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. Today we have the second five entries. You can see who won Week One here. 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. Good luck to this week’s contestants!

Title: A Darker Place
Writers: Andrew Rhodes and Robert Irvin
Genre: Contained Thriller/Sci-fi
Logline: In the home of her latest case, an obsessed social worker fights to save a girl being tortured in the basement of that very house … 24 years in the future.

Title: The Inheritance
Writer: Matt Lopez
Genre: Comedy
Logline: A wealthy man leaves a huge inheritance for his warring and estranged family. But to get a share, they must all agree how they split the money before they attend the funeral.

Title: Shifting
Writer: Jon Ridge
Genre: Horror/Drama
Logline: A teenage girl’s efforts to fit in at school by keeping her lycanthropy secret are tested when a boy from her former pack vows to bring her back and help defeat their rivals.

Title: Dionaea
Writer: Brian Kazmarck
Genre: Sci-fi/thriller/horror/action
Logline: As their ship is rapidly overrun by a malevolent alien intelligence determined to assimilate the entire crew, a biologist discovers a much darker secret she must expose to the world before they all die.

Title: Courageous Man
Writer: Philip Whitcroft
Genre: Family Adventure
Logline: A cowardly boy and his nerd friends have to step up when they get trapped in a comic book world and they can’t find the heroes.

WINNER OF WEEK 2: “DIONAEA” by Brian Kazmarck. Congratulations to Brian for winning a tight race and advancing to the QUARTERFINALS! And congrats to Andrew and Robert and Matt for making him earn it. Despite one commenter’s observation that my contest is a “shit show” (it’s too bad – I liked that commenter), I’ll continue to bring attention to as many writers as possible with the tournament. I’m figuring out a way to keep “almost winners” in the hunt. Stay tuned. Let’s meet back here next week!

  • Erica

    Holy Cow, First Bitch in…

  • Magga

    Even though I can see the ending of Courageous Man a mile away, I like that message for a family film. The idea is good, and I think it’s the first script I’m gonna pick up if I have the time to read anything

  • Craig Mack

    North Of Fear – South Of Pain – I could have sworn I’ve read this before?

    • smishsmosh22

      Yup it was on AOW! Great script. Not written for this contest tho….

      • Erica

        Would be nice to start seeing more of the scripts that were written for the challenge.

        • smishsmosh22

          I know right? Surprised I don’t recognize any of these.

    • Erica

      Was thinking the same thing, Looks so familiar.

  • klmn

    OT. Our Smish has informed me that her group will be doing table reads of four shorts today at 4:00 P.M. PST. One of mine will be featured as well as one of Electric Dreamer’s.

    If you’ve written one of the others, please speak up. Watch here: vincenzo_merola

    • smishsmosh22

      Looking forward to it!! :)

    • smishsmosh22

      you’ve got a space in the URL so it’s broken, btw.

      • klmn

        I’ll try again.

  • carsonreeves1

    Hey guys. I just replaced North of Fear with The Inheritance. North of Fear looks to be the exact same draft that was entered for AOW. I am not against resubmitting scripts if they’ve been rewritten. But putting up the same script that you entered for AOW isn’t within the spirit of the contest.

    If I find out the writer has rewritten it to some extensive degree, I may put it back up in a future tournament week.

    • Erica

      Thought it looked familiar.

    • Wijnand Krabman

      I just opened it cause for me this was the most interesting premisse. If I learn about a woman running for her life and doing a dialogue: I’ve a bad feeling about this! Then she is so right about that, toast!

    • Stephjones

      I don’t get it. Why have a 13 week challenge then undermine it by featuring an older script which has been extensively rewritten? Makes zero sense to me and I will purposely boycott a script if I know for a fact it was around before the challenge.

      • garrett_h

        I’ve been asking this question since the contest was announced and Carson has basically ignored it. Thankfully I don’t have a submission in this contest. I just want things to be fair.

        I honestly don’t know what is stopping someone from submitting every script they’ve ever written. I won’t be surprised if we see a writer with 2-3 different scripts in separate weeks.

    • Bill Hays

      OK, let’s think about the time frame. When this contest started, I was working on “Potomac House.” You gave a great blueprint for writing a script, using goals and targets, so I started re-writing “Potomac House” using your method. While I was looking for photos of homes, I found Aspen. That’s when I decided to start writing “The Glow” using a Hero who was also a ski bum in Colorado. I submitted “The Glow” for AOW because I didn’t want to wait for the three months this contest would take. And then, I decided the feedback would be worth it. If you eliminated “The Glow” ONLY because it was also submitted for AOW, check the dates. It was like two weeks before the deadline for the contest.- Bill Hays posting as “ocattorney” discus avatar

      • garrett_h

        Was it SELECTED for AOW? I don’t seem to remember it (which is probably bad if it was selected, since I read most AOW’s).

        I think it only applies to scripts that were chosen for AOW and reviewed or commented on and received notes here on Saturdays. Not scripts that were never chosen.

        But who knows… Carson is making this up as he goes along lol.

    • smishsmosh22

      Will you also be pulling Shifting, which was in AOW three years ago?

  • klmn

    As for The Inheritance, aren’t wills customarily read after the funeral?

    • Erica

      Pretty sure that’s how it would be done, can’t ever see it the other way. If they don’t all agree, do they just miss the funeral and keep on fighting for the money?

    • brenkilco

      Wills don’t get read in my neck of the woods. It’ pretty much a device in whodunits. The executor knows he or she is the executor, goes and gets the will, lets the beneficiaries know, gives it to a lawyer who opens a probate. The court sends out formal notices to all those with an interest. Very routine. If there actually is a place outside Midsommer County where estranged family members gather in the great hall of a mansion while the soliciter dolefully reads the document, and those cut out nervously finger the medieval weapons hanging on the wall I’d like to know.

  • Duvan.1

    Based on logs, A Dark Place looks best, that’ll be the first I’ll be reading. Will update soon.

  • Erica

    I remember reading the first page of Shifting also? Just can’t remember if it was for the challenge or an AOW. Anyone remember reading this?

    • klmn

      Good memory. A quick search brings up

      • Erica

        So this script should be pulled out also, it’s 3 years old. Weather it was re written or not is not in my opinion in the spirit of what the challenge was all about.

      • smishsmosh22


  • ScottCrawford

    Please pick a WINNER:

    Scriptshadow Tournament Week 2 of 8 votes so far 09/16/16 16:48 GMT: 0 votes

    A Darker Place: 0 votes (0%)

    The Inheritance: 0 votes (0%)

    Shifting: 0 votes (0%)

    Dionaea: 0 votes (0%)

    Courageous Man: 0 votes (0%)

    • Jaco

      In case you missed it – I voted for Dionaea.

      • ScottCrawford

        No probs. Popular script…

    • smishsmosh22

      Uh oh, I have a comment in moderation. In case this shows up first, my vote is for A Darker Place. Thanks Scott!

    • Wijnand Krabman

      Hey Scott sorry you misunderstood, I just said courageous man seemed to have legs, but I’m not voting for it, sorry Howie. Since I just can’t read more than two pages of this weeks entries, it wouldn’t be fair to vote.

    • gazrow

      Two first time posters both voting for the same script at the exact same time (6 hours ago). I’m calling foul and hope you and Carson discount their votes.

      In fact, I think there should be a rule that no first time posters be allowed to vote. It would get rid of the “long time lurker first time poster” bs… just my two cents.

      • ScottCrawford

        Not sure. A bit worried about some posters (regular or not) voting/giving notes on one script and not talking about the others. Hmmm. I just tally the votes.

      • A. Rhodes

        Hi. Was debating if I should acknowledge this or not. Definitely don’t want to get into any sort of argument here. But I figured it would be best to at least check in.

        No one knows me on this site really. I’ve been reading it from the start and have posted only a handful of times -until now of course. So me giving my word that there’s no funny business won’t carry much weight and I understand that.

        But please just keep few things in mind if you will. First, the only way to vote and take part in this first time contest is to post a comment, so by nature you’ll get first time posters on here wanting to join in. Everyone has a first post. Like I said I barely posted before this contest myself. Also, these two posters seem to have read a lot if not all of these scripts -even more than some other voters. It’s a lot of work to read and comment thoughtfully, so I appreciate that.

        I understand it looks suspect that we’re the only script with first time posters and they were posted around the same time. Hell it’s like good fortune and bad timing all at once (so I’m being accused of being a cheater and a dumb one at that). But it’s still early. No telling what other votes may come in before it’s all said and done that could paint a different picture.

        I just hope that you consider this before you label me a cheater. I take that seriously and I wouldn’t want future votes to be swayed by an accusation like this – according to some, our script has plenty other reasons to not vote for it. (haha)

        Anyway, I don’t want to tie up the comments with a back and forth here, so this is all I’ll say on the matter -and that I respect everyone’s intentions on keeping this contest honest.

        • Scott Crawford

          It’s not just that they’re first time voters but they don’t comment on the other scripts. Most people who have voted have not just posted reasons why they’re voting for one script but have commented on the other four scripts, in most cases people have read a little bit of all five scripts before voting. Add to that the fact that “long term lurkers” choose a very insider contest like this as their first time to comment rather than – say – an article on Game of Thrones or to ask if anyone has the script that Carson’s reviewed and its more than a little strange.

          To play safe, I’ll mark those voters as first-time commentators and leave it to Carson to decide if those votes should be counted.

          • A. Rhodes

            Thanks. Chaven did review Dionaea in his/her post, but you’re right GoJuice didn’t. I remembered GoJuice’s post being very long, but I just checked it again and in actuality it was all the things I need to improve… Lots of work ahead of me. But a lot of long time posters only read a few pages or none at all of other scripts. Either way thanks for the correction.

          • Daivon Stuckey

            I actually think a contest where commenters vote would be a strong attractor for people who don’t usually comment

          • Gojuice

            Guys, my apologies. I just joined Disqus earlier this year and for some reason, I have two Gojuice accounts – one attached to Hotmail and one to Gmail. The Hotmail one shows one comment. I don’t post very often and I usually sign in with the Gmail-linked account. Still not a lot of action, but shows six months of history. I’m going to delete the Hotmail one to avoid confusion. I have three comments in moderation with the Gmail account, all replies to this or Scott’s original tally post, with my bonafides.

        • gazrow

          I’ve read a few of your comments and you seem to have a good attitude. But you have to admit it’s suspicious when two first time posters both vote for your script at the exact same time.

          I’m not specifically accusing you of cheating. We all have friends and family who may feel compelled to vote for us regardless of the quality of the other scripts. Though to be fair, yours does have quite a few fans amongst the regular posters so it obviously has some merit.

          Carson will no doubt have the IP addresses of the two first time voters and will be able to draw his own conclusions.

          I’ve been a victim of the “long time lurker first time poster” bs in the past so feel obliged to point out any suspicious activity in that regard. Hopefully, in your case it was just a happy coincidence that you got two first time posters voting for you at the same time.

      • Kirk Diggler

        Cheer up. Everton looks great so far! ;-)

        • gazrow

          Hey, I wasn’t in a bad mood to begin with and I’m in an even better one now that the mighty blues have won!! :)

          • Kirk Diggler

            If only somebody would beat Man City.

          • gazrow

            I know right. They’re on fire at the moment.

      • Gojuice

        Not a first time poster and I gave the writer a full page of notes. The issue, however, is my fault: I have a Disqus account via Hotmail and Gmail without being aware – I guess I signed up on my computer and again on my tablet. I don’t post very often, and only signed up this year, but I go way back. Mentioned it in another comment, but I’m going to delete the Hotmail one, as it shows only a few comments. I appreciate your concern to keep the contest fair – I remember the guest posts from unfamiliar names chiming in on weekends with a vote for a script without context – but if you read my ‘vote’ post, you’d count it.

    • Carmelo Framboise

      My vote easily goes to THE INHERITANCE.

    • Erica

      Hey Scott, you have 3 names for Courageous Man, but only 2 votes?

      • Scott Crawford

        An excellent idea… so I did it!

        If anyone spots a first-time commentator, please let me know here or by email, mentioning their name. Makes it easier.

        • A. Rhodes

          I did see that Poe Serling voted for Dionaea. Has that one been added to the tally? That would put Dionaea tied with our script.

    • Citizen M

      I unsplit my vote and gave it all to The Inheritance.

      • Scott Crawford

        With only one point between them, it makes it easier for Carson to spot a clear winner.

    • Midnight Luck

      But what if we do not think ANY of them are up to it. If you consider what I said as a vote for THE INHERITANCE, well, I am still not behind that choice. Even if I were to argue that based on pure writing ability, yes it is better than the others, o.k., but in terms of telling a story it isn’t better, nor succeeding.
      So if I am to put my vote where my mouth is, shouldn’t I be behind my own vote?

      So, I put in a NO VOTE, with THE INHERITANCE as a “if I have to make a vote”.
      So if you really feel it is necessary to make a vote, then put mine for THE INHERITANCE, with strong reservations (or some such thing).

      The reality is though, sometimes, they all do come up short.
      I know when you have a game ladder thingy you want all the positions to be filled, but maybe the bracket can be empty, and the would be challenger will just move forward? No?

      Not trying to make what you are doing (which I and everyone appreciate) more difficult. Would love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

      • Scott Crawford

        It’s problematic, for sure. Most AOWs, and this is like an AOW, you only get two or three no votes, not enough for a win (there have been a few times when people have voted for a previous week’s script to win instead of that weekend’s choices).

        My thoughts on the subject are no more valid than anyone else’s, I just don’t want the contest to collapse because of no votes, split-votes or lack of votes.

        Maybe the tournament idea for scripts doesn’t work; scripts are not baseball teams, there is no clear winner. Also, though I didn’t read any of the scripts myself, from other people’s comments that there were one or two scripts from last week that were better-liked than this week’s lot, sorry to say.


        We’re only two weeks in, maybe next week will be more the way people want it to be.

        The important thing is that it has inspired people to write and now people have screenplays they can rewrite, show to other people, or – you – know – maybe move on to their next screenplay. That’s got to be good.

        • Midnight Luck

          Thanks for the thoughts.
          My point is I just don’t see how it is beneficial at all to just give a vote for something just so there’s a vote and a “winner”. The only benefit is so the contest moves along smoothly.
          I personally would rather have the best scripts move forward, not scripts just so we can put something on the correct box line.
          Like I said earlier, it would be best if we can vote for as many good ones in a week we like, and as few if we don’t like any.
          I know that doesn’t help a tiered playoff type thing, but at least it would promote the Best, as opposed to just “something” so we have a script in a slot.

          It sounds like there are a bunch of people who aren’t wanting to cast a vote, and I think that should be taken into account.
          Maybe the number of votes a script gets each week should all add up and be carried with a script. So if it is neck and neck the script with more votes that week wins.
          That doesn’t work either, because scripts in the first week will fare better than the 13th week.
          Ugh, these contests are difficult.

          • Wijnand Krabman

            It’s simple: you vote or you don’t vote! Nobody will hold it against you and if they do, ‘tant pis’ as we say in Belgium.I am not voting anymore because we are too far away from the original idea: write a script in 13 weeks and let us find the best one.

          • Midnight Luck

            That’s all I was trying to say. If the point is to find “the best” scripts (which it should be) then there’s little point in voting if the entrants aren’t up to the level of what you feel should be deemed “the best”.
            By voting on something just so it appeases a bracket not only jumbles up all the previous and future votes, it actually downgrades the level of scripts and what is considered high level.
            I struggled with if voting on something was a help or a hurt.
            In the end I agree with Kirk Digger that none of them are most likely going to be turned into movies and if I choose one that isn’t top level, well it will just be eliminated down the line when matched up against better ones.

            Oh well, can’t solve the contest puzzle I guess.

        • Daivon Stuckey

          Maybe there’d be a better chance of quality scripts if Carson just stuck to script shadow regulars.

          Should have had a three month/50 comments rule.

      • Kirk Diggler

        Just vote for a script. None of these are going to be movies. If they were written following Carson’s suggestions, we are talking about scripts barely beyond a first draft, written over several months time. Don’t let the ‘barely passable’ be the enemy of the ‘highly mediocre’.

    • Carmelo Framboise

      Jeaux also voted for Inheritance (with some rogue comments about some of the other scripts too) but as Chaven’s vote they may fall into Carson’s rule:

      “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.”

    • Dallas Cobb

      I think my vote for Dionaea was counted twice! You have “Dallas” marked down, & “Dallas Cobb” marked down. Thanks!

      • Scott Crawford


    • Midnight Luck

      Ok, fine, put my vote down for THE INHERITANCE.

      • Carmelo Framboise

        You voted after all.
        So, how did Scott torture you to make you speak?


        • Midnight Luck

          Well aside from the water boarding ;) I took everyone’s thoughts and feelings and ideas about it all into account, and then analyzed my own thoughts to death (as I always seem to do) and just came to the conclusion that: a vote will mean a lot to the amateur writer involved this week.

          So it just made sense to make a choice and put it in the ring.

    • Biju B

      Count me in for COURAGEOUS MAN if you missed my post Scott. Thanks.

    • Matt Edward

      In case you miss it in the comments… THE INHERITANCE is my vote.

      Thanks for the tally, Scott!

  • A Man is No One

    Note on The Inheritance:

    Google was privately founded in 1998. It had its IPO in 2004 and yielded a maximum return of like 1200%. Nobody could fluke their way into 250mil its mean in 2004 he invested like 20 million. You need to revise where is money came from. This lack of quick research for somethinf that is pivotal to the story as a background is an odd oversight. Best bet? Change it to apple in the 80s.

  • lonestarr357

    Maybe, it’s a common name or a coincidence, but I saw the writing credit for The Inheritance and my mind went right to this guy:

    If it’s a different guy, I apologize for the assumption. If it’s the same guy…I’m blown away.

  • Giant AOW

    Just curious –

    How is the SS tournament any different from one giant AOW that takes place over 12+ weeks?

    If there isnt a defined prize, and there arent any AF reviews between each round, then in essence, isnt the tournament just an AOW spread out over months for a single review?

    I was expecting an AF of Bait, and I’m not sure why there wasn’t one.

    • Thaddeus Arnold

      It’s a tournament for those who wrote scripts during the series of articles where you were encouraged to write a new script from scratch.

      • Giant AOW

        Yeah I know. I was just hoping dor / expectinf an AF review of the weeks winner between each round.

        • ScottCrawford

          The writer of each week’s winning script has four weeks (i think) to rewrite the script based on feedback. So no reviews until later.

    • wlubake

      This is going to sound more accusatory than I intend it, but I think Carson needs Fridays off for a while from reviewing amateur scripts. This way we have weeks of Fridays dedicated to the tournament instead. We stay busy, we help each other get better, and he comes in to review scripts later in the contest. So in a way, this is a nice way to give him a breather. Just a theory.

      • Midnight Luck

        I have been wondering if AoW has been running on fumes. Either of just plainly in numbers of scripts being sent in to C or of quality of offerings.

        By making a contest like this, it not only inspired a huge group of people, it also added an enormous number of scripts to that pile.

        It is yet to be determined the quality of submissions. That won’t be known until every last one has been checked out.

        Definitely gives him a breather, and it excited the community.
        Both good things.

        I also was wondering if we were going to get a review of the winner on Fridays, and then the regular presentation of the next five over the weekend.

    • London_Gent

      Gotta say, I’m a liitle disappointed this tournament is in the same format as any other AOW – just without an AF.

      I was expecting something a bit different – perhaps if only the release of one script per day (alongside Carson’s regular posts, or instead of), giving readers the opportunity to read more of each scipt and comment based on it’s entirety, before voting on their favourite over the weekend. Considering the purpose of the exercise was the write a complete script in 13 weeks, it’s a shame that some will get bounced based purely on logline or the opening few pages.

      I understand that there are counter arguments to this – some readers DO read all scripts regardless (Randy Williams, I’m looking at you…), scripts SHOULD be good enough to make you want to read more than 10 pages anyway (but sometimes they do improve) etc., but something other than the status quo would’ve been better, I feel.

      And yes, a list of genuine 13 week scripts would’ve been beneficial.

  • smishsmosh22

    congrats on getting picked!

  • jeaux

    About 25 pages into The Inheritance. Took a bit to get into it as there were a handful of characters introduced all at once, but some funny stuff once I got my bearings. Will read more.

  • Wijnand Krabman

    Second week first fraud. Congrats to the five writers who entered this week’s round. After reading 5 pages of each only Courageous man has some legs. My impression is the quality of the scripts is not what it was last week which is too bad because on Scott’s list were a lot of better entries and I fear they will have to battle it out against each other in stronger weeks.

  • Mayhem Jones


    A DARKER PLACE: OK so—wow. I like “the idea” of this idea a lot, but I think the execution should be FASTER and CLEARER. I get you have to lay down some background, but tighten it up! You’re dealing with a really unusual (and strong) idea here, and I worry that it’s not reading clear enough. I would try to come up with ways you can make the transitions (the 24 year difference) simpler without compromising your vision. Also, the first “excitement” (for me) comes at page 13 with the thunder scene. Page 13?? Give us more hints about the nature of this 24 year difference EARLIER to grab interest!!! (Keep in mind I have a low attention span and refuse to watch food videos over 1 minute—OOPS). The daydream sequence on page 4 was really visceral—nice work. Clean, simple writing overall. Guess my only advice with this is don’t be afraid to have more fun with it!!

    THE INHERITANCE: We gotta sub-in, folks!! W00t this is Matt Lopez’s lucky day, huh? Love the premise of this. Opening scene with the drink orders is a PERFECT way to introduce everyone. Feel free to get even more crazy, bizarre, and colorful with these 7 characters. (Also, Bacon last name = hilarious). By page 10 we’ve already had several nasty exchanges (I’m a little worried, though, that Michael will be an asshole the ENTIRE MOVIE??) which makes the set-up of the lawyer saying “you get to decide who gets what, but you must all agree” all the more impossible. GREAT BAIT! It’s up to you to do something good with it. Will try to read more of this later if I can.

    SHIFTING: Had to look up “lycanthropy”. If anyone else needs it, it’s: “a supernatural transformation of a person into a wolf, as recounted in folk tales.” Oh wow, another MICHAEL-named character! (This is the third script from this batch, LOL). Anyway, I sincerely apologize to the writer—could not get into this one. All I could think was “TWILIGHT!!!!!!!” “TAYLOR LAUTNER!!!!”. I know you’ll get some really good feedback on here from others, though. Very nice writing!

    DIONAEA: Exciting log line! OK, completely—like completely—dug the opening. You’re having fun in the descriptions, LAILA is point blank telling us there’s a problem… strange, loud noises to confuse us… YOU, SIR, have intrigued me. A cryo-chamber!! YAAAS KWEEN! OMG then you drop something strange on page 7—NICE AND EARLY!!!!! My only concern so far is the flashbacks in the beginning are a LITTLE unclear. However! Good descriptions, killer idea, loved the page 7 dilemma, and this is my favorite opener of the bunch. Maybe I’m just really excited for PASSENGERS, but this script gets my vote!

    COURAGEOUS MAN: Hey this is a cool idea, too. Great log lines this week! OK so, I liked this a lot. What a sweet opening. Fantastic writing (to me, felt pro-level), I could really see it visually being played out in my mind as I was reading. Excellent dynamic set-up between JAKE and RED, giving us immediate sympathy for Jake. Would have DEFINITLEY given this a half-vote or tied vote if the voting allowed. If this wins, I will not be disappointed. Well done!!!!!

  • Daivon Stuckey

    Wow, the WYSR’s must have been amazing because the only interesting logline is A Darker Place

  • Poe_Serling

    Week 2 of the Tournament…

    Congrats and good luck to all the featured writers. The two that caught my
    eye right away:

    The Shifting and Dionaea.

    It’s nice to have Friday/Saturday/most of Sunday to check out the scripts.

  • jeaux

    Completely OT but Lucid Walk, if you’re around today, email me – I may have a lead for you. joe_lbp at yahoo

  • Daivon Stuckey

    I’m just gonna lay it out. This contest is poor.

    Now, I understand that there is really no way to know for sure who entered a script written during the challenge. But we were doing regular check ins and a handy list was being kept, of mostly regular commenters, who were entering. You should have just used that list and stuck to it. We’d be way better off, and it would be much more likely that they were actually written recently. Also, it would be nice to clear out the randos and do something for the regulars just for once.

    Secondly, the formatting of hiding the picks each week makes no sense. It’s completely unfair to almost every writer, with no actual benefit of hiding it besides the “thrill and suspense”.

    • New_E

      It’s also free! And no one was forced to participate. Or is owed anything.

      Other screenplay contests usually don’t let you know you’ve made the grade either… until you’ve actually made the grade and move on to the next round.


      • Jaco

        Right? Maybe the complaints would make more sense if this competition was called the Scriptshadow Script Contest for Amateurs Who Post Regularly in the Comments Section…

        I’m guessing the #1 reason scripts didn’t get in is because of the concept. Doesn’t anyone remember that post where everyone shared possible concepts – there were 100s of ideas and maybe a handful were okay.

        Anyways – I checked out all of these. The only one that I made it past page 2 was DIONAEA. Don’t love the title – but it gets my vote.

        • New_E


          See, Carson could have said 3-4 months ago: “Everybody sign up over the next 24h for this thing we’re doing over the next X months and those who do will get guaranteed entry/reads.” or “regulars get priority.”

          He could’ve had guidelines stating writers need to check in every week, send X number of pages every week, etc…

          Or request the original Final Draft/Celtx/Scrivener/Word file with the “date created”/”date modified” data, but even that can be changed any time, and who the hell would do that?

          Bottom line is, it would have been too much for him–he would’ve been deluged and would need to keep track of it all– and he didn’t do any of those things. So, that’s that. It is what it is.

          I don’t think anyone has any right to be mad over something that’s been meant to help them along with their writing process… for free! With (perhaps) a completed script as a bonus!


          • Jaco

            Yep. And, for those trying to sneak in, it seems that they’ll get spotted and picked off quite quickly.

            Be mad at those people if anything.

            End of the day, all you can control is the concept/pitch you submitted – if it didn’t grab Carson’s attention, then move on. Who knows, someone else out there might love it.

          • New_E



          • Wijnand Krabman

            The spirit of this contest was write a script in 13 weeks! I did i! Not once, I did it twice and that’s all that matters!

          • New_E

            See? Congrats!

            And I’m sure many others can say the same.

            I failed. Twice! So, I don’t even have that consolation. Damn. That newsletter totally spoke to me. *sigh*.


      • Stephjones

        Were you around when this began? Carson issued the challenge of writing a script in 13 weeks then said at the end of the process there was going to be a tournament to select the best script. Carson admitted he couldn’t control whether a script had been written before the contest, which is understandable, but today he stated he would now consider previous AOW entrants which had undergone extensive rewrites. So, IMO, Davion is justifiably disappointed. The excitement of cranking out a script in record time in order to compete against others doing the same has been lost in a muddy, messy translation.
        It seems to me, this is just a massive AOW and the 13 week challenge aspect has fallen by the wayside. The big upside is that those who actually did complete the challenge ( I didn’t) have a brand new script to play with and, with luck, will be picked. They just need to adjust to the fact that their script will be up against older scripts which may have been extensively vetted

        • New_E

          I was and I get it. I can understand being disappointed, but TBH, I don’t know that the guidelines were that clear-cut when this started.

          He even said many times that he was pretty much making this up as he went along. More thought could’ve gone into it. Sure. People still entered though. Knowingly. Willfully.

          The 13-week challenge was meant to challenge yourself, as a writer, and possibly be on your way to completing a script. Anything else, anything MORE, is a bonus.

          I don’t think anyone should look at the experience as wasted time or wasted opportunities. Like you said, many got a completed script out of this! That, in itself, is worth more than anything else when all is said and done.


    • Wijnand Krabman

      you’ve got my sympathy Daivon, I can live with this if it gives us great scripts which it doesn’t, at least not this week. But I think we should focus now on the five entries.

    • London_Gent

      I can see your point.

      I had a script featured on AOW around the same time this tournament was announced, so I used the notes I got from the community here, coupled with Carson’s weekly LWAFS guide to work on a re-write. Although I finished before the tournament deadline, I didn’t submit as I figured this was still against the rules, due to the fact that the script existed in some form before the tournament began. Had I known otherwise, I may have taken a chance… although perhaps not, as it would also likely bare the wrath of the community who had read it before.

      I do hope that a few SS regulars get their scripts chosen in subsequent rounds, as otherwise I can see the natives getting a little restless. If Carson did release a list of chosen scripts in advance, and no regulars were on it, would the tournament be boycotted completely?

      Saying this, I’m also keen to see how the voting goes when a regular commenter is featured against a group of ‘randos’. I could be wrong, but already I sense a blow out. It’s never going to be the fairest tournament to enter, for a number of reasons.

    • ScottCrawford

      Let’s Write a F#&%ING Screenplay!!! 08/19/16, 21:53 GMT

      Finished, bitches!:

      Monster Investigations by Frankie Hollywood
      Years of a Clown by BMCBH

      Nearly there, nearly there…:

      21 Days in the Amazon by UPB13
      The Ancient War by Scott Serradell
      Anguish by Pat
      Antebellum by Daivon Stuckley
      Atlantis Waters by Randy Williams
      The Bait by Billie B
      Cratchit by ScriptChick
      Dead of Night by John Bradley
      The Deadliest City by Sebastian Cornet
      Ghost in the Machine by Christopher Reilly
      Haunted Hospital by Wijnand Krabman
      Irregular Army by Carmelo Framboise
      Killer Killer by Wijnand Krabman
      The Last Safe Place by jeaux
      Log by smishsmosh
      Neptune Beach/The Pictures by Robert O’Sullivan
      The Oklahombres aka “The Wild Bunch” by klmn
      Pacifico by scrimshaw
      PHOBE – New Dawn by Erica
      Runaway Car by Magga
      The Sculptor by Kris
      Stacy Wentworth: The Last Boner Smasher by Eric Boyd
      There Was a Little Girl by Nick Morris
      Thrills, Kills, & Scotch by Mayhem Jones
      Until You Remember by Lironah
      Untitled by Jonathan Soens
      Untitled Action-Thriller by Steffan
      Widow’s Walk by ElectricDreamer

      writing the first draft:

      Bigfoot Lives! by Benjamin Hickey
      Deadsight by Kosta K
      Dracula and Holmes by jaehkim
      The Hatchery by Joe Marino
      How to Hunt Vampires for Dummies by Sackninja
      Into the Smoke by Duvan.1
      The K-Rock Years/Rock Must Die! by New_E
      The Princess and the Janitor by Nodestar
      Soldier of Fortune by New_E

      Thinking about taking part now deadline has been extended to September 4th:

      17th City of Edan by Ripley
      Dreamwalkers by Lucid Walk
      Let’s Be Famous by stephjones
      TBA by Paul Clarke

      • klmn

        My script is now titled Hellfire Alley.

      • Wijnand Krabman

        This is the situation; approx 30 scripts of ‘regulars’ were finished as first draft. I don’t know how many of them were submitted or other ‘writing the first draft’ scripts were finished and submitted. If we go with 30 scripts submitted finding two of them last week and none this week we can assume that this is an average of one script of the list a week, which will show up in the next 6 weeks.

      • Matt Edward

        I can’t remember why I never submitted my script name alongside this running tally… I guess it had to do with my creeper status on the site or some sort of unspoken paranoia, like if I put my title in the ether it won’t ever come to fruition.

      • jbird669

        In fairness, I don’t think it was specified that you had to comment to write a screenplay for Let’s Write a F#&%ING Screenplay!!! challenge. My script was in there and I didn’t comment to keep everyone updated.

        • Midnight Luck

          yeah that was just a list to see who was participating and what the script name was, to keep track or to follow others’ progress.

          It didn’t mean you couldn’t enter or wouldn’t be counted if you didn’t send along your deets to the list.

      • Howie428

        Courageous Man is my latest script and this is the first time the concept or the script have been allowed out in public. My co-writer and I worked hard on it and the timing of this contest has fit well for us. It’ll be fun to see what other people think.

    • Eldave1

      It is a fair point, Daivon. I did not enter any of them (I have five completed features) because it did seem the entire point was to write a script in 13 weeks. But – there is no entry fee nor any real prize – so I think one ought to look at it as a writing exercise rather than a writing contest.

    • garrett_h

      To be honest, this “contest” has been a shitshow since the beginning. Carson was making the rules up as he went along. He never knew the rules and never offered any guidelines. Frankly, myself and others have pointed out the flaws in this process the whole way. Those that chose to “participate” did so at their own peril.

      The only good thing, as has been stated, is that it’s free. There’s no entry fee. I thought about entering the Tracking Board contest this weekend, but it’s $95. I just can’t justify that purchase right now. It doesn’t seem like a lot of money, but with a family and bills and living in Los Angeles it IS a lot of money.

      So at least it’s free. For the people that did the 13-Week Challenge, hopefully they learned something from it. Otherwise the only thing they wasted is their time, not their money.

  • jeaux

    Reading Dionaea now. Only on page 7 so far but just a quick note – several nods/winks to the reader kinda takes me out of the story. Not a huge deal, will still keep reading, but if you get other readers mentioning this, you may want to rethink those.

  • Randy Williams


    Congrats for making it on Round 2 of the Scriptshadow Tournament!

    I read the whole thing. The writer’s name sounds familiar in a pleasant way. I think I’ve read something else of his here on SS and enjoyed it.

    I enjoyed this for what it was. It’s certainly a challenge, I think to write something in such a limited setting with a basic set up for characters to move about in.

    As in a stage play, which this could be, the dialogue is going to really need to shine, isn’t it? It’s going to have those pyrotechnics that burst on stage, sends the audience into fits of laughter, make them flirt with the possibilities of being like some of these people, laugh at the foibles and realize they themselves, without the money are just as lost. It’s entertaining here, but writers in Hollywood could probably write this in their sleep, I think. But, again, it’s a good start for a challenge script. The characters are fun, there’s booze and the promise of a delivery of more. Then, around page 21, with the gay joke and the beginning of the talk of pregnancy, it starts to flounder for me a bit. I even felt uncomfortable with the talk of abortion and the continued setting the lawyer’s race as a target of Nanny Bea was also uncomfortable for me, and also seemed outdated. Why don’t you make him a Muslim? I wanted more delving into cultural references, biting satire, some education. It gets better, I thought after that pregnancy interlude, but My only laugh out loud moment was that line something like, “Your microbrewery’s killed us” which gave me more of the sense there was a life outside of this house for these people and that I was given some cultural reference to laugh at that everyone could identify with.

    • London_Gent


      Great notes, as always. This is completely O/T, but I was hoping to reach out to you. I recently completed a re-write of a script that was featured on AOW and am looking to get eyes on it. As one of the few that read the whole thing, I was wondering if you may be willing?

      I’d like to re-submit to AOW, but am reluctant to do so until I know I’ve at least improved upon the original. You provided me with valuable notes last time around, and I would be grateful for your opinion. Not necessarily right now, just whenever convenient.

      Anyway, let me know. No worries if not.

      • Randy Williams

        Send it on! Touchthermo at g mail

        • London_Gent

          You’re the man!


          Much obliged.

  • smishsmosh22

    Congratulations to Andrew Rhodes and Robert Irvin, Matt Lopez, Jon Ridge, Brian Kazmarck, and Philip Whitcroft! I’ll post my vote later tonight or tomorrow. I’ve already read a couple scripts and they were pretty decent. One I might even love….

    OT: I finished the first draft of my sports comedy (and my 3rd screenplay) two nights ago. Yay! I’m pretty stoked. I have started setting deadlines for myself, for a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd draft. I learned that from this SS Tournament. I want to be able to write fast and have a system that works… so that’s a pretty big takeaway for me. Thanks Carson.

    • klmn

      You’re a writing machine. I’m jealous.

      • smishsmosh22

        don’t be, this script I just finished, I had started before Log and then put aside so I could write something new for the tournament. So I already had like 70 pages. Now its at 108.

        • Midnight Luck

          no, seriously.
          you are a writing machine.

          • smishsmosh22

            Okay if you say it I’ll believe it. :)

      • ScottCrawford

        Agree. We could all learn something from Al. Guest article?

        • smishsmosh22

          Cha, right!!!!

    • Scott Strybos

      Do you have a trick to enforcing your self-imposed deadlines? I used to set them for myself and then they would just blow past.

      I think it would be handy to create a website where writers could sign up and set deadlines for themselves. Then be required to transfer money to the site into an account, a holding account, minimum amount being something like $500 or $1000.

      When their deadline arrived, they would be required to submit the pages they wrote—not for notes but to verify they wrote what and as much as they set out to write—and if they met their deadline, they would get their money transferred back.

      If they, however, did not meet their deadline, they would not get their money back.
      The money would leave the holding account and be transferred to a charity. (The site couldn’t get it because that may lead to impropriety, and the amount would have to be high enough that people would care about getting it back, need to get it back.)

      • smishsmosh22

        Sounds like Diet Bet! Except with Diet Bet, the money all goes into a pot and only those who actually meet their weight loss goals get to split the pot at the end. (rather than that money going to charity) So the incentive is to win money.

        I don’t think I have a trick for meeting my self-imposed deadlines, I’m just hella motivated. I’m moving to LA in December and in the Spring of this year I told myself that I wanted to have 3 completed scripts by the time I get there. So I’m extremely driven to meet that goal. But I realized this summer, it helped to break it up into mini goals: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd draft.

        I also know that I won’t become a better writer until I’ve written a lot of scripts and 2-3 years has passed, so I need to write as much as possible so I can get to the part where I’m actually good!

        • smishsmosh22

          actually I’ve broken it down further, ie my next deadline is to complete my character development by Oct 5th. I started this script in February and didn’t do any character work first — my bad.

        • garrett_h

          Never heard of Diet Bet! Thanks for mentioning it. I also like Scott’s idea. I’ve done web development in the past and an app idea I had was called “Snooze You Lose”. Basically it’s tied in to the Alarm app, and when you hit Snooze on your phone you lose money to whoever you’re betting with – most likely a parent, spouse, or friend. It’s a wake up incentive app, devised during one of my sleep-in mornings lol. Only problem is, people can cheat. Accept the Alarm instead of hitting snooze and pretend they woke up. We haven’t figured out a way around that yet, but we’re working on it.

          And I’m glad to hear you’re making the move! Good luck with it! There have been many talks of a SS meet-up over the years. There have been some small ones, like a few people. Or two folks having lunch/drinks. Would be nice to set something up for the end of this year, or maybe next year. Then some of the out-of-towners could join in.

    • Enrique Bertran

      you are a writing badass. I’m going to assume your day job is writing writing writing. :)

      • smishsmosh22

        thats a very good point. I don’t have a day job.

        • jeaux

          Day jobs? We don’t need no stinking day jobs!

          • smishsmosh22

            I do play a lot of video games.

          • jeaux

            That could pay the bills. A buddy of mine who works in production just told me he worked on a show that featured gamers that have sponsors all over their attire like Nascar drivers. He said some of those cats make like 30k a week! I’m in the wrong bidniss.

          • smishsmosh22

            Sounds like a movie premise. The Wizard 2? ;)

  • jbird669

    Damn! Some awesome loglines. Gonna have fun reading these!

  • Eldave1

    I didn’t love any of these.

    The best of the bunch IMO was Dionaea.

  • jeaux

    My vote goes to The Inheritance. Read some of all the scripts and this one kept me engaged the most. And as others have noted, not sure why Shifting is still in the running if it appeared on AOW a few years ago.

  • Matt Edward

    Going through one by one with notes…


    As I was reading:
    – Opening – Just a thought… It’s a tough slog without the visuals of course so this isn’t the easiest opening scene. What if you open it as a live-action scene of the comic since, according to your logline, you’re going to end up in that comic book world anyway. This way, you can play the opening comic pages straight and pull back to reveal the reader. I get if you may have written this to keep it small but on second thought I remembered your logline and figured you’d be heading into that comic world anyway.
    – 3 – “Sexy” may not be the best way to describe a fifteen year-old.
    – 4 – The yellow line I think should be… There’s only so much bright yellow a person can wear.
    – Stopped on page 10.

    Read-wise, this is a tough one… There are some unfilmibles in there and a lot of fluff to sift through. The action lines could definitely use a trimming. The dialogue is also troublesome – I understand the time constraints so editing may not have been a priority, but there are lines missing sentence structure, that dangle, and others that seem poorly worded.

    Story-wise, I like this concept especially if you’re catering it to a family audience. You’ve set up some of the major elements (the asshole sibling, the bully, etc.) for this type of film. I think on the heels of the current nostalgia wave, this could do well. I do wonder if the time period will become more of a necessity later… I know it’s in the future, but making this period will be a turn off to potential investor interest. Just a thought.

    Overall, an interesting concept that needs some work in the writing (grammatically). Good luck with this script!

    More to come…

  • Randy Williams


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

    Read 30 pages. I’d like to read more. I’m liking this. There is something stopping me. More on that later.
    Of what I read, this really nails the family adventure genre (except for a scene on page 17 with the sister taking off her shirt – can easier be scratched) I can see the whole family enjoying this and identifying with the love of comics, the dynamics of neighborhood kids, past and present.
    The characters are all endearing, I thought. There are endearing expressions used and funny lines. I loved “comic lung”, “their way advanced technology” Barney (loved this character, you’ve made a bully loveable!) explaining that Jake’s sister loves hearing how he abuses Jake. All the Tilian mythology. Good stuff.
    All of this early section is easy to read, perhaps getting to the comic book world a bit sooner might be a suggestion but it still works, I think, as is.
    However, when we make the transition to the comic book world, for me the read suddenly became a bit of chore and a bit puzzling.
    1. The switch was sudden without any telegraphing of the chances or rules of this switch. Earlier on in the script, on page 8, I think, they discuss that Crazy Norm believed his family was lost in a comic. Perhaps expand on this discussion? Maybe even use some visuals. They are looking at their reflections in a mud puddle or something. Give us some physics that might be involved?
    2. The Gothic tokens and “occult items”. What exactly were those occult items? There is no previous mention of Crazy Norm using the occult, or maybe I missed it? Do we need these artifacts as explanation at all? Are they going to be used later? Do I want my family watching a movie with occult practices used to get what I want?
    3. The first part is loaded with characters and hyper. As soon as we’re dropped into the comic book, we also are loaded with characters and hyper. Maybe a switch in momentum here? First of all the kids seem very nonchalant about everything. In no time, they already are searching for Courageous Man. Perhaps slow it down some? Let them get their bearings first in some ways? Perhaps charm with visuals as they do so?
    4. The lack of visuals so far as they move through the comic world that tie in with a comic book itself. Not that there has to be, but I thought it would be cool if for example, this world smelled like fresh ink, the earth beneath their feet was thin and you could see through it. There were edges in the sky, and maybe even a price tag?

  • smishsmosh22

    thanks dude!

  • Linkthis83




    -SUPER: 2016 — just say PRESENT DAY

    -“No clue where they could be heading.” – this could be interpreted as you’re telling the reader this info, which you are, or that the GIRLS don’t know where they could be heading. It’s confusing.

    p6 = stopped.

    Not feeling this one. Part of has to do with the “style” of writing. I’m not a fan of reflecting on what is happening in the story in action lines. Also, there wasn’t much story happening for me.

    After reading the logline, I feel it’s missing a component as well. If the end of that sentence included that she was the one doing the tortuing, then it’s really interesting.


    p1 = “…circle a large coffee table…” = encircle

    p23 = stopped

    I liked this. It’s a tad overwhelming with the characters, but on the screen it would work itself out just fine. I like the dynamics of the characters. With the exception of Gavin and Michael, the others were difficult to tell apart. Except for Cheryl obviously.

    I liked the use of the drinks to set the stage for how difficult the requirements of the money are going to be. I feel like the lawyer should be more prominent in the beginning. Pushing for people to get started and them delaying him with their drink orders. It adds a littel more oomph to the scene and adds to the point that they are hurting themselves by wasting time they didn’t know they were even wasting.


    p12 = stopped

    First off…a sexy 15 year old in a family adventure?

    TITLE PAGE: it says this is written by Philip Whitcroft and James W. Helfrich. If you are a team, you need an ampersand. If you are in fact separate writers, then this is fine. But makes no sense for this contest. Sooo…I’m guessing you need the ampersand.

    I really dig the idea/premise, not so much the execution. I can feel what you are trying to do in these pages, but the beats also feel familiar to movies I loved with kid adventures. Also, by the page I stopped, didn’t have a hint of what the actual story is going to be. Other than that Jake really wants the next issue of his comic and his sis robbed him.


    -Hell Deck?

    p10 = stopped

    Man…I really hate when I dig the writing but not the story or the way it was presented. Those early hooks almost worked, but they just didn’t.

  • Citizen M

    Is this the format:
    8 rounds of five movies each — 8 winners go forward to
    2 rounds of four movies each — 2 winners go forward to
    final showdown?

    • garrett_h

      Who the hell knows lol. At this rate, Carson may change midstream and it’ll be whatever script he pulls out of a bag.

    • Midnight Luck

      Why not just have all the best move forward?
      If one week has people vote and want two of the 5 to move forward because they are awesome, great.
      If NONE are up to snuff, then great.
      If one week we somehow by unbelievable odds get an amazing 5, let them all keep moving ahead.
      Yes choosing one works for AoW, because we can choose the best of a random grouping, but in this contest it makes more sense to find the absolute best by any means necessary.

      • garrett_h

        That kind of opens things up to an unlimited number of scripts though. Like, what if Week 3 everyone says “pick all 5!” What do we do for the following weeks? Pick one? Pick two? What if five more are picked again? Then at the end, we’re pretty much back where we started. A ton of scripts to sort through instead of a few. With no way to whittle the list down.

        At the end of the day, I think it’s important to pick winners each week. I wish we could somehow seed the scripts like a proper tournament, but it’ll just have to be the luck of the draw.

  • Angie

    Since there are no 13 weekers in this batch and we have to
    vote for something, I vote for A Darker Place.

    I liked the opening with the “girls” tying themselves up. Suggest more PC to call 20 something females women. The next scene with Libby in the overturned car was intriguing also. Then started the time shifts. At first, they seemed too fast, almost dizzying. Thinking about it, the images might work better on the screen than on the page because the writers connected the time periods with transitions of thunder (sound) and light (sight). The story took off for me after Libby hears Girl 1 call for help. Donny is a crude abusive jerk. Still I found it difficult to believe someone who had an extensive education and became a plastic surgeon could be quite as initially crass and foul mouthed with a female visitor he had not seen in many years. Some professions do support that type of character more than others do. I get the writers need the plastic surgery for Zack. Maybe tone down Donny, at least before he gets why Libby is visiting. That way it will have more effect as he “changes” from polite to savage.

    The Inheritance – The opening felt like a play. The characters stock. There was the narcissist, the grieving widow, the fat guy, the effete and the outsider. The story was interesting in a British cozy type of way, but without a murder. Sorry, but I did not see the humor.

    Shifting – I like werewolf tales just could not get into
    this one. Could not connect to the many opening characters.

    Dionea – The description of the macrovores gave me more pause than laugh. Cannot imagine them as described appearing on the big screen. Well written with reveals foreshadowed yet still surprising. Laila might have to stop getting naked. This probably has the best chance. It was cool, similar to other contained thrillers yet different enough. So why did I not pick this one. Dunno. Maybe the situations felt too familiar.

    Courageous Man – Probably a great preteen movie. Well written. Could not picture sitting in a movie theater for the first three 3 minutes watching comic book pages with an OS kid reading. Jake is 12. Tommy has graduated to teenager status. Yet, Jake tells him to shut up. Not sure that is boy behavior. Really could not get far because I believed I knew what was coming.

    Good luck to all entrants.


    • A. Rhodes

      Thanks for the kind words and vote. Sincerely. My PC edits usually happen on week 14! haha. No, good suggestion. I also like the feedback about saving some of Donny’s “ways” for a little later.
      Really appreciate it.

    • A. Rhodes

      Also, could you explain what you mean by no 13 weekers this week?

  • Jaco

    I think it’d take almost $1m of original Apple stock to get close to the $250m return.

    $100 of original Apple would only be worth around $30k today.

    • A Man is No One

      No Jaco. My numbers are accurate. Youre not taking into account thirty seven cent shares split four times, once was even 7 to 1.

      • A Man is No One

        Guess what Jaco, I went back to the glossary and realized I was way off on the IPO price. Adjusted share price was 37 cents. Your numbers are more accurate. Just goes to show money is in options not outright buy and hold.

      • Jaco

        Your numbers are accurate if you work for Enron or are in charge of North Korea’s central bank or if you’re on a 47-day Monopoly/LSD bender.

        If I reverse-engineer your numbers, it looks like you took your $100 and bought yourself shares at the the stock split adjusted original IPO price ($22 divided by 7 divided by 2 divided by 2 and divided by 2) and then went ahead and gave yourself the stock splits moving forwards. I would definitely agree that this would give your $100 investment a current day value of around $1.7m.

        I think what you do is take that $100 and figure out how many shares you can buy at the share price adjusted for the stock splits (.37) and then multiply those shares by what it’s worth today. Or, you could take your $100 and figure out how many shares you could by at the IPO price and then account for the stock splits. Either way, $100 comes out to just about $30k.

        You are welcome.

  • A. Rhodes

    Sorry to hear you fell that way. But I will say that nothing is quite what it seems in that opening teaser… But as you said, some readers won’t get past that part to find out. Fair enough.

    As for demographics, I’d love to hear other opinions from folks who’ve read further. Much further preferably. haha. But I’d say we cover more than the teaser implies. Or at least we sincerely attempt to.

    But thanks for the feedback, bud. The fact you took the time to read and offer feedback is appreciated.

    • ocattorney

      Well, it’s a process… I think it is important to tell the writer what your immediate reaction is when you read a scene… and if the events later on show that it was misleading us to one place, at least you have some feedback on whether that worked or not. I had to get on the computer at 9 am just in case my script was posted for the contest, which it is not, so I downloaded the scripts and will get back to them this weekend.
      Hey, congratulations on making the contest!

      • A. Rhodes

        Definitely a process! Hope you get a chance to read further -I would love to hear more of your thoughts.

        • ocattorney

          Andy, While we’re here, there’s a script Jon Ridge called “Shifting”. In a review on this site, from three years ago, in October 2013: ” The main problem with Shifting is that it’s NOT a Story. There was no coherent narrative structure in place I could discern. It reads like scenes strung together to reach feature length. That’s not to say some of these scenes weren’t good or powerful by themselves, it’s just that they didn’t progress anything because ***there was no main story to progress***, I suggest making a strong outline and doing a page one (actually a page 2, since page 1 sets up a nice hook) rewrite.” (end)
          Some good advice… ignored. Three years later, the Story hasn’t changed. Carson spent weeks detailing exactly what Jon need to do to fix “Shifting” – give the Hero a Goal and obstacles in his path – and it was ignored… nothing changed… because we write inside our Comfort Zone and even if we get excellent advice, we can’t “see” the other ways of writing the story.
          That said, “Shifting” is a prime example of advanced writing style. I couldn’t believe this “perfection” could have been written in only twelve weeks. It took years of rewriting to get it to this level… and, anyone can learn from it. I thought maybe the script had been stolen, still not sure how it was entered for this contest.
          So, first question, is there a market for “A Darker Place”? Or is it just a writing exercise. You’ve taken the script to the level where it is fruitful to think about what production companies would be interested… New Line Cinema has been doing horror films, but they’re not the only one.
          Generally speaking, go for Great Characters rather than Great Plot. Find more creative ways for your Hero to overcome the obstacles. – bill hays

          • A. Rhodes

            Bill thanks so much for the additional thoughts. Now I’m really hoping you get a chance to to read the whole script (or did you?). Not saying it’ll change your mind, but just to get more of your insight.

          • ocattorney

            My insight? A different perspective, coming from a much different taste in movies, but perhaps closer to the mainstream? sure. The contest was to write a script in a short period of time and you followed Carson’s rules. I’ll try not to hold you to a higher standard than the time period allowed. I saw lots of goals. I saw a Heroine being transformed as she struggled to overcome obstacles. All great stuff. What I didn’t like was Adult Zachary. In the first version, are his parents still alive? I don’t see his motivation for kidnapping two adult women. If he was abused, then he would abuse the women in his life. He might pay women to come to his house and let him verbally abuse them. “Five Easy Pieces” had Jack Nicholson doing that to Ann-Margaret. And if it didn’t, some other movie did. Zachary grew up in a mansion with a groundskeeper. He inherited traits from his father. What drove him to kidnapping women? Solve that and you’ve got a better Villain. Second comment, a better one, after Libby killed Donny, Zachary didn’t change enough. Get rid of the second carnival scene. Zachary and Charlotte are dating. After a poor bedroom performance, Zachary finally shows her the guest house, and that’s when we learn that Zachary found the tape and learned what his Destiny should be. Show that Adult Zachary enjoys being a Dominant and the guest house is his Red Room of Pain. show that he evolved from Kidnapper to a wealthy Dominant who gets the same satisfaction abusing women without breaking the law. Third, the target audience here is small. Your heroine is a pregnant women but mothers and expectant mothers will be turned off by the Story. There’s not much Story Value here. There aren’t many characters to like. Fourth, Libby’s entrance to Time Viewing needs expanding and a re-think. Don’t like the car crash. find something cheaper to film. – Bill Hays

          • A. Rhodes

            Wow can’t thank you enough for the thoughtful response. Very good suggestions as I suspected. Definitely doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, so glad you completed it (and hopefully it entertained a bit along the way.)

          • ocattorney

            The suspense was compelling but unbelievable. the kidnapped girls just happened to be held in a spot where a message could still be unnoticed twenty years later? But those are finer points that don’t need to be covered in the “time frame” of the contest. Don’t get trapped by the current version of the Story, which is YOUR preferred story line. There are other possibilities. The script “Shifting” should have developed a better Story in three years of rewriting! Hunting werewolves for their pelts is too small a problem. A major point of your script is, it can be filmed cheap. The carnival might be more expense than the production company wants, or a burning car. How did Libby get pulled into the Time Viewing mode? (Cue theme from “One Step Beyond” which was also used on “The Outer Limits.”) I don’t see making your script “bigger” will help it any. The biggest problem is a lack of Story Value. why do we want to watch this story as opposed to all the other horror DVDs? If Donny and his wife had some serious cred as Dominants, that could help. Or, maybe there’s another way, but Use More Imagination. You’ve got a big rewrite coming up. – bill hays

          • ocattorney

            Second batch of notes: I was on page 46 when I realized Red Cloak had to be Zachary, but if I was watching this in a theater, it would have been much earlier. Donny was too obviously a red herring. Most of young Zachary’s torment came from his father. When Libby killed Donny, there should have been more of a shift in Adult Zachary’s psychology. I was wondering why Libby didn’t move out of the town and take her (future) daughter out of harm’s way. Zachary’s father was a plastic surgeon, is that why he chose a scalpel as a weapon? If his father had surgical instruments, there are a lot of other choices as well. For an abduction, you need a partner to drive the van. I wonder if there is a way for Donny to have a female Dominatrix visit the house, or maybe his office, and she has a fondness for young Zachary and volunteers to turn him into a world-class Dominant. What if Zachary’s mother is a dominatrix rather than just a recipient of plastic surgery? Give her a much stronger role. Have a party at the house where teenage girls are tied up and pleasured? show that Donny and his wife taught their young son that the Dominant-Submissive relationship was “perfectly normal” (yeah, in London, maybe) and Zachary didn’t kidnap the girls until they threatened to go to the police and report him. Or, they get on a website and place a phony ad, inviting submissives to come to the mansion for a fake party and receive five thousand dollars for their trouble. See that Zachary is furious when these girls show up and demand money. don’t know if you like “One Step Beyond” but adding a creepy narrator who seems to know why Libby was suddenly able to Time View might give it more credibility. Add some kind of a Halloween Night theme at the very end because that’s when teenagers will watch this. Maybe Donny married Charlotte on Halloween? – Bill Hays

    • Erica

      I for one did not get past the opening for the exact reason as ocattorney said. I’m not into those kind of movies. Some people like them and that’s great but I passed for that reason. I won’t watch the movie with the “Room” for the same reason.

      The logline and saying sci fi, through me off and did not expect the opening scene.

      • A. Rhodes

        Hi Erica. Thanks for your thoughts. Though we tried to play with expectations throughout the script and stay tasteful, we know it’s not for everyone. Appreciate you giving it a try.

  • A. Rhodes

    Really appreciate the kind words and the vote, smishsmosh22. Probably need to get to the goods a bit quicker (based on some feedback here) so hopefully folks hang in there long enough to get hooked in.

  • garrett_h

    Congrats on being chosen!

    And like linkthis said, you guys need an ampersand. Unless one of you came on to the script later just to help out, in which case you don’t. So make sure you credit it correctly.

    If it was rewritten though, I’m kinda curious how that came about. Did one of you post the original script here (or elsewhere) then the other writer came on to fix it? If so, how did that process go? And were you working together in person, or online?

    • A. Rhodes

      Thanks! And appreciate the heads up about the credit. Will need to put that “&” in there. It’s correct on the title page I believe.

      Our script (A Darker Place) wasn’t submitted anywhere before. We worked together on it over these 13 weeks. I kept all my past versions (with dates) to prove it just in case. Though the rough nature of my first 10 pages proves it was written in a short amount of time pretty well too haha. It gets better!

      • garrett_h

        Ah, OK, Carson probably screwed that up then lol. My twin brother and I wrote a couple of scripts together and ever since I sometimes call him “my ampersand” lol so I’m kinda aware of these things.

        My writing partnership wasn’t quite as good. My brother loves movies just as much as I do, but he’s not quite as interested in writing. I’ve always been the writer out of us two. So I’ve struck out on my own. Sounds like your partnership has gone well. Congrats!

        I’m at work right now so can’t read the scripts, but I’ll be checking them out later tonight or some time this weekend. If the wife and kid allow lol. Glad you’ve checked in. SS is always better when the writers show up. I’ll try to get you some notes later!

        • A. Rhodes

          Appreciate that, bud. Yeah partnerships to me seem to work best when you each allow each other to focus on your strengths and trust the strengths of the other. Usually one of us will write, send the pages to the other for feedback and edits, and so on. It’s taken a few years to get our system down.

          Looking forward to your thoughts on A Darker Place.

  • Randy Williams


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

    Read to page 48. Why I stopped there, later. I’d like to read more. I’m really liking so much of this presentation. I feel this is an ambitious project to try to tackle with this fast paced challenge. I feel the writers have accomplished a lot in that short time.

    I really like the visuals. That portrait of the interior of the car and we realize we’re upside down, the cake in the tile grout, the thunderstorms. Zachery in diapers on a “leash”. Love the choices made, the use of Zachery, for instance, on page 14 with a jump scare that we may be led to believe is coming from somewhere else. There’s a nice underlying tension. A mystery box with Zachery’s abuse, who is behind it, how might it tie in with those voices? I want to keep reading.
    I reacted to that first vision of Libby’s with a bit of disappointment. I guess I want to go slower with connecting the dots. It seems she’s given too much information here. I’d rather have her tear down the walls of the man cave and come up empty than be presented with so much so soon. These visions only push her to question her sanity when I think that should maybe come later if at all? The house does have it’s sinister side, so it’s natural that she should have questions, no? Can she work from a mind of a detective first and then lay down the tools to help the girls later. It seems rushed and I was struggling after page 40 to get my bearings. Even the transitions in time can be clearer as sluglines.
    Her going to see Tank and feeling he could be an ally seems forced and too soon after she broke into the house. Maybe that conversation they have there can come later?
    The girls finding the tools to help them so quickly sketched. The sudden bombshell, page 48, about Libby’s future felt forced. I was denied any clues to figure that out myself.
    Good stuff.

    • A. Rhodes

      Thanks, Randy. Very glad to hear the kind words. I appreciate it. Lots of good suggestions here too for some of the rougher spots that need smoothing. Looking forward to having more time with it.

      The suggestion about the clues for the bombshell on page 48 is interesting. My hope was that was hinted at by Libby’s pains? But maybe that wasn’t made clear enough. Lots to think about.

  • Comma

    I just finished A Darker Place. I was attracted by the concept and the set up. There’s something good in this script, a little bit of Looper and a little bit of Paycheck but the whole thing is quite original. My compliments to the writer: a good job. Besides, I understood too soon who the killer was and I disliked a lot of things here and there so that finally I was more unhappy than happy.

    Here’s some notes:

    Why does the main character take out the dagger jeopardizing the freedom of her daughter?

    “It’s an odd sight as the two girls are abducting themselves.
    And now we see why:”
    I personally don’t like when the author makes comments in the script.

    “Fully restrained and muffled, our girls plead for Red Cloak
    to release little Bella.”
    Maybe I skimmed too fast but I don’t understand why Red Cloak is mean with Bella in this scene (in the light of what we learn at the end of the script).

    “The worst of the mid 80’s alive and well in ‘92.”
    I don’t see why the writer needs a 80s character and a 80s universe in a 90s movie – when we jump from present to the past we are already a little confused but if we see 80s elements we will be even more confused -and in the movie we won’t have the comments of the author to explain us that it’s a 80s character in the 90s.

    Time to believe in something.”
    Am I the only one who thinks that only in amateurs scripts we hear characters talking to themselves?

    “Can’t believe what she’s doing.”
    Again, writer’s comment. Moreover here me neither I can’t believe what the character is doing… a home invasion!? I can’t see this very risky action really justified at this point of the story.

    (to herself)
    Again, character talking to herself.

    “In other words, thanks to Libby, their situation is now worse”
    I perfere when the writer doesn’t need to explain directly what he’s supposed to describe.

    “Pulls out a BLUE HANDLED SCALPEL. With it, he draws a pentagram into Charlotte’s shoulder.”
    At this point we’re not supposed to know she’s Charlotte.

    “Pulls out the voice recorder”
    Like, everybody has a voice recorder in his car. And an envelope. And a stamp. And if we send an envelope to the police “To be opened October, 2016.” the police keep it in a closet and wait 24 years then oh, time to open that envelope. I think this needs to be corrected. Too unbelievable. The writer knows it and say “Up goes the red flag”, am I getting it right?

    “A dirty He-Man thermos”
    Is it believable that we would think we could drink water in a thermos after 24 years? I don’t know.

    “Libby is gut punched by the revelation. Her own death
    Again, writer’s comment.

    Toss them here. Not good for the baby.”
    We have a dead body, guns, a thriller moment… this line could work olny in a farce… is this the Naked Gun? :)

    I made a mistake seven years ago.
    Donny just got worse after that.
    Libby looks to Zachary.
    He’s not Donny’s.”
    First and foremost, this doesn’t justifie Donny being a asshole; then, this kind of deep confession, in front of the child, in this particular moment doesn’t seem realistic – too melodramatic in my opinion. This needs to be worked a little more. Anyway, I appreciate the deepness of the backstory.

    Again, writer’s comment. Am I the only one who doesn’t like this kind of comment?

    (talking to herself)
    I could cut the whole pipe down -no
    it’ll be repaired by then or he’d
    just tie them up somewhere else. I
    could put the gun in the hole for
    her …no then I’d be defenseless
    trying to help her.”
    If the character is going crazy she needs to be described as crazy to justify such a long ‘talking to herself’ speech.

    • A. Rhodes

      Really appreciate the time you took providing this feedback. Honestly. Lots of valid points to consider once I start weeks 14, 15, 16, 17, etc of rewriting.

  • Randy Williams


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

    I’d like to know how this title is pronounced. I think we’ll hear of this script again. The writer has such grip, such energy.

    Not really my kind of thing, however. Gives me an Alien vibe as far as the plot so far. I like the pace. Like the main character. I read 24 pages.
    Quit there just because I’m tired. I’d read more. There is definitely an energy, a fun spirit to the writing. In some ways it felt more like TV than feature. Think the writer should be writing TV. The description of the macrovores on page 6 with the subsequent poke at the reader shows some voice. I can see this getting some fans here!

  • Randy Williams


    No, I’m not gonna say, congrats for making it on round 1 of the Scriptshadow Tournament.

    This has already been on AOW. I had very nice things to say about it at that time as did others, the writer should be content with that, but no way has it been written in 90 days after bios and outlines and all Carson threw at us while we put our lives on hold and didn’t have any fun.
    So, I’m not going to review it again. As my hero Milo says…
    “I endorse the people’s right to be mean”
    This people has spoken.

    • garrett_h

      I honestly cannot fathom how someone can post something on AOW, get feedback and notes, and not rewrite or alter the script at all. That’s the very definition of lazy writing. The writer is clearly just looking for a payday and doesn’t care about the craft at all.

      Not only that, we’ve had this happen several times on AOW. Most recently with 3 SWEET THINGS.

      Here’s hoping it gets no votes and is summarily dismissed from this contest.

      • Kirk Diggler

        “The writer is clearly just looking for a payday”

        That never ends well.

  • witwoud

    Don’t want to be that guy, but I’m not going to vote this week. Don’t get me wrong, these scripts aren’t at all bad, especially for 3 months work, and there’s plenty of skill and screenwriting know-how on display here. I just couldn’t get enthusiastic about any one of them in particular.

    • garrett_h

      Apparently a couple of these have had YEARS worth of work…

      • Malibo Jackk

        I’m hearing that one was written after a movie came out called The Inheritance and another was written after In A Dark Place.
        (Could just be a rumor.)

    • Poe_Serling

      Like I’ve mentioned before, it’s kind of like showing up at your local Cineplex 5
      and nothing is really leaping off the posters to get you to crack open your wallet
      and buy a ticket.

      Nothing against the filmmakers… you just ain’t in the mood for whatever is playing at the moment.

      • garrett_h

        I was surprised at how many people actually do that. Just show up to a theater, no idea what’s showing, and pick a movie.

        When I was working at the theater I put together a synopsis of all the movies we were showing. Cast, Crew (director and writer, producers maybe), logline, and a one sheet. I mostly grabbed everything off of, and added some extra info myself like if it was nominated for an award or something.

        This was a huge movie theater (still is) with 18 screens plus IMAX. We’d routinely be showing 10+ movies. From blockbuster super hero stuff to small awards-bait indies.

        At least once a day, I’d hand someone that list. They’d flip through it, hand it back, and say, “No thanks.” Really?! You didn’t see ANYTHING you liked?! Sometimes I’d have a favorite movie on the list and literally be offended lol.

        But hey, if it ain’t your thing, it ain’t your thing…

    • scriptfeels

      I understand how you feel, it felt like work reading the majority of them to me, only The Inheritance made me want to keep reading.

  • Stephjones

    The Inheritance…a very familiar sounding premise. I read the first 10, thought they flowed well but think you need to surprise us more. I generally enjoy ensemble family comedies. i recently watched “This Is Where I leave You”and thought it was interesting. The device the writer used to force a reluctant family together was having the mother insist that all the kids sit Shiva for their father. This was a perfect choice. The death of the father was the catalyst for the kids to take stock of their lives and their “enforced” cohabitation allowed for conflict, growth and revealed a lot about them as a family. Their mother couldn’t actually force them to sit Shiva so this allowed the writer to explore other more interesting family dynamics.
    In your story, having to compromise over money is definitely fraught but just seems like a first choice to me. Uncovering the extent of their personal greed just seems old hat. Also, in the first 10 pages I never even smiled so the comedy wasn’t there for my tastes.
    I think you might consider some other device to drive the conflict of your story. Something unusual to set it apart from others like it.
    In fairness, I might not have read far enough but your set-up didn’t entice me to read further. Good luck with it in future!

    • matt

      Thanks for the feedback!

      Comedy is subjective I guess, but if you didn’t like the gag about the dad’s paintings on p6 I’m disappointed – I was proud of that one.

      • Stephjones

        I think others liked it so maybe just ignore my response. My humor is very sophomoric. A funny bacon joke for me would be “what’s green and smells like bacon?”

        (Kermit’s finger)

        • Dan B


  • matt

    Follow Beth – The Inheritance is her story – thanks for reading!

  • Paul Clarke

    So the problem we all expected has arisen – how to compare apples with oranges. I like two of this week’s entries – The Inheritance and Dionaea. But how do I choose between a single-location dramedy and a sci-fi thriller? Anyway, the sci-fi was much more in my wheelhouse, whereas Inheritance wasn’t, and yet it kept my attention. So therefore I’m giving it my vote.


    Fade In in the wrong place. Repetitious slugline telling us the same thing the super does. Awkward grammar – “One a diner waitress. GIRL 1 for now.” – Too cutesy, had to reread. Why not simply “GIRL1 – a diner waitress. GIRL2 – in business casual.” – The simplest version is almost always the best. And if it’s “for now” then why not just tell us who they are? Why not call them waitress and businesswoman? You spread out the opening sentences over 4 separate paragraphs for no reason. All in all, not a good impression made by the first ¼ of a page.
    Two different transitions at once? Is it a cut to black or a match cut? Can’t be both. Don’t use a term if you don’t know what it means. Doesn’t make you look fancy.
    Stopped at page 5, nothing to hook me, just increasingly frustrated with the way it’s written. Doesn’t look like changing.
    I found the writing overdone, which quickly grew annoying and kept me at a distance from the story. Just write it plain and simple. Those first 5 pages would fit into 2 without the fluff. That means your 95 page script is probably a little light on material.

    Reminds me of THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU with Jason Bateman and Jane Fonda. I didn’t catch it, but it looked funny. Not set in one room, but a dysfunctional family arguing when the father dies.
    Love the dialogue (which is clearly going to be important in a story like this. You’ve created a difficult situation for yourself as all characters are already there and your descriptions of them will be quickly forgotten, so you’ve done well to make them sound different act given them each an individual attitude. Even their drink choices help define them. Nicely done.
    As I’m currently working on a single location script I’ve become more interested in plays (formerly vowing to never watch one), and this is very much how yours plays out.
    Love the ticking clock. A real time single location drama with a dashing of comedy. Great stuff.
    If they don’t decide the money goes to a dogs home. Nice touch.
    P21 typo – witrh
    There’s a pause in the action on page 25 and I’m going to stop. Not because of anything bad, but because it’s time to check out the others. I like what I’ve read, a great situation and interesting characters. I plan on coming back to read some more later.

    All very short scripts this week, nice work team.
    We start with some drama and suspense. Nice. But I don’t know how the opening scene ends, and I don’t know how it relates to the next one. Is this a completely different location? Because if you cut from streambed to streambed we’re going to infer they are at the same place. Be a little more specific. He said nice work, but did he get it or not? Not really the time to leave us hanging.
    Also, no real fault of yours, but after the zinging dialogue of The Inheritance, this one feels rather flat. The dialogue is only a small part of it, but when they squabble about cigarette and maps it just sounds off and doesn’t give me any indication about these two people and how they are different (remember what Carson said about contrast?).
    Two generic scenes full of blood and guts but lacking in drama and suspense and character, and then a flashback to two entirely different characters again with no obvious to the two scenes we’ve already seen – and I’m out on page 4. To be honest werewolves aren’t my thing, so I would like to see something to hook me. And even the ability to create a dramatically structured scene would be enough. But we’re starting with glimpses and flashbacks and in my experience the writer won’t suddenly develop the ability to structure a scene if they can’t do it to begin with.

    Not sure about the title. Sounds like diarrhea. Doesn’t sound sci-fi or thriller like to me.
    Nice opening, well written. Reminds me of Serenity, The Thing and Event Horizon all rolled up into one.
    Second script in a row to use the term quadruped. Funny the patterns we see reading so many scripts.
    Great opening scene. Drama, suspense, intrigue, story world and character building. Everything that should be there and nothing that shouldn’t.
    I don’t really like the plan of waiting around. I hope something comes along soon.
    After the action packed opening it slows down a bit, loses some direction and momentum. It can’t all be fast paced action, but it does need some direction through the slower periods.
    Page 20 – my interest waned slightly, but I still like it and would like to read on. Not a lot of notes to make, the odd little typo, but nothing that distracted from the read.

    Reminds me of the Goonies, which is always a good start. Now I’m just looking for some entry point into the story. For it to reveal itself in some way, individualize itself. We want the same but different, so how is this different?
    It could just be fatigue because I read this last, but all the superhero talk between the kids grew tiring. I wasn’t hooked enough early on to keep at it, but I did like the tone and characters. I would prefer more drama before page 10. This is an adventure, so show the boys on mini-adventures along the way. Two pages of reading a comic was not dramatic, not an adventure (should be one page max). The older sister threatening was not a dramatically structured scene. Then they just get together and go on their way. Show the world your ability to write drama and suspense by giving these kids a mini-adventure to begin with before they embark on their actual adventure. One of the Toy Story movies starts with a book or video game (sorry, can’t remember) but it’s a dramatic scene, and mirrors the overall movie. That’s what I would recommend. At the very least there should be something interesting about Courageous Man, because after one page, I found myself skimming the second to get to the actual story.

    • A. Rhodes

      Appreciate the feedback, bud. Thanks for taking the time. We look forward to polishing this sucker up!

      • ScottWC

        My vote: A DARKER PLACE

        I agree that the opening when referring to the girls confused me as well.

        But I read enough to know that the script has a lot of potential. I think you guys are definitely headed in the right direction considering this is an early draft.

        The quality is there but you’ll have to rewrite and dig deeper into the material to fully exploit it, which could be said for most scripts, but I do think the writing here is above the average that I’ve read from this site at least.

        It’s fine if you’re script length is short at this point. I often deal with that myself.

        Even with the draft of a spec I’m currently writing, I noticed there were two main sequences that I could have expanded by adding more conflict and trying creative ways to drag out the tension.

        It might be hard to see where you can do that now, but if you’ve been doing this long enough, it’ll appear more obvious to you after looking through the feedback.

        I tend to believe that specific feedback is generally bad but broad feedback is where you’ll find the answers that you’re looking for.

        • A. Rhodes

          Thank you for your vote and thoughts, Scott. We look forward to having time to dig deeper here. And I agree about the broad feedback too. Especially considering the timeline of this contest. But it’s all useful of course. Even hearing what DOES work is very helpful.

    • matt

      Thanks for the vote! And thanks for reading – Good catch on that typo – I’m sure there are more – I was writing up to the finish line.

  • Gojuice

    Congrats to all who finished a script in 13 weeks or so. I didn’t quite make it, so my hat’s off to all of the writers.

    My vote goes to A Darker Place.

    I read 10 to 15 pages of all of them and went back and read this one through. Shifting was familiar, I feel like I’ve read it before. Dionaea (would love to know how to pronounce it) had a great energy and flow to it, but just isn’t my thing. I think I’m probably the only person on a screenwriting board who was bored both times I tried to watch Alien. Just didn’t grab me for some reason. It’s not bad by any stretch, but it’s like the rock band Rush to me. Put ‘em in the Hall; I appreciate their contribution to rock and roll, but I just don’t like them. Same with a lot of scifi flicks. The Inheritance started off with a lot of stock characterizations in my opinion, but it grew on me as I adjusted to sheer volume of characters. I will read this one through.

    My notes on A Darker Place. I hope the writers aren’t offended that I’m picking it apart, but it’s actually a compliment that I thought enough, and read enough, of it to point out some issues. While these are my opinion only, it’s worth a polish. SPOILERS below, although I’ll try to keep them vague.

    – DONNY, as written, needs the most work. He was like a cross between the douche fiance in Wedding Singer and Dwight Yoakam in Sling Blade. He served your purpose to be an asshole, abusive, mean, loud as needed and he wasn’t consistent to boot. But there’s definitely a character in there. He was at his creepiest (and that’s a good thing) in two instances: telling Zach to ‘assume the position’ (I was like, ‘what the fuck is he going to do’ and the payoff was great and troubling) and the whole business about Zach’s nose. Again, the payoff was amazing. Focus on that, make him 10 or 15 years older if he’s a renowned plastic surgeon ,and practice some subtlety. We see when Tank and Libby enter the house what he’s capable of. We wonder when we see the bandage prior to that. Let you showing us those things do their jobs and lose the cursing, the douchey behavior, the 80s suit, etc.

    – Speaking of the business with the bandaged nose, pat yourself on the back. That was Lecter creepy. So why was that one melodramatic scene, a half page or so? Plant that throughout and let it grow. Have Libby discover that. Per my notes above, Act II needs to breathe, some subtlety. For instance, the ‘killer’ was decided upon so early, most anyone is trained to go to the next candidate, which ding, ding, ding. That was it. Once that person was in the open, it read like you guys were struggling a bit. But if you spread the good stuff out, have Libby take longer to piece together the mystery, and create more tension (and possibly a reluctant union with Tank) by getting her in and out of the house one or two more times to work through the puzzle…

    – I really felt for Libby, so I didn’t like her actions in the last half of the script. Trying to avoid spoilers, but she went from a sympathetic character to, well, Henry, Portrait of an Accidental Serial Killer. One or two serves her motivation – the first was well done, but after that it was almost comical.

    – I’m probably in the minority here, but I’d cut the opening scene and lose Bella altogether. Again, you pay it off, but it’s not necessary. She didn’t add anything. It was almost like a ‘we need a twist’ that wasn’t really a twist. The reason I say that is because the second scene, the upside-down car, was great. It did everything an opening scene is asked to do, and more: interesting, introduce character, conflict, situation and she demonstrated by leaving Michael that there’s something off about her. That early, I was wondering if she left him to die on purpose, or if she was genuinely protecting her unborn daughter above all else. That’s a nice place to leave a reader at the end of an opening scene.

    – I thought the time jump was handled well. I tried to read that ‘on screen’ so to speak and think it would play fine. That said, you spend 3/4 of the script establishing the ‘rules:’ lightning, quick flash, basement, etc that when the time jump went throughout the house, I felt cheated. As noted above, that’s where it felt like your were struggling and there’s a way to let Libby’s investigation breathe a bit, and you could do the same with the hostage situation. I’d scrap the rest of the house (and Bella, as mentioned) and keep it in the basement. If you disagree, that’s fine, but you’d need to have a scene near the beginning of a time jump that takes place out of the basement to weight it evenly.

    – I liked the ending that the circle of her trying to correct the situation led to the situation, but I think you need one more twist in there. Whether it’s the killer being someone else, or something between Libby investigating and Libby finding out who the killer is.

    – The pentagram and painting of the girls seemed out of nowhere, not in line. And the sword and knight’s mask? His acts of torture should be a clue to who the killer is and if we find out what we do about the bandage later, that could dovetail nicely. So, he should go deranged plastic surgeon on them…

    – I liked Libby having pains with the reveal halfway through about her fate.

    My two cents; feel free to give me change. Good luck, great job.

    • A. Rhodes

      Really appreciate the vote and very glad to hear you were compelled to read the entire script.
      13 weeks definitely flew by, so it’s great to have so much thoughtful feedback to get us started on the polish phase.

  • brenkilco

    Don’t know if I’ll be able to get into all of these sufficiently to cast a vote. Read first 14 of Inheritance. Wills with weird provisions are an old movie staple. All the way back to the original Brewster’s Millions and Keaton’s Seven Chances. The condition here seems silly and the failure of the heirs to immediately agree an even split when they stand to lose millions even sillier. But the real problem here is that so far this is more or less a play. Totally dependent on dialogue. And if it’s a comedy play the dialogue had better be sharp and funny. While good actors might spin the griping amusingly, so far it’s not nearly funny enough.

    First page of Dionea. How do you spell amateur? Well, how about a character who may have only seconds to live before whinnying mutant mustangs break down the door and eat her, and has vital info to impart. But first she has to go on about who she is which should be obvious and where she is which is even more obvious, while emphasizing just how vital this message she isn’t delivering is and wasting time by telling us she has no time to waste. Actual people in life or death situations aren’t typically concerned with creating mystery boxes. Pass.

  • Lucid Walk

    Boy, this one’s tough.

    I’m gonna go with DIONAEA, because I can picture the ending; the other ones, I can’t picture their ending as easily.

    • scriptfeels

      Only read the first 13, how did the rest of the script fare in comparison? I didn’t have an emotional response with any of the characters so I didn’t care if they lived or died up to that point, and since the film seemed to center around surviving aliens I didn’t care to read on.

      • Lucid Walk

        Honestly, and I know I’m gonna get a lot of flak for saying this, I vote based solely on the loglines; I rarely read the actual scripts.

        My other option was COURAGEOUS MAN, and I’m surprised A DARKER PLACE is getting so much praise; the logline really threw me off, but I suppose the writing must be exceptional.

        I just can’t help but think, if I’m playing a producer who doesn’t have time to read scripts, I choose the logline that resonates with me the most. Truth be told, INHERITANCE resonated with me the most, but the stakes didn’t feel high enough for it to be a movie.

  • Midnight Luck

    Ok, how to say this? #1. This may be harsh, #2 I am so not feeling any of these.
    Here is my breakdown so far this week, yet I do not think it will change by Sunday night:

    CHOICE: NONE (none of these are up to the level which should land a spot in a final contest I feel). That said, if I HAVE TO make a choice, I would go with THE INHERITANCE, strictly because it was the only one I could even tell you anything about what is going on, what is happening, or even a slight bit about some characters (though in all honesty, all we know after 7 pages is someone died and a woman is making a shit ton of drinks, one after another, but none for herself and none for the lawyer, who finds it “too early” to guzzle).

    DIONAEA: Page 5
    A DARKER PLACE: Page 5
    SHIFTING: Page 3

    So many issues. Where to begin?

    Take Dionaea. (how do you say that?) It is a straight replication of an ALIEN setup. The look, the feel, the ooze, the monsters, the names of things, the cryo-chambers. Come on. If we wanted to read Alien, we would just read Alien, it is one of the best scripts EVER.
    I force myself to 5 pages in, and nothing is interesting. It is a story trying to feed off of another movies interesting ideas and visuals. Yet it cannot find its own story, or its own way of telling that story. Obviously the writer thinks adding some kind of dual timeline or time travel thingy will give it a “same but different” twist which will make us all interested. But no. Instead it makes everything that much more confused and problematic.
    I haven’t come across anything new, or different worthy of continuing on. Maybe the writer, who obviously is in love with the Alien movies, needs to find their own story to write. Something that has their own voice and their own ideas. Using someone else’s ideas isn’t working for you.
    The Inheritance
    So you want to write a PLAY? So write a Play.
    If you are thinking this is a unique contained story, it isn’t. It is a play, and many, many plays take place in a singular room.
    You took five pages to describe a woman badly making like a hundred drinks, and not in any kind of interesting way. Plus, all the characters are intro’d in one giant dump and given completely bland descriptions like:
    –“MICHAEL BACON, 34, admires himself in the mirror. He likes
    how he looks in his sharply tailored, black suit.”–

    Maybe others are interested in reading a play with a huge cast of bickering characters, but I am not.
    On film, the best way to get a contained story to work, is to make it dynamic, a dramatic thriller, a horror, something with intensity that surpasses the limitations of not being able to look at something different for 90 minutes.
    So far, this does none of that.
    Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU, but the movie you seem to be writing is (once again) seemingly a straight riff of this exact setup, except it is about money issues AND family issues, instead of just family issues.
    Still, we just saw that movie 6 months ago, and it isn’t a very exciting or seat-packing setup.
    Again, we seem to have writers making stories based on, or emulating OTHER stories they are in love with, or other setups they want to mimic.

    Being Courageous
    I cannot even understand what to say. I read three pages, and all we have are people saying idiotic dialogue from a comic book, as the viewer looks at pages from an unknown comic, with superheroes who also are unknown, but have names like RAMSTAR and COURAGEOUS MAN. Now I get that these are kids, but that doesn’t excuse you from making their dialogue or the story carry some HEFT, some interest, some dynamic story and structure.
    This is your INTRO to the world we are delving into. Maybe you are a young writer, maybe you are a fanboy of all things comic books and superheroes, but that doesn’t excuse you from giving the reader something exciting and new and dramatic to grab onto. We won’t just go along with you purely because YOU are completely in love with this kind of stuff.
    So I jumped ahead, and now I see you introduced a 15 year old girl named RED who is a sister who fights with her brother to get back her RED lipstick.
    Still, I see no drama, no story, nothing happening, and we are at page 3.
    “Page 3! you say! Of course nothing has happened by page 3, we are just starting out the story!”. “I am setting the stage”.
    No, no, no, no no!
    The most important pages are those first 10, YOU MUST GRAB US, MAKE US WANT TO READ MORE, but I have so little interest in what is transpiring between these kids, I cannot read on and put myself through whatever it takes to get another 7 pages.

    A Darker Place
    I can tell you are trying really hard to be flowery and wordy, and inventive with description, but instead we get a very difficult to visualize, complex mess, which doesn’t paint any kind of easy to grasp picture.
    The opener is a jumble of scenes and descriptions which ultimately lead to an unknown quantity. I cannot honestly tell you what it was conveying or what we were supposed to make of it. Was the Sheriff supposed to be Libby’s father? Why is she yelling out about her baby? Was she supposed to be killing Michael, or whomever else was in the car? And was she supposed to have wrecked on purpose to do so, thusly putting her own supposed baby at risk to do it? Why?
    Aside from these questions, the actual description left me with no images in my mind. I cannot tell you what any of the scenes actually looked like.
    So, maybe figure out a way to rewrite them and pare it down to the absolute MINIMUM and simplest you possibly can. Tell us the absolute basics of what we need to see, ALL THE REST needs to be CUT.
    Then see what you have, and see if it works any better.

    Once again I feel a writer in love with other stories. This time we have TWILIGHT FANS! rearing its VERY ugly head.
    What is the fascinating love of writers when it comes to Werewolves and Vampires? Superheroes and spandex?
    Three pages in and you have said the word “Quadruped” five times already! Ugh. Not only is the word rather ugly, but it isn’t as descriptive as I think you believe it is, nor is it as cool either. It is clunky and unattractive.
    Yes I do believe you think it is cool to call a Werewolf a Quadruped for some bizarre reason.
    Instead it STOPS the flow of the read every.single.time. it pops up, as I have to think “what are they talking about? What are they trying to say?”
    I get that it is an animal which has four legs and four feet. So? Why is this such a beloved descriptor for you as a writer? My dog is a Quadruped. I don’t say, “hey my Quadruped just did this awesome trick” when I talk about her. “Hey don’t you love how cute my Quadruped is?”.
    Why not just say something simpler and more descriptive? My dog is a dog. a wonderful and beautiful and full of life and happiness dog. But see, you get what I am saying.
    Tell us what you are seeing, what we are seeing, what you want to show us, tell us, describe for us, because, this is not it.
    I only got to here because, well, I pushed myself really hard to do so.
    And by the end, as with many of the other scripts on here, I couldn’t tell you what this story was about. Oh, except for a Quadruped. I got that. Whatever that is. And why are they in this story so much? I haven’t a clue. Except after watching all the TWILIGHT movies, the writer is very in love with Werewolf vs. Vampire stories in movies.

    So tough love? Or just tough?

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but to win at this, you SERIOUSLY have to up your game.
    I know everyone (hopefully) wrote these very quickly so we are reading what 13 weeks’ worth of writing will get us. But even though 13 weeks doesn’t seem like a lot, it actually is. It is a long time.
    TV shows, many times, have to go from concept to being written in just a couple days. From idea to totally finished in just DAYS!

    Harsh maybe. But truth is better than pats on the back. I think.

    • Malibo Jackk

      What are you working on these days?
      Any logline you can share?

    • scriptfeels

      The inciting incident of The Inheritance happens page 10 I think, the family drinking dialogue also slowed the read for me as well, but once the inciting incident occurred I wanted to find out what would happen. Also the script has good urgency since they have to decide before the father’s funeral.

      • Midnight Luck

        Thanks for the heads up. Maybe I will check it out, just to see what happens with the i.i. I doubt it will change my mind about it though. Based on other peoples’ comments about it, I don’t have a good feeling it will be enough to keep me reading.

        O.K. so your info got me to read to page 12 instead.

        I feel like the writer wants it to be, or thinks it is incredibly funny, the tripping, the drinking, the verbal sparring, yet it isn’t written in an enlightening way. All the dialogue is of the typical variety. There’s no creative, inventive back and forth. Nothing comes out of the blue, and we know so little about each of the characters that anything they talk about, it doesn’t carry any weight or worry for us. We don’t care about any of the characters yet, so anything they are bickering over, doesn’t really matter much.
        In the end, it just feels like a typical “bickering” match you might see in any sitcom, yet without Irony or twists or double meanings, or hidden secrets, or ?

        So, again, I see the Inciting Incident, and yes it gives them a timeline, but I don’t care. None of it means anything to me the reader. I am not worried they won’t get there in time, and I am not pulled toward any character hoping and praying they survive or make it or succeed.

        • scriptfeels

          Thanks for giving the script more thought, when I opened the script I was uninterested and bored, but when the lawyer came up with the plot of the story I felt intrigued to read more. The script is far from perfect, but was my favorite concept with a clearer story to me than the others.

    • A. Rhodes

      Really appreciate you taking the time to read and offer your suggestions. As long as the feedback is sincere and well-intentioned (which yours no doubt is) there’s no such thing as too tough in my book. Can’t wait to compile everyone’s thoughts (good, bad, ugly) figure out a plan, and start polishing. Those 13 weeks flew by.

      • Midnight Luck

        Well I love the attitude. That way will carry you far I believe.

    • matt

      I agree with A. Rhodes – harsh is fine if it comes from the right place and any note is better than no note (plus we can wipe our tears away and ignore it if we really can’t take it!). Thanks for the vote and thanks for giving the script a second go.

      • Midnight Luck

        You really have Scriptfeels to thank, got me to continue reading up to the Inciting Incident.
        Then as I spoke with others about the contest and to vote or not vote, as I read others’ comments about your script and their thoughts on it I gave it another go, once again.

        Not sure if you have ever seen Roman Polanski’s CARNAGE? but if you haven’t you should, your script reminds me very much of the movie (and the original play it was inspired from).

        If you watch even just the trailer, really pay attention to how much verbal sparring and inventive dialogue is going on. The setups, the payoffs.
        While yes, they are fighting back and forth through much of it, it isn’t always that way. In the beginning they are all trying to be P.C. and nice and agreeable. But as time goes on and they are all stuck together in this one apartment trying to come to an agreement and work things out, the incompatible, complete disagreement about how things went down, who’s to blame, what should happen, whose fault it is, etc….begins to shake everyone’s foundation, and things just unravel.

        So between the similarity of the setups your script THE INHERITANCE has with THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU, and the similarities with CARNAGE, I am struck by, while yours is the most interesting of all 5 scripts presented this weekend, it really needs more. You could push the stress and anxiety in all the characters so much further.

        You could really ramp up the intensity of the arguments and dialogue. I believe you think you have them in a clashing all out verbal sparring, but in reality it is more of a bickering banter. Amazingly, while many of the characters are seemingly fighting, they actually tend to be pretty agreeable. All seemingly being offended in the same way by Aunt Bea and her racism. People agree more than they should, which removes a ton of conflict.
        I think you need to find a way to REALLY invest in the arguments.
        Since all you have is dialogue pretty much in this one room, that dialogue has to be so good, so overwhelming as to have the possibility of taking the entire story over the edge. Of having the reader be gripping the arm of their chair wondering if something awful is going to happen. Wondering if all HELL is going to break loose.

        Look, I am very happy to report that as I read further, I like it more and more.
        I am up to page 20 now and it is getting better all the time.
        I really like this bit of dialogue with UNCLE JACKE:

        He bought you a car! a Mercedes
        you didn’t even said (say) thank you.
        I didn’t get to use it.
        You crashed it on the way home from
        the dealership.
        That doesn’t count. I was drunk.”

        That made me laugh. I really like your representation of this character, and your intro is good for him, stronger than your main characters in fact.

        That all said, I really think that scripts that start off slow, uninteresting, or trying to find their voice and place are at a serious disadvantage. People can talk all they want about a “slow burn” beginning, but they seem to misunderstand what that means. It doesn’t mean Uninteresting. It means the pace is slow, it doesn’t need to be an action or thriller opening. But the slow burn is still always, maybe even moreso than other movies, so full of CONFLICT it is just seething with it.
        I feel your opener needs to really be reworked. I read to where I was ready to move on originally and that was only page 7. But then it got better AFTER page 10, and even better after page 15.
        Your first TEN PAGES are of so much importance you MUST hook and snare your reader from then on. Because after that you have 90-100 pages to get them through.
        Anyhow, I wish you good luck with it, and I hope it takes the spot.


        • matt

          Thanks for that – I agree with everything you’re saying here. After re-reading my script once a few people had given me notes I noticed the same thing – the initial 10 pages weren’t half as funny as I thought they were!

          I think I can use what you’re saying about the verbal sparring and the way the characters agree – initially I was going to have them form groups at either side of the room with various people swapping allegiances (and literally going from one side to the other, but I couldn’t get that to happen within the time frame).

          The thing I concentrated when bashing the thing out was ensuring there was a constant flow to the dialogue and that I hit the story points and turns without breaking that flow.

          Carnage was great – it was a big influence – I loved that film, I saw it in the cinema when it came out and I read the screenplay before I wrote The Inheritance, but I need to revisit it before I rewrite – that’s a very good point about the subtext in that film – my script would really benefit from that.

          Thanks again – your notes are great and will help me when I rewrite!

  • Kosta K

    This week, the one thing that really stuck out from all the entries was PACE. It was either spot on or all over the place, but as far as first drafts go, not too shabby ;)

    The descriptions and actions don’t feel right somehow. I found myself re-reading more than once just to stay grounded. The time jumps felt a bit clumsy, too. A little disorienting, but I was actually intrigued. Might just need some better outlining.

    Right off the bat, this one looked and felt more like a play. The mention that the entire movie takes place in the living room was a bit of a turn-off. I didn’t really like these people enough to hang out with them for so long. Maybe put their descriptions where they show up and slow things down a little bit? With so many characters, I found it hard to keep track. I forgot the lawyer was there until they offered him a drink :/ That said, I think there’s a fun style developing here. The fast pace definitely puts you in the room and the premise sounds like it can provide a fun playground for these characters to open up.

    The focus is all over the place in this one, too. It feels like there should be another opening. I’m getting thrown around too much and I have no idea who the main character is. I thought I did, but she got torn apart by a werewolf :(

    You lost me almost immediately with “WHINNYING”, but I was pulled back in and actually dug this one a lot. The pacing here was great and the action very easy to follow. Don’t like the title, but after a quick Google search, I can see why you chose it.

    I like this one. The pacing is very visual and I had no problem following the story. The actions and dialogue need a bit more pollish, but I can actually “see” this one. “Sexy 15 year old” is a bit creepy ;p

    It’s a close call between Dionaea and Courageous Man, but I’m gonna have to go for DIONAEA.

  • Carmelo Framboise

    Contaned comedy, drama and so on has been done many times and it is usually highly regarded. I love the premise of one or more people inside a “room”. That’s the heart of drama after all.

    From Dinner des Cons to Carnage and from 12 Angry Men to 127 Hours, I’ve enjoyed many comedies and dramas set in one place.

    Hell, even Aristotle suggested it!

    Oh, and there is this interesting indie film – watch it if you haven’t:
    The Man From Earth.

    • ScriptChick

      Yeah, you’re right. Brain fart! Must have been stuck on the success of 10 Cloverfield Lane

  • A. Rhodes

    We are 13 weekers. We absolutely did complete a brand new screenplay following the guidelines that Carson set. Was there something that gave you a different impression? I even saved all of my past versions with the past dates just in case. Of course the lack of polish alone is pretty telling as well ha

  • Carmelo Framboise

    My vote goes to THE INHERITANCE.

    This is just my personal angle on the types of scripts we get here:

    Guys, I’ll tell you this: I am not the biggest sci-fi/thriller/fantasy fan. I enjoy good sci-fi/thriller/fantasy films but they have a drawback: rules. And rules are usually bent or are vague so that the story can progress. And that is bad storytelling.

    So, you can’t imagine how dissapointed I am when I see that Carson easily choosing this types of scripts just because they have impressive loglines. I feel that I can think of impressive sci-fi loglines but I know that the story will need to be worked just like any other grounded drama.

    And 9/10 sci-fi/thriller/fantasy scripts I read are simply very-very bad because they bend their own rules and leave me, the reader, hanging in midair.They rarely have meat in them. They rarely explore the human condition. In contrast they skim the surface of human nature and head straight to impressive notions/explosions/zombie-infested-cities/whatever, that really don’t matter if I am not engaged. If they don’t have a heart.

    Here are my reviews for this week:

    Read to page 16.

    I see what you did with the title there but there is only one thing that pops into my mind (and other’s as I read in the comments) when I read it: diarhea.

    As other’s have also stated it reads too much like Alien. I guess if you try, you can come up with a world that feels real cause you obviously have the talent in vivid, clear and short descriptions.

    But in your opening sequence I was ahead of you, guessing that Logan is an Alien, so no surprise there. And no surprise as a concept as it has been done so many times before it has been parodied – see Futurama. It is a dangerous path to choose. We are not in 1980, and although I guess you love sci-fi, and this is something of an homage, you should come up with a different angle to stand out. People in 2016 suspect everyone and everything in
    a sci-fi.

    So, It seems interesting but not original enough, not my cup of tea and it is lacking intriguing characters. Have your heroine do something that distinguishes her from all the heroes of the universe. Make her memorable with an action early on and you have me until the end. I am sure it is an ok story with action, twists and so on but the script as a whole does not feel good enough. Not original enough for a blockbuster, not deep enough for a Blade Runner-y philosophical quest on human species.

    The writing is very-very good though. Easy to read and it deserves to be read. With a good re-write I truly believe you are on your way. Keep it up!

    Read to page 16.

    This is a product of passionate work that needs a lot of work. It needs stakes outside the adventure (like in Goonies or Back to the Future), it needs trimming, it needs a spicing up of the characters and less comic-jargon. After all that it could start being competitive.

    Page 2. You two seem very excited on the Comic action, but since it has no real value to the story, you could cut back some. It is just drawings. We are more interested on Jake.

    Page 2. I like the fact that he will NEED to read (or even write?) the final chapter.

    BUT since your hero is reading and I as the reader am reading, it would be fun to lose some action and have his last page end at the bottom of your script’s first page. Make it a page turner. Know and use your medium.

    Page 3. His 15 year old sister is wild and sexy? Wow. If you mean beautiful, if you mean mature for her age, if you mean what you mean by saying she “will flaunt herself to any extent needed to keep eyes on her” say that. But I don’t think you can say a 15 year old is wild sexy, unless YOU are 15 years old. Maybe she is trying to be sexy? And I am not a prude. Or the police.

    At page 7 all I am thinking is that I have to start skipping as their chat about places and actions and names seems never ending. Less of that please, because it is uninteresting to a reader. We got the fact that the are fan-boys and comic nerds. So, unless their dialogue is important or super funny, move on.

    Page 9 has this info that Crazy Norm’s family got lost in a comic. Ok, so you are setting up the inciting incident.

    Page 16 and I am waiting for the incident. I think. Maybe it was the kid’s fighting or whatever but that is not enough to hook me in.

    So, in Goonies, Back to the Future and so on, we may have an intro, but it is intriguing, with interesting characters, action, stakes being set. Here we have none of that, so even if they get into the comic world I have no idea how it will become more interesting. It doesn’t even seem like an interesting comic world. Maybe kids would love this film but I know I wouldn’t.


    Read to page 16. Stopped by choice.

    It is really interesting to see how different people are. I mean, in my mind I ca not think of a singl serious reason why someone wouldn’t vote for this. But that’s life. We are all different. And that’s what this story is about.

    I love the unconventional first page. It acts as a character map – everytime I got confused I came back here. The set up immediately brings in mind Danish cinema like After The
    Wedding, Festen without the dark drama.

    I can’t say I didn’t love this. In fact I will definetely finish it and I would definetely go see it in the movies. Imagine a great cast to support it! It can be great. Yes I am excited as you might noticed. Everyone pointed out the dialogue in this one which is great. But there is a lesson here: it is the characters and their motives that make the dialogue good.

    The main drawback was the lack of CINEMATIC language. It is just a stage play. A good stage play.

    Page 1. Liked this a lot.

    Page 7. And it flows oh-so-smoothly. I actually enjoy the fact that I don’t know everyone but I am getting into slowly… Just like if I were watching the movie! Well look at that!

    Already tensions, alliences, relatiosnhips are shown to us and this shows a potent set up.

    Page 10. Great. The father demands that they agree on how they divede the money. Because? Because they are NOT a particularly loving, caring family. For once they will havt to all agree. What a good, fun, interesting, simple premise. Oh, they they only have an hour and a half…

    Page 14. Still digging it. You’ve got a typo her. “fuck” following a period.

    Page 16. Uncle Jackie. This is a memorable character. Reminds me vaguely of Monty from Withnail and I.

    I won’t read further now as I gotta read the rest of the contenders.


    Personally I don’t like a start that tries to impress me cause usually it quickly ways out and we are left with a thin story with no interesting characters.

    First we have the bad guy abducting girls, then a woman whose husband burned in front of her eyes, then visions she has about her baby burning. I mean, don’t underestimate the reader’s IQ… If a woman has her husband die in front of her, I believe there is no need to show what she goes through with visions. Just my opinion. Unless it has a meaning. Is the vision of her husband like the vision that she has with the girls in the basement. If you can weave these two stories and have her be able to SAVE HE OWN HUSBAND you are raising the stakes and goals so high that it becomes really interesting.

    Otherwise is becomes too romantic- as in romanticism. Be more modern man – like in modernism.

    Apart from all that, I am really interested in her character. Reminds a bit of Babadook which did a great job exploring the loss of a loved one.

    It gets better in my eyes, as we see Libby’s life and the characters around her. Cutting back to 2016, gives tension and contrast with the seemingly idyllic 1992 suburbs. Nice.


    You completely lost me when Libby heard the voice from the future. I mean, that’s your selling point, but it feels completely off the grounded story you gave me this far. It could get interesting but it will be hard.

    Would a trained professional say “My goodness. What happened to your nose?” That would make the kid feel really uncomfortable. Lose the “My goodness” in my opinion.

    “So you did want a tour.” Nice, funny and in-character.

    A 29
    year-old famous plastic surgeon. 29? Boy, he was fast with his studies.

    The main problem is that Libby’s supernatural powers are random. She now is at 2016, but the danger with all this is that it is a Deus ex Machina in disguise. For example, The Ring in LOTR has some rules which are great abut are also GROUND RULES. You can’t break them and we as an audience know what to expect. Here -as of page 23 – it is random telepathy and tele-transportation.

    So, a couple of pages later I think we got a rule. Flipping the lights off. I think. And it can be intriguing. It can be (i don’t knwoi if it does) a logical puzzle she needs to solve. But in has to get VERY puzzle-y, like The Cube. It needs a lot of work. As an idea it works but you gotta get all Back to the Future-y. I like adding a “y” at the end of words as you see-y.

    Anyway, there is good writing here, and characters – apart from Libby. She needs work.
    She is lousy at her work, doens’t have strong motives for her actions, isn’t after something important – as far as we know.

    • matt

      I can’t thank you enough for the positive vibes! It’s really something to hear someone talk about my script like that. Thanks for reading and thanks for voting!

  • Citizen M

    Tough choice. No standouts this week. 1/3 of a vote each to THE INHERITANCE, SHIFTING, and COURAGEOUS MAN.


    Read to page 25. A promising beginning, but now starting to peter out with too much expository dialogue. A thriller needs pace. This is too psychological. Still unsure how the time warp thing works. There’s a power surge and she’s 24 years in the future. What’s going on back in the past? Does she disappear? The logline says one girl is tortured, but two girls were kidnapped. Confused. What was Sheriff’s relationship with Libby and the late Michael? There seems to be history there but we don’t know what it is. Annoying.


    Read to page 25. Not bad, but not enough action for a movie. It’s more like a stage play. The very similar names don’t help to visualize the characters. The characters themselves are rather stereotyped. Give them a bit more personality. The suggestion that there might be another claimant, Nanny Bea, and they might try to kill each other, comes too late. From the early pages it seems like it’s going to be a boring bicker-fest the whole way through.


    Read to page 25. There’s not enough information in the descriptive paragraphs. I found it hard to figure out what was going on. So far it seems like we are still setting up the story. I don’t know who the main characters are, nor what the big problem is. Clearly this is a world where werewolves are not unusual, but what the implications are, I don’t know. Are the werewolves themselves the problem, or are we pro-werewolf and worried about another pack muscling in on their territory, or are they having to defend themselves against hunters? The teenage girl from the logline seems to be a minor character.


    Read to page 25. It’s quite confusing. There are shape-shifting aliens imitating humans, but they seem to behave in human interests, not alien interests. There don’t seem to be any personal stakes apart from bare survival. So far no hint of the darker secret that needs to be exposed, nor any indication that they have contact with the outside world. We know nothing interesting about the aliens — what’s their technology; how did they penetrate the ship; what is their weak point? It’s a fairly run of the mill trapped with aliens aboard a space ship movie. And that’s a weird title; it sound like a Greek word for a type of rhetorical flourish.

    Read to page 25. Lively enough, but I think they should be in the comic book world by now. One thing I don’t understand — in the forest, Jake’s friends ran away when the bully tormented him; at the pool they tackle the bully. What changed? Why don’t they behave the same? Presumably the theme is about gaining courage and facing your fears. Somehow they’ve learned to do it already.

    • ScottCrawford

      To make it easier, could you just pick ONE script. That way we have a decisive winner.

      • Citizen M

        For you, I killa my darlings.

        • ScottCrawford

          It’s looks like being a close contest this week.

  • Huh?

    Is “WHINNYING” even a word?

    Not one that I’ve heard or even understand.

    • Citizen M

      Horses whinny, Poms whinge, rotten figs go winey, Mandela’s ex-wife is Winnie.

    • huckabees

      Sure. I use it all the time. When a gal is charming and likes horses, she has a whinnying personality.

      • witwoud

        If she’s a successful jockey, OTOH, you might call her winsome.

  • jonridge

    DIONAEA gets my vote. Love the opening shot of Laila, then the flashback to pure chaos. We don’t know quite what’s happening, but know it isn’t safe not getting a move on. Also loved this: “She gets misty quick, but, not out of sentiment. This is tragedy of the deepest kind.”

    Looks like my entry this week caused somewhat of a rift on SS, and for that I humbly apologize. Certainly didn’t intend to ruffle feathers nor was I trying to screw anyone out of the running, just didn’t fully grasp that scripts submitted before the contest (even years before) but had undergone revisions during LWAFS weren’t allowed.

    • Wijnand Krabman

  • scriptfeels

    Read at least the first 10 of each. here are my thoughts.

    My vote goes to…
    The Inheritance

    I felt the script took a risk with the uncle character and the concept
    was the most interesting to me. It was also the only script I had a
    clear idea of what the concept was from the opening pages that I read
    from each script. Dionaea’s concept of cryofrozen people waking up and
    surviving aliens was clear to me in its concept as well.
    I like scripts that stand out or have a memorable character and the lawyer from
    The Inheritance was a character I wanted to see on screen with the
    concept of the family fighting over solving the inheritance being a
    clear concept I could see as a feature film story. Great work!

    Read about the first 10 of each. here are my thoughts. These notes are probably not as constructive as I would normally post, but gives you a sense of how I felt about the script as I was reading it.


    page 1! girls abducting themselves? This is one of those why haven’t I
    seen this/thought of it ideas. A great twist on a common trope. Makes
    you want to find out why.

    Early funeral scene seems cliche to me.

    The Zachary and Tank dialogue and friendship scene didn’t really engage me.

    started off strong, but fell into common characters and left me feeling
    like it was just okay. I don’t feel I need to read the rest of the
    script. I have to say I think this is my favorite logline of the bunch

    The writing is split into easy to read sentences and the
    story seems to move quickly, with short scenes. We are introduced to a
    number of characters, but it didn’t feel overwhelming or confusing.


    As i read around page 5 reminded me of a short film I had worked on doing
    sound production revolving mostly around a group of people talking
    around a table. This type of thing is easy to shoot, but the final
    product I think is typically unengaging unless the story is captivating.
    Reading about this group of characters talking about drinks is okay,
    but doesn’t grab me like ‘A Darker Place’s opening. Once the dead father
    is mentioned we have conflict in the scene, so that’s good. Since we
    want to know the character’s connection to the character and how they
    react to the death, etc. After reading page 8, not sure if this is
    trying to be a character piece where we will explore each character in
    the room, but I think that could be interesting take, although not sure
    if it is high concept enough for a feature length film.

    From page 9, I want to hear the father’s will, this seems interesting.

    page 10, I really see what this movie is about now I think, watching
    how this group of people decide how to agree and split the will before
    the father’s funeral. I think premise is interesting actually and as
    long as the characters are different, unique, and driven by different or
    opposite goals this could be a great concept for exploring many
    different types of themes.

    pg.15 I’m really liking this Lawyer,
    Although he is telling us exposition about the will, it is relevant and
    interesting because it sets up the stakes and the backstory of the
    father’s will. So far the Lawyer is my favorite character.

    I think Uncle Jackie is a shocking character, the introduciton of the
    long mouth to mouth kiss with his neice, smoking in the house, and
    coming off as a renegade type character will definitely add conflict to
    the brady bunch father will party.

    pg.19/20 not sure what the
    racist granny/the lawyer remembering racist names he was called in law
    school have to do with the story, but okay.

    Stopping here.

    story grabbed me past page ten when the lawyer went into what the main
    story line was about, splitting the fathers contract communally between
    the family. I think this is a great premise that can be shot easily
    since it’s single location. A gripping story so far!


    description of Julia Ames on page 4, why assume the reader knows who
    Ramsay Bolton is from Game of Thrones. I’ve seen every episode so far
    and I think its the red headed guy who was turned into acting like a dog
    then revenged against the evil guy and saved the girl or whatever…

    pg.6 ‘three interchangable girls’ What does that mean?

    Is this a comedy? The dialogue between the characters seems like they are making jokes, but I can’t tell.

    far the least interesting of the three scripts I’ve read pages from.
    Girls, werewolves, bad guys hunting the werewolf. This story wasn’t for
    me in this current state. I had no questions or thoughts about the story
    or anything that beckoned me to continue reading.


    I like the font used for the title page.
    pg1 – Why say ‘this is most likely a space ship’, why not start with interior – space ship?

    I enjoy how quickly we are into the story, Laila is woken up by Logan
    telling her they got out, makes us wonder what ‘they’ are and whats
    going to happen to them. So far reminds me of the script passengers
    because of the cryopods and the characters waking up. I’m curious which
    approch is better, having characters wake up immediately from the pods
    or having one of them wait in the pods like in passengers. Either way, I
    like sci fi movies and am curious what will make this one unique.

    the end of pg.3 flash of memory back to reality was confusing to me.


    split up the monster description in two parts, the introduction of the
    monster bursting into the room and after it screeches. With the second
    part I assume we are getting a closer look at it because of the
    description. Is there a good reason for the monster to look like a
    penis/vagina, the writer has a comment about it not being meant for a
    laugh, but the description is turning this into a b-monster flick I

    no description after Laila flamethrowers the Macrovore?

    Logan revealed to be a macrovore was entertaining.

    happy Logan is testing Laila to see if she is really Laila, adds
    conflict to an otherwise boring exposition scene. I’m stopping on page

    I think if I saw this on screen I would enjoy watching it,
    but as a script it doesn’t compel me to keep reading. The characters
    were okay to me. I didn’t hate them, didn’t love them, seemed like
    typical action fare type characters so far. I think this script was okay
    from what I read so far. The writing is simple to read, but some parts
    slow the read such as the description of the Macrovores. Overall, this
    is okay.


    pg 1, I’d suggest renaming the superhero something other than Tracer, I play a lot of Overwatch haha.

    pg.2 I like that reading the comic matters to Jake, helps the reader/audience want to care for what Jake cares about.

    pg.4 awkward dialogue from red “I’ll be more glam, and you don’t get comic lung.”

    Does anyone say glam or comic lung in real life? Maybe this script is giving me script lung… *awkward silence*

    girl hot for every guy trope could be shown better I think, right now
    Red comes off as a sterotype slutty 15 year old girl, which as a
    vaillain to the younger brother is an interesting choice I think, but
    her introducion could have been handled better.

    I love the opening description of Jake ‘a blonde haired kid growing awkwardly into being a rake.’

    so far this script is showing me kids who really like superheros. Family film?

    pg.7 The boys like Red’s chest… okay….

    What does Shabibby mean haha, This script is Shabibby!

    Is this script trying to be like superbad?

    The crazy norm reminds me of the crazy woman from donnie darko who knew about time travel.


    More shabibby? They came here to act out a comic book? Why are they so excited about this?


    Barney’s bully character seems very contrived. Fights Jake for his sister’s attention.

    Stopping here.

    this genre should be changed to teen romantic comedy. Its about all the
    boys fighting over Red. This feels familiar to a past AF script I’ve
    read with the same premise of teenage boys longing over a girl.

    Wasn’t for me.

    • matt

      Thanks for the vote! I’m glad you got it – great notes as well

      • scriptfeels

        Much appreciated

  • scriptfeels

    Wow great notes! Nice job!

  • A. Rhodes

    Glad you enjoyed A Darker Place and took the time to offer your thoughts. Really appreciate it. Almost had ya! haha. You do make good points that I look forward to examining further when I have the chance to polish, but I would say that the ending isn’t quite as evil as you might think. There’s still a chance it works out…

  • Billie B


    Only read 10 pages ( so far) but it’s well written and nothing pulled me out of the story. I’m fully invested and curious enough to read on.

    Nice work and good luck!


    Feels like it should read: ‘there’s only so much bright yellow a person can wear’.

    Read to page 15. I would consider losing the ‘reading of the comic’ intro. We’d get a better sense of character straight up if you start with the boys all meeting up for their ‘play out the comic’ session. The deep love of the comic would still come through, but it would be through action that makes us care about the characters from the get go.

    Good job though. :) I think you nailed the tone.


    I’m confused by the macrovores. I think they’re relatively small aliens, but I can’t picture them because I can’t picture a dog sized penis with a vagina for a mouth. But then they also shape shift to look like other people… I consider describing them differently.

    I’d keep funny asides for a comedy. It messed with the tone and brought me out of the story while I wondered if I was supposed to be reading a comedy horror.

    I think there were some time jumps or flashbacks but I’m not entirely sure. Maybe just keep one time jump and make it clearer? There’s a lot going on in these first ten and it’s easy to get lost before the story even starts.

    I like your idea, though. I hope you get some good notes to help tighten it up. Good luck!


    I would just say (20s) or (early 20s) not ‘his 20’s’, same for Hope.

    3 year olds don’t bicker before nap time, they meltdown. Felt like an odd reference.

    Is quadruped a commonly used name for a werewolf? The word is throwing me. A kitten is also a quadruped. I think using this is the opposite of specificity. Maybe just say werewolf or wolfman?

    I like the world you’ve drawn where Werewolfs exist and humans are just as vile for wanting to wear their furs. Good job finding a new angle, which will definitely be the script’s strength.



    Beth stood out as at least different to her siblings, but as deplorable as they all were, she was hard to sympathize with. I didn’t care about anyone enough to want to see them succeed in getting their inheritance. But also the stakes seemed low, by page 21, at least.

    I feel Beth might be our protagonist, and if so, perhaps you could start the script with her catching the train with her boyfriend, and maybe show her nervous about him meeting her crazy family etc… give us a chance to get to know her outside of the sea of obnoxious narcissists when they arrive.

    Very readable writing style, though. Good luck with it! :)

    • A. Rhodes

      Really appreciate the vote and kind words. Thanks for taking the time to read and looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the rest of the script.
      And congrats on your win last week!

      • Billie B

        Hey there! You’re welcome. I’m annoyed at myself for getting to this last. It captured me the most of all the scripts and I would have kept reading given more time. I’ve saved it on my desktop, so if I get a chance to read more at a later date, I’ll offer my thoughts. :)

  • Erica

    Okay so this week is a tough one for me. It’s certainly not the energy from the first week of scripts. The two that caught my eye from the loglines was Dianaea and Courageous Man.

    Being a Sci Fi, Fantasy fan I started with Dionaea. (like others I have no idea how to say the title, so in my mine it’s called Dianna. Which doesn’t strike me as sci fi, but who knows.

    I didn’t really get to far into reading this script even though I wanted to like it. I felt the opening scene just didn’t work for me. The scene was too short and gave no real information or mystery to the story, more of an eye roll. Laila seemed too calm in the scene in contrast to how she looked. The who scene was just for the reader.
    I would have like to scene more of an opening to really establish and hook me. For me the hook of your story is the time loop but reading the logline there is no mention of this and just has a generic “Darker Secret”. Tell me the hook! Anyways I read the last 10 or so pages and that’s when I figured out it was a time loop movie. At least you ended the loop unlike the movie I just watched last night on Netflix called ARQ, stay away from that movie, it’s just a big loop that goes nowhere with a terrible ending leaving the viewer wishing they could just loop back to the beginning of the movie and instead of watching, they watch something else. On page 92, you’re missing the word “hair”. He sighs as he moves a…

    This is another style of movie’s I love, the quest for the goonies movie. The premises of this movie is very similar to a movie I made 20 years ago. Ironically my comic book fictional character was called Jake, so I had to chuckle.
    I think this one has potential and things can be cleaned up to make it a fun movie, I know, I made one.
    I read the last 10 pages also to see how the story goes. The opening comic book scene was too long, I know you are trying to mirror your ending but unless you’re a comic book fan, just watching pages on a screen may be a little boring. Now I’m not sure if you intended to have live action at this point because to me, that would help draw the viewers in. Maybe even intro Jake a halfway through the opening to bring us back from the comic book to reality.

    I felt that on page 111, there was some missed emotions that could have been used. Seems like we got to Jake waking up with the ET glowing chest too fast.

    Overall the ending was predictable but fun and satisfying so my vote this week goes to COURAGEOUS MAN,

  • Poe_Serling

    My vote: Hellfire Alley

    What?! It isn’t one of the choices this week. But I really want to say it’s right up my

    Okay,,, I’m just having some early morning fun. ;-)

    Yesterday I did place a vote for one of the projects. Much like Waldo it is hidden among all the other comments (oh. not really… just buried in the middle of the thread somewhere).

    • klmn

      Poe, if you want to read my script, email me at kenklmn AT yahoo dot com.

      I’m going to build up the third act a little more and submit it other places, but I feel good about the present version as a thirteen week script.

      • Poe_Serling

        Thanks for the offer, but I’m planning to read it when it shows up Week
        3-8 in the tournament.

        Just say I got a good feeling about its chances for making the cut.

        Did you email Carson about the title change? Probably a good idea
        to have him associate your project with its new catchy title.

        • klmn

          I don’t know if he’ll select it or not. He knows about the title and likes it – I used his logline consultation service and mentioned the title then.

          I’ll be querying some producers about my previous Western/True Story after the Magnificent Seven opens, and if I get any “what else do you have?” responses I’ll mention my new one.

          • A. Rhodes

            Looking forward to reading too. In dire need of a good Western.

  • Carmelo Framboise

    It seems that we are going for a photo finish win of A Darker Place.

    For you who enjoyed it I can recommend Cronocrimenes. A very good, intense, mind bending yet logical time-travel thriller, set in one neigbourhood.

    For me, THAT’S how it should be done, cause unless we are voting for concept here, the execution of A Darker Place is not good. It feels like a first draft – if that.

    • A. Rhodes

      Lots of time left. But in the end hopefully everyone at least walks away with ideas on how to take their script to the next level once they have more time. Really appreciate your thoughts and feedback and look forward to polishing this sucker up.

      • Carmelo Framboise

        Of cross!

    • Daivon Stuckey

      I was mostly really interested from the title, until I realized it was the original title of Timecrimes.

      I fucking love strange titles. My next script is a sci-fi titled Californigyptica.

      • Carmelo Framboise

        Cronocrimenes is not a strange title.
        It is Spanish.


    • Comma

      Cronocrimenes is amazing. And Primer. Yes, A Darker Place feels like a first draft, still I think it’s the best of the lot this week.

    • Kirk Diggler

      These are all supposed to be first drafts (allegedly), so not sure calling it a first draft is a criticism per se. It’s calling it what it is.

      • Carmelo Framboise

        I think the challenge was to write a second draft too. And of course it is not about who’s is bigger, but I wanted to say that it is subpar to a couple of the rest of the scripts – because things weren’t clearly thought out, hence the “it feels like a first draft – if that”. The concept is extremely potent though.

        And this wasn’t a criticism per se. :)
        My criticism lies somewhere among the comments, along with my notes.

        We just have to face the fact that other’s vote by concept, other’s by marketability, other’s by writing, other’s by story and/or a mix of those, so it actually boils down to utter subjectivity.

  • Garrett

    Unfortunately, none of these loglines really do it for me. While this is a contest on scripts, again, like Amateur Fridays, if the logline doesn’t entice me, I’m not going to open the script. Out of the bunch, “A Darker Place” and “The Inheritance” seem to have the clearest-cut loglines. However, I have reservations with both. I think I understand what’s happening in “The Darker Place” but I’m not sure it sets up the concept in a way that is pressing for me to read it — 24 years into the future, as in this social worker can see the future and can see a person being tortured, or… we ARE 24 years into the future already and this implies that 24 years ago, this social worker was tortured in this house? With “The Inheritance” while the setup implies conflict, I don’t see it implying that much comedy. To me, it seems the whole movie is just about these group of people deciding how to split up the money. Seems like an argument, people getting mad at each other. But I’m not sure how that situation in itself would lend itself to a full 90 minute exploration.

    • A. Rhodes

      Hey Garrett, thanks for the logline feedback. Agreed. We’re definitely looking to make it clearer that she sees the future/steps into it and is trying to stop it before it’s too late (and for very personal reasons).

      • Garrett

        That’s awesome guys, I am glad you are proactively working to make it better. Loglines are so key to selling your idea. I worked on mine for MONTHS (two sentences!!) before it seemed to sing. I wish you guys the best this week and will be watching for you :-)

      • Garrett

        That’s great that you guys are working towards making your logline better — it’s just an important part of ‘selling’ your script to readers. I worked on my logline for MONTHS (two sentences!) with a lot of trial and error before I got it. Best wishes to you guys in this contest!

  • carsonreeves1

    Go for it Regina. :)

  • Jovan Jevtic

    DIONEA : Close call between A Darker Place and Dionea. Both tackle time travel. I liked the characters of A Darker Place more but Dionea is set in space which is cooler. I give my vote to DIONEA because: (spoilers) I though that Libby could just go there by herself and save the girls or if dead send someone, so I didn’t think the stakes were high in A darker Place.

  • klmn

    Because I entered the contest, I’m thinking I shouldn’t vote. I’ll let others pick the winner.

    I voted last week, but I had not yet reached this decision. Good luck to all.

    • Scott Crawford

      Hmmm . Should I discount Billie’s vote? Is she choosing the person she thinks will be least competition ?

      (I’m kidding, of course, because I know she voted in all sincerity, but it does bring up an interesting point. Should nominees vote? And how can they know not to vote when they don’t know that they’ve been nominated?)

      • klmn

        I’m not criticizing anyone else for voting. I feel that I’ve done my part in writing the script and entering.

        Out for the duration.

      • Midnight Luck

        Anyone who wrote and entered would actually do best for themselves and other writers if they would vote for the absolute BEST in each week of the competition, because not only would it mean all the best would keep floating to the top, but if their script won, they would know theirs was the absolute best, not best of the low or middle.
        Does that make any sense?
        I might have to re-edit what i just said, in case it doesn’t make a lick of sense.

        • Erica

          That’s what my thoughts are also. I was not going to vote then I thought the more people voting the better the results. As long as I give my honest vote that’s all I can do.

        • Daivon Stuckey

          This is actually a good point. If a good script beat a bunch of low or middle tier scripts, it wouldn’t garner as much excitement.

          Winning the para lympics vs being Simone Biles.

          • Scott Crawford

            Winning a Paralympic gold is less value than winning an Olympic gold? Is that what you’re saying?

          • Daivon Stuckey

            It’s objectively less of a big deal to the world

      • Billie B

        Lol I’m so pure of heart, this never even entered my my mind! But I’m more than happy for my vote to be discounted :) I didn’t even see how close this week was or check out the other votes until after I posted. But thinking about it, it makes more sense for me not to vote.
        I’d still like to offer feedback if I can.

        • Daivon Stuckey

          “Pure of heart”

          don’t lie ;)

          • Billie B

            Ha ha ha hell yes I am ;)

          • Daivon Stuckey

            Billie, I get nothing but “Freaky Mom” vibes from you. Sorry ;p

          • Billie B

            Lmao Okay. I can roll with that. Ha ha ha

    • Wijnand Krabman

      I’m done with voting too, I did my job finishing two scripts in time and I’m not happy with how this contest is going. I doubt if any of my scripts will show up here and that’s perfectly fine with me.

    • Daivon Stuckey

      Yeah, same here.

  • A. Rhodes

    Really appreciate it.

  • BellBlaq

    Based on its logline, I was expecting SHIFTING to be more like the anime WOLF CHILDREN (a heartfelt character exploration of what life would be like for these people).
    Color me disappointed.

    • Daivon Stuckey

      Really? I didn’t get that vibe at all.

      • BellBlaq

        “A teenage girl’s efforts to fit in at school by keeping her lycanthropy secret” was Yuki’s approach to coping, and “from her former pack vows to bring her back” sounded similar to Ame’s arc in how he decided to live wild/strong in the forest as a wolf at the end.

        But I clearly misinterpreted the intent behind SHIFTING, so I guess I completely instigated my own disappointment.

  • Comma

    My vote is for A Darker Place.

    It’s the stronger concept. There are some issues: a very risky irrealistic decision by the main character; I guessed too easily who the killer was; a bad move by the MC that I don’t understand (taking out the dagger). But I read it entirely because I was sucked in.

    Not bad. Not so an ‘Alien’ copycat as someone said. Read until page 25. I think the writing is better than in A Darker Place but I couldn’t see the point, the direction of the script… I feel like there are some random surprises, a little bit of articifial foreshadowing, but it was too much action action action to truly entertain me.

    I personally dislike this kind of comments by the author (is just me?): “No, that wasn’t meant for a laugh, but, I’m glad you were amused. ….. Several other CREW MEMBERS populate the area, but, they’re really just character fodder. C’mon, every movie has them.”

    The Inheritance
    Sorry but after the infinite mass description of the first page I was out. Someone said it was a play, not a screenplay, and that first page proved it. That could be easily changed and I recommend the author to do so.

    Courageous Man
    15 pages… too much kid’s talk and play, I can’t see the story moving except for a line about some people who disappeared inside a comic book (that was really interesting but too short!). I liked how Barney torture Jake focing him to eat his comics.

    page 8… lost by too many characters and unfocused action. I can’t picture the werewolf… is he standing like a man or he’s a quadrupede which means that he walks on his 4 feets?

  • jaehkim

    wow, people aren’t kidding with the poor selections, i guess i chose the wrong weekend to comment.


    it’s got a good indie vibe that actually sounds like a movie, although there are a lot of indie movies with similar premises, the urgency and the stakes of the money before the funeral begins is what won me over.

    • matt

      Thanks for the vote!

  • Poe_Serling

    When I first read over the loglines, I had a hunch that Week 2 might be a
    close race.

    Also, it’s great to see a few of the featured screenwriters chiming in… I think
    this back and forth chitchat, especially if it stays positive, always makes for a
    more rewarding thread for both the writers and the readers.

    • brenkilco

      Wouldn’t have been a bad title for The Thing.

      • Poe_Serling

        Or Day of the Triffids.

        “… aggressive species of plants… ‘


        • brenkilco

          Scotty “An intellectual carrot. The mind boggles.”

          As well it should.

          Don’t recall too much about Triffids- and was surprised to learn when I checked that the early sixties movie has been remade twice by Brit TV. One odd thing I do recall was how disconnected the plot was. There were a couple of characters under siege in a lighthouse who didn’t interact with the other characters, almost as if their stuff was grafted on to pad the running time.

        • klmn

          Do you remember the tv series Quark? It was a scifi comedy, created by Buck Henry. One of the characters was a kind of plant, named Ficus. There are episodes on YouTube if you want to check it out.

          It didn’t last long, I think less than a full season. Here are the opening credits:

          • Poe_Serling

            No, not really.

            I’ve never been a huge sci-fi fan – whether it’s action, drama, comedy, etc.

            As a kid I mostly watched reruns of the original Star Trek.

  • carsonreeves1

    Sorry GreenBlood. You should get through without moderation now. Sorry for the inconvenience!

    • Biju B

      Carson, can you please add me to the ‘elite’ list. My reviews of all 5 of last week’s scripts were stuck in moderation for more than 24 hrs and then I had to mail it to Scott C to count my vote (with the respective notes) but by that time the winner was already declared! Btw…Congrats Billie!

      I didn’t want to spend the same time again this week if my post won’t even be seen on time :(

      • carsonreeves1

        kay. i’ll add you.

  • Dallas Cobb

    Senior year is kicking my ass! Since I had to miss last week (congrats again Billie!), I wanted to contribute to this week. Of course, being stressed and overwhelmed doesn’t make that easy. But because I saw the tight voting this week, I decided to open the top three scripts (so far). Will I break a voting ((semi)) tie? Let’s find out!


    While I like the concept/idea of “A Darker Place” ((I’m a sucker for thrillers, especially contained ones)) better than “Dionaea” ((not super into sci-fi)) and “The Inheritance” ((seems a little “too done”)) – – my vote must go to the most well-written script of the weekend.

    Re: “Dionaea” – the descriptions in “Dionaea” are most succinct and economically significant; every word and sentence structure seems deliberately chosen in this script. As an audience/reader, we were thrust right into the action/conflict, grabbing my attention immediately. Character introductions seemed effortless and natural/not forced. Sci-fi’s are sometimes difficult for me to invest in because there’s always so much exposition and set-up to the premises, but this all flowed excitingly and easily. Would read the entire script here, and I probably should, and I probably will! Nice work.

    Re: “A Darker Place” – I couldn’t get past the confusion of some of the action lines, or the variations of “Girl One” and Girl 1″ ((just utilize one or the other)), but I definitely think this concept has wicked potential. With concepts like this, every detail ((especially regarding character and making each character stand out on its own, no matter how big or small the role is)) is crucially important, and I didn’t feel like that was being done on this draft of the pages I read.

    Re: “The Inheritance” – while “different”-esque ((mostly because of the formatting and the first page)) I not only felt like this had been done before ((most recently in that Tina Fey movie “This Is Where I Leave You”)) but I felt like this concept would be much better served in fiction prose or on the stage. I love ensemble pieces, but I needed MORE in these first pages to really hook me. I was hoping the dialogue would be impressive, or at least in its own voice/style, but everything was just very OKAY here for me.

  • Ben James

    I had a script in the Tournament last week, but I’m gonna cast a vote this week.

    My vote goes to: A DARKER PLACE

    It was really close between A Darker Place and The Inheritance.

    A Darker Place

    I read the whole thing, though I almost cut out in the first act. Once the story picks up steam it keeps getting more and more intense, which I really appreciated. There are a few moments that might need tweaking but overall it pulled me in. I’d see if the first act could be tightened up a bit, and the only other thing that stuck out was the date on the stereo in 2016. It seemed a bit weak as a device to convey the time jump idea. Perhaps a calendar on the wall, or some cultural references like an iphone or just something more to really solidify this key point, as it’s pivotal to the story.

    The Inheritance

    Great job man, really liked the writing. I thought the ending could use a bit more of a lead out, and maybe a scene of them all at the funeral, sans Beth. Balancing that many characters in a contained environment is a different set of skills and it was pulled off with gusto. Well done. The only reason it missed my vote was… I’m not sure. I’d watch this. Hell, you could get the BBC to film this and it’d be a great little piece. I was more taken with script above, but I’ve really got nothing against this. Excellent work.


    Yeah, I can’t do the whole hairy.. you know… teen angst thing. Sorry.


    Made it a couple pages in, seemed rushed, not specific enough. Like it was trying to impress by giving so much rather than building on something genuine. That note may seem vague, but that’s all I got for this one.

    Courageous Man

    Couldn’t get into it. Didn’t read enough to say more.

    • matt

      Thanks for the feedback! really appreciate the read and the note.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Vote for DIONAEA.
    (Don’t know what that means.)
    Read 10. Liked what I read and the way it was handled but —
    When they began to question if Laila was one of them, thought it was beginning to
    be too much and too similar to The Thing.
    It’s a problem screenwriters have to worry about.

    A while back I watched a video on the making of Die Hard 2. And the director keep pointing out THINGS THAT YOU CAN’T DO ANYMORE.

    (It may be ok to give a nod to another movie — but just a nod. Not a major tenant.)

  • Scott Chamberlain

    I vote for Dionaea. Read it right through and quite enjoyed it. I have no idea what a Tachyon Cloud will look like. And I didn’t understand the Aliens plan . Are they not condemned to an endless loop? Don’t they want the loop broken too? I thought it was going to go in a different direction – the aliens were using the loop to evolve and when they had killed everyone – learned everything to be learned from the humans – they would break the loop and wreak havoc on the universe.

    Of the others:

    — Courageous Man: couldn’t get into it. The first three pages are watching a comic book being read. But I liked the concept embedded in the logline.

    — Shifting: not interested and it shouldn’t be in the tournament.

    — The Inheritance: reads like a stage play. Some nice dialogue but it quickly became repetitive. Drink argue drink. I had to keep going back to the first page character descriptions to work out who was who. And there was no one to root for.

    — A Darker Place: read reluctantly because I didn’t understand the logline. Checked out after three pages.

  • Pat

    It’s been a busy weekend for me so I haven’t been able to read as much as I wanted, but I did manage to read the first 15-20 pages of each script.

    And my VOTE is for DIONAEA.

    A DARKER PLACE: I had trouble getting into this one. The present story of the women kidnapping themselves was confusing as I didn’t feel it was given enough time on the page to let the audience know what was happening. Then I felt that the past story got stuck when Libby goes to investigate the complaint and to see if Zachary is okay. The scene should be tense and full of emotion but I felt it was drawn out and that Libby was much to shy about the fact she was investigating a possible case of child abuse.

    THE INHERITANCE: I quite liked this one and I thought the first page being used to set up the location and characters was a great idea. This is well written and clear and appears to be well thought out, however I’m not voting for it because it didn’t feel enough like a movie. In set up (1 location) it reminded me of 12 Angry Men, however the stakes are too low. I don’t really care how a bunch of rich people deal with inheritance and taxes and squabble over why 3 million is not enough money. I want there to be someone I can relate to or someone with a struggle that is a little more down to earth.

    SHIFTING: For me warning sign about this script is the muscular description of the werewolf so, I am certain that this a teenage romance like Twilight. Personally I want werewolves in horror movies, not in romantic movies about teenage problems so for me personally I couldn’t get into the story.

    DIONAEA: I looked up the title and DIONAEA is the genus for a fly or the venus fly trap, I’m not sure how that related to the aliens but I’m sure it does at some point. This story feels like Alien and The Thing and many have mentioned that and I wasn’t a fan of the author’s insert after the descritiption of the aliens, but overall this script is the most thrilling and kept me reading the longest so I have to vote for it.

    COURAGOUS MAN: I liked quite a bit about this story, I think the opening comic book reading scene while a little clunky on the page sets up the characters and world of the comic quite well and I felt that the kids sounded and acted a lot like kids should however the story simply takes too long to get going. It isn’t until the scene starting on page 26 that the kids actually get trapped in the comic book. Also, describing a 15 year old girl as “wild” and “sexy” is quite creepy, I understand that you want to set up that the boys have a crush on her, but make it clear then that the kids think she’s good looking, because at the moment it sounds like the writers think this 15 year old girl is sexy.

  • smishsmosh22

    Not sure if it’ll make it to the contest so send me an email and I’ll happily share it with you! thealisonparker @ gmail dot com

  • ocattorney

    ocattorney votes for : A Darker Place
    (not a first-time commenter, possibly an entrant)
    For many reasons, living up to the spirit of the contest, following Carson’s instructions about setting goals and creating a final battle where the Heroine is stripped of all her resources, weapons and allies… I vote for “A Darker Place.”
    There are three characters: the plastic surgeon Donny, his wife, and the sheriff, who have the potential to become Great Characters. And by that, I mean an A-list actor would spend a day on set to create these characters. But, that’s something that would have to appear in a re-write. This was a contest with a time limit.
    I’m still troubled by Libby’s choice to overcome obstacles. Her problem is, twenty years in the future, Donny will do something bad. if she’s serious, she should wait a year, two years, until Donny is alone and kill him. That would save her daughter. She seems to be doing the wrong thing… but Bad Decisions make Great Stories.
    Let’s think about Death. If you don’t make it past the first round of this contest, that’s a form of Death. What would you do to avoid it? A character contemplating their own death can be the most dramatic of Inner Conflicts. Russell Crowe’s General Maximus in “Gladiator.” Libby should make at least one effort to avoid her own death. drive to a big city with the best hospital and pretend she’s in an accident outside their building, so they don’t have any option about taking her as a patient. A Great Character will try to avoid their own death.
    Let’s say Will Smith is riding high from Deadshot in Suicide Squad, and he wants to play the caretaker. What would you do to make Tank a Great character?
    Once Libby has her first vision, she has to balance being pregnant and the life of her unborn child against becoming a criminal if she is caught inside the house again. She doesn’t make the best choice.
    Most rewrites produce an inferior product. Turn your Characters into Great Characters that would make us rent the DVD just to see them. – Bill Hays

  • Biju B

    A bit short on time this weekend and coincidentally the overall writing quality is down compared to the first week.

    My Winner: Courageous Man

    A Darker place
    Need some work on the logline. The timeline is not really clear vis a vis the event from reading it. Tried twice. Plus, not a very interesting premise to me.

    So managed to read until p5.

    “The car is upside down” then “Libby’s car is upside down”. No need for the repetition.

    “But a gloved finger swipes it softly before it touches.” Touches what?

    The writing seems too cluttered for me. Having to re-read almost everything again to get a grasp of what’s going on and when and with whom. So it’s like I have read 10 pages already. And to top it, it’s all a series of images so far around multiple characters with no hint of story yet. Can’t proceed, sorry.

    The Inheritance
    “There’s a lot of gold on the walls” – Gold bars, coins, nuggets? Paintings framed in gold? Light fixtures?

    Too many characters introduced at once. Not bothering to memorize! Can we not space out their entry into the room at regular intervals without affecting too much of what’s going on??

    “From the way they interact, Beth and David are clearly
    girlfriend and boyfriend” But they haven’t even really ‘interacted’ so far, its just David speaking just once to her?! And do you need to explicitly say this to the audience?

    This “how to to make a drink” lessons seem to go on forever. And now that everyone except Beth and the lawyer have a drink, I am checking out mid of p6. And coincidentally, this is the only funny thing that has happened so far. Sorry.

    I read in the comments that it’s a really old script and although I myself don’t have a script in the race, in solidarity with the regulars, I am abstaining from reading this one.

    Finally, something good to ‘read’. Better visuals than the previous ones and a fast read.

    I would recommend taking out this line “No, that wasn’t meant for a laugh, but, I’m glad you were
    amused.” Could have given it the benefit if this was a comedy but simply a distraction from the flow in the current context. Read up to p8. Nothing that we haven’t seen before, so checking out. Also, this one seriously needs a title change and I am sure that won’t be too difficult to do.

    Courageous Man
    A cool concept. Not a bad read either.

    “There’s only so much a person can wear bright yellow”. This has been pointed out already I believe by another reader. Need to be “There’s only so much bright yellow a person can wear”

    “Matt scuttles back” to where? He was lying on the ground right? Didn’t get that one.

    Checked out at p8 after the long stretch of dialogues. But this is the story I would be more curious to know about among the options this week. It can be a fun ride if executed well. Gets my vote. All the best.

  • RO

    Started a Darker Place, couldn’t get into it. The beginning felt muddled, wasn’t sure what was going on, left at page 5.

    The Inheritance: Way too many characters, difficult to keep track of who’s who and how they’re related. Is it a mother and ten kids? If so, are two of them dating? What’s going on here? After 15 pages the story hasn’t even started yet, had to quit.

    Shifting: Not a fan of the log line. Seemed like it’d be a twilight universe thing. The opening felt very much like that, starting with a birds eye shot of a forest, and then a flashback within the first 10 pages and it seems like this entire script takes place in a flashback.

    Dionea had a neat start. But it felt like Dartmouth was the only character that was developed. After 30 pages I wasn’t sure who these characters were (and we’re introduced to a lot at this point). That could be intentional given the circumstances, but if you’re trying to pay tribute to The Thing, I feel more work needs to be done with making each character their own. If we feel like we know them, we’re less likely to predict when they’re assimilated and then you have more intrigue when we get to that ‘reveal the monster under our nose’ parts.

    Courageous Man was the only script I was able to finish. I was about to put it down right away, but once we left the comic book panels the script got really good. The writer made a smart move by setting this before the public internet age. We have a good structure for our hero’s character arc, each of the kids have a strong voice and the functionality of the world is really neat. I vote for COURAGEOUS MAN. It’s a good fantasy adventure.

  • matt

    Thanks for taking the time to read my script and offer notes!

    • GreenBloodedVulcan

      If you went whole hog with the game idea motivating the family debate you could even have it being broadcast on the web as a reality television show setup by the deceased. That’d be cool. The title of your script even sounds like a reality game show! =D The Inheretance! *Bum bum bum* Lights dim as the host (the lawyer) begins to talk.

      • matt

        I’d watch that!

        • GreenBloodedVulcan

          Totesballs do it! I’d watch it too.

        • GreenBloodedVulcan

          If you make it a brutally biting satire on reality television I’d see it twice. =D

  • matt

    Thanks for trying – I appreciate my script isn’t for everyone. You’re totally correct with that note – there’s no need to add the direction – a simple exclamation mark is enough. That’s getting changed right now – thanks again.

  • ocattorney

    I started talking about Great Characters and forgot… illustrations! Film is a visual medium. Half of the Value may come from the music, but for me, 80% of current movies fail because the images on the screen are dark, violent, or otherwise annoy me. go back to “The Sound of Music.’ Production went to Austria to film on location because it was beautiful. Robin Williams was the “name” that the studio need to greenlight a film by two unknowns named Matt
    Damon and Ben Affleck and starring a kid named… well, forgot his name, but he was forgettable, right?
    For this contest, I didn’t grade on “Story Value.” But if and when I teach a screenwriting class, that’s my thing. John Truby teaches Narrative Drive. Iglecias teaches Emotional Bonding. I like “Story Value.” Find a photo that represents something you would like to see on the screen. Then, make that your Story World.
    Last week, “The Bait” won. I thought it funny that the names in a script I’m writing, Braxton Wilde and Michelle, were so close to the names Billy used, Brandon and Michele. (Not the script I entered in this contest.)
    I don’t like the concept of two twenty-year olds tied up in a basement, but as I said, I didn’t grade on “Story Value.” I am still trying to research and work out what “Story Value” means. Each demographic group has a “value” for the movies they’ve seen. “Titanic” has huge “Story Value” because in the first act, we meet Old Rose, and feel her pain when she remembers, “I was a dish!” when I was 17. Women related to that. For most of the writers in this contest, they might not understand how strongly women related to the Themes in “Titanic,” of suicide and marrying the wrong man and finding a Soul Mate only to lose him.
    If you have a choice of working on the scripts that didn’t make it past the first round, or going over to Google Images and finding an image that screams “Story Value” for you, I would recommend finding story lines that have more “value” to the big demographic groups out there. Parents who like to see movies with their children. Women who want the right movie for a date on Saturday night. – Bill Hays

  • Matt Edward

    Picking up where I left off from Friday… Due to time constraints, I’m going straight for A DARKER PLACE…

    Notes while reading:
    – The early jump from the girls having fun to them abducting themselves is extremely awkward… I get that the jump may be revealed later, but it is disorienting here.
    – I do like the idea of the self-abduction though…
    – The action lines are somewhat problematic… I’m not seeing a clarity of vision or economy of words so it is making my eyes drag down the page.

    Story-wise… I like this… I’m interested in where this is going and I can’t necessarily see the finish line from the start which I like. Technically, the script needs a clean up job but from concept to the page, I am interested (can’t reiterate how important the delivery is, though).


    Notes while reading:
    – A daunting task on page one… Even if this is veering more in the direction of a single location play, there are interesting ways to introduce characters, but this is not one of them.
    – I like the idea of jumping between conversations (which I think is going on) but it can be brought to us more clearly to let us know that is what’s happening.
    – Beth’s opening line is a bit rough… A bit on the nose… A bit repetitive… You’re going for distraught but she says it too much… It may be better to let her lack of words indicate her feelings, IMO.
    – I like the Michael and Beth exchange… The no lemon… That is a solid illustration of their relationship to this point and Michael’s probable prominence (possibly self-imposed) in this family.
    – I know someone previously harkened on how the bartending scene drags… Maybe it does on the page, but you are doing something solid with placing Beth within this family hierarchy… You may do well to streamline this bit but I like it either way… It makes it easy to know who to root for. You can tell how much I appreciate this bit by the amount I’m writing about it.

    Story-wise… I like the characters so far based on this opening scene… I think the dialogue is a detriment and could be cleaned up/re-worked. This type of script leans heavily on the players and I think the set up is solid.

    This is a tough choice… I like what Dionaea and A Darker Place set up but there is something about this opening to The Inheritance that I’m kind of clinging on to… I’m going to go with…

    THE INHERITANCE <– This is my vote.

    I do have some reservations on how this may carry beyond the opening but for what is a tough narrative type to keep folks' interests, I think you've done a solid job so far and I'm as interested as I am in the other two scripts… I just really appreciate the execution here.

    Good shit from these two… And the other two I went through on Friday (no notes for SHIFTING due to it being a recycled script for this exercise). Best of luck to e'erybody!

    • matt

      Thanks for the vote and thanks for the notes!

      The wall of text was a conscious decision – it hopefully gives the reader something to go back to if they forget who is who and it gets all that stuff out the way in one – I hate seeing it on a script too, but I tried to ensure the early effort of getting through it was paid off with the rest of the script moving quickly.

  • Poe_Serling

    Just a couple more hours before the Week 2 winner is announced. A big
    congrats to the writer(s) that make it to the next round of the tournament.

    It has been quite a competitive showdown this week.

    Next week in theaters…

    The Magnificent Seven vs. Storks

    Perhaps we will see a Western script or an animation one in the running
    for Week 3.


  • Cal

    I hope I got this placed in time. Same thing as last week, read the first 10-20 pages of each and am voting on what story I would most like to read/watch based on everything considered. My vote goes to…


    Love the writing. Love the opening. It’s fresh, you don’t see it a lot, and it works because well-written and executed. It’s very much like a stage play the way it starts. I used to read a lot of stage plays so I’m looking forward to digging in and giving it a full read. Looking forward to seeing how they split up the inheritance. And is inheritance tax really at 40%? Wow, that’s a lot. I know residual tax is high too like 35-40% withholding, kind of extreme but I guess they like to hit you hard for large chunks of change. Anyway, congrats Matt I’ll drop you some more detailed feedback at a later time.

    I also liked what I read of DIONAEA, which would be my runner up. I felt I caught a lot of similarities to ‘Aliens’ in the first 15, but it got into the action right away and I could see it being a film from what I read. Might give this one a full read as well if I have time this week.

    Good week. I feel there were overall more scripts that could be turned into films from what I read this week then what I read last week, so great job. Congrats again to everyone chosen.