s not easy tackling such difficult subject matter.

    • E.C. Henry

      Deep, probing insight, but then again, would you expect anything less from a porn star?!

  • Cal

    My philosophy in approaching this competition was that I would thoroughly read the first 10-15 pages of each script, afterwards the script that I FELT was the most interesting and that I would most like to read based on story, concept, and writing style, would be the script I would read in full and the script that would get my vote. I also plan to offer basic notes after I have more time with my top choice. So after due consideration my vote goes to…


    Good job Billie. I enjoy the dialogue, lean writing style, and I loved your main character. I made it to page 30 on the first read until I had to put it down to get to the others. Also, for a spec competition I appreciate the lower page count and the faster pacing since there’s a lot of reading to do. I’ll be offering a little more detailed feedback in a few days after I get more time with the script if you’ll have it. I just wanted to be sure to get my vote in before Carson tallies it all up.

    My runners up were CRATCHIT and BURNING BRIGADE.


    I enjoyed your writing style Katerine. It was an extremely tight decision between your script and Billie’s, but after seeing that 124 page count I went with Billie’s. 124 pages is a lot to ask from a reader for a spec, and even though I’m sure it’s great there’s still no promise of delivery. It’s different for a script for like say Rattleborg. It’s like 137ish pages I think but you know from the buzz and hype around it that it’s going to deliver on some level, so the reader is willing to take on that page count with confidence. Again, just my opinion.


    David I really enjoyed the first 15 and how you got right in it. For me, this wasn’t so much about your writing as it was content. I could tell this was gonna be a heavy one to read and to be honest I just didn’t want to put myself through that at this time, especially after some of the heavier scripts I’ve been reading lately. Anyway, congrats to tackling such a tough subject matter. I thought the first 15 were strong and very emotionally gripping.

    Congrats to everyone that got chosen.

  • smishsmosh22

    My Vote: Cratchit.
    Honorable Mention: The Bait

    Comments to come tomorrow, I promise. I understand if it’s too late to count my vote, just haven’t had time to sit down and type out my thoughts yet.

    • ScriptChick

      Thanks, Smish! Hope to get another rewrite out soon!

  • ScriptChick

    Thank you for including what you liked and your suggestions, GreenBloodedVulcan!

  • Zero

    Hi Everybody,

    I thought I’d share my latest project – a Kickstarter for a short to promote my series concept!

    HAPPI vs DRAG is a sci-fi action-comedy cartoon that kids would really like. I’ve gotten help from various fellow screenwriters on the full pilot, and it’s come pretty far.

    Even if you don’t like cartoons much, it might be of interest if you have kids, or know someone who does. Some of the rewards would make great birthday/Christmas gifts.

    Now, back on Topic!

    I’ve been looking at the loglines tonight – but full reviews of the scripts will come tomorrow.

    I feel PREHISTORIC is the best logline of those presented here. It has the least issues, and an interesting story. Combining thriller, outbreak, dinosaur, and devolution angles into one is pretty unique – but not entirely, as for some reason I keep thinking I’ve read this concept before, but I can’t think where.

    Burning Brigade – I’m definitely going to crack the script open, so maybe it’ll surprise me. But ‘daring attempt’ isn’t enough to counteract my aversion to Historical Dramas.

    Cratchit – It’s an interesting idea, looking at the Christmas Carol story from a different angle. CC is one of my favourite classic stories. Maybe the script’ll do it justice. But I personally would rather support originality, and explore an original world/follow new characters.

    The Honorable Doctor – The logline isn’t terrible, but it’s not great, either. It suffers from a lack of freshness or originality. How many times have we seen a Mad Scientist unleash his robots or engineered creatures upon the world? The fact that it’s in an already-dystopian setting is slightly interesting, but that interest is then killed by the use of ‘in a battle to the
    death’. Isn’t ‘to the death’ implied by ‘neverending war’?

    The Bait – it’s really rather wordy. Try to be a bit more concise and elegant – ‘remains rocksteady’ and ‘mutual’ are rather weighty [in a bad way] and unnecessary. Also – I don’t watch a lot of romcoms, so please let me know if I’m off the mark here – it feels a little ‘so what?’. How is her life turned upside down? What’s at risk here, other than her learning to trust? Is her job at risk or something?

    I’m looking forward to reading all these scripts tomorrow, inbetween promoting my Kickstarter to even more places.

    • Carmelo Framboise

      That’s a weird premise and setting for a cartoon. My personal taste leans more towards grounded stories. Although I must admit I loved Samurai Pizza Cats when I was 10.

      Good luck!

  • Carmelo Framboise

    Someone mentioned that their vote is taking into account the viability/marketability/production cost of the movie-to-be. I understand why, but I don’t like that. I actually find it prepostorous. If we are going to vote what script is best, as writers, we shouldn’t care about how easy or difficult it is. Let the producers handle money. We handle words. Words are for free.

    My vote (if it still counts – and I don’t think it changes anything) goes to Burning Brigade since it is much better written that its contender: The Bait, at this point.

    Read to page 23 and would keep on going if I wouldn’t have to check the rest of the contenders. Very well written, flows easily. I understand people are put off by the theme you chose but if that were the case all movies should be about pink unicorns.
    The angle is not particularly new but there is a vibe and pace to it, that doesn’t reduce the weight of the story. Your characters are interesting, I can see you enjoied writing the Mordecai chap. Did you see Son of Saul? If not, watch it, it can give you extra ideas. Anyway, well done!

    Read to page 10. I guess 124 pages are too long. I mean I can enjoy long movies but the way this is written, no matter how much passion and effort you put in it, it feels too long. I couldn’t find something to grab me and lead me along the way. I think you went into too much detail. I mean, not all the details of were a character is looking, what’s his expression and were he walks to are needed. They clutter the action lines and become repetitive. For example, opening “letters with an ornate silver letter opener” sounds like a lively description but after a while these types of lines don’t add to the story. So, unless they drive your story (or sometimes help set the atmosphere) you could trim them and help the script breathe.

    Read to page 10. The concept is fun but I am sorry, I can’t keep up as much as I want to. I want characters drawn out more, with actions isntead of dialogue and description so that they can take me through the story. Be more simple and to the point. I am sure that a couple of rewrites, trimming of the first few scene’s dialogues this is going to get up to pace.
    At page 9 things got interesting but I was very baffled by the flashforward just when the action started. That’s what someone once said about Kauffman’s Adaptation too, I am sure. But still.

    Read to page 18. Would easily read more, and I will at some point. I love the reaction descriptions :

    Me too. Weird.

    His face— is it?

    We’ve said this already, it is a killer concept with a good execution even now. I am sure it will get even better as you work on it. A question I have is why would you introduce your main character in such a weird way? I am not talking about the situation but about the:
    “a beautiful but equally harried business woman (MICHELE) comes around the corner— CRASH.”
    Michele, no age, in brackets, sounds like an extra. Maybe you want it that way? But it seems weird.
    Anyway, so the girls who wrote the story are the Billie and Michele? Heh. Maybe this is based on a true story and this your way of telling us? Is your friend Michele a sexbomb and a honey-braker? :)

    • ScriptChick

      Hey Carmelo, thanks for taking a look. Totally agree with you on excess description. Just in the case of the letter opener, I described it as such because it is recognized outside of the counting house by Cratchit later in the story. But I can certainly look to trim elsewhere!

      • Carmelo Framboise

        Yeah, I guessed there was something going on with the opener. So, if you trim so other desc then this will pop out and have a value latter in the story.

  • Comma

    My vote is for The Bait.

    I’ve read until page 40. There’s some good jokes, the ‘brexit’ one is my favourite. I recommend the author to fill all the blankets (there are some “??” points where the writer skipped a description – I know how boring is to write those descriptions, if you can’t come up with anything truly meaningful, write nothing (or anything) but erase the “??”.

    I think that it’s a honest comedy, maybe lacking a ‘wow’ effect or strong hilarity. Not ambitious enough? Not tender or emotional enough? The main character has room for change, and the cast seem to serve a purpose. Maybe chance and coincidences intervene a little too often, or maybe it’s ok for a comedy. I would read more if the script advance in the tournament. Not a fan of the title.

    I’m sorry for the other writers, but their scripts didn’t grab my attention enough.

  • Vic in a Box

    Awesome Round 1 submissions, everyone!
    My vote: PREHISTORIC – I liked the premise, the logline hooked me. I can see this made into a movie with a nice big budget attached to this. It moves fast, the characters are interesting (and diverse yay!), and woolly mammoths! With a few more rewrites, it’ll be a blockbuster! Good job!

    CRATCHIT – Very interesting re-imagining, and I commend the writer for trying to be bold and step outside the box. It can be a tough sell for those who grew up with A Christmas Carol, but like Prehistoric, with another coupe rewrites, and maybe adding a little more flair, this could be what Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes did for the original.

    BURNING BRIGADE – Gritty and heartbreaking from the first page. It’s the darkest chapter of WWII, and its virtue of being a true story has a lot reasons to greenlight this script. It’s well-written, and has everything going for it.

    HONORABLE DOCTOR – My second pick behind Prehistoric. The opening was great, and I could see this as a TV show. The spin on Frankenstein is captivating, but like Cratchit, can be a tough sell for what the old Frankenstein means to us vs a reimagined one that is a bit far detached from the source material. Still a good read.

    THE BAIT – a fun, easy read. An interesting rom-com, that feels like Hitch, maybe a little too much. It’s not the highest concept (compared to unicorn stores), and wished it turned into a thriller like my logline suggestion a couple weeks back. But it feels easy to shoot, low budget, and something new actors and actresses trying to break into the industry would do for free! Hope to see this in the theaters!

    Good luck, all!

  • Eric Boyd

    Okay, so my wife is leaving me for another dude and everything sucks right now. Luckily I have this tournament and NFL football to destruct me. Thankfully, it didn’t happen during the summer movie season, because we all know what a dumpster-fire that was, and at least this new guy is loaded, so I get to keep all my stuff. I looked at all five of these… While drinking, and all five of these were pissing me off, but right now everything is pissing me off. Since CRATCHIT pissed me off the least I guess it gets MY VOTE. Many people have already harped on the ridiculousness of the Cratchit being a bare-knuckle fighter and I want to second it. Having your body ravished for money is basically the male equivalent of prostitution (Okay, technically the male equivalent of proposition is… prostitution, but I hope you see the point). If Cratchit is just doing it for money, he would
    want to hide it from his family. If it’s been his life long dream to be a championship boxer, then that’s another thing.

    THE BAIT – Michele and Billie if you’re listening, please don’t name the characters after yourselves. It makes me think that your both struggling actors trying to write your
    own vehicles. Whether or not that’s the case, I don’t care, I thing naming characters after yourself is stupid. That being said, I didn’t hate your screenplay, I think Michele is a great character and wouldn’t mind watching a movie about her. Looks like this is this week’s winner and I don’t really have a problem with that.

    PREHISTORIC – Nick I can tell your definitely a screenwriter with potential. Your back and forth between characters has a very Shane Black/Joss Whedon feel, but come on man. You didn’t get into screenwriting to write a Jurassic World rip off with a little bit of Outbreak sprinkled in, but without big baddie, like the Indominus rex, or a McGuffin, like the Outbreak Monkey, it’s coming off more like The Happening (I know that’s harsh, if it makes you feel better you can substitute World War Z for The Happening, but I don’t remember much about that movie to know if that’s an apt comparison.). I can see you checking off all the boxes here. Dead mother and sick dog for sympathy – CHECK. Smart-ass kid going back and forth with smart-ass dad for cuteness – CHECK. Bullied teen who nobody gets except for the manic-pixie-dream-gril (I know you described her as punk, but she doesn’t act punk, she acts manic-pixie) – CHECK. I think you have a voice, but please use your
    voice to write something more YOU, and not this generic crap.

    THE HORORABLE DOCTOR and BURNING BRIGADE – These didn’t sound like my kind of thing and the didn’t read much, because the first few scenes made it obvious that this
    wasn’t going to be my thing.

    Congrats to all who made it, I’m sure my bitterness will ware off in a few weeks, at which time I hope to be more helpful.

    GO CHIEFS!!!

    • Erica

      Sorry to hear that. Not much one could say really but I wish you the best.

      Now’s a good time to start listen to country music

      • Billie B

        Great song.

    • ShiroKabocha

      I…wow. I have no words. Sucks man :( Hopefully you didn’t have kids together and you’re still young so after some time you can find someone who’s right for you. Take heart !

      “Michele and Billie if you’re listening, please don’t name the characters after yourselves.”

      Totally agree. This is a huge no no for me. It screams amateur / fantasy / wish fulfillment. I understand this is a vey rough draft but it doesn’t take 5 seconds to come up with a female name, any name that isn’t yours. Dunno, Pam, Nicole, Victoria, Rosalie, Angie… whatever. I didn’t even have to think about it when typing those names so it shouldn’t have been difficult for you either. Picking your own names gives the impression that if you can’t even come up with something as easy as a different female name, you’re not gonna be able to think about original, interesting characters and plot points. Doesn’t bode well for your ability as a writer.

      (To be clear, I’m not saying that you don’t have imagination and talent :) just that not picking different names for your characters might give that wrong first impression).

      Best of luck to everyone !

      (and I just realised that Victoria, Rosalie and Angie are all songs from the 70s haha…)

      • Billie B

        Definitely not wish fulfillment! Lol A private joke for my friend, which is now public… I think if it stayed this way she’d sue me and my husband would divorce me ;)

    • Wijnand Krabman

      I’m sorry to hear that, I’m sure it will open new doors. I wish this experience will help you in some way finding what is good for you.

    • Carmelo Framboise

      I think you ARE helpful.


      “When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”
      Dalai Lama

      I know it can sound even corny, but it has helped me in tough circumstances.

    • smishsmosh22

      Eric, I’m sorry. :(

    • ScriptChick

      Hey Eric, sorry to hear that, that really sucks. As for my script — Thank you. I understand the shame of keeping it from his family. I’d like to revisit that.

    • Malibo Jackk

      Find someone richer.
      (Life’s a competition.)

    • Mayhem Jones

      Eric, you have one job in life right now. Win an Oscar. When she has a “OH-SHIT-I-COULDA-BEEN-ATTENDING-THE-VANITY-FAIR-OSCAR-PARTY-WITH-A-CUSTOMIZED-VALENTINO-DRESS” moment, then texts you a desperate “Congratulations!!” to try to get back WIT CHU…..simply respond: “Who is this?”

      Then pull the ultimate Mariah Carey diss/shade by declaring: “I don’t know her”, and resume your power lunch with Aaron Sorkin at Soho House.

    • Billie B

      Hey Eric, sorry to hear about life at the mo. Thanks for taking time out to take a look.

      Re naming the characters after my friend and myself. NEVER!! It was a joke for Michele, since she wasn’t involved in the writing. It was never my intention to leave it that way. But of all the things I didn’t get to before submitting, weirdly that’s not my biggest cringe factor.

  • Pat

    No offense to Billie B as I think her script has a lot of potential, but I find it hard to believe that an unfinished script can beat out 4 other scripts in this competition and yet that is what’s currently happening.

    I read all of The Bait and there are actual scenes missing at the end of script! I applaud Billie B for having the courage to submit the script by the deadline even if it’s unfinished, but I also think it’s a little insulting to the other writers if The Bait wins for the week. I worry that this vote is becoming all of the things people hate about competitions which is that scripts win based on concept, the likeability of the author or the reader’s preferred genre, but not on the strength of the actual script/writing itself.

    • Wijnand Krabman

      Well, that’s a way to look at it. I liked the idea of The Bait very much, but I am afraid that the fact that there is that struggle to find a good logline will do this project no good. I think it’s very positive that the community had no problem with the fact that this script isn’t finished and I hope for the same clemency if my script is up for judging.

      • Pat

        I’m not arguing with supporting a script that isn’t finished, I am arguing that an unfinished screenplay shouldn’t win the tournament.

        • Wijnand Krabman

          OK, apparently is what’s there good enough to win.

          • Pat

            But why? Are the other scripts really that bad?

            This first round of judging will set the tone for the other weeks and I personally don’t think an unfinished script should win but I would like to hear the arguments for why it should.

          • Wijnand Krabman

            No, I voted for Burning brigade and I think it’s wrong to let only one script go to the next round, but hey that’s me. democracy rules :-)

          • klmn

            That’s the nature of a tournament.

          • Randy Williams

            I have heard from others offline that the comments here and judging in this first round is remarkably different from most AOW’s. Thoughtful, penetrating. More pages read than usual. The tone has been set and it’s impressive.

          • Pat

            I did have similar thoughts. I find that too many people on AOW make their judgement on too little of a script. AOW is to offer support and feedback, not to give your own opinions of what you think is a saleable idea (okay, that is part of it, but it shouldn’t be the whole thing).

            I just wanted to see what others thought of this situation, not to say that nothing positive has come out of this first week of the tournament.

          • Wijnand Krabman

            I guess the fact that a lot of commentators are also participants in this competition will have a positive influence on everything.

    • Randy Williams

      I personally don’t like the writer at all. She writes so much better than I do. So, that wasn’t why I voted for her. And if you took out all the fillers, it”s still a satisfying, entertaining read. The challenge was to see what we could come up with using Carson’s methods and grueling timeline. Carson will probably write a book now on this approach because as we already are seeing, the method bares good fruit even if it isn’t sliced to your preference.

  • from GITS

    Today’s Writing Quote

    “Great writing gets you meetings,
    great concept gets you a sale,
    great characters get you jobs.
    All three get you a career.”
    — F. Scott Frazier

    • Scott Crawford

      Sounds about right. I’d say the main SKILLS of a screenwriter (feel free to add):

      1. Ideas
      2. Plotting
      3. Characterization
      4. Stage direction
      5. Dialogue
      6. Good in the room (a combination of all five along with just being a good, fun person to be around)

      Thing is, people usually obsess over ONE skill (often dialogue) and ignore the others. If I had to pick the two most important skills?

      Ideas and plotting.

      Think about TV. Characters? They already have them – don’t forget, in TV you’re writing SEQUELS all the time. And they probably already have guys who can write dialogue and jokes, although they could always do with some more. What they need are story ideas, plots.

      I recently got the box set of Columbo and I’ve been watching loads of episodes and reading up about it. When Steven Bochco joined the Columbo writing team, they got him to do first drafts. When Larry Cohen signed up they said “Sod scripts, just write us three of the best stories you can.” And he did – Any Old Port in a Storm, Candidate for Crime, and An Exercise in Fatality. The guy was a plot genius.

      Everyone in the writing staff worked on the rewrite, as is often the case in TV.

      But when Columbo came back in the 80s and 90s, Link (Levinson had died at that point) found it difficult to find writers who could come up with good stories. They all loved writing Columbo, all his little jokes and foibles, but it was harder to find people who could plan a perfect murder, or equally cleverly unravel it.

      Anyway, just stuff off the top of my head. Happy Sunday, everyone!

      • Levres de Sang

        “Any Old Port in a Storm” definitely one of my top 3 Colombo episodes!

      • brenkilco

        Columbo was one of the great formula shows. And another problem with the revival was that it screwed with the formula. Those shows were perfectly designed for a ninety minute format but the new ones were all two hours. The stories couldn’t sustain that length leading to scads of filler and increasingly self indulgent bits by Falk. BTW as you work your way through the box set you’ll find even the quality of the plots in the original varied wildly. And they only did six or eight of them a year- they were originally part of a mystery omnibus show featuring four rotating sleuths. Ideas are a dime a dozen. Great plots are a lot harder to find.

  • Billie B

    Hi guys,

    I know a few commenters are appalled I entered a true working draft, while others seem to be on board with the ‘bigger picture’ process. I painfully debated this right up until midnight of the DL.

    But my thinking in the end was that this started as a contest to write a script in 13 weeks** and then we’d review the completed efforts. We were also told the chosen scripts could rewrite as much as they like and submit rewritten drafts before each new round. To me with the chance to rewrite and resubmit as we go, this was always a ‘work-in-progress’ type contest.

    I see how it’s unfair, but it’s also unfair that we’ll no doubt go up against entries that likely aren’t the result of the time-restrained challenge. I honestly think the quarter finals and beyond will put the competing scripts on a more even playing field. Obviously I would never submit this script, as is, if I made it to higher rounds.

    Regardless, I’m sorry to anyone who thinks I wasted their time or that I stole an opportunity from someone else by entering.

    Now in the words of Mayhem Jones: PEACE OUT ;)

    ** or less, for those of us who attempted 2 scripts at once or switched to other loglines late in the game!

    • Scott Crawford

      Now, if you’re HIRED (commissioned) to write a script, perhaps based on your idea, you’d be given about 12 weeks to write a first draft.

      Now that would be a first draft that you’d be happy for people to read. You’d then get four weeks to rewrite your script, based on the notes you’ve been given. Since it’s in your contract (hopefully) to be paid for that rewrite even if they don’t want it, you’d probably get it.

      Why am I going on about this? Probably because 12 weeks (near-as-a-toucher 13 weeks) is probably too fast for people to do a complete, “ready-for-Nichol” script.

      • Billie B

        So true. And you’d also be less likely to let other things in your life take priority if you had a paid deadline.

        OT: I just walked into Hell or Highwater. Loved the script. Can’t wait!

        • Will_Alexander

          What did you think of it? I really enjoyed it.

          • Billie B

            I’m still trying to figure that out. I definitely enjoyed it. I loved the slow burn pace, even though the trailer implies a faster moving action movie. I actually tried to forget the script and go in blank.

            I thought it was well cast and the actors did a fantastic job… Great chemistry between the brothers. But something just missed the mark for me with my emotional investment. I think the motivation for the robberies should have either been revealed earlier or the beats hit harder. Idk.

            I definitely enjoyed it. And they captured West Texas beautifully, I thought.


    • Pat

      BB, you bring up the rewriting aspect of this competition which I have found to be unclear. With each week seeing 5 scripts compete before the quarter finals, does that mean that the winner of this weekend gets 8 weeks to rewrite and resubmit while the winner of week 8 will get perhaps 1 week? Maybe less?

      I don’t know how this process works and Carson has not been clear on it.

      • Wijnand Krabman

        Or, do no rewrites, it is what is is. Everybody had the same time, let’s find out who did best.

      • Billie B

        Hey Pat, from my understanding you are correct. However, someone in the final round could also rewrite in the coming weeks, but obviously not be able to submit that draft unless they also moved on.

        • Wijnand Krabman

          For me no rewriting, there were people here who did send out their script to a lot of people and received a lot of feedback for rewrites. If your are fast this is good. If you need all the time to produce one draft you don’t have this advantage.

          • Randy Williams

            I know even those who had time to get notes and rewriting felt rushed. We are not professional screenwriters. We have jobs, kids and dogs to take care of.
            -if you think you can get a kid to take care of the dog, you’ll lose both of them.

          • Billie B

            Or a dog to take care of the kid… ;)

          • Billie B

            Definitely not an advantage in the first round. It’s also not fair if someone in the 8th week is allowed to submit a new draft before their first round. But for QF and beyond it will still be an advantage.

            Knowing in advance would obviously be a better motivator, but rewriting and polishing a script over the next 8 weeks would still be a massive advantage for anyone making QF, since there’s always willing peeps here offering their help.

            I’m one of them if anyone’s looking for feedback before a rewrite, btw.

        • Pat

          But if Carson released the 40 competing scripts, the writers wouldn’t have to wait to learn if they should be workshoping and rewriting their script.

          • Billie B

            Agreed. There is definitely way for motivation knowing you’re in than just hoping you’re in.I’m living that right now, so I get it.

            If I’d been told in advance I’d made the top 40, I would have hired a babysitter for the final week and written my ass off 12 hours a day (or prioritized differently to start with).

            Maybe enough people have mentioned this that Carson takes notice. He’s usually checking in.

      • klmn

        For me the biggest problem is not knowing whether I’m in the tournament or not. With an athletic tournament, the participants know if they’ve been accepted.

        • Pat

          I fully agree, knowing who is in the top 40 would help everyone prepare.

        • Billie B

          I 100% agree. I hope Carson announces the list. Maybe he will tonight?

          Current submissions would still count for first rounds, but you’d have far more motivation to prepare for a potential QF round.

      • Citizen M

        If the first semi-final is Week 1 vs Week 2 to be submitted in four weeks, then Week 3 vs Week 4 to be submitted in four weeks, etc, the rewrite times will be only one week different So some semi-finals will take place during the first round. Not a problem, because you don’t know your script has been selected until Carson publishes the lists.

        (Of course, people could be polishing their scripts even now in anticipation, but they’d be doing it without the benefit of reader feedback.)

        What happens in the next rounds? Don’t know. Haven’t thought that far.

    • klmn

      This movie showed last night on a Spanish language station. A lot of good stuff in there.

      • Billie B

        Omg. That dangling torso shot is too good. LOL
        Budget Deep Blue Sea.

        • klmn

          There’s an even better shot. SPOILERS AHEAD…

          Everyone – the good guys and the robbers – are trapped together in a flooded store after a tsunami hits. And, of course, ol’ Jaws appears on the scene.

          Well, one of the robbers turns out to be not so bad, and turns on the real baddie. And the worst of the robbers, gets a big-assed shark hook (attached to a truck winch cable) slammed into his back and then pushed into the water.

          • Billie B

            Are you telling me to drop everything and go and rent this now?! Because I will. I love a good mock buster. Or a budget mock buster ;) (which is probably just a bust).

    • klmn

      Appalled is too strong a word. I was surprised you left the notes visible. I don’t know what writing program you use, but MM Screenwriter lets you keep notes on your working document but when you go to a PDF it gives you the option of hiding the notes.

      • Billie B

        I love this. Does FD offer the same option? Although I don’t know if I’d ever use it. This is the last time I ever share anything this green with the world lol

        I like the visible notes though. For myself, but also when giving feedback to others. Gives me a better sense of pacing, plus easier access to the exact place I’m drawing a blank (I just do a script search of: ??). Part of it’s for speed in vomitting out that first draft. But I also think it gives a much better sense of flow and final page count, too.

        I don’t know when I’d ever use the ‘hide notes’ option. Except maybe to go back in time for this entry ;)

        I’m usually far more cagey about sharing my early work with anyone, let alone the public. The last minute decision to enter didn’t come lightly. And I won’t lie, seeing my name up there the next morning gave me a knot of dread in my gut. LOL Major senders remorse.

        • Erica

          FD does allow for notes, you can place flags all over the script and color code them if you wish. When you send to PDF no flags are visible. You can also hide them at anytime. I think in my script I have 200 flags I used for little notes like coming up with a unique scifi name for an item that while doing the first draft I would just put a place holder.

          • Billie B

            Thanks Erica! I’ll look into this, for sure.

  • Jonathan Soens


    It’s a very busy work weekend for me, so I don’t have time to dig into this one (or the others) with as many specifics as I’d like, but…

    THE BAIT is the one that kept me the longest, and kept my mind firing with its potential.

    Yes, I’m talking about potential. Not gonna sugar coat it: this one definitely isn’t “there” yet. It’s perhaps less “there” than most of the others right now, in my opinion. It’s my understanding there will be a chance for re-writes between rounds, so I’m really hoping this one would make the most of that chance.

    There are things I didn’t like about the writing style. Little asides or notes that didn’t need to be in there, or could have been handled more elegantly so they were less visible.

    And, for all the stuff I felt didn’t need to be put in there, the page count sure was low. I appreciate a low page count, but 82 pages (when you’ve already got plenty of writing style stuff that could be cleaned up) means you’re a little thin to me.

    You’ve got extra pages to play with (especially if you clean up some of the clutter, as you could trim a little more and find yourself down in the 70’s), giving you room for some added depth or some added meat on the bone, so to speak. It’s like you’re missing a nice little subplot or some connective tissue, or maybe just some more emotional depth. Or, since it’s a comedy, maybe a few hilarious tangents could be thrown in just to make it funnier.

    Which reminds me, it needs to be funnier. But that’s true of every early draft of a comedy, so don’t take that personally. Just assume every subsequent draft needs to get funnier, with funnier jokes replacing weaker ones, and with situations made funnier wherever possible.

    As I said, it’s not “there” yet. And it really needs rewrites, as I think the writer has already talked about in the comments section. But it’s a basic premise that made me smile, and it’s that basic core of it that enabled this script to keep me longer than the others.

    • Billie B

      Thanks JS, lots of things to take note of, here. And agreed, it needs a solid humor pass (amongst multiple other passes). Thanks so much for taking the time.

  • Citizen M

    My vote goes to THE BAIT with honorable mention to BURNING BRIGADE.


    Read to page 20 . Unfortunately, the execution made it a difficult read. The scenes weren’t set so we could understand what was going on. For instance, on page 1 there’s a grizzly bear at an intersection and a terrified crowd, so you’d think a bear is running amok in the city. Actually, the bear is dead. Also, I thought there was too much family stuff and too little action for an action movie. As for Cole the boy, one moment he’s terrified to talk to girls, the next he’s stealing liquor and the girls are flocking to him. Huh? Does not compute.

    Skimming the rest, it seems like Jurassic Park lite. That’s a high bar to set for yourself.


    Read to page 25. Noble Jews, horrible Nazis, yawn. Get it over with in a couple of pages, please. The story livens up with the log test for strength and Mordecai, someone with a bit of personality instead of a cipher like the rest of them. If you could get to that by about page 10 instead of 21 it would improve the read. Tell the story with action, not people doing good deeds like praying and nursing each other.

    A quick skim through the rest indicates it might be decent. Pity few people will read that far.


    Read to page 26. Not sure where this is going or how Marley’s murder could affect Scrooge and Cratchit. I’m not convinced Scrooge and Tiny Tim will die if the murder isn’t solved, so there are no stakes, from my point of view. Also, I’d like a bit more intensity in the relationship between Scrooge and Cratchit. It’s a little one-note at the moment.

    A quick skim through the rest shows a lot more of what we’ve already seen. I’m not sure if there’s enough story here.


    Read to page 20. This script needs a lot of work. It’s running too long. Too much directing on the page and trivial dialogue written down which could be ad-libbed. These twenty pages could be cut to less than ten. Nothing much is happening. It’s just setting the scene. Who wants what and what are the obstacles to getting it? We should know that by now.

    A quick skim shows a prison breakout, a chase, a confrontation. There’s nothing much new here, so the execution has to be top-notch, which it isn’t yet.


    Read to page 25. Enjoying it. Light and breezy as a good rom-com should be. Didn’t mind the placeholders where the story needs fleshing out. The gist of it is there. Otherwise not much to say. I made no notes while reading.

    A quick skim indicates standard rom-com fare.

  • Scott Crawford

    R.I.P. Alexis Arquette (1969-2016)

    What a bumhole of a year.

    • Malibo Jackk

      Here’s what’s interesting about that scene — After firing his gun the guy just stands there waiting to be shot.
      (Yeah. It only works in movies.)

  • Stephjones

    Read 20 of “The Bait.”
    Gets my vote. Yes, I’ve kinda, sorta seen this general idea before: How to lose a guy in 10 days and Failure to Launch both had women pretending to be the “perfect one” and Hitch had a male version of it…kinda, but not really. However, Bait is an easy read and different enough from those movies to feel fresh.
    Also, it seems to be the real deal, a 13 week challenge script, rapidly hammered out with the authentic feel of a rough/early draft carries some weight with me in this contest.
    None of the other loglines grabbed my interest because of phrases like: “viral outbreak”- “burn Holocaust victims”-“a killer…targets Tiny Tim”–“dystopian future/cyborg.”
    Sorry. Much too dark for me.

    • ScottCrawford

      Ooh, I like Booby Trap. Appeals to my Carry On sense of humor.

  • Billie B

    Hey Steph, I like it! I’m also stuck on Honey Trap and Venus Guy Trap. Although it looks like Honey Trap is already the name of a few existing movies and a book.

    Edit: Shoot. Did it again. This is a reply for Stephjones. Phones suck for commenting. Grrrr.

  • Billie B

    Thanks for so many notes occatorny. Wow. I’m going to have to take a few days just to get through it all… In a good way! Thanks so much for doing this. I’m truly overwhelmed with everyone’s contribution.

  • Zero

    I didn’t get a chance to do as much reading as I hoped, due to working on my Kickstarter. But I did manage to read the first ten [or less if they were bad].

    Prehistoric started off on a dull, uninteresting note. It was also tonally mismatched – the logline suggested, at least to me, a family-oriented sci-fi movie, like the original Jurassic Park. But what I got was not very family friendly – sure, nothing r-rated, but no exciting or
    intriguing action to draw younger viewers in, too much dialogue, and conversations about how far dates went. I was confused about Izzy – girl or boy? Couldn’t get past page six.

    The Burning Brigade turned out to be pretty good, actually. Even though I had an aversion to past examples of the genre, TBB was easy to read, and engaging with a quick pace. I’d like to read more of it.

    I liked Cratchit. The opening scene with Marley vomiting blood was a bit of a turnoff, but the following bit with Cratchit winning the boxing match was pretty cool. I’d be interested in reading further.

    The Honorable Doctor seemed like it was being too specific, trying too hard to be cool – with camera and title card directions. Yet, there was some cool parts there, and I could sense an interesting thing developing there, with the robotic arms and plexiglass cells. I’d read further, if just to see if it gets better [though I’d rather read Cratchit first].

    The Bait seemed like it was written in a rush – there were double question marks [what I presumed to be placeholders for the writer], odd spaces, and a general lack of refinement and clarity.

    Overall, my VOTE is for CRATCHIT.

  • Midnight Luck

    I approached this exactly the same as I would AoW.
    I read until something loses me, or for whatever various reason I stop reading. Doesn’t necessarily mean it was bad or there was any problem, it meant that life took more importance than the script I was reading.
    Other times, yes, it was because I gave up on the script.

    Maybe I am approaching this differently from others, but I don’t believe we all must read all the scripts in their entirety. It should be the same as AoW. Read until you stop.

    THE BAIT: Page 11
    CRATCHIT: Page 11

    I am not sure which should get my vote. The BAIT is definitely an easy read and moves along at a nice pace. It doesn’t feel like it takes any effort to read, and that is a huge positive for it. The downside is though, the story to me seems a bit thin and even a bit cliche’d. (Sorry Billie, but just a personal feeling). It does make me reflect mostly on FAILURE TO LAUNCH, which had a very similar device used.
    I understand you are going for a certain kind of humor and pace with it, and maybe I don’t have the kind of humor that matches. It didn’t find my funny bone. I appreciate the setups and the situations, but most of them went where I expected them to. I fear many of them were the simple and first idea choices.
    Another thing, when I read your first 10 pages before they had a certain ease and freedom to them. They had a really nice feel that I responded to more. Now, after some rewrites I assume, many of the scenes feel tight and more forced than before. People don’t talk as realistically or conversations go on too long or are “explain-y”.
    I wish you luck, and it looks like you have a good shot at winning first round, so I hope you continue to make it all come together.

    CRATCHIT has the benefit of being written very well in the descriptive sense. All the scenes and action lines, etc kept me right in the story. I wasn’t ever confused or thrown off, and never had to go back and reread anything.
    Descriptors and dialogue and action scenes are all top notch, keeps me engaged in that way.
    Sadly, then we get to the downside.
    If you give me Bill Murray in SCROOGED and they happen to be filming an old timey version of The Christmas Carol on TV and Bill Murray is being visited by 3 ghosts during it, I AM IN.
    Again, sadly, I am not too into an old tale told once again in the olden days, but switched and following a different character.
    I know a ton of people know the story better than me, honestly the best I know the story is through SCROOGED, and I loved that, but I have no interest in reading the Original Dickens.

    So, that said, I struggled to be that interested in CRACHIT for those reasons.

    Between the two?

    I didn’t want it to be a draw, but it is.

    50/50. 1/2 for THE BAIT and 1/2 for CRATCHIT.

    Now to the other three. Sadly, I got nothin’. Sorry everyone. I could go into a long drawn out thing and pick through the fact that none of them captured my interest with the loglines, the story they were presenting, and then the actual scripts were not up to The Bait or Crachit’s levels. I could talk about the spelling and layout issues, the less than stellar “show don’t tell” of all three.

    So, all of you, THE HONORABLE DOCTOR, PREHISTORIC, and BURNING BRIGADE, to get my vote, you need to really bring it up many notches.

    That is just the straight truth. You lost me at page 5, 9, and pg 2 respectively. That means 2 of you have a lot of work to do. Prehistoric kept me in it more, but lost me before page 10. (and honestly for Prehistoric, your “showing rather than telling” needed some work. You lost me with some of your visualizations and structuring of scenes. What I was looking at. Where you were pointing me as a viewer.)

    So good luck to everyone. I wish you well.
    And great job writing your scripts in 13 weeks.
    Everyone should be very, very proud.

    • Billie B

      Thanks for taking the time, Midnight! I’ll definitely take this all into consideration.

  • Good luck next time

    How the other four behind The Bait must feel.

  • Wijnand Krabman

    Congratulations Billie for reaching the quarter finals, good job!

  • Lucid Walk

    Yes! My vote mattered!

    Congrats, Billie!

  • Billie B

    I’m a little in shock. I came in hoping to get solid feedback, and I walk away with that AND a second chance. Thanks guys! I don’t take this opportunity lightly.

    A million thanks to everyone who took time to read and comment. I’m sure I missed a few comments while I was away, but I’ll get to them. So much to take in! Can’t wait to use everyone’s feedback to get this script tweaked and polished.

    I’m going radio silent for a while, but I’ll pop up for air on Fridays to vote and comment on the weekly offerings. I’m excited to see what we discover :)

    • Nick Morris

      Congrats, Billie! Nicely done.

    • Erica

      Congrats on the first round!

    • Sean Reardon

      Congrats, Billie!

    • Eldave1

      Congrats – well done

      • Billie B

        Thank you :)

    • Carmelo Framboise

      This is the definition of “When you want something badly, the universe will do anything for you to get it”.

      You finally sent your script (after much contemplation), got through to the quarter-finals and have enough time for rewrites!!



      • Billie B

        Thanks Carmelo! :)

  • Stevetmp

    Congratulations Billie! Sped through the first 20 pages of this and was fully on board! Strong start to the comp!

  • Uptomyknees

    You have lost your goddamn mind!

    • Erica


      • E.C. Henry

        Some movies you can just tell…

  • Bitches!

    400th comment, bitches!

    • E.C. Henry

      Sure sign–if ever there was one–that Carson needs a new post!

  • Poe_Serling

    So far…

    From a reading/casting a vote POV I’m really digging the SS Tournament.

    I think having a script advancing to another round ups the stakes a bit when
    compared to the regular AOW.

    And I can’t recall… is there some kind of prize given for the project that wins
    it all? Or is it just a Beat Bobby Flay thing – a whole bunch of bragging rights.

    • klmn

      You want to know what the rules are?

      Let’s see…

      • Daivon Stuckey


    • Erica

      I think the winner wins a dinner with Carson.

      • Poe_Serling

        My Dinner with Carson

        A conversation between a popular screenwriting blogger and a script tournament winning writer that explores ideas about time travel, Star
        Wars, and the secret menu at In-N-Out burgers.


    • garrett_h

      Pretty sure it’s just bragging rights. But who knows, maybe something will be added later.

  • jonridge

    Congratulations to Week One’s Winner. Looking forward to reading the updated draft!

  • NajlaAnn

    Oh wow, these are all pretty good. As I need to choose, I’ll go with PREHISTORIC. That animals devolve on their evolutionary curve intrigues me. Also, that the protag needs to save his trapped son provides thrills, urgency, and a strong personal goal.

  • A. Rhodes

    Congrats Billie! Nothing like rewriting with purpose!

    Hopefully Carson announces the rest of the scripts chosen for the coming weeks.

  • smishsmosh22

    Congrats Billie!!!

    I’m trying to figure out how this works with the re-writing. Like, if you are in the 7th or 8th week, you would only have 1 – 2 weeks to rewrite before the quarter finals. Even if your script was in the 4th bracket of the quarter finals, that means a max of 5 weeks. I guess that’s okay… I guess the worst case scenario would be to win the 8th week bracket and be in the 1st week bracket of quarters and only have 1 week to rewrite as apposed to Billie who will have 8 – 12 weeks.

    I’ve already received so much feedback on mine, I might actually be okay with being in one of the last brackets, if I get in that is. I will probably regret saying that but I’ve already done 4 drafts so at this point I am focused on my next project. Does anyone else feel that way? I could totally do a 5th draft with the feedback I already have on my 4th but I’m a bit spent on Log at the moment haha….

  • Dallas Cobb

    Good job, Billie. Really enjoyed the first 15 pages of your script, and can’t wait to read more (and also can’t wait to read all the criticism you received). Not sure if anyone said this, but I think you should change the names of your characters. Having their names based on the creators of this script really threw me off. And have us learn “Michele”‘s name naturally, not just in action exposition. Really great effort, and I like the ironic concept! Good luck, and good luck to next weekends’ competitors!

    • Billie B

      Thanks Dallas! And I definitely do not plan on keeping the names! Lol It was a wink wink to my friend for letting me run with the idea. But after a good laugh, I planned on changing it. Whoops.

      I’m not too worried that you guys saw it, it’s that I had to tell Michele (who’d never even read the outline) that I made the script public with our names as the characters. Doh.

      Luckily she reacted like the cool chick she is, with a laugh and probably a bottle of Charders ;)

  • Kirk Diggler
    • Billie B

      Love it ;)

  • ocattorney

    HI Billie. Congrats. Here’s the situation. Other than the first five, none of us know whether we’re in the tournament or not. You have one more week than next week’s winner, and seven more weeks than the final 5 winner, to make changes. (It would be nice to know whether we’re in the 40, at least? Don’t want to wait seven weeks and find out we’re not even in the contest.) Are you familiar with ‘My Fair Lady’? Warner Bros paid $5 million for the rights to make a Broadway play into a movie. “My Fair Lady” won the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Actor (Rex Harrison) and Best Director (George Cukor.) It’s a Romantic Comedy, maybe the most acclaimed romantic comedy to date. The first half is very similar to “The Bait” in story beats. Then, there’s an intermission. Then, Eliza decides she can’t allow Higgins to dismiss her as “baggage” after her triumph at Buckingham Palace. Their relationship hits a low point, leading to Prof. Henry Higgins wandering the streets of London singing “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face… like breathing out and breathing in.” We understand his emotion because Eliza stood up for her rights. “My Fair Lady” is about the way British upper class (Higgins) sees the lower classes (Eliza Dolittle.) It never occurs to Henry to treat her any other way. As he says, “It’s not that I treat you badly. It’s that I treat everyone the same.” Which was the Theme, that Higgins isn’t going to play by the rules of “class distinctions”. And after reaching his Lowest Point, he figures out… well, whatever he figures out. But all of that happens AFTER the point where your script ends. Because you have seven weeks more than others, might be worth exploring… Did I say Congrats! The Academy knows what they’re looking for in a Rom-Com and “My Fair Lady” was it. – Bill Hays

    • Billie B

      Thanks! And now I will go out and rent My Fair Lady immediately :)

  • Dallas Cobb

    I didn’t submit any work, so this doesn’t really pertain to me. And while I understand the convenience of knowing whether one is in the competition or not, I thought the whole purpose of the rewrites was to take the notes given to the writer by the weekend and then incorporate whichever notes they see fit into a future revision?

    I can’t see how Carson won’t offer a week or two to offer rewrites once these eight weeks are done. I know this isn’t college, but in college we’d be lucky if we were given a weekend to incorporate notes we had received during our workshops, but it still ALWAYS got done and the revisions were always better than the workshopped drafts.

    But I don’t see how much more beneficial it could be for writers to know they are in this competition to rewrite without being given any notes or feedback.

  • Billie B

    Something like this, for sure.

    I like the idea of added tension with one brother waiting for things to go to shit with the other. I think this was implied, but it wasn’t elevated nearly enough.

  • Billie B
  • Billie B

    Thanks secret account! Adding these notes to my list, now :)

  • Billie B


  • ScriptChick

    Hey, Biju! Thanks for the vote! Only saw it cause of your Week 2 comment about being stuck in moderation. Glad I did! I would love feedback on an updated draft that I’m cobbling together from SS notes if you haven’t read it all already. :)

    • Biju B

      I haven’t managed to continue with it yet. But if you are working on an updated draft already then I would be very happy to wait for the new one and let you know my thoughts. All the best with it. Godspeed.

      • ScriptChick

        Of course! What is your email? If you don’t feel comfortable putting it up here, let me know it at botts100 at gmail dot com