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 fifth group of entries. You can see who won Week One here, who won Week Two here, who won Week Three here, and who won last week 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. There are some extremely tough competitors this week.

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

Title: Something True for Those Skyscraper Hearts
Writer: J Aaron Aragon
Genre: Fantasy
Logline: When a talented musician finds himself on the wrong side of life he must discover if anything is stronger than death – and if anything is more important than family.

Title: The High Hard One
Writer: David Martin
Genre: sports drama
Logline: An angry young bowling prodigy from the trailer parks of Seattle competes in a tournament for a chance at the pro tour, and faces off against his estranged father – a famous ex-pro attempting to mount a comeback.

Title: Untitled Breaking Up Parents Marriage Comedy
Writer: Anonymous
Genre: Comedy
Logline: Convinced that his constantly feuding parents are headed for a divorce, a 14 year old sets out to find new lovers for his mom and dad in hopes of ending their marriage.

Title: Return to Flight
Writer: Chad Rouch
Genre: Drama
Logline: Richard Covey, the pilot for the next mission after the Challenger disaster, must battle his growing paranoia about the safety of the shuttle program if America is to return to space. Based on a true story.

WINNER OF WEEK 5: “LOG” by Alison Parker. Congrats, Alison! May you give future generations many many log nightmares. And nice job holding off the untitled marriage comedy. I have a feeling that had that script had a title, it may have been an even tighter race. But alas, we’ll never know! See ya back here next week where I expect the competition to be just as tight!

  • Wijnand Krabman

    Log wandered around on this site for several weeks If this isn’t going to win this week I would be surprised. never the less its logline is interesting. The Untitled Breaking Up Parents Marriage Comedy and Return to flight are the three I’m going to open.

    • Marija ZombiGirl

      It would be a shame not to give every participant a fair chance. Regular commenters or scripts having floated around here for weeks/months should not get a free pass “just because”.

  • Erica

    Why an Anonymous writer? Are you embarrassed about your writing?

    • Kirk Diggler

      Maybe the writer wishes his or her work to be judged on its own merits, not by how many friends they have on this site?

      • Erica

        perhaps, valid point.

      • Scott Crawford

        To be fair, and I know you are being fair, a lot of “regulars” talked about the scripts they were writing during The Thirteen Weeks. No use them being nonny mouses.

        • jeaux

          “Nonny Mouses.” Haaa!

          • Scott Crawford

            I know, I’m a laugh-an-hour.

        • Kirk Diggler

          Yes Scott I agree with you. Anybody who doesn’t know that Smish wrote Log hasn’t been paying much attention to this site. I just think that a script that has been submitted anonymously should be given just as much consideration as one that hasn’t.

          On that note, good luck to all the writers this weekend.

          • garrett_h

            I agree, it should be given a fair shake.

            But still, I kinda feel… I dunno… Can’t find the word. Disappointed? Jilted? When the writer doesn’t show up. And in this case, they may not have any intention of showing up, which is why it’s anonymous. AOW/AF (and this tourney) are always better when the writers show up, respond to notes, etc. We all learn more. We learn why they made certain decisions, and they get to defend their decisions.

            Then there’s a part of me that thinks a semi-pro writer wrote it lol. We’ve had that before, and they usually get blowback. So maybe they’ll want to remain anonymous so we don’t find their IMDB page.

            I’ll be honest though, the mystery has me intrigued. I want to read it now lol.

          • Scott Crawford

            Half-agree. Want the writers to turn up and say hello, they don’t have to have long discussions about their work. In some cases, people have come across worse defending their projects. Say thank you, though.

            (Sorry for all the posts. Stuck waiting in London with not a lot to do.).

          • garrett_h

            Well that’s true. And some people have busy lives, so don’t have time to engage the comments section. But like you said, a quick “Hello” and “Thanks Carson for picking me” goes a long way in my book. At least show your face.

            Completely anonymous, though? That’s just weird. Either you’re hiding something, or you’re not confident in your work.

            Or maybe I’m the crazy one lol.

    • The Colonel

      I don’t think it’s essential to reveal your name, though I’d recommend a pseudonym over no name.

      • Scott Crawford

        Eiben Scrood?

        • Erica

          You’re on a roll this morning!

          • Scott Crawford

            Not my jokes, alas!

  • Scott Crawford


    • Wijnand Krabman

      I said I’m not gonna vote in this contest, I’d like to make an exception for Untitled Breaking Up Parents Marriage Comedy, because it’s so f*cking great!

    • smishsmosh22

      Hey Scott, I noticed that Malibo Jack voted for Log on yesterday’s article (I dunno how he knew I’d be chosen this week!):

      “Will probably be busy this weekend so just wanted to cast my vote for LOG.

      Let the games begin…”

      • Scott Crawford

        I’ll neaten up my post when I get home. In London, going to the thee-ay-ter.

        As I like to post pics of where I am, here’s the new commission for the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square:


        • The Colonel

          I have two fond memories of Trafalgar:
          (1) Being pooped on by a pigeon, who had clearly just eaten some of the corn feed they sell there.
          (2) Changing night buses there at about 6am after clubbing. Got on the wrong bus, fell asleep, and awoke to the bus parking in a field far outside of London where the driver ordered everyone off. When I mentioned to him I was headed to Brixton, he said “You’ve gotten on the wrong bus!”

          • Scott Crawford

            They’ve got rid of all the pigeons now… because of people like you!

            (True story, can’t feed the pigeons anymore. Place doesn’t feel the same anymore.).

        • Carmelo Framboise

          Ah, the Trafalgar. When I visited London it had some sort of live opera or something?

          I must say I did not fall in love with London – like with Berlin, Copenhagen or Budapest – but it seemed more simple than I expected. And relatively quiet. Humane in a way. Oh, apart from the Underground. I hated that place.

          Can’t you just have three lines like a normal city would?! :)

          Oh, and there was this protest we took part in against Tory cut backs and so on. It was fun. Nothing like a Greek protest but still.

        • Citizen M

          You’ve got Nelson’s column. That looks like Nelson’s bowel movement.

          • Scott Crawford

            I’ll come out and say it, close-up it looks like a giant black dick.

        • Midnight Luck

          Is that the Pigeon Statue that poops from TOP SECRET?
          or a giant thumb doing a “thumbs up”?

    • Anthony Dioniso

      I vote log.

      • smishsmosh22

        Thank you for your vote, Tony!

    • Scott Serradell

      Greetings from the Santa Cruz Mountains. I have no internet so I’m doing this all via phone. So instead of my usual posted notes, if any of the writers would care for my impressions you can email me personally (felipserradell (@) and I’ll get back to them upon my return.

      But man, what a STRONG showcase this week. Really great stuff all around. But I have a giant LOG in my heart. Not only does “Log” capture the imagination by its concept alone, but Alison, in her relative short time as a screenwriter, is continuing to show some major chops. Nuff said.

      • smishsmosh22

        Hey thanks for the vote, Scott! We all have a little Log in our hearts.

    • Dan J Caslaw

      I vote for The High Hard One

    • Marija ZombiGirl

      And here’s another vote for the UNTITLED BREAKING UP PARENTS script :)

    • Carmelo Framboise

      1) I have never voted for a winner so far. This can be an indicator that I have different tastes and criteria than the most commenters over here.

      2) In general I think we all vote biased by genre too much. “I like this”, “I wouldn’t watch that”. It should be good writing.

      MY VOTE: Untitled Breaking Up Parents Marriage Comedy

      • Marija ZombiGirl

        Of course we should vote for the script that has the best execution of its concept, not forgetting structure, dialogue, character work… But people ain’t gonna change – they’d rather vote for their friends or a cool concept no matter the content. I’m mostly into horror or drama but I still read the first ten pages of every script as we should. It’s great to be surprised like I was with UNTITLED. I also enjoyed THE HIGH HARD ONE but the other one appealed to me more.

        • Carmelo Framboise

          Yep, agree. I don’t say I am not biased.

          I vote mostly for comedies, grounded drama etc


      • New_E

        Same here! Except Paul Clarke’s last week – though I split that vote with HELLFIRE ALLEY.


    • Daivon Stuckey

      Add a vote for Log. Will post notes later when I have more time.

      • smishsmosh22

        Thank you for your vote, Daivon! :)

    • Mayhem Jones

      HI SCOTT!! NO time this wknd to go into one of my SPIELS, but:

      VOTE: LOG*
      *LOVEEEEE SMISH-Y SMOOSH, and I read an entire early draft and totally dug the energy and absurdity and LETS FACE IT: weird, off-beat sh*t like this is in the Mayhem wheelhouse.

      **Freaking loved the first few pages I read of this. Very creative, totally fun concept & excellent writing, W!!! Uhhhhhhh SUPER OBSESSED with Citizen M’s new title idea: Happily Never After! Hope this hits the Wild Card round!!

      • Scott Crawford

        I’ll make a note of it, May. Not sure how the Wild Card works. I would’ve thought it was the highest-scoring runner-ups, like in a quiz show.

      • smishsmosh22

        Thank you for you vote, Mayhem! :)

    • ShiroKabocha

      8 names but only 7 votes counted for The High Hard One.
      16 names but only 14 votes counted for Log.

      Keep up the good work :)

      • smishsmosh22

        oh I didn’t notice that ha, thanks Shiro :)

        • Scott Crawford

          Adding the numbers to the end of names will help me out a bit when I’m in a rush. Sorry for the inaccuracy.

          • ShiroKabocha

            Don’t think anyone would resent you for occasionally missing a vote :) I’m too lazy to do what you do every week but I’ll try and help on the easy bits if I notice a discrepancy.

            BTW you put Marija twice (votes 7 and 12) for UBUPMC :)

          • Scott Crawford

            No, I understand. Just another thing in my defense, in case people don’t realize, a lot of comments are moderated and don’t turn for hours. So they suddenly turn up in the oddest places and it’s quite easy to forget who you’ve already noticed.

            On the upshot, you’re helping give smith a clearer lead!

      • Scott Crawford

        Thanks, Shiro! I’lll do a double-check. I might start numbering the votes…

    • Cal

      The High Hard One had my runner up on a very close second.

    • Levres de Sang

      Great job, Scott! But think you missed Gojuice’s vote for UNTITLED.

      • Scott Crawford

        Yeah, it arrived amongst a flurry of new votes, but I noted it later.

    • Kirk Diggler

      My Vote – The High Hard One.

    • BMCHB

      I said I wouldn’t, but I will.

      MY VOTE: Something True For Those Skyskraper Hearts

      It’s very good. You voters should read it.

  • Erica


  • smishsmosh22

    Oh. My. Log!!!!

    Placeholder, trying to get back to sleep but I’m so excited! Thank you!!!

    • Scott Crawford

      See you in the morning!

    • Erica

      Get up, get up! You kept me up late and I ended up getting up early this morning, so everyone should be up!

    • Wijnand Krabman

      I wish you all the best. Log is not working for me but I see its potential.

      • Scott Crawford

        I think it shows the importance of idea. It draws people’s attention. After that… it’s up to the writer.

    • Cal

      It’s hilarious!

      • smishsmosh22

        ha, thanks, glad you enjoyed it!!!

    • klmn

      Congrats. Log has a lot of fans.

      • smishsmosh22

        Thank you Ken. It still blows my mind!

    • Cal

      Congrats Smish! I’m gonna read your full script this week I’ll drop you some more feedback.

      • smishsmosh22

        that would be great, thank you!

        • Cal

          I read your script today. Very quick, fun, interesting read. If I had to rate it I’d give it a WTF did I just read in a good way, because it’s definitely entertaining and fun for multiple reasons. Here’s what I jotted down while reading…

          -‘Sticks and Stones May Break Your Bones, But Log Will Fucking Kill You!’ – Love the catch phrase on the title page. It’s a great idea haven’t seen it done much.

          -Pg. 9 LMAO on the ‘eat my peach’ scene.

          -Pg. 16 ‘KIWI, 20, a smoking hot brunette with dreadlocks and a rack made for motor-boating, steps out of the passenger side of the car to let Erica into the back.’ — great original character description for standard hot girl.

          Pg. 31-32 Chuck’s demise is hilarious. It’s all time chaos. I couldn’t stop laughing — I knew shouldn’t — but I just couldn’t stop… I’m not sure how to feel about this…

          Pg. 34 — More motorboating… love it.

          Pg. 42 — hilarious drug conversation.

          pg. 49 The log sex scene is so ridiculous I don’t even know what I’m reading, but I can’t stop laughing.

          pg. 55 ‘Log rolls in and out of the pool of blood, draining the liquid, splashing about like a child in a rain puddle.’ — It’s all just too much. I can’t stop laughing!

          Pg. 69 ‘lets chop some wood!’ Great line.

          pg. 72 don’t think ‘oak tree’ is suppose to be capitalized. Or ‘woodpecker.’

          pg. 75 WTF did I just read?!

          That’s it. I think your script sets out to do what it’s suppose to do and is successful in it. I think it would really make a hilarious film. I’d definitely watch it with a crew of friends and few cases of PBR. Best of luck!

          • smishsmosh22

            amazing notes, thank you so much for checking it out. I’ve got all these notes written down and can’t wait to start on the next draft!

          • Cal

            Hey you did the work. I just really enjoyed the read. Thanks for writing it. Again, there’s not really any notes I can give… I was just along for the hilariously disturbing Log ride! Lol!

            ‘Don’t forget to stop by Splash Mountain, kids! It’s a fun one!’

            Ugh… I’ll never go on log rides again.

  • Lucid Walk

    LOGline. I see what you did there

    • smishsmosh22

      I’m so glad Carson kept that part haha

  • Lucid Walk

    My vote: UNTITLED BREAKING…because it’s the most original of the group #yesterday’sarticle.

    Runner-Up: LOG

    • UPB13

      Damn, you read fast!

      • garrett_h

        I think he’s basing it on the logline.

        • Lucid Walk

          I am. And I do read loglines fast, haha

  • Carmelo Framboise

    The High Hard One and Untitled Breaking Up My Parents Comedy have the most interesting loglines. Return to Flight is also interesting and sounds like a movie for Hollywood.

    No offence to the so far well known Log and the loveable SmishSmosh but I don’t see where the story, goal or characters is in the logline. Ok, a log on a killing spree sounds original(?) but is that enough?

    • smishsmosh22

      Hey no offence taken! I thought of using my protagonist in the logline but after workshopping it here (AND a logline consultation from Carson), I’m happy with how it turned out. :)

      • pabloamigo

        Read about 10 pages or so of Log. I can’t knock the writing at all. Pacy, fairly humorous (and that’s a complement!) and I can picture the action in my mind….

        …I’m just not sure if I wanna spend an hour or two of my time reading about a murderous log. So I’m out, but purely on grounds of subject matter.

        • smishsmosh22

          That’s okay pablo, thanks for checking it out!

        • garrett_h

          You watch the TV show SHARK TANK, don’t you? lol

          • pabloamigo

            Duncan Bannatyne from the UK equivalent, Dragons’ Den! ;)

          • garrett_h

            Haha, nice. It was the line where you said, “I really like XYZ… But I’m not sure about ABC, so I’m out…” lol. They turn them down like that almost every pitch.

    • witwoud

      “I don’t see where the story, goal or characters is in the logline.”

      I don’t quite understand this. The logline for LOG seems crystal clear in terms of story, goal, character, stakes, urgency. What more are you after?

      • Carmelo Framboise

        A promise for one or more sex scenes or at least exposed breasts would please me.

        • UPB13

          It’s got that!

          • Carmelo Framboise

            Exactly. But not in the logline though. Should’ve.

  • Wijnand Krabman

    Untitled Breaking Up Parents Marriage Comedy: I did 34 pages and will finish this, very entertaining, A kid who wants his parents to divorce is an very unusual original theme. Writing is solid, this is breathing pro-writer. Finding the first mistake: The kid Damien is with his girlfriend Erin talking the options of getting his dad a date.

    And I think you’re really bad at
    telling when a girl is interested in
    a guy.
    What are you talking about?
    Erin is of course talking about her and Damien.

    Last sentence is overdone because we all ready figured that out.

  • brenkilco

    Return to Fight has a very nice opening. The writer has researched and knows his stuff. Could have done without Reagan’s entire post challenger disaster speech. The actual story gets going on page eleven. Dialogue pretty on the nose. But can’t believe this is just going to be ninety pages of a guy dealing with anxiety issues. Have to assume the writer has something up his sleeve so will keep reading. If this is true, wondering what the source of his info is.

    • pabloamigo

      I had similar feelings about RtF. The actual writing is clear and concise, with enough detail that I feel the author knows his stuff. However, we spend a loooong time on the prologue and I kinda checked out when the guy parking his corvette says something akin to ‘you won’t get on this mission coz the doc said you’re mental’. Like the medical staff just post confidential medical information on a noticeboard outside for all to see.

      I’d be inclined to find a more subtle way of introducing the antag’s anxiety. Condense some of the Challenger stuff (it’s good, but it could be good over 4-5 pages rather than 11) and build in a collection of smaller scenes (or one bigger one) that clue us in to his mental health problems.

  • Wijnand Krabman

    Return to flight, opening is great, would be greater if you also included the last moments of the crew. After that you need something to pick up the pace which you don’t do, lost interest at page 12.

    • Scott Crawford

      Don’t normally read or get involved in talking about particular scripts, but it seems like opening with the Challenger disaster, in this case, isn’t the best opening.

      You can sum up a GOOD story (I call good stories “yarns”) in four or five sentences, a bit like four or five acts.

      If the first sentence is “Challenger disaster” and the last one, presumably, is the Atlantis mission, that leaves with two or three sentences of, as Bren put it, a guy dealing with anxiety issues.

      How about:

      1. Richard Covey’s pre-Challenger succcess.
      2. Challenger disaster.
      3. Anxiety issues.
      4. Challenger enquiry (exoneration)
      5. The successful Atlantis mission

      That’s probably what Chad Rouch (that name is familiar but I can’t remember from where) has written, except for the pre-Challenger bit and reading Coveys Wikipedia page that’s very important. This man was a hero, an important player in the shuttle program and it MIGHT help if we saw that before Challenger blows up.

      Flying a chase plane, meeting the Challenger crew, Christa McCaulliffe etc.

  • Linkthis83

    Congrats to the writers in this weekend’s showdown. I will heading to Dallas this weekend to watch my Bengals play the Cowboys so I won’t be available to join the discussion (we are driving from Kentucky).

    THE GRATEFUL EIGHT (so far – which is now a twelve player contest)




    p1 = Of some concern, though, should be the wind speed indicator in the foreground, about a mile from the pad, that is spinning wildly enough to shake the long pole it sits atop. = This sentence needs a few more commas…I kid. I kid.

    I really disliked this sentence. A lot. It’s many words structured awkwardly to illustrate something simple, and for me, the manner in which it’s presented, eliminates the effectiveness of its purpose.

    And after the sentence I dislike, the following sentence happens: It’s not of enough concern to stop the countdown, though.

    Then why are you highlighting it? Does it even play a role later? No.

    I could argue that you could still use it as a device to help add to the build of the launch. In which case, just write: The wind speed indicator in the foreground, about a mile from the pad, spins wildly atop the shaking pole.

    p1 = …the O-rings, the rubber seals… = should a colon be used here? …the O-rings: rubber seals…

    **I also think you should SUPER the location. There’s no establishing shot and we only know the location because of the slug and action lines. Sure most people know where launches take place, but you then take the time to explain the rarity of frost in January in Florida in the action line. Not something that would be on-screen for the viewer.

    p2 = Gasses… = Are you using this as a verb here? Seems strange with the rest of the sentence. If it’s a noun, should be ‘gases’. And something like ‘gases form a milky white cloud’ reads cleaner I think.

    p4 = none the wiser = this is a style choice writers use that I constantly mention I dislike. Of course he’s none the wiser. Just have him doing things as he should. The visual will tell the story and actually adds to the drama…in my opinion. When writers include these types of things, it takes me out of your movie and puts me on a park bench as if you are telling me your story in person.

    p4 = loved the visual of the clocking slowing and transitioning from indistinguishable numbers to clear numbers and the disaster occurs.

    p5 = gasses = gases

    p6 = There’s a time when no one says anything. Then: = Another personal preference for me. You’re going for dramatic effect here. That next line of dialogue is an important moment. Keep the action simple to highlight the line.

    A brief moment of silence…

    “Lock the doors.”

    p6 = stopped

    I found these early pages to be ineffective for an opening that should uber effective. Especially for the story you’re trying to tell regarding the Stafford-Covey committee for relaunching into space.

    If the battle is going to be to get back into space, I feel we need more of an opening that makes us think all is well until all isn’t.

    If you still want to show things going badly, do it later while an explanation of what went wrong is being given (assuming you have a scene that does – but can also understand that you wouldn’t based on the opening).

    If you keep the opening that way, maybe you should do mini slugs for each part of the shuttle you highlight.

    This is a story/concept I would like to see as a movie, but as it’s written, just didn’t work for me.


    p3 = She’s heard this a thousand times – ERIN: “I know, Damien” = this action and dialogue are redundant. Either remove the action or make it an actual action — Rolls her eyes.

    p4 = really liked the idea of the parents arguing over who forgot to remind Damien to do something he forgot to do.

    p9 = Yuri pays the kids while Leanne is with him? Didn’t like that choice.

    p12 = Uncle Rick comes out of nowhere to support this marriage license find.

    p12 = stopped

    This sounds like a movie idea, but not sure these opening pages are maximizing its potential. The writing also didn’t get me invested.

    I feel like some of the moments you show the parents arguing should also include moments where Damien is present. To show how their arguing affects him in real life situations as well. I think the one major take away is Damien’s motivation feels ambiguous based on the pages I read – Is he motivated about how their relationship affects him, or more by the fact that they shouldn’t be together based on his assessment?


    TITLE = I rarely comment on a title page. Did you purposely misspell skyscraper? A document search shows that word is never used again with either spelling. Is this how it’s spelled somewhere else in the world?

    p1 = Edwin places and ear… = an ear

    p6 = we’ve had three thumbs up gestures by this page :) – I have to give that a thumbs down

    p15 = …like time is running out or something = really dug the usage of this line. Some might say it’s on the nose but it comes from a credible character who could speak to the insights of Edwin and is effective for the overall story you are trying to tell

    p15 = stopped

    I like the ideas/concepts you are exploring with this script. I feel like there’s too much setting up taking place over too many pages. It almost feels like everyone could meet for the first time at the wedding and still be effective.

    I also thought that smashing his guitar would be more traumatic for Edwin, but I thought wrong obviously.


    p1 = You’d have to be dead not to, Art = really loved this line.

    p8 = When Van(?) asks Brady if he has any relatives in bowling, I think this is too obvious. I know you give it away in the logline and that makes this question okay. I still think keeping it simple is better. Maybe just have him saying that Brady has a real familiar style he hasn’t seen in awhile.

    If you insist on having a follow up question, just have him ask who he’s had as coaches — or something that sets up a more effective line for Brady than the one he has now.

    p9 = the first mention of Geez needs to be all caps = GEEZ

    p12 = stopped

    The best storytelling of the group this weekend. And about bowling of all things. This is a solid set up thus far. I don’t know how limited you are in being able to describe bowling but you use variations of “assessing the lane” quite a bit. a couple times alone in the back and forth between Art and Snap. I liked the pages I read.


    p15 = stopped

    Congrats, Alison. It was nice to finally check out this hyped script :) With stories that are unconventional, I feel more things are allowable, but it makes it more challenging to give feedback.

    I love it when good writers embrace their concepts/ideas. It makes for a much more definitive, effective read.

    But being honest, I think the Log character needs a better, impactful first scene.

    As it is right now, we have topless chick (not a complaint) in a cabin who pokes a smoldering log being observed from outside — full disclosure, I’m surprised you didn’t sneak in a “hardwood” joke after the topless girl…like her walking across the hardwood floor…but I’m sure that joke is somewhere in this script.

    Back to focus: that moment is so quick though and we jump to Wyatt…burying a young girl’s body. and Wyatt dies on the next page.

    The log rolling is cool and fun. When the log flips upright, Wyatt’s next action is to stand. But not because of the log, just be he’s attempting to light a cigarette. I thought he stood because the log stood. It’s confusing. And his dialogue is the frustrating with lighting the cigarette. Why not have him see the log? If you’re going to have fun with this…have fun. Plus, I feel log would enjoy the surprised reactions :)

    I also feel we could use a better, more interesting moment that also helps transition us to the present day story.

    Good luck this weekend!

    • Scott Crawford

      Good luck to the Dallas Bengals!

      • Linkthis83

        They are the Cincinnati Bengals :) Which will be in your neck of the woods later this month.

        • New_E

          The ‘boys were up 28-0 at some point! WTH is happening to Dalton and the Bengals this year? Prescott must be THAT good.


          • Linkthis83

            I could go into a long list of the things contributing to their level of play this year, but the biggest one is the playcalling of the new OC (and Dalton really needs to step up and take control of the offense but that’s not really his personality).

          • New_E

            It’s tough to make the trip to see your team lose… Stephen A Smith just went off on Marvin Lewis. One thing abt the team though — even if Burfict is controversial, I only wish we had a LB like that on our terrible defense. Dude is always near the actions and knows how to hit and tackle.


      • jeaux

        haha! you are a laugh-an-hour!

    • Kirk Diggler

      Every “Benjals” fan.should watch this.

      • Linkthis83

        oh shit…i’m dying over here.

        • Kirk Diggler

          Hehe. Kyle Mooney is on SNL now. it was these self- produced videos that got him attention

          • Scott Crawford

            That’s interesting. People often say make your own comedy videoes and they’ll hire you but it rarely works out.

          • wlubake

            Same way Andy Samberg got on. I have a buddy who’s twitter account got him a job writing for SNL, too. They are better about finding talent (and not just letting it come to them).

    • wlubake

      Dallas guy here. Let me know if you need ideas on where to eat, visit, etc. Are you staying out in Arlington by Jerryworld?

      • Linkthis83

        yep. We’ll be about a mile from the stadium so we don’t have to pay for parking. I’m taking my niece who is a history major in college. We are going to check out the JFK memorial too. Appreciate the assistance.

        • garrett_h

          I lived in the Metroplex for a couple years. Got to see my Raiders play the Cowboys on Thanksgiving a few years ago, which was fun. We actually outnumbered the Cowboys fans, until Security started rounding us up for no reason lol.

          If you like chicken, go to BABE’S Chicken Dinner House. Hands down the best chicken (baked or fried) and best chicken fried steak I’ve EVER had. I’ve thought about flying in to DFW just for a meal and flying back home to L.A. lol. Also, it’s BYOB. I’ve seen a bunch of guys bring in one of those 36 packs of beers and just place it on the table. Portions are nice, only downside is you can’t take the sides home, just the meat. But great food.

          And good luck to the Bengals. I’m surprised the betting line is so close. I actually have money on you guys, so you better win! Just need to fix that offense. Lost a lot of weapons.

          • UPB13

            I second Babe’s. I’m drooling thinking about it.

          • Linkthis83

            Sorry we lost you money. We don’t looks so good this year with this new OC.

          • garrett_h

            Lol it’s all good. You guys lost some good WRs too. Gonna be tough in the AFC. How was the trip? Get to check out any of the recs?

        • wlubake

          I don’t know the stadium area that well, but in Dallas you could/should:

          1. Hit up the State Fair going on right now, and grab a Fletcher’s Corny Dog;
          2. Pecan Lodge Barbecue is awesome in the Deep Ellum district (just east of downtown);
          3. The Perot Museum is a top rate science and nature museum (just north of downtown); and
          4. Tex-Mex is everywhere here, but if you want a slightly different experience, there is a Blue Mesa in Arlington which has a killer Sunday brunch (reservations suggested).

          Have fun. You picked a good time of year to be here.

          • UPB13

            Definitely go to the State Fair. However, if you go on Saturday morning/early afternoon, you’re going to get caught in the Texas/OU game insanity. It’s fun, but if you don’t want lots of people and traffic, wait ’til later in the day.

          • garrett_h

            I made that mistake once, getting caught in the Red River Shootout madness. Never again lol.

          • garrett_h

            The State Fair is definitely a must see. Went twice, had a ball both times.

            Maybe it’s just me being from Los Angeles and getting real Mexican food, but I absolutely hated Tex-Mex lol. Blue Mesa was OK. I liked the brunch (mainly the drinks lol) but I really didn’t like it. Give me El Cholo or El Coyote any day!

            As for BBQ, I was also disappointed. A lot of subpar places out there. Just because it’s Texas, everyone thinks they can ‘cue. Well, they can’t lol. Haven’t heard of Pecan Lodge but I’ll check it out next time I’m there.

            For my money, the best BBQ in Texas is Baker’s Ribs. I was driving down I-20 on my way to Louisiana one weekend and stopped in to their little restaurant in the middle of nowhere on a hunch. I felt like some adventure lol. It was delicious! Turned out they had more locations in DFW. That was the only place I went for BBQ out there after that.

          • UPB13

            Dallas has terrible BBQ. All the good places are in CenTex, around Austin.

            It’s been several years since I lived in Dallas, so I don’t remember the good Tex-Mex places. But you can never go wrong with Chuy’s, no matter what city you’re in.

          • garrett_h

            Glad I’m not the only one! All these DFW locals would tell me how great the BBQ was and I was never impressed. I’d rather do my own grilling, but I didn’t have a pit out there.

            I know some places in L.A. that would put them to shame. Maybe we just have more practice out here since we can grill year-round lol.

            Passed by Chuy’s in Fort Worth a million times, never went. Will have to add it to places to try next time I’m there.

    • smishsmosh22

      Hi Link, I just wanted to say thank you for your notes and including Log on your list! I am certainly grateful to be there. I will work on that opening scene, I agree it could be better. :)

    • Davyd SC

      Thanks, Link. You’re notes on page 8 of Hard One are great and I will use them.

  • The Colonel

    The High Hard one is extremely well written, but a straight-ahead sports drama about bowling just doesn’t interest me. (A straight-ahead sports drama about any sport doesn’t interest me.)

    Untitled Breaking up is also exceptionally well written, and the way Anonymous (love your hacking work, btw) manages the voice-over and introductions in the first few pages is admirable. But no laughs for me in the first 10, so I put it down.

    Something True has a great logline, but uh-oh, an error in the very first sentence?? It starts “On a guitarist”? And another error in the third sentence? “Edwin places and ear next to . . . ” Sorry, but that was enough for me.

    Return to Flight sounds interesting, but then the first few pages are a factually accurate re-telling of the space shuttle disaster, which I’ve seen a million times, and then page after page of Reagan’s speech. As someone said about O. Stone’s “W.” that’s reporting, not filmmaking. At the very least imagine what’s going on in the cockpit, give me something more than the facts I already know.

    Which brings me to LOG, which gets my vote. Any movie that makes me think of Evil Dead 2 instantly gets my vote. Scary and funny, bonkers the whole way through, it’s a friggen gem.

    • smishsmosh22

      ‘Log for 2016′. I like it!

      Thank you for your continued support and belief in me and my silly little movie. Without champions like you and a few others, Log may have been flushed long ago.

    • Carmelo Framboise

      “the way Anonymous (love your hacking work, btw)”

      This is the funniest thing I read/heard in three days. Not by far, but it still is.

      • The Colonel

        I just hope they don’t steal my identity because I didn’t vote for their script.

  • wlubake

    First take on the loglines:

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

    Very functional logline, and the premise sounds like it has a few laughs. That said, it appears that the whole movie will be dependent upon the writers ability to consistently deliver funny ways for a log to kill people.

    Title: Something True for Those Skyscraper Hearts
    Logline: When a talented musician finds himself on the wrong side of life he must discover if anything is stronger than death – and if anything is more important than family.

    If this isn’t an adaptation of a novel, that title has to go. As for the logline, “he must discover if ANYTHING is stronger than death – and if ANYTHING is more important than family.” This is very vague. It sounds like he’ll be sitting there in the afterlife just trying out different things to see if they are stronger than death or more important than family. “Banana – nope. Granite – nope. Marshmallows – nope.” 2 hours later, he finally gets to love or music or whatever and has an epiphany. You need more directness here. I don’t know if this is your story, but maybe “in order to be reunited with his family, he must embark on a supernatural journey through the afterlife to prove that music is stronger than death.” That paints a more vivid picture of the themes of your story and the action.

    Title: The High Hard One
    Logline: An angry young bowling prodigy from the trailer parks of Seattle competes in a tournament for a chance at the pro tour, and faces off against his estranged father – a famous ex-pro attempting to mount a comeback.

    I had to double-check that this was drama, rather than comedy. An “angry young bowling prodigy” just seems like a spoof concept. Also, I don’t necessarily associate Seattle with its trailer parks, so that setting also struck me as weird. As for the central conflict itself, that sounds like a good sports movie. But unless you can get AMF to bankroll you, I don’t know who is looking to make a fictional bowling movie these days.

    Title: Untitled Breaking Up Parents Marriage Comedy
    Logline: Convinced that his constantly feuding parents are headed for a divorce, a 14 year old sets out to find new lovers for his mom and dad in hopes of ending their marriage.

    I’d like to see a stronger motivation for splitting up his parents aside from eventuality. Perhaps he’s trying to regain sanity in his house? Maybe it’s how he thinks he can get them to pay for something he wants (college, summer camp, etc.)? Just seeing the writing on the wall feels like a soft motivation. Matchmaking for your parents is funny, though, only helped by the fact that they are still married to each other. Budget sounds right. Sounds like the makings of something that could be produced.

    Title: Return to Flight
    Logline: Richard Covey, the pilot for the next mission after the Challenger disaster, must battle his growing paranoia about the safety of the shuttle program if America is to return to space. Based on a true story.

    I agree with the general comments here. “Battle his growing paranoia” doesn’t sound like a very compelling story. If he was personally involved with Challenger, play up redemption or something, perhaps? That said, you’ve done a good job making a movie about the Challenger without it actually being about the Challenger. Hollywood likes that.

    What I’m interested in reading, in order: Untitled, Return to Flight, High Hard One, Log, Skyscraper.

    • The Colonel

      I think Something True for Those Skyscraper Hearts is a fantastic title, very interesting and original.

    • garrett_h

      I agree 100% with your assessment of Skyscraper. It’s extremely vague.

      And also, I had to read it a couple times. What is the wrong side of life? I stopped right there at had to figure it out. Was it death? Then thought maybe he was down and out, homeless, broke, etc. I read it again. What does this mean exactly? Kept reminding me of “wrong side of the tracks” in which case you can cross back over. So maybe he’s just in a bad space in life. Cause you can’t cross back over from death to life.

      Then I kept reading, got to the next line, and it mentions death. So he really is dead I guess? Or is he battling vs death for his life? Like in a coma, or with a terminal illness? Maybe he is dead, but if so, where exactly is he? In Purgatory?

      I like your example much better. If he’s dead, just says he’s dead. And tell us what he’s trying to accomplish. I don’t know what “finding out if anything is stronger than death – and anything is more important than family” looks like. Where is the finish line? And honestly, if he is indeed dead, who cares about his family? They can’t see him. He’s a ghost. They’re grieving. He can watch them cry all he wants, but who wants 90 minutes of that?

      Right now, it’s just too vague.

    • smishsmosh22

      ya, coming up with ways for the Log to kill people was one of the hardest parts haha.

  • klmn

    Congrats to all the writers who made it this week. I’ll read tomorrow and offer my comments.

  • ocattorney

    downloaded all the scripts, intrigued that one doesn’t have a title… I would think, for a contest, the title would help us like the script more. Unless “Untitled Breaking Up Parents Marriage Comedy” is supposed to be a clever title. Or, maybe you want us to read the script and make suggestions, which is actually quite a workable plan. My initial problem is, the Conflict seems to be of one type. If you hit the same plot beat over and over, it gets boring. Does it go anywhere that isn’t in the opening complaint? Seems like a problem out of the 1950s. Today, ending a marriage is fairly common. But for this contest, a challenge to create goals and find original ways to overcome obstacles, I think it’s okay. Going to need some time to pick a winner this week. The writing looks great on all of them. – Bill Hays

    • garrett_h

      The premise isn’t without it’s flaws, but I thought it was fairly original. Most movies like this have the kids trying to PREVENT the divorce, so I thought him trying to break it up was refreshing.

      However, the fact that the writer didn’t care to put a title on it, nor their actual name, is a red flag. I might pass on general principal.

      • Scott Crawford

        That’s very harsh! But very accurate. Sadly, if someone thinks a writer hasn’t made enough effort in their pitch, they’re inclined to think there is a corresponding lack of effort in the writing. May be a false statistic, but there you are.

        I remember Drew Goddard saying that there is no connection between being a good writer and completing an accurate copy order, which Drew had to do as an assistant, but if you can’t get the copy order right, it shows that you don’t want it enough. A writing career, that is.

        • garrett_h

          Probably is a false statistic, but still it’s there for a reason I think.

          Hate to be too harsh. Maybe I take AOW too seriously lol. But I feel like there are industry eyes on this blog. Each submission should be treated like an actual industry query. Would you send your script to prodcos or agents or managers without a title and with no name on it? It would end up in the rejection pile immediately, without being opened.

          I could be wrong, but that’s how I look at it.

      • wlubake

        Lots of “Untitled ____ Comedy” type scripts show up on the Blacklist. Not a problem in my mind. The anonymity is the weirder part. There’d have to be a reason for it – like if it won with a name attached people would be pissed (established writer, one of Carson’s paid readers, etc.).

        • garrett_h

          A lot of those Untitled scripts on the BL are projects that are under internal development. There’s a producer or director or actor attached (sometimes all of them!) and they just haven’t settled on a title yet, but the script still made the rounds. Or it’s a studio project that went out to the town.

          And the majority of the BL scripts are from repped writers with a track record. I’d be afraid to send out a script with no title as a total amateur. I just imagine them getting it and laughing. “Ha! This loser can’t even come up with a title for his script! TRASH!”

          But I do agree, the anonymous part is worse. It’s just strange. Like there’s something that needs to be hidden. I really don’t get it. Kinda irks me lol.

  • smishsmosh22

    Thank you tony! see you at the table read today?

  • ChadStuart

    Hey guys, thanks for all the thoughts and notes provided and yet to come. Under the thumb of Matthew still with intermittent power outages and, mostly, internet dropping out. Even if I’m not answering I am reading and absorbing your notes. Thanks!

    • garrett_h

      Which one is yours? And stay safe!

      EDIT: I assume you’re Chad Rouch, writer of Return to Flight (or Anonymous writer of Untitled)?

      • ChadStuart

        Return to Flight

        • New_E

          Great job!!! One of my fave amateur scripts here all-time!


  • JakeBarnes12

    The problem with generic loglines…

    Title: Jaws

    Logline: When a talented police chief finds himself on the wrong side of life he must discover if anything is stronger than death – and if anything is more important than family.

    Title: Die Hard

    Logline: When a talented NYPD Officer finds himself on the wrong side of life he must discover if anything is stronger than death – and if anything is more important than family.

    Title: Taken

    Logline: When a talented retired CIA Operative finds himself on the wrong side of life he must discover if anything is stronger than death – and if anything is more important than family.

    Title: Fargo

    Logline: When a talented but corrupt car salesman finds himself on the wrong side of life he must discover if anything is stronger than death – and if anything is more important than family.

    Etc. Etc. Etc.

    • brenkilco

      Any logline that can fit both It’s a Wonderful Life and Hitler:The Last Ten Days probably needs work.

    • Carmelo Framboise

      Yes and the script is generic too. BUT I am on page 60. Fuck, how did that happen?

    • garrett_h

      I literally LOL’d. Glad no one is here, they’re all out to lunch.

  • jbird669

    Congrats to all of the writers! It’s tough to choose, but put me down for The High, Hard One.

  • smishsmosh22

    Hello RS, thanks for the salute. Log was indeed inspired partially by Rubber, in which another inanimate object comes to life and kills people. However, where Rubber was avante garde, Log is more Horror Comedy / Slasher.

  • jeaux

    Reading The High Hard One. Nice writing. A couple of nit-pics but by no means deal-breakers – when Geez says “you got this” several times. To me that rings more of a current/popular phrase used by twenty-somethings, not a 70 year old man. Another is describing the characters using actors/other movie characters (Robert Duvall, Chuckie & Will Hunting). It’s a small thing but it takes me out of the read momentarily. Your descriptions are good enough that they’re not needed. Good stuff otherwise. Continuing reading now…

    • jeaux

      Forgot to mention, a nice subtle sense of humor too but this one actually made me laugh out loud ( sorry, I don’t “LOL”) –
      Brady Boone got laid this weekend.
      Nice. Was it one of our local drivers, or one of the long-haul guys?

      • Davyd SC

        Thanks! And glad it made you really laugh not just lol. Always good to know when your jokes land.

  • smishsmosh22

    Thanks for the vote, frog!!! I know it was a tough choice for you. Some very strong competition this week for sure.

  • Comma

    Log : page 32, stop reading…
    I can hardly imagine another script beating this page this week!

    Now I start reading the untitled comedy, the logline is very good.

    • smishsmosh22

      I wish most people read that far haha. Thanks for checking it out!

  • Poe_Serling

    Scriptshadow Tournament WEEK 5…

    I thought for sure it was going to be Bigfoot vs. Log and company. There’s
    a wrestling match tailor-made for some main event action. ;-)

    Congrats to all the featured writers this week.

    • Midnight Luck

      Bigfoot may break your bones, but Log will Fucking Kill You!

      • Poe_Serling

        Yeah. Log was a bit too intense for me. But I know there’s an
        audience for that type of thing.

        Personally, I lean more toward films with a lot of ‘ghostly’ atmosphere
        and a steady buildup of suspense/dread.

        • ScriptChick

          Just saw Lights Out! I was scared at points but I really think I’d be terrified of my energy bill if put in that situation….

    • Citizen M

      Who would win if it was LOG vs. SAW?

  • Comma

    Untitled comedy, Page 5
    This is not an amateur! Best script of the whole competition so far. It will be hard to pick one to vote this week.

  • Uptomyknees

    It was a weird day.

  • Randy Williams

    I made it through Matthew. Hell, it wasn’t much of a storm in my area. I’ve seen more damage after Grendl has blown through here.


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

    I read to page 55. Why I stopped there, later. Certainly there was something in this that captivated me to continue that far. It’s a slow, slow burn which I feel might turn some off here. For me, I was drawn to the capturing of that intimacy that one experiences in a time of life, like college, where one is trying to discover their passion, their place in life. It was nicely drawn between Edwin (no age given?) and Rachel (19).

    The beginning, like I said, is a slow burn. It sets up this relationship. The bench scene, although I felt, too long, (almost 7 pages!) was beautifully rendered, I thought. That earnest desire to see someone else happy and hope that you’ll be part of that process. I felt a certain investment to keep reading after that scene.

    There are some odd things in the beginning. It sounds like we’re in Santa Monica but they drive a “Eurovan” and there are lots of European cars at the wedding. I didn’t understand the need to stress this “Europeaness”. Also that the couple had relatives as bride and groom. Didn’t seem to factor in later on and felt like a coincidence.
    Overall, a lack of visuals that might give us a taste of the city we are in. Like in the bench scene, you could break it up by things happening around them, vistas from their point of view, etc.

    The sudden shift in time after she declares that she’s pregnant, I loved because it caught me totally by surprise. After that point, I was thinking, however, that there’s been a lot of pages and nothing so far has really fit the “fantasy” genre. No whimsical happenings, no fantastic visuals, no oddities to wonder on. So, perhaps a reader looking for that genre would question whether they are being satisfied?

    Then it does become fantasy after Edwin dies. First of all, I felt them having a dance studio AND a music shop was a bit much. I’d cut the music shop. Then the transition to the City Gates was very abrupt. Perhaps present some fantastical elements to ease us into that zone? Movies do it all the time with bright lights, voices, that tunnel to go down, visions of the dead before crossing, etc. Maybe Edwin sees the Man of the Gate by the hospital lunch trolley before he succumbs?
    And where is Edwin’s reaction to all this? Maybe he can go through the stages of grief. Anger, denial, all those and finally acceptance? Give him and the Man of the Gate the same kind of scene you gave Edwin and Rachel on the bench? I wanted more than a quick dash of nonchalant, I’m here, I want to go back, okay, but…

    So much time and careful attention was given to pulling Edwin and Rachel together along with the reader that was missing in pulling Edwin into death and his “mission”.
    The “catch” that Edwin was given by the Man wasn’t thoughtful enough. It held no stakes for anyone as far as I could see.
    I stopped on page 55 where that catch was stated.

    • Carmelo Framboise

      I honestly agree.

      I read the whole thing. It has many problems but for some reason I just kept on reading.

      Yes it is a slow burn, it drags, it has silly mistakes but it has heart. Along with naivity, but the sort of naivity you find in a loving innocent human being.

      “Give him and the Man of the Gate the same kind of scene you gave Edwin
      and Rachel on the bench? I wanted more than a quick dash of nonchalant,
      I’m here, I want to go back, okay, but…”

      Yes! And there’s your second act right there. A juxtaposition of life on earth and life on wherever Edwin is and why, how he should come back. It would be fun for him to try and convince the Gatekeeper -thus showing us the love he feels for his wife and kid. A convincing process that could take him 10 years.

      And if you continued reading, you wouldn’t really be surprised, but for some reason it brought a tear in my eye.

  • K David

    My vote goes to: Untitled Breaking Up Parents Marriage Comedy

    Close second: Log

    So, I really liked UBPMC. It was a quick read, great marketable concept, with interesting characters. The only time though that it felt like a 1st (or 2nd/3rd) draft was during some of the dialogue. But it read, for the most part, like a polished/worked script.

    Log on the other hand felt like a draft in the works, with some unique/compelling story elements.

    So, it was a hard choice. On the one hand, Log felt like it was more in line with the comp (not trying to callout UBUPMC writer. He/She more than likely followed the rules of the comp), but it still felt like it had been worked way more than Log. So that was my conundrum. Go with the script that felt more like it was in line with this competition that I liked, or the script that I liked overall. In the end I chose the latter.

    • UPB13

      Hookem! It’s 6:37 PM…

    • smishsmosh22

      Thanks for the shout out! You gotta go with your gut so no worries there. :)

  • Randy Williams


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

    Read to page 23. Why I stopped there, later. I’m not much of a bowling as a sport fan but I do, as a fan of mid-century design love being in some older bowling alleys. I liked that I wasn’t given too much bowling at the very beginning, but presented with the setting up of possible and the possibility of relationships and relationships already established over time. All nicely done, I thought, especially that between Tully and Geez. Brady and Lucinda, felt a bit forced since Brady was established as a bit of a scowling figure with the Bowling rep, I wondered why he was so open with Lucinda.

    Little bits of atmosphere nicely set me up in this Pacific Northwest town. I do love rainy movies.

    Page 10- maybe specifics on why Tully doesn’t like his cellphone. Just not knowing how it works doesn’t sound reasonable and makes him out as dumb. Later in the bar scene when he’s on the phone with Geez, maybe revisit that frustration he has with his phone again?

    The dialogue on page 13 that reveals the relationship between Tully and Brady, I thought should be cut. I’m already connecting the dots in my mind. I don’t need that reinforcing. Let the viewer pat themselves on the back later on, “yeah, I knew it.”

    I just love this dialogue on page 23 from the pizza delivery guy. “My hours are flexible. Plus, we have protocols set up for just these types of contingencies.” Love that he sticks around to share a bong.

    I’m stopping when the first tournament bowling match starts. I’m comfortable in feeling that I will be rewarded with a compelling drama but not really surprised with anything. In that way, I feel this is more satisfying TV than current feature. I could even see this as a Lifetime movie if Brady and Tully were females.

    • Davyd SC

      Great notes and very helpful. Thank you, Randy!

  • Carmelo Framboise


    Read to page 15. Magnificent opening. A well known
    historical fact, viewed in an artistic yet documentary way, with a lot of
    emotion between words. A great hook in my opinion.

    You could lose the first SUPER. We all know – or we are all
    gonna find out – when and where we are. It adds just a teeny bit of suspense
    cause we all know it is going to blow. You could even lose the name of the shuttle:
    Challenger. Give it to us AFTER it has taken off.

    But it is such a well written intro, with a great way to
    thrust us into a slo-mo sequence, that I just went and saw the whole video of
    the Challenger disaster on youtube.

    Generally speaking it could be interesting, but it is not
    enough for a movie. There seems to be no cinematic expression apart from that mind-blowing
    start with the digits slowing down. I fear it will be a good drama set in
    offices with people talking. There is no real promise for action – not set
    pieces, action.

    And I am not too sure about the title either. It could be
    read as Return to Fright which would be a totally different movie – or would


    Read it ALL.

    This is labeled fantasy, yet I didn’t get any fantasy up
    until page 50something.

    My advice is to make this a short story. There are pages and
    pages where nothing is happening, yet you have a story. So, make it a 20 minute
    short film. It could be great. Greatly powerful. I am not kidding. And I would
    love to help. So, hit me up if you read this.

    This script is a mess but it has a heart. Guys you know
    what? I cried. And that doesn’t happen often when I read. Or not often at all
    cause I am a man. No just kidding, but really I had tears in my eyes at points.
    But that was really late. You need to work on your script.

    So, here are the bad news.

    The main character description is not good at all. Apart
    from the lack of age and the typos it is rather cliche. In general there is nothing
    interesting on the first page. And cute 19 year old girls don’t count as
    interesting stuff.

    I liked the parallel sequences of the guys and the girls but
    I expected something original. So far it plays out like a teen movie about

    I am not a maniac with these things but it sure has a lot of
    errors. It almost makes me feel kinda stupid for paying for a grammar check service
    and read through my whole script 2-3 times. Especially if I don’t get picked,
    that’s the excuse for the start of a nice mini-depression right there.

    I have reached page 25, it is an easy read as nothing really
    is happening. Ok, I am skimming and I am here because I want to see if anything

    There is something to it. A naive simplicity which I like
    but I am worried that it will be a quite cliche story. I also wonder if this is
    a story about doing what GOD TOLD YOU TO DO and not have sex until marriage.
    That would be fun.

    Page 33 and Edwin finally gave in to Rachel’s flirting.

    At around page 37 we learn that she is pregnant (with
    Edwin’s child or not?) and then we jump forward in time I think. Not sure. They
    seem to be married now.

    And on page 50 (!) Edwin has something like a seizure. He
    has had it again – that is my understanding. We didn’t know for sure. But it is
    serious and he is dying.

    End of Act 1.

    He is now in front of a gate. He is told he must do the
    difficult task of finding some keys and then he can go back to earth. A couple
    of days later he has found the keys and comes back to earth were everyone thinks
    he is dead. And it’s been 13 or so years on earth now.

    There is an emotional core to this story. But the whole
    first 20 pages could be 5, the rest of the 50 pages could be 20 and then we
    could get a bit of Edwin’s afterlife, return and drama. Act 3 is where I guess
    Peter and Edwin and Rachel clash and where they all learn a lesson about what
    family is.

    In the end, Edwin is quite a bastard whispering to Rachel if
    she is making the right choice at her wedding. Could be interesting, just don’t
    make it so obvious maybe? If he is something like the voice of conscience its
    ok. But if he really is a ghost he is just a bad-bad ghost. Possessive,
    egopath. On the other hand Peter is a great guy. So who are we rooting for? Maybe
    if you showed us that it was really hard for Edwin to get here. Cause it was
    rather easy for him to obtain the keys and come back to earth.

    Despite the drawbacks I read it all cause I was invested in
    the couple’s love story.


    Read to page 13. I would’ve easily read more.

    Very confident writing. Maybe too confident? But it is good. Interesting. Fun. It shows you can lead the way, and tell the story. Interesting characters, nice concept.

    I can’t really note on something in particular. It flows well, ok it is not a masterpiece but shows very capable writing. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s from a seasoned writer. But I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s from a talented young writer either.

  • Randy Williams


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

    Read 20 pages. Honestly, I’m not a fan of astronaut stories. I think they are my least favorite movies. That one with Sandra Bullock even didn’t do it for me. So, there’s that prejudice with me in opening this. I do like aviation movies and the aviation parts of this I enjoyed although in the first 20 pages there is not much. I think I sat up in my chair a bit when he’s in the simulator. Loved getting a computer’s point of view about the tragedy. Where’s the freaking warning light? I would have liked more of this.

    Don’t like pointing out typos in these challenge scripts. We had little time to even write these things, much less go through them and catch all the typos, but Covey is often spelled Cover and since it’s your protagonist, this typo really stands out.

    Overall, really good writing, I felt. Perhaps not gritty enough and too by the book, everyone seems like a saint in ways, but maybe that’s the astronaut world and maybe why I’m not that into it.

    Can see this getting some votes.

  • smishsmosh22

    My group Twitch Film is doing a table read of Shadows Beyond LIVE right now if anyone wants to watch.

    • smishsmosh22

      narration by Electric Dreamer… Scriptchick is reading too! :)

    • klmn

      Just saw this. Is this the space opera? Good to see Greg still hanging in there after his rough experience.

      Maybe with the studios looking for Chinese content, he can make a connection.

      • smishsmosh22

        he says yes, sort of. haha. The video will be on our site later tonight if you want to watch what you missed.

  • Randy Williams


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

    Read to page 15. I want to read more as time allows. There’s a nice energy to this, I can see this as a movie. I like the main character. He’s certainly endearing. The situations are funny. I loved how they give the kid an opportunity with the umbrella and he says he’s not interested in the girl anymore. I’m interested how he progresses from classmates to his own parents.

    Honestly, what holds me back from really wanting to read more is probably my own fault. I read fast and the description here is so, so streamlined to be nonexistent. There is so little giving one their bearings in a scene visually. So many introductions of characters in action and nothing else. So much coming at me as I read fast that the lines of description become rote, the emotional punch of scenes quickly evaporate.

    In this case less is not more for me. Can see this getting some votes, however.

  • Randy Williams


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

    I’ve read the whole thing. This is definitely not a movie I’d probably ever go see unless I was dragged kicking and screaming to it. Even then, I’d have my eyes closed half the time. But, there is no doubt, in my opinion, that Ms. Parker writes with an energy that pops off the page. Her experience as a director translates to these early screenwriting attempts of hers. :) The visuals from different perspectives, the attention to props, the entrances and exits. All so nicely done. But she also makes the reading experience an easy one. Setting up scenes visually. Highlighting action with capital letters and exclamation points and a variety of blocking to keep the eye on point, the page a charmer and not a chore.
    She keeps the tone on target with the genre. You can laugh out loud at the hacking of body parts and still maintain that you are a sane member of society.

    I think you should either make us feel something or entertain the sh*t out of us and Log, here, I think, has done the second.

    MY VOTE goes to LOG
    A close second to “Skyscraper Hearts” but making me feel something.

    • smishsmosh22

      Thank you so much for your vote! :)

  • HRV

    Read up to page 21 of Log. The absurdity of a log killing people just doesn’t gel with me ( I do realize this was done on purpose, but it’s a little too far fetched.) Based on the characters, this would be a good stoner movie — watch while you’re high. No petting of wild beavers. A wounded animal is generally not going to take kindly to human help. Saw a girl get nastily bitten by a squirrel she tried to help after it was hit by a car. ( of course you could have it snap at her for a scare). I figured the writer was Canadian — believe I caught an “eh” in there. Where did the notion come “aboot” that we say “sorry” for everything?

    Read up to page 20 of First in Flight. Knowledgeably written, I get the impression the beginning is the most interesting — even though we all already know the story. Wondered where the story goes, but moved on to read others. Noticed the Cover – Covey, and the lighting = lightning errors.

    Read to page 30 of Something. Slow start, but easy read. No fantasy elements up to that point. Comes across as a chick-flick which, being married, I don’t mind. Her = he pg 5.

    Read up to page 20 of High and Hard. Wouldn’t Lucinda know what Brady bought since she would have been with him during the purchase? I know that changes the following scene, but it was something that struck me as I read. The characters are interesting, but as others have mentioned, the topic not so much. Bowling is not as popular as it used to be. Easy read. Authoriti pg. 2.

    Read all of Untitled. It was such an easy read and I became invested in the characters. I wouldn’t call it a comedy, but more a drama with comedic elements. Pg. 11, Damien snaps a photo of the license with his cell phone. Pg. 73, 6) Laurie. Pg. 77, I didn’t like you (like) that. Pg. 92, by himself? Pg. 94, day = dad, Pg. 100, picture(s)
    I think my choice will have to be the Untitled Breakup screenplay.

    • wad_d

      Thanks for your vote and the typo finds. I’ll fix those.

    • smishsmosh22

      I am Canadian and I wrote Wyatt as a Canadian logrolling champion from Nova Scotia so I gave him the ‘eh’ line. :) Thanks for checking it out, sorry it wasn’t for you.

      • HRV

        There’s that sorry I mentioned ;) I like a good horror and personally think it would work better if log was a complete tree instead — Attack of the Killer Sapling.

  • GoIrish

    UBUPMC – wound up reading all of this. It was a pretty straight forward story but kept me engaged to the end. I can see why the writer characterized this as a comedy, but I think that may set up false expectations – there aren’t any laugh out loud moments or really any chuckles. I wonder if dramedy would have been a better description. Is dramedy used to describe light-hearted dramas? It seemed like it was a fairly polished script, so I suspect the writer may have been working on this prior to the challenge. I feel a little torn on this one – it was competently written and as I said kept me engaged, it just didn’t shine in any particular area. The plot was serviceable; the dialogue wasn’t on the nose or bad, but there wasn’t anything memorable about it either. I think the strength of the script was its characters. I wouldn’t say they were unique in any particular way, but you cared enough to see what happened to them. When it comes down to it though, I don’t know who the target audience for this movie would be. At 14, the leads are older than the kids in The Parent Trap. So maybe it would appeal to pre-teens??? I’m just not sure.

  • Cal

    This was a really competitive week — in my opinion the most competitive week so far because every writer in this bracket has chops and their own unique style. All considered, my vote this week goes to…


    In the first twenty pages there was a sense and simplicity and youth that makes me want to read the whole thing. The style and authenticity I felt I was getting from the content reminds me of a lot of projects I’ve personally worked on and there’s a part of me that will always be drawn to this kind of material on a simple, artistic level… there’s just something behind it all that feels real, I was in from page 1. I also think that the theme of death is always fascinating when explored truthfully in stories, although it can be dismal, I think it’s a very real thing for people that can lead to some very truthful content when the writer goes for it. I’m really looking forward to reading the whole thing and seeing where it goes, from what I’ve read so far, I’ve got high hopes.


    My runner up. Read to page thirty and couldn’t put it down. I have a lot of roots in the NW west and loved the description and scenes and hope to have time to also finish it this week. The writing was really strong. I really felt like I was in those bowling alleys. I have a feeling David’s been in his fair share as well, maybe not, but if felt very authentic. It was a really tight decision between first and second… just had to go with what was hitting me the hardest.


    Congrats to all of you on getting chosen. Smish, I couldn’t stop laughing in that first act while I was trying to figure out what the hell was going on, lol, but it was so absurd I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think you have something here. I was looking for something more to personally connect to give it my vote, but I feel you could have a lot of niche interest in this. Sounds like you already got people interested so congrats. Great style. I liked where you were going with it. On the right day, I’d love to watch this on Netflix.

    Great writing in Return to Flight. Sounds like a really interesting story. Enjoyed what I read and I could see this going places. I just didn’t feel like reading the whole story on this particular day, and for competition purposes it just came down to that.

    I thought the opening for Untitled Breaking up Parents Marriage comedy was great. It was well-written and clipped right along. I thought the voice over worked well for the situations presented, and the characters were well fleshed out. I liked how Damien and Erin run that little hook-up business. I mean, it was really good, they all were this week. Would have liked to see this bracket split with last week — which I personally thought was the weakest — to even it out a little more and give you all twice the odds at a number one spot for a first round week, but so competitions go, it is what it is. Congrats to all who were chosen this week and for writing such strong work. It’s a pleasure when it’s this hard to choose…

    • smishsmosh22

      Thanks for your notes, glad you enjoyed it!!!

      • Cal

        Everyone did a great job!

  • RO

    I vote for “The High Hard One”. Aside from the use of “alot” instead of “a lot”, its’ a really well written script. The bowling tournament narrative was great – I do have a little biased as when I was a kid I was part of a bowling league. But aside from that it was pretty solid. I would have enjoyed a bit more from Lucinda and a bit more of a challenge for Tully to face with Etta. I read this script to the end and found it fun.

    2nd Place is “Log”. This is totally a Troma film. It was also a fun read, but I found myself about 40 pages ahead of the script. It reminded me a lot of the white rabbit scene from Monty Python’s Holy Grail, just expanded in to a schlocky horror film.

    Return to flight I only made it to page 10, it felt too slow for me, but the subject is interesting.

    Untitled Break Up comedy has a great concept (strangely something I tried doing with my folks when I was a kid as well – sadly I failed), but it just didn’t seem to track with me. finished at page 11.

    Something true – didn’t like the title, or the logline. It revolted me, so I didn’t read and I’m not sorry about it.

    But congrats to the other four writers, some really good competition this week.

    • Carmelo Framboise

      The rabbit from Holy Grail, exactly what I thought about Log!

    • smishsmosh22

      Thanks for 2nd place vote!

  • Nick Morris

    My vote: LOG

    I gotta say, this thing changes DRAMATICALLY from draft to draft. Having previously read the first 2 iterations of LOG, I feel like this one is a bit of a step backwards. I think the opening scene of the 2nd (or 3rd, not certain) version with the “troubled youths” was more cohesive and engaging than this latest one. And the arrival of the metalheads is better, but still feels a bit forced. Blatant meat for the grinder.

    In spite of that, I still think LOG is batshit crazy and a fucking blast. I’m really ROOTing for it ’cause I wanna watch the hell out of it on Netflix late some night! :)

    • smishsmosh22

      Thanks for the vote Nick! I’ll work on the first act more in the next draft. :)

  • Jarrean

    My vote–> This was definitely difficult for me choosing between High Hard, Return, and Untitled. But I’m going to go with The High Hard One. Based on if I was given the choice of the three in theaters.

    Log: Read to page 4.

    It’s too silly of a concept for me. I was a bit disoriented by the layout of what exactly I was seeing.

    Something True for those Skyscraper Hearts: Read to page 9.

    I’m not sure how I feel about this after the initial read. The writing feels breezy, if not a bit repetitive with the action. I did stop to re-read the logline. Not really sure where this is going or where the fantasy elements will fall into place. Maybe an alternative format would service the story better (short story perhaps?).

    The High Hard One: Read to page 8.

    I believe this one has potential. Granted, bowling isn’t as popular, I think it’ll make a great indie flick, a la Whiplash. If the characters are there and it has real drama– keep pursing it.

    Untitled Breaking Up Parents Marriage Comedy: Read to page 10.

    In the 10 pages, I didn’t crack a smile or laugh. I thought the intro was really well done, but it fell off at the lunch table. I’m not sure 14 year olds would be obsessed with their parents relationship–let alone a friend wanting to hear about that. Maybe if the kids were older and in high school it’d be more believable. Definitely punch up the comedy.

    Return to Flight: Read to page 9 and started skimming.

    Chad, I believe I read something of yours before on the site. You definitely have a talent.

  • Omoizele Okoawo

    Plenty of AOWS would have been won by any of these scripts so congratulations to all these writers.

    Log was laugh out loud funny. It was hard to sit through the other scripts after reading it. But the scenes where Log rapes a woman, and then rapes his own daughter, and then the first woman Log raped has to live with, Log, her daughter and her daughter’s baby by Log? That shit was too much.

    I guess I’m voting for Log anyway though.

    • Omoizele Okoawo

      I guess I should review the others that I read. Skyscraper Hearts, I read up to page twenty. It was well written. I might have read more if I hadn’t read Log first but I didn’t have the energy. So I’m not sure if reading Log ruined me for the slow burn or what. Also I’ve seen a few romantic dead person comes back to be with the person they love movies so even though the writing was okay I wasn’t that interested in anything else. I skipped to the end and I continued not being particularily excited.

      The High Hard One felt good writing married to a sports script that wasn’t particularly funny or super dramatic or anything else. Not bad but the ending wasn’t something that I NEEDED to see so I stopped.

      I almost decided to pick Untitled over Log since no one gets away with rape in it and I liked the weird business the two kids had. You could probably have a whole movie of these two kids running the business, breaking up their friendship because he pushed her into the arms of another dude because he doesn’t believe in love because of his parents, then while they both run the same businesses seperately, they both get a case for two guys who want the same girl and things get crazy. Finally either their customers or the girl they are trying to get for their customers realize that what they are doing and puts an end to the whole thing while bringing the two former partners together. The parent story is still in it, it’s just a side issue to the crazy antics they get into at school. Hell for all I know that happens in the middle. I just read twenty pages of the front and skipped to the end.

      After all that, Return To Flight’s beginning is just to slow for me. I ended up reading the first page and then skimming the next five pages. Their had to be a more interesting way to introduce this thing.

    • Carmelo Framboise

      The first script you read always has an advantage. That’s why I break the process down now, read a couple one day, couple the next.

      Return to Flight is well written though.

      As you said, all of them could won an AOW.

      • Omoizele Okoawo

        It’s not badly written but I wish the script started on page six with Reagan’s voice over and the astronaut preparing to go to the funeral. It could be just because I’m familiar with the disaster, but I needed something more than five pages of the details of the shuttle craft exploding to keep me in it.

        • Carmelo Framboise

          I dunno. I watched two hours of documentaries and videos on The Challenger and The Columbia after these first pages. :)

          • Omoizele Okoawo

            Dramatically when you have an Oscar winning movie like Apollo 13 at one end and a thriller like Gravity at the other end, I’m not sure that Return To Flight had anything about it that those other movies don’t cover very effectively.

            I flipped through it a bit more and it is a good script (certainly better than anything I’ve ever written) but both Apollo 13 and Gravity have higher dramatic stakes and they both have more going on visually. Interstellar and The Martian also extend themselves into new places dramatically, visually, and storywise that brought people out to see them. I’m not sure where RTF plants its flag and says, “This is where I’m going that no astronaut movie has gone before and that’s why you’ll want to see this.”

          • Omoizele Okoawo
          • New_E

            Don’t forget CONTACT. For me, one of the most effective space movies — Zemeckis in top form.


    • smishsmosh22

      Hey glad I could make you laugh. It is pretty ridiculous, I know. Thanks for your vote!

  • Wijnand Krabman

    The divorce maker. Divorcer. Deforcer.

    • Carmelo Framboise

      Or it could be the exact opposite, since the kid helps other teens get together but then switches to his parents.
      I do not what though.

      • Wijnand Krabman

        I tried to be ironic. The beauty of this script is irony. Despite he is good in getting people together he uses his skills to get his parents to divorce due to his perception that everybody will be better afterward. The lesson he learns is universal if people break up everybody has an opinion, but the only people who really know is the couple themselves.

  • Scott Crawford

    Give Me a Break-Up
    I Want Two Birthday Presents
    Miniature Matchmaker
    Our Son’s a F***ing A**hole (for the Black List)
    Pint-Size Pimp

    It’s a bit early, I’ll think of some better ones.

    • Citizen M

      Mini Matchmaker
      Unsealing The Deal
      Let No Kid Put Asunder
      Happily Never After
      Fix Up And Break Up
      Terms Of Ensnarement
      The Sweet Nuptcracker …okay, I’m getting ridiculous.

      • Scott Crawford

        The key to finding a good title is volume; lots and lots of ideas. Try not to censor yourself.

        The Break-Up Kid
        Happy Divorce
        Teenage Dirtbag

    • Randy Williams

      Minor Home Wrecking
      What I broke up over the summer
      Divorceable Us

  • Carmelo Framboise


    Read to page 30 (19 was where I started heavily skimming)

    Smish has a great idea but the great part is she stuck with it and went till the end. Usually, any smart-ass can toss high-concept ideas like this, the tough part is executing them. So, that’s one point right there.

    On the other hand The Evil Dead starts off just like this: possessed trees kill a teen girl. So this is not THAT original.

    The other thing is that Smish is a director and we can see that. It helps her a lot. I have directed music videos, short films and documentaries myself and I find that it helps in my writing.

    But it can backlash. I prefer to keep camera angles and cuts hidden from the reader. I truly believe that it can ruin the atmosphere and mood of a script and make it too technical – the reader then becomes alienated from the story and characters, instead of getting invested.

    So, instead of let’s say:

    Doc looks down from the top of the City Hall.


    The DeLorian is speeding towards the finish.


    Doc latches the wire on the clock.


    Doc’s hand passes the wire around the clock hand.

    I would prefer:

    Doc looks down from the top of the City Hall –

    to the street where the DeLorian is speeding towards the

    He latches the wire on the clock hand. Quickly but carefully. The wire seems secure.

    What I am trying to say is that I prefer implying angles, movements even editing and rhythm with prose, full stops, sentences, paragraphs, implicitly instead of explicitly.

    I understand that you want this mystery at the start of Log, thus the POV. But for example the POV from the grave is too much. It feels flashy almost gimmicky, and constrains my fantasy to your vision. I read that you hope to direct Log too, and that’s cool, but there is no need to storyboard the whole thing.

    Page 8. Someone was just choking her to death and Erica’s response to Chuck is that it is nothing? Even if she wants to hide something that’s clearly not the way to do it. So she is either stupid or very stupid.

    Page 10. That V.O. is pretty weird. Are we hearing her thoughts suddenly? I don’t know if this is supposed to be a gag or exposition. There is no other V.O. in the whole script. Weird.

    Anyway, it is not a badly written script but I was struggling when all those silly 20somethings started their trip (never been a fan of these types of characters and I find the “innocent youth being butchered by someone in the wild” storyline dramatically boring). Furthermore, there is this Rosa subplot. She appears behind the moving truck signaling she will kill Erica? What? How? Why? Why does Erica not go to the police?

    Ok, I read a bit further down and I see nothing different from any thriller that would be set in a cabin in the woods. The villain-Log is the only difference. I honestly think this was a lot of work and the idea is fairly good but the execution is still way behind. I expected much more from this idea, not just replacing the bad guy with a log.

    The way I could see this work is as an over the top short B-movie, just like Kung Fury. And that got nominated for a European Film Academy Award, so that’s not nothing! Or like Lobster – we never see HOW the Log kills people, it is always motionless but next to each victim. More like a dark absurd comedy.

    (Ok, I searched for when Rosa re-appeared. So, she wants to kill Erica because her parents killed her son? Wasn’t a dead girl at the beginning? Ok, maybe I am missing something but Rosa seeking revenge really makes zero sense and feels like a forced subplot to heighten tension.)


    Read to page 15.

    I have zero interest in bowling. No, I have a 10% interest in bowling. I have seen movies with bowling that are fun (Kingpin) I have played a couple of times which is fun, but it won’t hook me in a story. Of course bowling by itself is not a story.

    So, in your logline and your script you have a core of a story. And as I was reading I was getting more and more interested. That’s a good thing. On the other hand it didn’t feel all tha important maybe?

    I don’t have much to say. It is well written, it has a slow pace, there is a story waiting for us I know, so my only suggestion is to pump up the characters even more. Make them bigger than life. They are nice but make them nicer. Or worse – you know what I mean.

    • smishsmosh22

      Thank you for your notes, Carmelo. Writing POV’s is something I only learned recently, so I may have gone overboard. Thanks for pointing it out. And yeah, as a director, it’s always a struggle to remind myself not to direct on the page. That POV from the grave shot would look so cool I just couldn’t help myself haha.

  • A. Rhodes

    My vote is going to LOG. Smish has such a crisp writing style and the pages flew by. Pure entertainment. Great job, smish. You wrote the script the exact way it needed to be written. Knee deep in editing A Darker Place, I needed a fun read like this!

    My second place vote would go to Untitled Breaking Up Parents Marriage Comedy. I didn’t read the opening few pages as much as I watched the movie in my head. Got about half way and I’m compelled to finish it.

    • smishsmosh22

      Hey A! Thanks for your vote. I hope the edit of A Darker Place is going well!!!

      • A. Rhodes

        Thanks. Darker Place edits are going great. Big changes. Would you mind if I shot you an email? I wanted to get your thoughts on a couple things seeing as you seemed to enjoy the script overall. Appreciate it.

        • smishsmosh22

          sure! thealisonparker at gmail dot com

          • A. Rhodes

            Appreciate it. And congrats on the win!

  • Kosta K

    After the first ten…

    Finally! I like the writing here. Quick and fun. I “think” I know where this is heading, but I’ll have to read on to find out ;p One suggestion: Put in Carrie’s rehearsal speech right at the beginning when she’s pacing in the cabin. I thought she was a mental patient until you find out what she’s really doing. Unless that was intended, in which case, carry on.

    I struggled with this one. A lot of typos and tense changes got me a little dizzy. I say scrap the entire first ten and start it at the wedding. You can add their intros as they rehearse and get ready. Clean up that that writing! (We don’t need to know that they borrowed the carts from a nearby store!) Drop the “CONT’D” from the dialogue. Trim down the descriptions and you’ll already see a difference. Also, if it’s a fantasy film, I didn’t get a sense of it yet.

    With that title, I thought this was going to be a comedy like Kingpin. Bowling doesn’t grab me as a stellar setting for a drama, but who knows, right? The lead is pretty young. His friends are all married already, too? Something doesn’t feel right here. I like the loner banging away on the pins by himself, though, working hard during the day. Maybe retool the setup? The character introductions need some work, too. Even in “Skyscraper Hearts”, I find that when you put a character’s name in the middle of the description, it tends to throw me off. Group descriptions and intros are tricky.

    I really liked this one. A fun and energetic opening. I scrolled a bit to see if the voice over continues throughout and it looks like it only pops up a few times for clarity. Maybe use it more so it doesn’t feel like a gimmick? Good stuff, though.

    Another solid entry. Great visuals in the opening. Loved the clocks and countdowns, but maybe focus on Covey a bit more? His reactions. I kind of lost track of him in the commotion. Reagan’s speech ultimately killed the read for me, though, in a bad way. I understood why it’s there, but it just drags on a bit too long on the page for me. Good stuff here, too, though.

    My vote goes to LOG. The premise is batshit crazy, but the writing is oak solid ;p

    • JasonTremblay

      Why drop CONT’D? I’ve never seen a professional script without them. They serve a purpose.

      • Scott Crawford

        If it’s like this…

        Scott takes a breath.

        SCOTT (CONT’D)
        … I actually prefer this. It reminds you the same person is speaking.

        I don’t like it when text breaks over the pages and you need to add an



        unnecessary CONT’D. You can get rid of that.

        • JasonTremblay

          I agree. This script uses CONT’D only for dialogue so I don’t get the criticism.

          • Kosta K

            It just looks bad… to me.

          • JasonTremblay

            It looks worse without it.

          • Kosta K

            I’m only upvoting the Go Habs part ;)

        • Kosta K

          Yeah, I always try to avoid getting dialogue run over the page break.

      • Kosta K

        It’s a personal preference. It just seems unnecessary when the character is clearly continuing their dialogue. It also looks cleaner without it.

        • JasonTremblay

          It’s more than just preference. It’s a signal that the same character is still talking. If you’ve ever been to a table read, actors OFTEN read their line and stop, naturally thinking someone else will speak next. CONT’D helps them see the next line is theirs as well.

          That’s why professional writers always use it.

          • Kosta K

            It’s pointless. The name is right there:

            As I was saying…

            He takes a sip of his drink and pauses.

            To each his own.

            It reads the same.

            Dude, it’s Saturday! Relax! ;p

          • Marija ZombiGirl

            No, actually, it reads as if there’s a dialogue missing. Some readers skip the descriptions and even when they don’t, it’s irritating on the page.

    • smishsmosh22

      Nice, thanks for the suggestion Kosta! And your vote! Oak solid. ha. nice.

  • Will_Alexander

    Full disclosure: I’m not sure my vote should count because I’ve sat this tournament out so far. I knew I wasn’t going to commit to reading all of the scripts from the beginning, so I abstained from voting for any of them.

    That said, I’m casting a vote for LOG this week.

    SOMETHING TRUE FOR THOSE SKYSCRAPER HEARTS: I love this title. I read about ten pages yesterday and saw a script much like something I would’ve written when I first started. You love your characters and you want us to love them. What is missing is the reason audiences love characters: because we see them facing obstacles in the pursuit of a goal.

    You have to be harder on them. We need to understand the conflict and the stakes earlier. We need to see your characters challenged. Overall, I think it needs to move faster. One quick way to speed it up will be to throw an obstacle in your characters’ way right at the start — by page 3, maybe. Let us see them deal with it right off the bat to show us who they are.

    THE HIGH HARD ONE: This is a case where this one just isn’t for me. I think it’s competently done for what it is, I just personally can’t get interested in a sports drama about becoming a professional bowler. You’d have a lot of work to do in the first few pages to get someone like me to invest in this story, and it would probably be asking too much from the script, to be honest.

    UNTITLED BREAKING UP PARENTS’ MARRIAGE COMEDY: This one is so far outside my area of interest that I confess to not looking at it.

    RETURN TO FLIGHT: Now, this is the first one I would go see if all of these were playing at the same time, and assuming reviews were good for all of them. I was excited to crack it open. The opening sequence is done very well, but the immediate scenes after that don’t work as well for me. I think in a story like this the characters need to be vividly drawn, the dialogue needs to be top-notch, and everything has to feel simultaneously very real AND very big — which I would argue is the most difficult challenge in crafting a script like this. I don’t think it’s there, yet.

    I wonder if it is even necessary to begin with that opening sequence, well-done as it is. Maybe the details of that moment are something to save for later in the pages? Maybe beginning with the character of Covey could work better?

    Try this: If you had to write an opening scene that told me what this movie is REALLY about at its core — a scene that could take place anywhere in the chronology of the story — what would that scene be? If, for instance, the story is really about something inside Covey that makes him the perfect person to get us back into space even though he himself is frightened by the prospect, what scene could you write that would begin to show us that? And maybe then work your way into Challenger…

    LOG: I’ve read a couple drafts of this. I laughed, hard, at most of it. I would personally love to see deeper character exploration (yes, I mean that seriously) but I also recognize that that sort of thing can get in the way a bit in a movie like this. Log does what it sets out to do very well. It wants you to laugh and be grossed out and weirded out by a log on a killing spree, while actually caring about its protagonist, and it accomplishes that crisply and efficiently. So it gets my vote, if my vote should be counted.

    • smishsmosh22

      Thanks for your vote, Will! And for your notes, helping me get it into the shape it is now. Much appreciated.

  • Citizen M

    My vote this week is for THE HIGH HARD ONE, which seems the most professional of the five.


    Read to page 25. It’s fun, and sets up a few mystery boxes, like why does Rosa want to strangle Erica; what is a Norwegian death metal band doing in the woods? I’m not sure that I’m sufficiently engaged in the characters, and they do a lot of talking. There was a surprise when IT guy Todd rescues the beaver, rather than plumber Chuck who one would expect to be the more action-oriented. It makes it hard to gauge their characters. Todd’s fear of forests seemed forced. The bloodthirsty log wasn’t hard to accept. I hope we find out its motivation for going on the rampage. That puzzles me. Still, I’d like to read on to see what transpires.


    Read to page 25. Very slow to get going and too many typos and grammar errors. The dialogue is pedestrian. There’s no sparkle to it. From the logline I’d expect the musician to be dead by now, but he’s still brooding moodily. Also, no family issues as hinted at in the logline. Edwin is too passive for a main character. Is Rachel supposed to get together with him, or is she hooking up with band member Peter? I can’t work it out. The script needs a major increase in pace.
    p. 12 – They slow dance in the chapel. Is that allowed?
    p. 17 – Edwin’s with his favorite guitar, but on p. 10 he fell on it and smashed it.


    Read to page 25. Very well written and hitting all the beats. The writer seems to know his subject. The characters are well drawn and I can relate to them. The story seems generic but the execution is top-notch. I made no notes while reading and would like to read on.


    Read to page 25. Not funny enough for a comedy. More like a dramedy. It’s okay, but it never gets out of third gear. It needs more intensity, more drama, more observational humor, more jokes.


    Read to page 25. A worthy effort, but it doesn’t have the spark one looks for. Less on the Challenger disaster and funeral, and more of what dangers the astronauts and engineers could foresee, and what they did or didn’t do about them, might increase the tension. As it stands, there is no suspense. It’s a straightforward linear narrative of what happened, but not so much why things happened that way. We need to know what the astronauts would like the shuttle to be, and why it can’t be that way.

    • smishsmosh22

      Thanks for checking it out! “The bloodthirsty log wasn’t hard to accept.” score!

    • New_E

      I kind of agree about RETURN TO FLIGHT. As impressive as I think it is — it could definitely be improved structurally and noted as much in my review. Wonder what Carson’s input would be on this.


    • Davyd SC

      Thanks as always, Martin. If you do read on of High Hard One, I’d like to know your opinion of the rest. You can email me at the address on the cover page if you are so inclined, and I’ll owe you a set of notes.

  • klmn

    OT. Herschell Gordon Lewis has died.

    Here’s Joe Bob Briggs’s column on the subject:

    And here’s the trailer to Lewis’s 2,000 Maniacs.

    • brenkilco

      One of a kind. But I’m not sure anybody was demanding another.

      • klmn

        Actually, there was another. Pat Patterson – an actor and gore-effects technician in Gordon’s films, made one film – Dr. Gore, sometimes titled as The Body Shop.

        Here’s Lewis introducing Patterson’s film.

        • brenkilco

          Actually you could certainly claim that he was the spiritual godfather of the torture porn subgenre. Not sure that honorific would do him any good where he is now.

  • Marija ZombiGirl

    Just a quick note to congratulate you on your script. Comedy/dramedy isn’t usually my thing but I’ll read any script whose logline appeals to me and yours obviously did. I read it in one setting (rare enough to be mentioned) and loved it! The ending was kind of bitter-sweet and the characters well-written and engaging. Keep writing and you definitely deserve to win this round so I hope you do :)

  • Citizen M

    I was 12 when my parents divorced. It was a blessed relief. They should have done it years earlier. It is no fun living in an atmosphere of bickering and arguments and fighting when there’s nothing you can do about it.

  • klmn

    All five scripts are written well, and I don’t think I can pick a favorite this week. I read 10 pages of each – I had read the previous version of Log completely.

    LOG. This has the craziest concept, but some of Alison’s choices make this hard to execute. She describes log as just a log with one stubby little branch. How is she going to film this” Anything could be done with CGI, but that would be expensive. There was a cheapo horror flick from the fifties titled From Hell It Came but the lead in that was more than a log – he was a stubby tree, played by a guy in a tree suit. That would be much cheaper to film

    In addition, by not having the log talk, she passes up the chance to have him make snarky comments when he kills (like Freddy Krueger).

    While I think Log has great potential, I don’t think it’s funny enough yet. Great concept, but I’d grade it Incomplete.

    Untitled Breaking Up Parents Marriage Comedy. I didn’t laugh while reading this. And the opening spends more pages on the kids’ business of matchmaking for their classmates than on the family dynamic of the parents who need to be broken up. I couldn’t get into it.

    Something True For Those Skyscraper Hearts. You’ve got young people, a band scene, but nothing really struck me as out sufficiently unique in the opening. I realize that all these scripts were written quickly for the contest, but this just didn’t hold my interest. Maybe the good stuff comes later.

    The High Hard One. I had pretty much the same reaction to this one. While well-written, I just didn’t connect with the character. And bowling doesn’t interest me. I think it has to do with stakes. Whether someone becomes a pro bowler doesn’t sound like the stuff of drama. It worked for comedy – in Kingpin, and it worked in the context of The Big Lebowski, but for drama I want to see higher stakes. Not necessarily saving the world – Carson’s favorite – but something.

    Return To Flight. I remember the Challenger disaster, so the opening just seems like a recitation of old news. And I wonder how the writer researched this? There doesn’t appear to be much material on Richard Covey available, and – since he’s still alive – this seems like a case where the writer would need to obtain rights to the story. Still, researching and writing this for the challenge is a major accomplishment.

    No vote. Good luck to all the writers.

    • Poe_Serling

      Solid post, klmn.

      I’ve never heard of that ’50s horror flick.

      That’s what I love about movies in general – there’s always one flying
      under the radar.

      A monstrous tree stump on the loose!

      And somebody came up with that idea over sixty years ago. I guess you
      can never predict what will spark someone’s interest and actually get

      From the Maltin guide: ” As walking- tree movies go, this is at the top of
      the list.”

      Lesson learned: Keep writing those zany projects. folks… you just never
      know. ;-)

      **I doublechecked and saw where Svengoolie aired it a few years back
      on his weekend movie show. But again, he’s usually ahead of the pack
      when it comes to these type of horror-related flicks.

    • Erica

      You sure that was a guy in a tree, looked pretty real to me…

    • smishsmosh22

      I think you mentioned once before you didn’t see the humor in this idea so I’m not really surprised. That’s okay. But for me, Log is funny BECAUSE he is nothing more than an inanimate object. I don’t want him to speak, or have arms, say one liners and fire a shot gun or anything like that. To me, it’s funny that people are running scared from A PIECE OF WOOD.

      Like imagine if you are sitting at a desk and then a pair of scissors flies out of the drawer and starts stabbing you in the neck! And this pair of scissors flies around and starts stabbing people all over town! It’s funny, CUZ IT SCISSORS! haha.

      But, its not for everyone. I just wanted to try to explain my vision of where the humor comes from.

  • brenkilco

    I agree that all the scripts this week are capably written. Sort of a negative bias for me. Based on the subject matter don’t think I’d go out of my way to see any of them if they became movies. And since few of us have the time to read any script all the way through slow starting material is always at a disadvantage.

    I simply didn’t find the first few pages of Skyscraper or High Hard pariticularly compelling. Although again a sport movie about bowling would have to be Bull Durham level great to get me interested.

    Breaking up, precocious kids helping their lonely parents find love, is like an old Disney premise in a cynical frame. Before they can get happy we have to get them divorced. This seems like a movie for tweens you wouldn’t particularly want your tweens to see. Anyway, while the first ten pages are arguably cute they just aren’t funny.

    I thought the first few pages of Flight were very well detailed. Sharply chosen images that obviated the need for exposition. And for those who say it simply regurgitated what they already know, keep in mind that for the moviegoing demo the Challenger is ancient history The first dialogue scene was sort of problematic. And there’s a possibility that this could end up a cross between a dull docudrama and a Hallmark movie.

    And then there’s Log. I like the writing. But honestly this sort of over the top unpologetically tacky, outrageous, don’t know whether to laugh or scream stuff is….. well, start plumbing the depths of Netflix and you’ll find a couple of hundred things like it. If the author is lucky maybe there’ll be one more soon. But I’m not having as much fun as some other commenters and I have a feeling this isn’t going anywhere I haven’t bee many times before.

    My choice. Playing the odds based on limited info I’m going with Return to Flight.

    • The Colonel

      “well, start plumbing the depths of Netflix and you’ll find a couple of hundred things like it”

      I wish. There’s only a handful of movies _ever_ that are in the horror/Three Stooges space like Log.

    • smishsmosh22

      Thanks for checking it out. ‘I like the writing’. I will take it!

  • Citizen M

    I’m surprised by how little love my choice is getting. And here’s the reason why:

    - a sport movie about bowling would have to be Bull Durham level great to get me interested.
    – And bowling doesn’t interest me.
    – Bowling doesn’t grab me as a stellar setting for a drama
    – I have zero interest in bowling.
    – Granted, bowling isn’t as popular
    – Bowling is not as popular as it used to be.
    – I’m not much of a bowling as a sport fan
    – I don’t know who is looking to make a fictional bowling movie these days
    – a straight-ahead sports drama about bowling just doesn’t interest me
    – Unfortunately, I’m not the biggest fan of Bowling

    Guys, it’s not about bowling, it’s about PEOPLE, as are all movies. The fact that they are obsessed about bowling shouldn’t make a difference. You need them to be obsessed about something. It gives them a goal and stakes and a purpose for action. They could be cops or astronauts or serial killers of chefs or bridesmaids or drunks or stockbrokers or billionaires or whatever. Don’t write a script off because it’s set in a world that isn’t interesting to you. look at the characters. What emotions do they go through? With what initiative do they deal with their problems? How snappy and to the point is their dialogue? A good writer should be able to make any circumstance entertaining.

    • klmn

      There has to be something about the character that attracts me. I didn’t see it in this script. If someone has a sense of humor, that helps. Conversely, if someone is a real bastard I might stay tuned just to see what he does next. Probably more things than I can think of at the moment.

    • Poe_Serling

      Bowling vs. Log (a potential pin)


      • brenkilco

        I will not be sad if Smish wins even though there may be a bit of logrolling going on.

        • smishsmosh22

          I’m not sure what that means but thanks!

      • Midnight Luck

        Watch out for a Sunday of Log Bowling …..

    • Levres de Sang

      Agreed. I always thought AOW was about identifying a writer working close to the professional level — and on first glance yesterday I felt that David’s ‘bowling’ script and the Untitled Break-up Comedy were a clear step above the others. (Will be going back for a proper look at all five, though, and hopefully voting tomorrow.)

      • Poe_Serling

        To Citizen’s credit… he always seems to give each project a fair shake before

        For others… I think it’s like stepping up to a cineplex and deciding on one or
        two that they might want to check out.

        Personally… for AOW/Tournament… I do a bit of both. There’s usually one that catches my eye right away and I’ll crack it open first. Then, depending on how much free time I have, I try to give the other scripts a quick peek to see if they will sway my vote or not.

        • Levres de Sang

          You’re absolutely right, of course! I was forgetting that all-important “depending on how much free time I have”.

      • Linkthis83

        This place is a mix of craft reviewers and film critics :) and those people can change how they review all the time. Me included.

    • Reader1

      Your argument is ridiculous. Do you expect the audience to look past the subject matter? The overwhelming majority of the world is uninterested in bowling but you expect them to look past that and focus on the characters? Your average Joe and Jane are wondering what to invest their hard earned $ and 2 hours on, if it’s something they’re not interested in, it’s a pass. Simple as that. And do you think producers are going to look past the subject matter? Dumb, dumb argument.

      • Scott Crawford

        You make a lot of good points as usual, Reader1, but there’s no need to get personal.

        • HRV

          I’d like to know who the anonymous Reader1 is. Related to Grendl?

          • Scott Crawford

            He’s been around for a while and he does makes some good points, but I guess being anonymous means he shouldn’t be polite.

          • HRV

            Everyone should be polite.

    • -n8-

      I dunno man. I’m not at all trying to pick a fight. But you kinda said it all in your review of the script– “the story seems generic but the execution is top notch.” Nothing about what we do should “seem generic.” Not story. Not execution.

      Our job is to excite the reader. By any means necessary. That starts with concept. The most amazing craftsmanship means little if the basic concept is unappealing.

      Not saying that you have to chase what the public think is hot. Nor should anyone abandon a premise just cauz it’s unpopular. But to call out folks cauz they are dissing the subject matter is kinda unfair.

      And that’s not to say that bowling can’t be an interesting conceit in a film. Lebowski, Kingpin even those Simpson episodes with Homer. But if people aren’t feeling the high hard one it’s cauz it didn’t capture the excitement in a way that they did.

      I don’t know if there is a right or wrong regarding the intentions of this tournament. Whether it’s about finding the best concept or the best writing. But I do know that this place is a great training ground. That within a few years lots of “alumni” from the SS community will be making waves in the industry.

      But none of that will happen without said alumni mastering both “concept” and “execution.”

      Just my thoughts.

      Again, not picking a fight.

  • -n8-

    So I’m not voting cauz I haven’t voted yet and will wait for the quarters to chime in. Seems unfair to just vote now, 5 weeks into the first round.

    But I have read bits of every script in the tourney. And for this week I’ll share the point at which I bailed. And why.

    Log – when erica convinces Todd to go to the woods. Pretty fun stuff. Will prolly finish. Just started to see the wheels of the story showing. So kinda lost a bit of interest. But still very fun.

    Skyscraper hearts – when the girl meets the band mates and we find out that the main guy is obsessed about his music. Kinda bored throughout. Only interested in seeing if Peter was gonna be the protag not the guitar guy (that’s not a good sign that I don’t remember his name). But all kinda ho hum stuff. Pass.

    Hard One – I only got to the college age match. Bailed before the conclusion of it. Though I’m guessing the kid fails. Just a guess. It’s written well, just didn’t grab me. Didn’t want to take the journey with the kid.

    Untitled – I got to the part where the kid starts trailing Handsome Guy and formulates his idea that I’m sure will launch us into the second act. I was interested. Prolly will keep reading. Fun characters. Thought the whole bit with the lurch-y looking kid and his crush was cute. My vote, if I was voting, AND SCOTT I’M NOT VOTING (re: fairness) would be this or log.

    Return to flight – I got to the top of Reagan’s speech and jetted. All of the teaser sequence shows your research and enthusiasm for the subject matter but it doesn’t show story. Way too much wasted real estate on something most peeps can google. I wasn’t engaged at all.

    Great job to everyone, regardless.

    And again, only my humble impressions.

    • smishsmosh22

      Thanks for checking out Log, I think I’m going to cut down on the set up in the next draft.

      • -n8-

        I applaud you. Really can feel your personal connection and energy to the script. It makes me smile to see such passion. Killer Diller!

        • smishsmosh22

          My mother was raped by a Log.

          • -n8-

            I kept telling myself….. “self, I think this is based on true events…”

          • Citizen M

            I knew there was something about your branch of the family.

          • smishsmosh22

            I debated writing “Based on a True Story” but then my true identity would be revealed to the world. I wonder how many movies are true stories and we don’t even know?

  • Dallas Cobb

    If my weekend to-do list wasn’t four pages long, I’d have loved to dive deeper into all of these scripts. Really substantial week, with some impressive competition. Congratulations to all the writers this week, and to everyone previously involved with this awesomely innovating tournament challenge! Truly encouraging for someone in my position.

    MY VOTE: The High Hard One

    Title: Log
    Genre/LOGline 1st Impression: The title makes it clear what this script is about, a good marketing tool that signifies an impressive writer. This reminds me of 2010’s “Rubber” about the murderous car tire. I’ve never been a fan of horror, or horror comedy movies. But this logline is very succinct and admittedly intriguing. I’m curious/I expect our protagonist must come to understand Log, otherwise I don’t see how the usually inanimate object could be defeated.
    Review: Read to the top of page 10. I enjoyed the different POVs, I thought those were all originally executed. Although I don’t feel a comedic sense on the first page, this first page is ridiculously strong. Everything very visual here, not just the POVs. You write/play to almost all of the five sense here, which is indicative of skillful writing. Middle of page 5 should be the first time we’re exposed to the fact that Carrie is Erica’s mother, not at the top of page 5 in the action lines; their relationship could be read so many different ways before Erica says “I love you Mom”, which just adds to the horror tone. For this to be called a horror COMEDY, I feel like there needs to be more comedy infused in the writing. This receives a Wildcard Worthy because although its not my cup of tea, and I think this script solves from a minor case of identity/genre crisis, I was genuinely interested to read more and see how this all played out/progressed. ((and for this to be Smish’s fourth draft of only her, like, second script – proves impressive based on the quality of work presented here)). Very good work here! Very good!

    Title: Something True for Those Skyscraper Hearts
    Genre/Logline 1st Impression: Cool title. Can’t gauge the tone of this: is it adult fantasy like “Big Fish” or family/adventure-esque? Logline reads pretty standard and indistinctive; Somewhat curious about this one; the logline did not generate any additional excitement or intrigue, however.
    Review: Read to the top of page 5. Being introduced to a number of characters, none of whom seem to play any significant or interesting role thus far, which is causing me to check out a bit. Can see the movie as I’m watching, which is good, just not as vividly as some of the other contending scripts this week. The scenes and transitions are fine, just nothing too exciting or noteworthy here. Had the logline been more detailed/clear, I’d know what I was reading for, or I’d be able to actually gauge the tone of what I was reading. Although the writing here isn’t bad by any means, this script placed on the bottom of the pack for me this week. Very valid effort though, and keep up the good work!

    Title: The High Hard One
    Genre/Logline 1st Impression: The title doesn’t connect to the logline for me. We don’t see many sports dramas on here, let alone original specs, so I’m definitely curious. Conflict is clear in the logline, and I’m interested to see how original and unique the execution is on this somewhat tired story trope (rivalry/estranged father and son).
    Review: Read to the top of page 8. Memorable protagonist name, good start. Such seamless transitions and natural progressions, which is refreshing to read; I can see the movie as I’m reading, which is always positive. Boone is enigmatically intriguing, even if he’s not the most exciting character; I could see this as one of those internal-Ryan-Gosling-led films. Organic introductions; none of the exposition feels too contrived or overly-cinematic. One problem I had was that in these first pages, we’re given no real indication of why Boone is “angry” or somewhat disconnected from everyone around him, besides the fact that he’s single (even though that doesn’t seem to be too much of a bother for him due to the presence of Lucinda). LOVED the “keeps the gun out of my mouth” line; that sold me right there. Very strong competition this script is. Very professional feel to it.

    Title: Untitled BUPMC
    Genre/Logline 1st Impression: I wish there was a title, and an identified writer. The logline is ironic and clear. Yet I still feel a bit underwhelmed; how is a 14 year old going to “set out” and set his parents up? This reminds me of “The Parent Trap” but reversed. Lukewarm about this one.
    Review: Read to the top of page 13, without taking a single note. Aside from the dialogue, I thought this was very strong and I was very engaged. The conflict is clear. Irony is embedded in the plot (the B story effectively parallels the A story). Predictable in the positive sense that the writer clearly understands set ups and pay offs, and foreshadowing. Solid contender, good work. Will definitely read more of this if I have time.

    Title: Return to Flight
    Genre/Logline 1st Impression: Solid title. Solid genre. Solid logline. I’m curious to see how this script will be anchored and how it will be structured. What are we going to watch this protagonist do throughout the whole script? Very intrigued to open it and find out.
    Review: Read to the top of page 5. Well-researched, which is a beastly job in and of itself when writing historical/true story scripts. The asides included in some of the action lines (i.e. “For Florida even that’s an odd thing”) doesn’t distract at all. Although some of the action lines read somewhat “first-draft” like, there’s a casual, genuine, and intriguing professional prose being utilized here. Everything here can be clearly filmed and visualized. My problem in these first couple pages, is we’re introduced to our protagonist (via the logline), but not given any information about him; while the writing is above average here, the success of this script seems to lie moreso on the performance of the lead actor, which admittedly can happen with a lot of true story scripts. I was hoping to get a “Sully” vibe or “The Imitation Game” vibe, but it fell a tad short. Effective effort, though! Good job!

    • smishsmosh22

      Hey Dallas thanks for your notes and Wildcard Worthy mention :) Much appreciated!

  • ElectricDreamer

    It’s eight kinds of awesome to have new scripts from 3 returning AF WINNERS battling this weekend! Including WTR [x] winner, LEMON TREE ON MARS. All the scripts were solidly written this week, but one tugged my nostalgia strings tighter than the rest…


    Scott is moving into a new place this weekend, no internet. I sent him an email this morning, he’ll try his best to participate before the round is over. I was a state bowling champ when I was a kid. And Scott’s knowledge of the Pro Bowler’s Tour kept me grinning through most of this dusty tale filled with unresolved relationships. Earl Anthony! That name brings so many memories back. Scott’s research-fu is very strong. Despite all the love, I think Brady needs another GOAL to bring the heat. He needs to win to buy something or pay a debt. I wanted that external force to match the inner turmoil. Also, he gets the girl too easy. She should challenge your flawed protag as their young love grows and the story unfolds.

    Smish has gone from heated rival to hella rad writing pal in just a few months. LOG is a great slice of Troma reborn for the 21st century! And with the Toxic Avenger reboot on the horizon, you’re LOGtacular timing couldn’t be much better! Smish has a very cinematic style that fills the mind with wild imagery. And I’m much more invested in Erica this draft. The scene with her mother was effective. But I still dislike the weak Rosa subplot and I want to see the death metal band have more to do with the story’s mythology. Like Erica, they should feel a kind of pull to be at the logging site as well. Gimme more LOG!!!

    UNTITLED COMEDY had the clearest execution of its premise. And the cadence of the dialogue made for an easy read. This feels more like an indie cute than a belly laugh kid comedy. The writer’s talented and I’m looking forward to their future efforts, so don’t give up on your “hobby” just yet! However, I felt the kids generally sounded alike. It would help if I knew more about the kids other than how they relate to the plot. You’ve got the plot motivating everyone, but I want to see more unresolved character relationships.

    I grew up in Christa McAuliffe country. I watched the Challenger explode on TV two days after my birthday in a high school classroom. I love the story of how Fineman figured out why the Challenger exploded. But I’m not personally invested in the angle the talented writer’s taken with these events. It’s just not as compelling as a personal tragedy or a mechanical mystery that an underdog solved and schooled NASA on. Maybe there’s more to Covey’s story, but the Wikipedia-style accounting of the Challenger left me cold. Until I can relate to Covey’s obsession, it will be hard to me to get invested in this script.

    I struggled with SKYSCRAPER HEARTS. So much prose dedicated to the description of music that I couldn’t hear. I felt alienated by the opener. Is that a TYPO in the title? The file name is spelled correctly, hmm. I wish more of the early pages were about distinguishing the characters from each other. Passionate artists in a band should clash. But everyone here gets along so great, there’s no energy driving the scenes. Still, the writer’s got a way with words and if a plot was apparent in the first 15, I would’ve read a lot more.

    • smishsmosh22

      I think I can fix those issues. I sent this to Troma, no response yet but who knows!!!

  • wad_d

    Thanks for your vote, and I’m glad you liked it.

  • A Man is No One

    I’m voting for Log.

    • Kirk Diggler

      here we go….

      • smishsmosh22

        What do u mean?

        • Kirk Diggler

          I’m not a fan of these kind of votes, people who just vote without noting what’s behind their vote. It’s nothing against you or your script.

          • smishsmosh22

            Oh okay fair enough.

  • Zack Snide Err

    Another vote for ‘THE HIGH HARD ONE’

    I Really liked and was impressed with what I read of it. Particularly, the terrific scene between Brady and Van on page 7 and the strong character work throughout was moved me to vote for it. It does so much so well and so quickly.

    Brady starts out a loner, then lonely, then lovelorn (with the introduction of the girl). Then were introduced to his pain, and the source there of… Then we meet his dad. And all in the first 12 pages. Really impressive.

    A few asides:
    1. The script could open on the sign that advertises “Paradise…” In order to make the drab 70s interior all the more amusing or funny.
    2. Brady being 21 means that his not having a wife isn’t that odd. Maybe change wife to wags (wives and girlfriends).

    LOG –
    The most fun, easiest and polished of the bunch. It bears repeating that it really is a good time script. I didn’t enjoy rate it higher because it was more ‘comedy horror’ than ‘horror comedy’. That may just be my way of saying it was neither funny enough, or scary enough for me.
    Also there was little in the way of character or investment early on but…
    Fuck me, Eh!
    The gore writing was really vivid and enjoyable. I Would watch this movie. Terrific.

    This is well done. I’d only say that I think it needs to be less dry early on. Its info heavy but the pages themselves are lovely to look at and easy to read. My only issue was that I think it could have done without the EFT and SRB acronyms inside the first five pages. They add nothing to the action description. Rocket boosters is much more visual than SRB. And easier to remember.

    Also, the scene on page 9-10 was good but I felt like the content was more powerful than the way it was presented allowed it to be. Some dramatic pauses or anything to communicate the emotions which may have been racing through the protagonists mind would, I think, remedy that.
    This is especially true since on page 11 Hauck notes that the lead has been flagged for mental health issues.

    The non committal title and name bugged me. Very well written and consistently amusing. My only problem with the story is that Damien felt to world weary and astute to be 14 and, if anything, he felt older the more of him I read (cayenne pepper. Shotgun wedding)

    Spelling aside I liked the title. Very weird and evocative. Top of page 5… The description is derivative. We don’t need to see them loading there stuff in both the promenade and the parking lot one after the other.
    I was really tickled by how oblivious Edwin was or how much he was into his music. I will definitely read ahead to see how the fantasy elements build from the solid foundation.

    • smishsmosh22

      Fuck me, eh! haha. Thank you for your notes!

  • The Colonel

    I love the title. It comes off as totally witty.

  • Midnight Luck

    Runner Up: The High Hard One

    LOG: Page 14
    STFTSH: Page 14
    THE HIGH HARD ONE: Page 12
    UBUPMC: Page 13

    Page One thoughts:
    LOG: Does a fairly good job of opening with action, and a strange and interesting intro. Plus in that one page you have a lot going on. It works in this case. Sometimes too much within one page can be an issue. It plays it off like it is a straight up killer and his prey. However, it also adds in the additional aspect of someone else watching, so you are a bit unsure what is happening. Did the guy dumping the body kill her? Or did this watcher kill her? If so, why is this guy dumping her body in a dug grave in the woods? It was a bit confusing, right at the start, trying to understand if Carrie and the watcher were the same people that 2 sentences later we are suddenly watching dump a body into a grave and possibly the victim. I get that you are trying to set up things in an interesting way, and give us some, but not all of the information. You just need to make absolute sure that you are conveying the necessary information so we can follow it as simply as possible, ESPECIALLY on page 1.
    STFTSH: OK, so you are setting up the main characters, so we get a peek into three people’s lives. That is good. However, I have to be honest, nothing jumps out as being very unique or different. You have the guy who is self obsessed and is a guitarist in an indie band. That is the typical life of 90% of every 18-28 year old guy. The girls putting on makeup. Well, same thing. You tell us more than show us anything. In that first page we need and want SOMETHING to jump off and grab us. Even if it is small. Even if it is lowkey, not some kind of action or murder or something. We just want something to jump out and grab us and make us want to continue paying attention. This first page doesn’t really for me. I don’t yet see something to keep me hooked.
    THE HIGH HARD ONE: This one does grab my attention. A loner 15 year old, obsessed with Bowling? So involved in it he seems incapable of focusing on anyone or anything else. I like the main character doing sportscaster commentary, but I think it goes on a bit long. It is good, and rings true, so I do like it, but even within the first page it goes on long. I think you are saying many of the same things over again with the sportscaster dialogue. I think we would get the idea really quickly, and you could then use the first page real estate to give us a bit more about him, or the bowling alley, or something. I did enjoy the first page, but while it did capture my interest as you intro a 15 year old loner obsessed with bowling, you almost immediately began to lose me as he goes on in his “sportscaster” dialogue. (also, probably not pertinent, but the whole sportscaster dialogue thing reminded me also identically of BETTER OFF DEAD with John Cusack, where there’s a character who learned to speak english by listening to Howard Cosell, and only speaks in that way and only talks in “sports language”. Which was hilarious when I first saw it. I doubt anyone who reads your script has seen it, or will remember that, so it probably is just a personal thing I noticed).
    UBUPMC: I like the opening line “My parents are getting divorced. They have not informed me of this, and sadly aren’t even aware of it themselves.” That is a great opening line. From there you do a good job of keeping us on our toes with the oddities of his mom. She owns a pet shop and treats snakes like bunnies, and dead lifts too much weight with a war cry, and drinks god awful lemon and cayenne pepper drinks. I enjoyed the opener. It is interesting and different. Not a huge fan of the character telling us things we need to know in V.O. throughout the beginning, but, sometimes it works and is necessary.
    RETURN TO FLIGHT: Definitely have to say your details and specificity of what you are telling and showing us is impressive. Detailed writing about this launch in slow bit by bit steps, dragging it out was very effective for me in keeping it intense. Maybe it is because I lived through it. Maybe because I know how it ended and reading it my throat and chest were tight in dreaded anticipation of what will happen, and thinking “when is it going to happen?”. Because any minute you are going to tell us the whole thing is going to disappear into an explosion of a billion particles. And that, freaks me, upsets me, keeps me in it, fully. Now, I am not sure if it will be the same for everyone else. When I read it like someone who knows nothing of the Challenger disaster, it reads more like a million of rocket launches we have seen in movies: a Countdown. You do add in a slight foreshadowing that something isn’t right as you highlight different parts of the rocket and the Shuttle, letting us know we need to pay attention to something, and that most likely these things will be very important, because – something isn’t right. So I think it works as well for others who don’t know the story, or who haven’t seen it.

    Thoughts on everything else:
    LOG: my feeling is, I know you are giving us an intro where we are going to be shocked and surprised by all the blood and guts and brutal murder. But as I read it, I felt like I really would’ve liked to have something grounding me a bit more to reality first. I think your intro of LOG is too quick. I think we need to be intro’d to this world and have it be your typical life, or a characters regular life, before everything goes to hell. Also, I think it would be much more effective if you made us wait much longer before we see Log and what happens because of (him?). Also I worry a bit about all the disparate elements. The hispanic woman who chokes her (why?), the boyfriend she doesn’t want around (why?), the mom trapped in a psych ward, I assume in a TERMINATOR 2 kind of way where everyone thinks she’s crazy when she told people a Log jumped up and killed people? The odd Parkinsonian Lawyer? I just worry there are a few too many strange happenings. Then you have an issue (rightly or wrongly) that your script will forever be compared with RUBBER. Maybe that is a good thing, but I’m a bit worried it won’t be. That person chose to try something, at that point, that hadn’t been done. So, while I don’t want to say that is an issue for me, I still worry that it hinders your scripts ability to be seen on its own.
    STFTSH: It is decently written, however, by the time I reached page 14, nothing felt very new, different or interesting. It was a pretty typical romance. And by page 14, we are still focusing on the youth giving each other flirty looks, or ignoring each other, or having teenage-y conversations. I didn’t find much to grab me and make me want to keep on for another 90+ pages.
    THE HIGH HARD ONE: This was an incredibly enjoyable read. It was easy and smooth. Also i really enjoyed the pace and the story beats. This is good writing, and keeps me invested, without using anything huge and flashy to keep that attention. Good character work, and good story. I don’t have any issue with it being about bowling. Bowling is just as good as any other story to have as a backdrop for your characters. It makes me think of the only other movie having to do with bowling though: The Farrelly Brother’s (of course) KINGPIN, and then THE BIG LEBOWSKI, while not exactly a bowling movie, sure had a lot in it around the bowling alley. So by having a “bowling movie” you put yourself up against these two icons. One of which is one of the most beloved movies of all time, the other is one of the most embarrassing movies of some beloved directors. So, while your movie is nothing like them, it is still something to keep in mind.
    UBUPMC: I will just say, first off, you now have a character V.O. narrating for 3 pages all the information the audience needs to know, before we even get into any of the real story. You set up some fun and good scenes as your character is talking, but really, I fear anyone who picked this up would basically just cut the first 4 pages off of your script. Then you go into 3-4 pages of pure dialogue, so again, we aren’t really being given a place or a story visually. We are listening to these two talk about all the same issues we already know are central to the story. The main character told us all about his parents’ issues, and saw some of it play out, but then we have to hear all about it again, and we see his friend is so tired and bored of hearing it so many times, and guess what, by page 7 we are as well. All this could’ve been done quickly with a very well thought out scene. Something that gets straight to the central issue and shows and illuminates it like a hammer on glass. Also, we follow these two kids as they watch others and note and write down stuff. I know they are supposed to be great at matchmaking, but it doesn’t seem to really fit with what the story is about. Maybe I missed something, but it didn’t make a lot of sense. I can assume it was them notating either how others DO get along, or how they DO NOT get along. But I’m just making an educated guess. I think it needs to be worked on a bit more to make sure it isn’t murky.
    RETURN TO FLIGHT: Again, I am very impressed with this, the detail, the writing skill is really top notch. I enjoyed every bit of it I read, though, again, I am a bit worried that the fact I know up close and personal about it, and that I was there for it, and it had a major impact on my life might alter my perspective on the script. I guess it doesn’t really matter, the skill in writing and storytelling is there, and I want to read on. My only worry about it is, I fear we may be reaching a point of “True Story” exhaustion soon. It won’t last forever if it happens, but things go in cycles. And so many movies, if they aren’t superhero movies are true stories about an individual or a big event. But, that is a minor complaint or worry. The writing is solid, and The dialogue is great, the situations are fun. I am vested in it, and enjoying it. Great job.

    • smishsmosh22

      Thank you for your notes, Midnight! The opening / prologue / set up stuff went through drastic changes over the course of my four drafts as I tried to really beef up my character developments. In an older draft, we saw how the kids got killed. But I had a 10 page prologue I needed to cut down, so I decided to start with Wyatt burying the bodies. That’s their ‘sin’, basically… the kids were accidentally killed in a woodchipper accident and Wyatt and Carrie decided to hide it to save their camp.

      Introducting Log on page 2 is partly because I wrote this for Scriptshadow and I really feared I wouldn’t get any votes if I didn’t show my Log until page 20 or whatever.

      I have some new ideas how I would do the first Act of this script now, tho. Thanks for taking the time to provide your thoughts!

      • Citizen M

        Brief note: At the bottom of page 1 we see blood and guts poured on us from the teen girl in the grave’s POV. This implies that she is still alive at the time, but I don’t think that’s the case.

        • smishsmosh22

          That’s me being a bad girl and putting a camera shot. It’s the grave’s pov as in, the camera would be in the grave looking up as blood pours down over the lens. I just thought that would be a dope shot. :)

          • Citizen M

            EXT. FILM SET – NIGHT

            A CAMERAMAN stands with arms outstretched as ASSISTANTS wrap him in plastic and tape the seams.

            He turns around as they inspect their handiwork. All secure.

            He pulls on rubber gloves and goggles and picks up a movie camera, also wrapped in plastic and taped. The Assistants help him climb down into a shallow ditch.

            He lies on his back and points the camera upwards.

            (under his breath)
            Fucking directors and their dope shots.

          • HRV

            Does sound more interesting than a remote controlled camera in an acrylic box.

          • smishsmosh22

            ok that was funny :)

      • Will_Alexander

        Highly possible that I’m stupid, but I read two drafts and I don’t think that I ever got that the kids died in a woodchipper accident. I assumed they had been killed by Log.

        If that information is in there clearly and I just missed or forgot it, ignore my reaction. It’s been a little while since I read and that isn’t the most important plot point. But if it’s something you’ve only implied in the script and you want the audience to really get it, you may need to make it clearer.

        • smishsmosh22

          It was draft 3 I think. I’ll work on this.

      • Midnight Luck

        I’m sorry, I never read any of the other previous iterations of this story, but visually, and in a very extreme way, that “accidental” chipper accident seems like a goldmine of a scene.
        Not sure how this accident played out, but I CAN visualize it none the less. Have some children working clearing trees in a sunken ravine, and a group of older kids running the chipper above them, with tons of logs and branches. They try to put (too large of a) Log into the chipper, it retaliates, won’t go through it, gets chopped up and mangled on the ends pretty severely, and in the commotion, knocks the chipper off the hill, whereupon it falls on the kids below, specifically straight onto one child in particular, head first, and gobbles her right up in a swarm of blood and body parts.
        Not sure how you had an “accident” that involved more than one kid though. As people in charge would’ve shut it down, everyone would’ve scattered, or it must’ve been a supernatural happening, from which no one could escape.

        The metal machine could go tumbling down the hill, annihilating everything in its path, baby trees, children’s arms and legs, as it bounces end over end down a steep embankment, until finally it lands with a GRR-CHOMP! on top of adorable, poor little Mercedes Evelyn Waverly, who, at only 7 years old, has yet to…..
        etc, etc, etc

  • smishsmosh22

    Thanks, Nodestar!

  • smishsmosh22

    Wow, thank you for reading the entire thing! That’s so amazing. And your farting ideas are way funnier than what I was actually doing. The vomitting wasn’t supposed to be funny, believe it or not I did character development on Wyatt and gave him a fear of blood! Wyatt used to be in the script a lot more but I see how it’s confusing now. But I think I might steal your idea if that’s okay. It would help set the comedic tone right on page 1. Again thanks for reading the entire thing and providing your notes!

  • smishsmosh22

    Haha, glad you made it all the way to the end to hear the Ren and Stimpy song! Thanks so much for your vote, E.L.!

  • Randall Alexander

    My vote:
    Untitled Breaking Up Parents Marriage Comedy

    Will edit later with feedback. Was busy this weekend with daughter’s 2nd birthday.

    • Scott Crawford

      My vote for cutest avatar, Randall!

      • Randall Alexander

        Thanks Scott. She hit 2 on Sat.

  • smishsmosh22

    Yup it was really written in 13 weeks! In fact I wrote the first draft in 2 weeks. But I spent a lot of time on the rewrites and character development. Thank you for your vote!

  • Joe Marino

    I am really disappointed in myself I was unable to vote this weekend. I have a semi-decent excuse that I am sick.

  • Vic in a Box

    LOG in my vote for LOG.

  • Wijnand Krabman

    No, it would surprise me if you would. I guess it’s practically impossible to beat a regular cause they do the voting here, they are always present to discuss their scripts and they can build alliances. I don’t know if this is bad since everybody has the same chance to do this. I suppose in the real world this works the same.

    • Marija ZombiGirl

      In the real world, yes and no :)
      From personal experience, yes, relationships do count and a producer will read a friend’s script before an unknown’s (unless this unknown is championed by a friend). But that doesn’t guarantee a sale – in the end, the script/writer has to convince said producer that there’s a movie in there and one that will make him money.

      On these boards, there’s zero objectivity but that’s just the way it is. People vote for friends or concept but then again, in the outside world, a great concept trumps execution so…

  • ScriptChick

    UNTITLED DIVORCE COMEDY (Read pg. 30 and last 10)

    Pg. 2 – Like reveal of jogging, but to get a hotdog.
    Pg. 2 – Think you miss out on comedy opportunity by not having their dialogue about what arguing about.
    Pg. 3 – At first I didn’t like the choice to not show Damien before voiceover but I think it really works since the voiceover builds to the reveal of Damien, literally in between his parents. However afterwards, when with Erin, I think it can go. You have already setup the great visual of couple holding hands. Damien and Erin doing the friend handshake is a great twist on the visual. I get it without the obvious dialogue.
    Pg. 3 – Here Damien is already in conversation like maybe the voiceover about his parents was his dialogue to Erin (although some lines don’t suggest that). But a scene (him entering the school) has passed between the talk about his parents so that transition is diluted. Honestly though, I would rather something in or about his lunch related to his parents fighting too much to cue his frustrations. Using something tangible effecting Damien’s life as the jumping point for the convo instead.
    Pg. 8 – The cayenne pepper bit is clever but I thought the hanky was put in because of what was observed in the computer lab – Leanne sneezing. So I thought they knew she had allergies/was coming down with something and were preparing having witnessed that moment. Think you need to pick one reason or the other because with two it gets a little confusing.
    Pg. 9 – “God I really wish I would have recorded this conversation!” – why doesn’t she? Otherwise it’s kind of an uninteresting fight but if you show the length she goes to prove herself right, whether it be recorded, showing a text or screenshot, then there’s something more to these generic lines.
    Pg. 9 – …the object of every BOYS’ affection.
    Pg. 9 – Wait, we’re already done with Damien at home, surrounded by his parents? I feel like in setting up the irony of Damien playing matchmaker (and what I assume later the breakerupper of his parents), you’ve distanced the story too much from your initial premise and away from the conflict Damien experiences daily. I would try to find a way to have this home family life tension be more present in the story because right now it feels like your taking a cool concept for granted.
    Pg. 10 – Handsome guy gives a flirty grin and earlier says “doesn’t like to be tied down.” – that line didn’t equate to flirty for me. It means the guy doesn’t want to be in a relationship. So if Damien later thinks maybe to set this guy up with his Mom, or even to show that Laurie has an interest in this guy, this non-commitment line doesn’t work for me. Why not have him say something where the dog running to Laurie serves as a compliment to her?
    Pg. 10 – His PARENTS’ marriage license. – But why would she have her marriage license at a pet store? Even if it’s where she works… Him later visiting Uncle Rick and confirming that his parents got a shotgun marriage – it seems like a minor detail or at least, not as momentous as I think it wants to be. Going back, Damien said he is in between his parents, the only reason for them staying. This just confirms the assumption but doesn’t really flip anything. I dunno, it just feels like a plot beat that’s supposed to have more weight than it does, it’s the catalyst that sets Damien now on a mission to break up his parents.
    What if the drama was on him finding out his parents want a vow renewal/redo wedding? Damien knows they’ve been fighting and kinda hopes reaffirming their vows will make everyone sane again…but then he finds out he’s the reason one of his parents want the wedding so much, was because they never had one in the first place because of him (someone could slip up on the date/year of their wedding vs. this forced wedding license find). Then he goes on his mission, vs. beforehand, he already seems like he could go either way in his parents either divorcing or staying together.
    Whatever you decide, currently the wedding license reveal feels forced and the beat isn’t as impactful as I think you mean it to be for an inciting incident.
    Pg. 16 – Scuba scene. Feel like not milking the comedy enough here. Damien is questioned and he leaves? Seemed like the easy way out to go and ended so quickly. Nothing from Damien?
    Pg. 17 – Had no idea Korbell was a shared childhood experience. That probably should have been said at the outset by Laurie.
    Pg. 20 – I like the fight here between Phil and Laurie and how Phil didn’t want the promotion because it would be less time away from his love – but I wanted to see that love. If I’m remembering correctly, I only saw Phil as a kid playing, not as an adult, still playing his passion.
    Pg. 22 – Romantic connection. I like the idea of Damien scouting a spot, but who is it for? Don’t card at Chili’s so he’s looking at happy hour for a student client he and Erin may have in the future? Or is it for his parents? Then why mention carding? It seems they give up after Chili’s too, so I never really got a sense he had a goal here – find a romantic place that does happy hour?
    Pg. 23 – Kind of done with the VO here. Takes away from Damien having a convo/scheming with Erin. Loses the excitement of stumbling across a plan/good idea.
    Pg. 24 – Maybe Damien mention to Phil there will be pigs in a blanket/kolaches/meat pies since we already know his love for hotdogs?
    Pg. 24 – Weird transition from marveling at the baked goods to trying to blow a snot rocket into the trash.
    Pg. 26 – Love that they cross out a potential candidate for Phil based on her kids. Like that it would affect Damien just as much.
    Comedy got a little light for me but I think it’s a solid concept and definitely worth rewriting. Originally off the logline I thought it would be Damien intentionally trying to break up his parents by pitting them against each other but I love the more light-hearted positive spin of him trying to set them up with somebody (which would then result in a hopefully more natural separation).
    Pg. 30 – Not a big deal, but how would Erin know where to find Phil?
    Pg. 30 – Her line “you are my hero” – I just wished I knew whether she asked him for help (him coming in on her) or if he was already in there playing when she came in and saw an opportunity (her coming in on him).
    Last 10 – pg. 94 – finds mom and DAD not arguing.
    I didn’t like that the focus came back to the plot point about shotgun wedding and then the subsequent reveal pg. 100 that Phil was planning to marry all along. All this feels like it’s just little details distracting from the drama that, no matter how Phil and Laurie got together, they broke apart. The issue of getting married, the “when” and “why” not nearly a big of deal to me as the “when” and “why” of their relationship fizzling. But I guess it’s important to Damien to feel like he wasn’t the reason for their marriage vs. an unintentional gift.
    The very end I have the notion that Laurie and Phil will get back together but I think it’s more true to Damien’s last lines to keep it that they stay divorced and not go back on the decision. It feels modern (less Parent Trap) and realistic.

    LOG (Read just past pg. 30 and last 10)

    Pg. 1 – I get the unseen pov because it’s not so much a directing choice as establishing that something is watching them. However the grave pov is definitely directing the page and I just wanted to read the story without outside details like that distracting me.
    If I didn’t know better, I would think that Carrie and Wyatt killed Marisa/Lumberjack Girl (Log killed them?). They certainly go about it the wrong way and we miss out on any dialogue that would see them coming to the conclusion to bury a body on the premises, despite campers having seen Marisa (if camp has already started) and knowing the questions that would still come from parents wanting to know what happened to their child. Plus, Carrie writing the letter stoned detracted from me thinking they were putting much thought into hiding a body, which I really think they should be doing if they didn’t kill her.
    Pg. 2 – Disappointed that Log just rolled up onto the scene. Wasn’t much build/interesting lead up to introducing such an interesting villain.
    Pg. 2 – tearing away at the flesh? — just thought Log drink blood but now eat victims too? Wording might need to be more clear here since we’re just meeting Log and seeing what it does/wants to do.
    Pg. 2 – Orange light conveys magic? Wondering if need. Already have the cool beating heart which I like because it seems more rooted in nature coming alive for revenge than an orange light. Unless this is related to chemicals/nuclear waste…
    Pg. 2 – Bloody cool description of Wyatt’s death.
    Pg. 3 – “Who’s there?” – why not think Wyatt first since she knows he’s there?
    Pg. 4 – I know the reason for the knuckle cracks and remember wishing it was foreshadowed more. Carrie’s Mom reacts to the sounds here?
    Pg. 8 – “Fuck you, Helen.” – this established that Rosa knows Helen (and Helen probably knows her). So then Helen can report Rosa? Why would you linger on the scene where Rosa is so blatantly exposing herself?
    Pg. 9 – Feels forced to not write in “pussy” which I think is what is meant to be said. Yes, if Erica’s being interrupted by a person but I can’t imagine biting into a peach and slurping loudly to have the same effect.
    Pg. 10 – I don’t believe the lawyer would go into detail about will gains or inheritances on a voicemail where anyone could potentially play it. I think this conversation should happen naturally between the two of them, whether it’s him calling at that moment or her calling him back.
    Pg. 10 – “Grandmother never told me about any land.” – Isn’t Carrie her Mom?
    Pg. 10 – sloth with Parkinson’s – haha
    Pg. 13 – Moment here for Todd to bring up Erica’s germophobia?
    Pg. 14 – The VHS video so far is the funniest bit. Everything before that is a little light in comedy and I think more work could be done to strike a balance between the two. But I love the video. One thing, I feel that Wyatt and Carrie should care about keeping kids off drugs so I don’t think they should see the kid using the stick fire to light his crack pipe (but the beat of the kid should still happen – hilarious!).
    Pg. 16 – Great description of Kiwi.
    Pg. 16 – The moment of Kiwi seeing the marks on Erica and thinking Chuck has something to do with it read too dark for this movie. One for the fact I’m not sure she’s going to do anything about it, it kills the pot humor because now isn’t she thinking more domestic violence than partying? Yeesh, if anything, I’d have Erica or Kiwi imply it came from rough sex (…which pg. 27 wouldn’t work since Kiwi knows they haven’t had sex) or just negate the whole uneasy tonally off beat and have Erica cover up the marks.
    Pg. 19 – “I saw something.” I wish the audience was clued in on what she saw. This would seem like a classic horror beat, but without any sound or visual, the story just sits there. We’re forced to wait but without the fun and speculation of what that “something” might be.
    Pg. 20/21 – Bear traps are freaking intense. Honestly, I don’t see how the thought didn’t cross anyone’s mind to mercy kill it. Really don’t think it would survive otherwise. Bear trap on the side of the road is also a little weird unless beaver lugged it with him?
    Pg. 22 – “Savage.” — Kiwi was the best colorful character for me and this line exemplifies it (plus with a certain voice actor…)
    Pg. 22 – “Why would somebody do this?” – I got the small town feel reading the story so I’m unsure how much Erica and the rest of the town knows but it feels to me that they would know about the murder surrounding the lumberjack camp and Erica and Wyatt?
    Pg. 23 – Note’s the same from Table Read. I’d really work to incorporate this Nordic band more into the storyline line and with the current characters because their first scene is all exposition and very disorienting since they do not interact with Erica and crew and we haven’t seen (heard on the radio doesn’t count) them before. What if they were squatting at the camp? I wouldn’t cut them out together because it’s such a weird, funky cool element to the story and I actually see a real-life band doing a cameo (although Nordic really limits it, lol).
    Pg. 24 – “hobo egg fart” – lol
    Pg. 26 – I like the reason for them going into the woods. Erica wants to restore the camp and it’s a way for her to connect more her family she knows so little about. The little touches of the Wyatt/Carrie initial carving confirm it for me. Might be stronger if Erica hammers it home a little more? Or not, haha, just don’t want this powerful emotional moment for Erica to be lost upon the audience.
    Pg. 27 – Talk about the mark still tonally off to me.
    Pg. 28 – Carabiner falls off – haha
    Pg. 29 – I don’t understand Erica’s sex drive. They haven’t had sex but all of a sudden Erica is ready to do it? If she was scared because of crazy secret not yet revealed, then focus around that. She knows her body hasn’t changed so here she finally doesn’t care about giving Chuck splinters? And I thought she had broken up with Chuck? Poor Todd. Unless she was just lying to get Todd to come, but that’s kind of a shitty thing to do. I’m just thrown by the sudden change (did not believe the sexy dialogue would suddenly do it for her given all of the above).
    Last 10 – Pg. 81 – Lol, RIP Todd! Like that I come in on action, by skipping so much it’s refreshing to read such action since the 1st Act is still setting up everything. But, I will saw another Erica’s POV disappoints me because you are already so low on page count. How many of these are in the script? I worry there’s not as much story due to directional filler padding pages at points.
    Pg. 84 – It’s Rosa, the angry woman that accused Erica’s mother of killing her son, Javier. – Rosa comes back into play, but did we ever see Javier’s corpse? I remember the dead body of a teen girl being buried. Why not link Rosa to Marisa? Might be smoother and audience understand better.
    Pg. 85 – Oh yeah, the whole baby thing. I remember this being the most wtf moment for me in the story. Why in the world would Erica keep/protect an acorn that came out of her vagina after a murderous log raped her??? I think your answer is the kind of mystery that needs to be known a lot sooner than it was in the story. And I’m not sure it was ever clearly said, whether Erica knew all along (which I think she did). Confessing that helps me buy into the craziness. This just doesn’t feel like the type of story to me where you rewatch it to put all the pieces together. Silly horror comedy I feel needs to have it all out there plainly for an audience to really enjoy and not scratch their heads at the end still processing.
    Pg. 88 – The Beaver has a higher intelligence like the Log too?
    Pg. 89 – I like the odd family pancake image. Very disturbing, really works for the end. And I really like you thought out the genetic ratio of human and log.

    Having read this all the way through previously, I feel this is definitely a movie for a certain audience and should be made. Best imagery of the bunch. But comparing the 1st 30 and ending to The Hard High One, I found more character issues and story problems here. Hard High Ones has the relationships and conflict. Yours has the gonzo horror trappings and laughs. So very close runner up for me, and if it does not make it through this round, I really hope the changes you do apply make it a very sturdy Log indeed for the wildcard round and beyond! I’m talking like over 9,000 Janka hardness level Ironwood strong. Great job, Alison!

    SOMETHING TRUE FOR THOSE SKYSKRAPER (sp?) HEARTS (read to pg. 25 and last 10)

    Pg. 1 – Edwin places AN ear…
    Pg. 3 – “Not this time (comma) sucker.”
    Pg. 3 – Not sure what “not this time” references. Rachel always drawn to Edwin’s band?
    Pg. 5 – “the dolled up one” – think you need to get a little more specific here. There would have been a lot of dolled up women watching them and giving money. So far nothing has been written that makes her stand out to me from any other pretty girl.
    Pg. 6 – Aww, I kind of wish Rachel has a retort to Peter’s business jab.
    Pg. 7 – Parentheticals get their own line.
    Nothing super exciting in these pages. I just feel like I’ve seen it all before. I think you could condense this in half.
    Pg. 8 – Neither Peter nor Edwin seem that interested in getting Rachel. Stakes, urgency very low. Wish there was more personality and passion as much as is described in music as there are for relationships here.
    Pg. 9 – OG Teen Mom – haha
    Pg. 10 – Wait, what? Edwin’s sister is getting married to the cousin of Vera? Why? You already established that they were hired to play at the wedding. This is getting way too convenient. And why was it hidden when they were talking about the wedding?
    Pg. 10 – Like the idea of modernizing “Here Comes The Bride”.
    Pg. 11 – There was a fresh guitar on hand? Never in a band, but their group didn’t seem that rich to me. Normal for the lead guitarist who plays for change to have two guitars?
    Pg. 12 – “Perfection is easy when your family owns the souls of a thousand starving farmers.” – Is Gus dissing the cousin and his family’s money? Why? Does Gus have a beef with the cousin and if so, I did not know of this relationship beforehand.
    Is Rachel going to be the main love interest? Besides being above average pretty, there is nothing in her character actions or dialogue to hold my interest. She just seems to do a lot of polite responding.
    Pg. 13 – Rachel showed – was there ever any doubt? There was never the notion she would miss the wedding she and her friend said they would be there for.
    If Rachel has never played guitar before, I do not believe she could make anything that could resemble a phrase.
    I just don’t really see a spark between these two. Why them? What would make me want to see Rachel be with Edwin over Peter? I don’t really have the answer to that. I feel the dialogue is treading well worn patterns and lines of prior rom coms and romance dramas.
    Pg. 22 – She struggles to get PAST that line.
    Pg. 22 – Is the music Rachel is listening to the band’s music?
    Pg. 23 – Are Rachel and Peter a thing? It’s never all that clear to me especially with Rachel throwing in a kiss at Edwin. And the fact she’s still with Peter after just feels raw to me, for both men involved.
    Pg. 24 – Soul or sole?
    Now I’m introduced to Rachel wanting to do her best for a dance scout. Whose story is this? I swore it was Edwin’s until now. Guess it was always Rachel’s? But logline says talented musician. Logline also says fantasy but to me, this is a straight up millennial romance drama.
    Last 10 – oh, okay, wow, there’s the fantasy aspect. If she ends up with Peter because of what happened to Edwin that man, you really need to really work on Peter’s introduction. Nothing clued me in that he would have any involvement with Rachel’s future love life. Not in a good surprising way, but with a sense that he would not fight for her based on what I had read in that first Act.
    I don’t have a problem with the genre but this has heavy vibes of GHOST to me, and it being one of my favorite movies, IMO it nailed the character relationships. In this story, I remember getting the Ghost vibe during the guitar playing but again, I wanted to be on board so much more with Rachel and Edwin’s relationship like I was with Sam and Molly.
    So reading the last 10, I went back to find when the fantasy aspect first occurred. From what I saw, it was the midpoint. Not sure if this works if you don’t set the tone of fantasy earlier than that. What I read instead is a big rule breaking of genre and not what I would have paid to see in a theater. Having it so late is just one of those unhinged “wtf” moments to me and means time having to slow down and setup a lot more rules for a whole new movie/story.

    • Citizen M

      THE BREAKER-UPPER. Good title for UBUPMC.

      Epic notes, BTW.

      • Scott Crawford

        Sorry for the pile-on, but how about “The Breaker-Upperer?” Sounds more childish (although, apparently, the kid is 14 in the one).

        And I agree, epic notes. Much appreciated, I’m sure, buy all this weekend’s particpants.

    • smishsmosh22

      amazing helpful notes, thank you Scriptchick!

  • Final_boss

    Vote: LOG

    Read through the first few pages, of each, but how can you deny a murderous log who attacks people? I’d say a strong runner up for honorable mention was “The High Hard One” sports movies are always great because they have baked-in conflict, so this was a close second, but still going for the LOG!

  • Biju B

    My Vote: LOG
    Close second: The High Hard one

    The Log
    I had read a previous draft and reading the current one to see the changes incorporated since then. The premise though simple, the writer has taken the effort to put in a good story spun around well written and distinct characters. There is a unexpected twist (and sad, at least for me!) to boot. This was the easiest read among the bunch and looks also to be the most easily filmable with an inbuilt audience base. Let the LOG keep rolling!

    Return to Flight
    The writer is really good in showing the images of exactly how things unfolded during and after the launch sequence. The Reagan voice over is a good idea to add but it drags on quite a bit and the story will do well to pick up early on rather than after 10 mins.
    Also a small error – “Cover arrives with his wife” on p7, “Cover stands there for a moment” at p15 – both should be “Covey” instead of “Cover”. All the best.

    Skyscraper Hearts (I like it this way!)
    Right off the bat –
    “His name is EDWIN” – Young? Old? An age bracket would be nice to have.
    “Edwin places and ear”- should be “an” instead of “and”.
    VOICE (O.S.) – male or female? It has to be mentioned at the point its heard the first time.
    “Raise the vocals a bit lower my guitar” – I am pretty sure there’s something missing in this line.
    “You Pete.” – something’s off about this line too. I maybe wrong but should it be just “Yo Pete.”?
    p5 – “her turns back to Gus.” – Should be “he” instead of “her”
    “Remember something.” should be “Remembers something.”
    The car is running. Gus sits shotgun. Edwin sits in back. Peter jumps in. Starts the car again” – Didn’t quite get that.
    “Relax man. Did you get her number? – not sure why Edwin would suddenly ask that of Peter because he seemed least interested so far. Also what does him saying ‘relax’ have to do with her number?

    So lots of spell checks/corrections needed, minor though it maybe. Was not a bad read but would be better without the obvious distractions. The pace feels slower too. Also the immediate concern should be to get the logline better to get people interested to open the script. As it stands it really is very very generic and doesn’t convey at all what the story is about so that needs working. All the best.

    I quite liked the opening scene but for some reason, it made me sad to see the pain of the young boy instead of it feeling like a comedy. Good writing overall and an easy read. Someone suggested a name change for the boy I think – I would second that. Cafeteria banter was good. Followed by an interesting scene of them setting up Yuri with the girl. Getting on the fun side now, slowly. Will read further as time allows. All the best.

    EDIT: Just saw the note from the writer saying its more of a dramedy… which is the vibe I got in the opening scene.

    The Hard High One
    Really good writing and immediately manages to establish the tone of the setting and story. The characters come off as real with good dialogues. The writer clearly understands bowling very well considering the small details. This is a close Second for me only because I couldn’t get what the stakes are with the competition between father and son from the logline and hence, at this point, not very enticing for me to see this as a movie. All the best to the writer.

  • HRV

    Same thing here, that’s why I went on to read it all.

  • brenkilco

    With regard to the histler

  • smishsmosh22

    Thanks for finishing Log… what did you think about the acorn?

  • smishsmosh22

    thank you for your vote!

  • klmn
    • Scott Crawford

      I don’t know, I’m British and I would like to see more British content in cinemas and on Netflix, but only the good stuff. Ideally I’d want 50% homegrown TV and movies on, say, Netflix, which I think is what the Chinese want.

      We don’t – I don’t – have a problem with Girl on the Train or Doctor Strange but, in the past especially, we’ve had to put up with a lot of crappy American B-movie when we could’ve screened some of the hundreds of British films that never get a theatrical release, that just sit on the shelf (at one point, Dougray Scott had about four British movies he’d just made waiting in limbo).

      I look at this week’s UK top 10:

      and the top 2 are of British interest, albeit with international stars/director. There’s also an Oasis documentary and what I think is a Bollywood film. The other 6 movies are Yankee, as a re most of the smaller releases outside the top 10.

      Where am I going with this? Ah, yes… I think the Chinese just want a slight redress of the balance. They don’t just want to go and see movies about Chinese stuff anymore than I only want to see stuff about Britain, but if you’re going to see a thriller or a comedy, something like that, you don’t want to see the same old cultural references. Dig?

      • klmn

        Put your money where your mouth is, Brit!

        Go buy an American studio.


  • Comma

    I split my VOTE between LOG and Untitled Breaking Up Parents Marriage Comedy

    Log is original and entertaining, UBUPM is well written and funny.
    I’ll read the full script soon.

    Something True for Those Skyscraper Hearts
    Read until page 6.
    Too much casual/random dialogues/actions. I can’t see the hook. The first 6 pages are fat to be cutted in my opinion. Give me some meat instead. Give me a hint of the ‘fantasy world’ mentioned in the logline. There’s probably something good in this script but it needs to be anticipated in the first pages.
    -edwin’s age is missing, pag 1
    -VERA “Not this time sucker”. I don’t undertand what this line is supposed to mean.

    The High Hard One
    ‘autorithi’… why the the word processor didn’t corrected it?
    Page 6, can’t see the hook.

    Return to Flight
    Too slow for me.
    The 3 pages long Reagan’s speech is sucked up word by word from the official nasa website. Mmmm, this ejected me out.

    -why ‘50 music ? The time set is confusing. I didn’t understood the prologue was in the past (when?).

    -pag4 SPOLIER I understand Log is Erica’s father, I like this but I think this should be concealed and used as a turning point rather than a set up. Or be presented in a even more clear way… because I’m not sure if I must feel ‘ahead’ from the writer or be guided by him. I don’t know.

    -TODD “Did you know over one hundred people are killed by falling trees in the United States every year?”
    Mmmm this line sounds too stupid to me.

    -“In the next shot, the boy is seen rubbing sticks together to create a small fire, and uses the flames to light his pipe instead. Carrie and Wyatt give us the thumbs up!” Maybe there is a problem of tone… is this Airplane? It’s too odd to see this in an official promotional video for a teenage camp. The joke is funny but I’m not sure it belongs to this script.

    Untitled Breaking Up Parents Marriage Comedy
    I only read some few pages but I’m amazed by the quality of the writing. I’ll definetely read more.

    • smishsmosh22

      thank you for your vote!

  • Midnight Luck

    OT: anyone else going to see The Girl On The Train?

    • Scott Crawford

      Think I’ll catch up with on Netflix sometime, doesn’t fun enough to really rush out to the cinema to see (not given the time and expense involved). Maybe I would’ve been more excited if it didn’t look so gosh-darned GLOOMY.

      • Midnight Luck

        Some of us just love the dark and gloomy…

        • Scott Crawford

          I do too! Quite often. I guess it just doesn’t have that oomph for me, and to be honest the opening weekend is not that fantastic for such a highly-publicized pic (also terrible Cinemascore).

          I might see it eventually but they are just too many reasons why not to. And that’s a shame.

          • Midnight Luck

            I was actually surprised and a bit let down that everywhere I’ve looked the response to the movie was low or poor. Rating’s of 2 to 2.5 stars, or 44% on other trackers. I guess it makes some sense, but still surprising.
            I don’t necessarily like comparing one film to another, but in this case it feels similar to Gone Girl, where there was a ton of hype, but the film response was tepid. Girl on the Train didn’t have as much advertising and ra-ra beforehand, but is getting the same disinterested response.
            My slight fear is the movie could go one of two ways, either schlocky melodrama like Jennifer Lopez’s The Boy Next Door (I never saw it, but the preview looked just awful and goopy), or it could be the Gone Girl direction where it is highly skilled directing and style and cinematography, yet the story is missing something, lacking either a heartfelt center or character, or a solid story we really care about.
            I have faith in Emily Blunt choosing solid projects, but sometimes the Director doesn’t bring it, or the source material is lacking. I haven’t read the book, know virtually nothing about it, aside from what’s in the preview.
            But it looked like a good mystery/thriller and I love her, so I thought it was worth the gamble.

          • Scott Crawford

            I feel it’s probably the second, well-made, well-acted but maybe too simple a story. I’m 38 and I’ve a lot of these stories on film, on TV and in books so I think maybe it would appeal more to a younger audience who haven’t seen it quite as much.

            As an aside, go into a bookstore or look on Amazon and you’ll find DOZENS of “Girl on the Train” clones with titles like “The Woman in Cabin 23″ and so on.

    • E.C. Henry

      No. It looks stupid.

  • Erica

    So I’m getting ready to go to mommy’s for Thanksgiving Dinner (Happy Thanksgiving Eh!)

    Before I go I figured I’d get my vote in now, later I most likely will flake out on the couch.
    Vote: LOG
    Close second Untitled (Just Split Already?) not sure if that works but.

    Now at first I didn’t really know what way to vote as the scripts are so different but still another fine batch. I’ll admit that to only other one that I wanted to read more of was Untitled comedy.

    For Something True, I found the opening pages just didn’t pull me in enough, I’m sure it would get better but nothing for me.

    Return to Flight, I felt that the whole opening was to obvious. Carson always talks about picking something that’s different. We all know or at least most of us know about the Shuttle accident. I would have loved a different way to draw us in instead of just rehashing that day. I think about how Titanic stared and how maybe you could use this kind of approach to your script.

    That’s all I really have for notes, I’ve been sidetracked with other things this weekend, so congrats to all the writers again, well done!

    • Scott Crawford

      I like Just Split Already, especially if the characters are Jewish!

    • smishsmosh22

      Thank you for your vote, Erica!!!

  • Kirk Diggler

    You’ve spent several hours reading two scripts in full and part of the others yet you have zero to offer in terms of notes? How odd.

  • Beautiful Derek

    I loved Log so hard! Inspiring. And very well done.

    • smishsmosh22

      thank you so much!

  • Levres de Sang

    Runner-Up: THE HIGH HARD ONE

    I do feel sorry for any script going up against LOG — a script that’s had an almost overwhelming pre-match buzz. Carson did the right thing ensuring it had stiff competition, though, because this was a very difficult week to choose a winner. However, two scripts stood out for me — with UNTITLED shading it on originality.

    UNTITLED BREAKING UP PARENTS MARRIAGE COMEDY [Read: 11 pages]: Like Skyscraper Hearts this one has an easygoing quality. However, it ALSO has an inventive dramatic structure that feels not unlike Woody Allen. I don’t have a lot to say; it’s just really well done. (I don’t have a problem with the title, either.)

    THE HIGH HARD ONE [Read: 17 pages]: Love the fact that David always writes with a strong regional flavour. The dialogue here also reads as pro-level (e.g. the characters talk to each other NOT the audience); while this particular script’s blue collar world seems tailor-made for the annual Black List and some up-and-coming indie director.

    SOMETHING TRUE FOR THOSE SKYSKCRAPER HEARTS [Read: 18 pages]: I’ve got a thing for long titles and must say that I LOVE this one! Hands down the best TITLE of the year! That aside this one has an easygoing quality that’s naive, charming and amateur in a really nice way. There’s virtually nothing happening in dramatic terms, but there’s a quality here that somehow appeals to me. Also liked this bit of scene description (p.16):

    Wooden benches placed along a bluff, looking out over the
    ocean. People come out here to think, to write, to cry, to

    I would advise the author to commit to this script a little more, though, as it doesn’t seem to have been updated since 4th May!? Certainly, they should tidy up the errors and eliminate some of that very first draft dialogue. Then again, maybe that’s all part of its charm?

    RETURN TO FLIGHT [Read / Skimmed 14 pages]: This is a very astutely chosen project: True story — Check. American hero — Check. However, I pretty much agree with the consensus — and certainly agree with Link as to that awkward sentence on the first page; and with someone else who mentioned the distracting nature of the acronyms. Sorry I can’t be more helpful, although I do have an alternate title suggestion: AMERICAN ASTRONAUT.

    LOG [Read: 9-10 pages]: Kudos to Alison for coming up with such an outrageously out-there concept, but I’m not feeling the pages in all honesty. It may be a tonal issue or it may be that I dislike the characters. Of course, this kind of straight-to video material is never lauded for its character work, but maybe there should be some kind of pre-history as to the origins of LOG himself. I did like the 21 YEARS LATER and cut to the mental hospital, though.

    • Poe_Serling

      “I do feel sorry for any script going up against LOG — a script that’s had an almost overwhelming pre-match buzz.”

      Never underestimate the power of getting your project’s name and
      premise out there, especially in the often overcrowded playing field
      of Hollywood.

      • Levres de Sang

        It’s a shark-tank out there! ;) Seriously, you’re right. Sometimes it seems almost impossible to get our work noticed so in that sense Alison has run a terrific campaign. Think I was also forgetting this a tournament!

    • Davyd SC

      Thanks as always, Levres, for the kind words about my writing. I value your opinion so I’m always stoked to read what you think. Hope you don’t work tomorrow ‘cause I’m coming over tonight with a couple lesbian vampires and a pack of Dunhill Ultra Slims and we’re gonna party.

      • Levres de Sang

        Sounds fantastic! ;) Seriously, I’m very impressed with the craft on display in your script — especially in such a short time-frame. You deserve a wild card shot IMO.

        Thanks, too, for your kind words as to my notes. I always hope there’s something helpful there for the writers.

        ** This may be a little random, but I mentioned the regional aspect in your writing and can really imagine one of those Pacific North West murder mysteries being a great fit for your style. They often make the Black List and have titles like Rapid Falls… Anyway, just a thought (if you haven’t already written one!)

  • brenkilco

    OT. The second episode of westworld feels like a placeholder with multiple less than fascinating mystery boxes. Apart from a single small cool moment on a train this is already starting to feel repetitive. Not happy.

  • smishsmosh22

    Thank you for your vote! I’ll try to recapture the zany magic from the original drafts. :)

    • E.C. Henry

      GREAT attitude.

      • smishsmosh22

        thx E.C. :)

  • jeaux

    My vote – The High Hard One. I posted a few thoughts on it earlier. Read some of all the others as well over the weekend but HHO kept my interest the most.

    Kudos to the always hard working smish to workshop the hell out of Log though. One way or another, it sounds like she’ll get this made. Keep us posted.

    • smishsmosh22

      thanks jeaux :)

  • smishsmosh22

    I have to re-watch Something About Mary because I can’t remember what you are referencing! I agree tho, that metal band needs work — or to be cut — and I haven’t got the hear to cut them just yet.

  • ocattorney

    ocattorney votes for Return to Flight….. recognizing the hard work that went into getting a factual-based screenplay accurate…

  • Deaf Ears

    I vote for THE HIGH HARD ONE, based on reading the first ten pages of each script. This was the best written overall, with LOG and UNTITLED BREAKUP close runners-up.

  • Omoizele Okoawo

    You guys went beast mode on these critiques! Good job!

  • New_E

    I’ll be dead honest. The only option for me this week is RETURN TO FLIGHT and it gets my vote.

    Simple process of elimination:

    . LOG – I had read a previous draft in its full indie B-movie, gore-and-guts, grindhouse glory, and while fun, a killing log just isn’t for me.

    . SOMETHING TRUE FOR THOSE SKYSCRAPER HEARTS – from title to logline, I just don’t know what any of it means. Title reads somewhat pretentious to me in a hipster-ish way and though I shouldn’t dismiss things based on titles alone (loved ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND and expect Ang Lee’s new BILLY LYNN’s LONG HALFTIME WALK to be good), this is a bit of a turn-off coming from an unknown quantity.


    . THE HIGH HARD ONE – it’s about bowling. (Sorry!)

    . UNTITLE BREAKING UP PARENTS MARRIAGE COMEDY – a comedy about parental strife and divorce with a 14-year old as protagonist — a sort of PARENT TRAP 2K16. I have to admit I generally don’t care for rom-coms or comedies centered around relationships. I also have a hard time watching kiddie movies or movies with non-adult themes. This seems to feature both.


    That leaves RETURN TO FLIGHT, which probably would have been my first choice anyway, even faced with other competition.

    Here, we have something based on a true story that starts with one of the most truly devastating incidents in human history watched live by millions of people and proceeds to tell us what impact this had on other astronauts, their families, and the future of American space exploration in the waning days of the Cold War as they prep for Discovery.

    Read the whole thing. At 97 pages, it’s a fast read, so, that’s a plus.

    Now, full disclosure: I’m jealous. One of the few amateur scripts here over time I wish I’d written myself.

    . Technical description in the beginning, a little too detailed and technical. I would cut some of that.

    . Your description of the blast is a bit flat – it does lack some impact (horrible to say). Doesn’t pop out of the page the way it should.

    . Agree that all the abbreviations and acronyms may not be necessary — BUT, as one character says on p.29, it’s par for the course in NASA world.

    . Reagan speech does go on too long.

    . Dialogue is great. Very naturalistic. Some of the best dialogue from an amateur I’ve read on this site.

    “He’s still her father, so he’s afforded the opportunity to
    scold her.”

    . I see asides/unfilmables like that here and there in the script so far. I would do an action/description pass and try to rework that.

    And NASA has convened an entire
    panel to look into what went wrong
    and improve mission safety!

    And one of those panel members
    helped build the atomic bomb! You
    wanna see what he recommends to do
    with a few tons of explosive rocket

    . Hide that exposition better.

    These are minor quibble in what looks — to me — very pro.

    In a way, this reminded me of SPOTLIGHT, as this is about investigating the flaws in the system and identifying the cracks — only this time, literally. One problem with that though is the dramatic arc. Dramatic tension is somewhat absent post-Challenger prelude.

    I may be wrong here, but this:

    “MR. SMITH
    You will not miss that date. You
    will not allow the Soviets to get a
    shuttle up into orbit before we
    return to flight. Do you
    understand? That’s your new

    Strikes me as the most interesting conflict — ahead of safety concerns, which are a given IMO. This comes in on p.40.

    Why not have that on p.20?

    Structurally, you could have the Reconnaissance mission over Baikonur earlier in the script and this meeting right after, which would boost dramatic conflict exponentially IMO, give GSU, and give more shape to the narrative, i.e. – Russian competition & time constraints vs the moral imperative of safety concerns – then you can move family dynamics to the forefront and it would make the families’ fears and concerns more palpable.

    As it is, we just have Covey and Pinky conduct a series of safety tests, but it lacks direction and GSU.

    To be clear, America will continue
    to dominate space. If we can’t beat
    them with the sheer number of
    flights provided by NASA, then we
    will dominate them militarily and
    send weapons up on shuttle flights.
    The President has given a fullthroated
    declaration that he has no
    stomach for losing the Cold War.”

    Late Cold War Neocon doctrine of military “full-spectrum dominance” in a nutshell.

    . That Challenger SHUTTLE MOTION BASE SIMULATOR “scene” ending on p.60 is…. sobering.

    . In a way, it’s obviously the main thread of the script, but it’s important to emphasize throughout the script that what happens on pp.60-61 between Tandish and Covey, i.e. Covey’s mental fitness and the VERY REAL POSSIBILITY that he may not get the greenlight to fly on Discovery is paramount. That tension over his understandable obsession with Challenger and his need to get it together could bear some emphasis in the early stages of the story.

    . Touching scenes between Pinky and family.

    . … and Discovery launches… STS-26 Return to Flight crew takes off… 73 seconds… Mach 16…

    blue I’ve topped the wind-swept
    heights with easy grace, Where
    never lark, or even eagle, flew;
    And, while with silent, lifting
    wings, trod the high untrespassed
    sanctity of space put out my hand,
    and touched the face of God.”

    . Last Reagan speech is beautiful, but goes long again. Could use some cuts.


    Very good script. Nah, that script is flat-out IMPRESSIVE. Production-ready with some tinkering here and there IMO. Its greatest strength is telling a complex story quite simply.

    Shame it has no chance of winning this week.


    I would love to hear from the writer though. How long did it take you to write? How long have you been writing? What was your research process like? Did you have a particular affinity for astrophysics/space/aeronautics prior to writing this? Have you submitted this elsewhere?


  • New_E

    I agree. RETURN TO FLIGHT is just that impressive. Pro.


  • Davyd SC

    Thanks everyone who read some of The High Hard One and offered feedback, support and yet another great set of stellar notes. I will put all of your notes to good use during the next rewrite. I was surprised that Carson even picked this script to be honest – I didn’t think he would. And I didn’t even know it was on until E.D. emailed me Saturday while I was moving. I had no internet until an hour ago which is partly why I remained silent until now, though I did monitor the race and the comments/feedback on my phone.

    Congrats to the other writers who should be quite proud of themselves, and congrats to Smish for a smashing victory. Nice work, everyone.

    • smishsmosh22

      Thank you David, and congrats on the success of Bush Baby Summer!

      • Davyd SC

        You’re welcome and thank you! RE Bush Baby: next Saturday will be a big day, a big fucking day. It’s a Finalist at both Austin and PAGE, and both announce winners next Saturday. Fingers crossed…

        • smishsmosh22

          epic!!!! All the best dude!

        • Randall Alexander

          Fingers crossed for you!

    • klmn

      It looks like you’re likely into the wild card round. So, keep at it!

    • Kirk Diggler

      This is a fun script, I’m enjoying it.

    • Cal

      Hey David you were my close runner up. I finished your script as well. I really enjoyed it. The writing was strong, and I thought the family message that came in strong in the third act was great. It really moved me. It was a good piece of work and I’d be interested in hearing where you got your inspiration to write this from?

      Anyway, here are some notes I jotted down while reading…

      -Love that it’s set in Tacoma, WA. I’m up there almost every summer.

      -Brady Boone Hawkins — love that name. It works great for this script.

      -pg. 3. ‘The rest of his groceries consist of a few cans of soup, a box of saltines, Top Ramen, and a few Cups of Noodles. — I know that diet all too well.

      pg. 7-8 The dialogue with Van and Brady is particularly strong. It’s a lot of bowling talk, but it’s got strong conflict and feels extremely natural.

      pg. 17 I love the transition from the record store to hooking up. It was a very natural, but aggressive progression that felt very real. Nothing fake about it. Well done.

      pg. 19 ‘Tully’s Eldorado parked in the lot. It’s dark, cold, windy and pouring rain. Welcome to the Northwest.’ — that’s basically the NW for ya.

      pg. 40 The Fang/ Tully conversation is strong.

      pg.44. ‘This is not a pretty world they live in.’ — It has its moments, but I feel you. That’s why I moved to LA.

      pg. 58 Sunglasses commentary is great. Put a late night smile on my face.

      pg. 61 ‘C’mon. Come with me.’ Should be Gooses line not Brady’s.

      Pg. 88 Tully’s monologue is epic. Brought tears to my eyes.

      pg. 94 You build the anticipation of the scene great. The way the commentators are used is classic.

      pg. 98 ‘She leaps into his arms and they kiss — a passionate, emotional, crazy mad excited totally in love and in lust when you’re twenty-one type kiss.’ — Loved this action description. Those moments are the best aren’t they?

      Great work and congrats on being chosen. It was a very cohesive script and read well, I hope you go places with it. -Cal

  • New_E

    Those are some hardcore notes!


  • Davyd SC

    Great notes and very useful. Thank you Scriptchick!

  • New_E

    Agreed on RETURN TO FLIGHT.


  • Kirk Diggler

    High Hard One – Read the first 18, would read more if it made the cut. Gets a provisional vote from me, checking out the others scripts right now, stretched for time.

    Impressed with the writing on this one. Real solid, efficient story telling (opening ten especially). Love the fact that you name the El Centro bowling alley owner after the Black Sabbath drummer (intentional or not). The Tulley/Snodgrass phone conversation is a bit long and mostly full of BG info. Don’t need as much as your giving us. In fact, don’t think we needed to stick with Tully/Geez after his phone call with Snodgrass. It’s important to stick with your protagonist as much as possible. Tully was superbly drawn when we first meet him, you’d be surprised how much the brain can fill in about this guy without being told outright by the writer. I like the meet cute with Lucinda, somewhat typical but still effective. I liked the line;
    GOOSE: Brady Boone got laid this weekend.
    JERRY: Nice. Was it one of our local drivers, or one of the long-haul guys?

    I think we could learn a little more about Brady himself. Tully seems like a worthy adversary but it seems like he’s getting almost as much time as Brady. Oh, and I agree with Citizen M, saying you don’t like this script because it’s about bowling is just dumb.

    • Reader1

      “Oh, and I agree with Citizen M, saying you don’t like this script because it’s about bowling is just dumb.” It’s like I tell you I’m not interested in baseball and then you call me dumb for not watching the World Series. What’s wrong with you too? You’re either living in a fantasy world or you like being on a soap box. Get over yourselves. Asking people to indulge in something they have no interest in, THAT’S dumb.

      • Kirk Diggler

        “It’s like I tell you I’m not interested in baseball and then you call me dumb for not watching the World Series.”

        Not even remotely the same thing. There was hardly any bowling in the pages I read. Bowling is used as a backdrop for the characters. They could be playing ping pong or tiddly winks. Maybe you should buy a clue.

        • New_E

          Some people in the comments stated they didn’t care for space movies. They skipped RETURN TO FLIGHT or read some pages with extreme prejudice. It happens. Diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks, yada yada… if you have X amount of time to read, you’re gonna pick something that appeals to you from titles, loglines, etc… sorry.


          • Kirk Diggler

            I understand how that works. But… narrative films aren’t documentaries. The Big Lebowski isn’t about bowling either.

          • New_E

            True, but in that particular case, it’s from the Coen brothers and given their track record, I’m sure people would be willing to give them and the material the benefit of the doubt?


          • Kirk Diggler

            You’re right. And this is in line with my point, that this script shouldn’t be so easily shuffled aside because it’s wrongly viewed as ‘just a bowling script’.

        • Reader1

          Maybe you should read the logline. ‘Nuf said. But you’re probably right. If a producer read the logline I’m sure he’d think, “I’m not interested in bowling, but I bet the characters are great, so I’m gonna read this.” You are truly an idiot. Get off your soapbox and come back down to reality, live in the real world for awhile.

          • Kirk Diggler

            Big tough internet hard man.

          • Reader1

            Now you’re finally making sense.

    • Davyd SC

      Geez Butler was no accident, originally it was just a placeholder name but then I just thought it fit him and left it for luck. You’re the first person who ever called me on it. Guess it takes another Sabbath fan.

      • jeaux

        Geezer was the bass player. Looks like i’m the only REAL fan. :)

        • Davyd SC

          You win, I surrender to you! I should have named him Bill Ward.

          • jeaux

            Haa. Yes!

        • Kirk Diggler

          Ack. What I meant to say was one of those two dudes in the background that nobody paid attention to. ;-)

  • Kirk Diggler

    Read ten pages of UBUPMC – great opening line, but i’d abandon the V.O. after that. My snap judgement on this is that the writer tries to quickly establish the theme using the V.O but then it seemingly becomes something else shortly afterwards. The Yuri/Leanne stuff breaks away from what the the opening pages appear to signal. Being pressed for time, I lost interest, sorry.

    Log – Read 14 pages. This story feels unfocused to me. I liked Laser Sloth which had a similar ‘out there’ concept, but that had a solid structure and well established characters. I had trouble connecting to the basic story here, even without the craziness of a killer log. Why would Erica allow some crazy women to choke her without reporting the incident? Isn’t that a crime? I do appreciate trying to work in a backstory and go beyond a simple slasher, but I guess the boyfriend and lawyer stuff just didn’t do the trick for me.

    Return to Flight – Read 14 pages – I believe since Richard Covey is your hero, the sooner we hear the line….

    COVEY: And CAPCOM gave the order to throttle up.

    …the better. It happens on page nine, page 3 or 4 would be better. The Reagan speech is famous and deservedly so, but we don’t need so much of it. The ‘slipped the surly bonds of Earth’ is the best part of it, so finding a way to quickly segue from those words to Covey’s first statement will help this story get off the ground sooner. The dramatic question presented here might not be dramatic enough. “Sully” had the advantage of continuing to relive a 206 second airline flight that crashed into the Hudson. No such advantage here.

    Read a little bit of Something True. Wasn’t sure who I was supposed to focus on, Edwin or Rachel? Either way, I think this story requites a little patience in order for it settle, and I’m just a little short on it at the moment.

    My vote goes to The High Hard One, which is the only script I wanted to continue reading.

  • smishsmosh22

    Thank you so much everybody! Can’t wait to polish my Log for the Quarter Finals!!!! :)

    • Midnight Luck

      Congratulations! Good job, and I hope you get great things coming from it!

    • klmn


  • -n8-

    You wrote a really engaging script. From concept to execution. I salute your efforts!

  • jaarona

    Hey All

    Sorry for the late reply. Was out of town over the weekend and didn’t see until late Sunday that my script got picked. Wish I could’ve been around more to converse about it.

    Thanks to all who checked it out.

    Thanks for all the notes.

    Hope you all are well and are writing and are striving for something big.

    Take care y’all!