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 sixth group of entries. You can see who won Week One here, who won Week Two here, who won Week Three here, who won Week Four here, and finally, who won last week. 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.

Title: Corpse Flower
Writer: Michael J. Kospiah
Genre: Horror
Logline: After a brutal home invasion, a psychotic mother must go head-to-head with a sadistic plastic surgeon to save her abducted little girl — a little girl who isn’t as innocent as she seems.

Writer: Andrew Sieger
Genre: Horror
Logline: When independent filmmaker, William Roman, gets the opportunity of a lifetime to direct a movie for a big time Hollywood studio, he jeopardizes his career and maybe his life when he casts a real Vampire in his Vampire movie.

Title: Gods of Rock
Writer: Sean Woolford
Genre: Dramatic Comedy
Logline: After faking their death to get out of a bad management deal, a KISS-type rock band resurfaces 19 years later as their own tribute band.

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

WINNER OF WEEK 6: “JUMP” by Andrew Bumstead. Great job, Andrew! And congrats to Alison, as well, who got herself a producer connection off of Log. And a special thanks to Scott’s tireless work on tallying up the votes. Now we even get QUOTE-VOTES, which was really fun to see (not that I expect you to keep that up, Scott. But it was definitely fun)! Have had a great time doing this guys. Can’t wait to see what emerges next week!

  • Zack Snide Err

    First, I’d like to thank Carson for getting these up early (EST). I’m digging the variety within the horror/thriller genre of all these selections.
    Best of luck to all the writers and can’t wait to read and reply.

  • Carmelo Framboise

    Horror, thriller, horror, thriller.

    • Scott Crawford

      Makes some sense to put similar scripts against each other. Hope we see your script next week!

      • Carmelo Framboise

        Yeah, but there is a poor script that’s not a horror or thriller!

  • Wijnand Krabman

    seems like an other strong week, maybe the strongest, with five interesting entries. I’m happy to read them all and sad mine is not amongst them and will probably not show up in this contest.

  • Paul Clarke

    Not sure I’ll have time to read, but I just wanted to say THE FIRST DAUGHTER is one of the best ideas/loglines I’ve seen here in a long time. I can see the movie instantly, and there would be a clear audience for it. Great work. I hope the writing maximises the potential premise.

    • Abdul Fataki

      I’m the writer. Thanks dude! That’s what Carson taught us. Write something the audience WANTS to see.

    • Comma

      It’s a clever title and logline but after 7 pages I’m sure this can’t be a winner. Maybe it could work as a comedy. We have an “african Harry Potter” involved in some kind of terroristic activity where persian and arabs are all the same… I don’t know!

      • Abdul Fataki

        Dude, I’m Arab myself and Iranians can have the name “al-Nujayfi” although it’s usually reserved for Iraqis and he’s not involved in terrorist activities (I don’t know why you would think that).

        I’ll have to make that clearer in the second act. Thanks for reading though :)

  • Eric Boyd


    I read the first 21 pages and, for me things are coming off a little unfocused and kind of confusing. I loved the car crash scene at the beginning. It gets the script off to a great start, but then we time jump to five years later, and technically speaking, the opening scene takes place some time in the future so this would be our second time jump. After the car crash scene I got really invested in Dwight and then he’s shot in the chest three time… but he’s not dead… question mark? He then wakes and is shot in the chest another three time, but now I guess he is dead… question mark? In the next scene he doesn’t have a head, so I guess so, but did he die from the gun shot or did they have to cut his head off in order to kill him? Something magic happens before he was shot the second time, so it appears that Dwight has some sort of superpowers, and the hit men were confused by it and act very dismissive about it when they are telling Jolene about it, so I guess they are just cutting his head off for the cool visual. Sam then tells Jolene that Tallulah is with a cop now and in the next scene Tallulah is approached in a grocery store by a cop who appears to know her pretty well, so naturally I assumed this was her new man, but he starts talking about her husband and Dwight, which confused me a great deal. It’s obvious that whoever she is with he’s beating the shit out of her, but the cop doesn’t seem very concerned about it. Instead he’s more concerned about the location of Dwight and at this point I don’t know if Dwight and Tallulah are still together, and these two are having some kind of an affair and they are speaking the way they are so nobody finds out, but if they are and he’s a cop why isn’t he doing anything or even seem remotely concerned with her obvious abuse, and why is Tallulah staying in this abusive relationship? Everybody’s acting like this is the most normal thing in the world. Then Jolene confronts Tallulah in the parking lot for some reason and when Carson drives by, Sam tells Jolene that he’s not sure about killing a cop, once again I’m assuming that they are talking about Carson, but then we see in the next couple of scenes that Tallulah and Dwight aren’t together anymore and probably haven’t seen each other for years, and then we finally see this mysterious cop that she’s with and now he’s dead. And I have no idea what’s going on with these deer mask. Sam just seems like a run of the mill hit-man killing people in exchange for plastic surgery for his wife, but now he has this elaborate and creepy looking costume that he has to wear when killing people, that has to make killing people only about a thousand time more of a pain in the ass. And then there are the two X-file agents who have been looking for Dwight because of his superpowers. Are these superpowers and government conspiracy really necessary for this kind of story. I think all this weirdness needs to be toned down a bit and things need to grounded a little more in reality, with some sort of focus on a singular goal, most likely Jolene’s revenge, because right now I can’t relate to anybody or anything in this story.

    • Comma

      I agree!
      What will you vote?

    • The Colonel

      Hard return, please!

  • GoIrish

    Blood Red, Silver Screen sounds similar to Shadow of the Vampire (though the latter has some comedy in it).

  • Zadora

    Wish I had time to read, but super mega busy at the moment. All of these sound interesting to me! Sounds like great Halloween reading too!

  • Lucid Walk



    • Abdul Fataki

      THANKS DUDE! I’m the writer. It means a lot. The script definitely has some problems (mainly in the first act – it takes a bit too long, but I’ll get that fixed for the rewrite.)

      Thanks again!

  • Eric Boyd


    17 pages in and the tone is all over the place. This is not reading like a thriller at all. It’s written like a comedy. Leo seems to be the main character, but why? I guess his goal is to get him and his brother away from there abusive father, and his plan to do this is working as a waiter, which he hates and get fired from, but what does any of this have to do with the terrorist plot and president’s daughter.

    The political exposition from Donny’s speech is obvious and forced. First were talking about Iran, then later we have the bad guys speaking Arabic, then there’s something on
    TV about human trafficking in Libya. Then there’s Iranian diplomat. Ahmed al-Nujayfi. I’m no expert, but this sounds more like an Arabic name than a Persian name.

    Everything about this seem disconnected, but more importantly I’m not interested enough in Leo’s character to follow him to see how he fits into all this. He’s just a guy with a miserable life, who I feel more sorry for than want to route for and even if I want to route for him, what I’m I routing for him to do? Stop the terrorists? Keep his shitty job
    that he hates? To bang the president’s hot daughter? I’m just not seeing the point of anything that’s going on so far. I need a main character with a goal that is some what related to the story.

    • Abdul Fataki

      Yeah, I’m the writer of the First Daughter, thanks for checking it out. I know what you mean, I spent too much time setting up all characters and gave them a bit too much meat.

      For the rewrite I’ll get into the story a bit sooner and focus on Leo. I wanted the tone of the first act to have that ‘Straight outta Compton’ feel. Just a bunch of guys, normal guys, living their lives and then getting into shit way over their head.

      Secondly there are no terrorists in the script. There’s actually a ‘smart twist’ to the story, which I hope people like. I hope you keep reading and see what happens. :)

    • Comma

      Me too I think it’s a comedy, but I’m not sure if it’s volountary.

      • Abdul Fataki

        Hey, I’m the writer. I tried to go for the ‘Straight outta Compton’ feel for the first act, I wanted these guys to be cool and relatable to the (younger audience) it later delves into thriller territory but still retains some laughs. As I always believe any film should always have its funny scenes! Thanks for reading it though!

        For the rewrite I will work on fixing the tone and get it across cleaner! :)


  • witwoud

    I’m a bit pushed for time, but here are my logline thoughts:

    No offence, but this is one of those loglines that seemed to have been written by the Random Logline Generator. You could substitute almost any characters for these ones without altering the sense very much. (‘A psychotic mother must go head-to-head with a sadistic plastic surgeon’ … ‘An ex-Seal with PTSD must go head to head with a satanic cult leader’ … ‘A cheerleader turned bank-robber must go head to head with an insane police chief’ … ‘An insane police chief must go head to head with a giant tarantula named Brian’… etc etc.)

    The only grounded element is the abducted girl … until she’s given the old ‘is she everything she seems?’ spin. There’s really nothing to hang on to here.

    I really like this idea. Everyone’s seen those pictures of young Miss Obama taking a well-earned break from the presidential life, and everyone must have thought to themselves, how difficult would it be to snatch a first daughter? (If you were a bad person, that is.) So this is a nice, simple, instantly-gettable set-up.

    The only thing that made me pause was that the criminals are described as ‘first time’. (So, technically, they’re not criminals at all, yet.) That almost suggests a comedy — bungling first-timers up against some of the most highly-trained agents in the world. If the goal is kidnap and ransom, this seems like a job for seasoned crims rather than first-timers.

    But hopefully I’ll get some time to read it and be proved wrong. Dead, dead wrong.

    Does the director cast the vampire in his vampire movie without knowing it’s a vampire? In which case, this sounds like a comedy. (And a good one.) If he does it on purpose, then maybe tell us why?

    I love this idea, though, and would certainly like to read it. Vampires and movies go together like ham and mustard. In fact, movies are vampires, and we, the audience, with our heads tilted back and our eyes full of awe, are nothing but their rapt, helpless, yet secretly-willing victims. I’ll stop now.

    Does this really need to be described as a ‘DRAMATIC comedy’? I notice comedy writers do this a lot — typically putting ‘comedy drama’ in the genre slot when a simple ‘comedy’ would do. Of course, I haven’t read it, but this premise sounds like pure, 100% comedy, and a darn good one too. What a great idea! I look forward to reading it.

    Sorry, but this feels like a very generic time-travel set-up…
    ‘Okay, question: If you could travel back in time, what would you do?’
    ‘Um, dunno. Kill Hitler? Erm … stop someone I loved being killed?’
    ‘Okay. Let’s go with the second one.’

    Though I should add, there’s barely a time travel movie that I do like, beyond the ‘Biff and Marty’ variety.

    Congratulations to all five for finishing the darn things at all. Hopefully I’ll have time to read a few pages and cast a vote.

    • Abdul Fataki

      Writer of the First Daughter here :). Yeah this is a completely different take on the ‘hostage’ narrative.

      Please do read it and you will be proven wrong :)

    • Comma

      JUMP explains why they can’t kill hitler. Anyway it’s impossible to judge a script from its (often inaccurate) logline, you can only judge the logline.

      • witwoud

        Well, I was judging the loglines. Thought I’d made that clear.

  • Eric Boyd


    I guess I should start out by saying I’ve never seen a vampire movie that I liked, even the one written by Quentin Tarantino, so it’s going to take a lot to win me over with this on.

    Okay, so the main character is supposed to be independent filmmaker, William Roman. Well I’ve read 15 pages and you haven’t introduced him yet. The description, for my taste is a little over written, but I can see people disagreeing with me there. I’m not sure if it’s a good strategy to try and sell a script to Hollywood when you make everybody in Hollywood look like colossal douches. Also, I’ve read several places that including the WGA number on the title page is a total amateur move.

    I guess this just isn’t for me. I understand that you are trying something different with an unconventional approach to your story structure, but I’m afraid that I’m just not getting it.

    • wlubake

      Now I feel determined to find a vampire movie you’d like. Have you seen LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, BLADE, INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE and ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE? I’d have to guess one of those would fall in most people’s taste.

      • Kane

        I’d add “Near Dark” and the “Lost Boys” to that list for the 80s nostalgia.

      • O-zed

        And add Byzantium to that list too.

      • Scott Serradell

        What We Do in the Shadows? Trouble Every Day? Nosferatu?

      • Nick Morris

        30 DAYS OF NIGHT!

    • The Colonel

      Have you seen the Hunger?

      • brenkilco

        Can’t agree on this one. Decadent vamp chic and Tony Scott at his stroby lighting, curtain billowing, in your face worst. Like A GQ ad for a blood liqueur.
        Didn’t think anybody could make a lesbian love scene between Sarandon and Deneuve in their respective primes dull. He manages. Bowie RIP wasn’t bad.

        • Scott Serradell

          I can see where you’re coming from. It hasn’t aged spectacularly. But…I always thought David Bowie’s fate — basically to age but live forever in a coffin alongside Deneuve’s other “husbands” in the attic — is probably one of the more chilling “deaths” I’ve ever seen in a film.

          • brenkilco

            That element, along with Bowie’s sudden aging, was genuinely creepy but the rest…….

  • Abdul Fataki

    This is the writer of “The First Daughter” thanks for taking a look.

    I didn’t take any screenwriting course and haven’t even read other blogs/websites. All my writing knowledge came from this site and its community.

    There are two distinct ‘rules’ that I have applied to my script:

    A) Write something the audience wants to see. Something producers can read and envision as a trailer.
    B) Give them what they love but different.

    And that’s what I did. It’s different. As I set up storyboarding it, I came up with 4 kids, rob a house, find out president’s daughter is there. Terrorists come in. So these four kids have to face off elite terrorists that will kill anything and anyone in their way…..BORING.

    It feels like we saw that movie a thousand different times so the first thing I did was go the other way, the path less traveled.

    So that when people read it they’ll go “Hmm, wasn’t expecting that” — and as I’m reading the first few comments regarding the first act it seems they all believe I’m going along the expected path. They’re in for a surprise :)

    • Comma

      I’ve been a little hard on your work (sorry:) ), maybe I need to read more; as far as I read I think it has a potential as a comedy.

  • Comma

    My first thoughts:

    JUMP (my favourite until now)
    Anna is somehow sent back in time (we don’t know how), one moment she’s there talking with a lady, the lady gives her her card, and then one moment later Anna is in her own body but in the past… with the business card from the future… mmmmm? Does anyone understand how that could happen? I read until page 22. I understand the time travel will involve consciousness… so how about the business card?

    page 20. Confused… unfocused…

    page 7. I can’t take it as a thriller. A waiter living in a trailer park working in a high class restaurant, taking “out his note pad and pen”, attending the table of the daughter of the president saying “Hi. How are you ladies doing today?”. I don’t feel a realistic high class restaurant service. “Then it happens” (It’s written in the script): the waiter slaps the spoon of the first daughter’s friend to prevent her to eat some fish (she’s deadly alergic to fish). And then we have an “african Harry Potter” called by his father, with “arabic voice” asking money for the family, then the mother takes control of the phone “you know your father is exagerating”… and the african Harry Potter cries… I recommend a comedic rewrite, this is closer to “A Naked Gun” than to “Die Hard”.

    page 20.
    “It’s the end of the world fuck we all dream about”: the writer’s opinion. About a producer fucking a poor actress who suffer that to become a star. Not my dream fuck. Not the dream fuck for most women.

    • Abdul Fataki

      Thanks for reading. Writer of “The First Daughter” here. It seems most people have the same problem. I tried to go from “Straight outta Compton” in the first act to “Don’t Breath” in the second act.

      I’ll have to work on that, I take it the scene with Donny was a bit too melodramatic :(

  • Stevetmp

    OT: I finished the first draft of my third screenplay of the year this morning and just had to say it out loud… (well, on a forum).

    Go Team!

    • Erica


      • Stevetmp

        Thanks Erica!

    • Scott Crawford

      Excellent! The key is volume. Do you think you’re getting better with each script?

      • Stevetmp

        Thanks, Scott! I decided at the start of this year that I would try for prolificacy over perfection and aim for 6 scrips this year. I think I’ll only hit 4 but yeah, I’m definitely feeling like I’m headed in the right direction.

        Thanks for the support!

    • O-zed

      Well, you can’t just tease us like that. What’s your logline?

      • Stevetmp

        In 1970’s San Francisco, a homophobic detective is tasked with tracking down a serial killer who only targets gay men.

        Inspired by the true story of ‘The Doodler’.

        • O-zed

          I’ve got to be honest, this isn’t bad. Lot’s of potential for conflict and character arcs. Good job.

          • Stevetmp

            Thanks O-zed. Much appreciated!

        • The Colonel

          Good premise, though awfully close to Cruising with Pacino, yes?

          • Stevetmp

            Argh yes possibly. Typically I didn’t uncover that movie until I was deep into my script (imagine the expletives when I read the premise!) and decided not to watch it (mainly out of fear, but also to be sure I couldn’t be influenced or put off finishing my script). Now that I’ve finished a draft I’ll watch it. I’m hoping that the execution – particularly the homophobia angle – might provide a fresh take.

            Wish me luck!

          • The Colonel

            Yeah, I think Cruising is pretty universally reviled, so it’s not a big barrier to the success of your project.

    • Midnight Luck

      Great, great job.
      Even if you don’t hit 4 this year, 3 is a remarkable feat. I hope you hit four though, think of how great that would feel! 6 scripts in a year would be tops, and maybe you can speed up and get there, but either way, 3-4-6, all are good numbers to be at for a year.
      I agree with Scott Crawford, volume is a good thing. turning up the volume on how many you write, cuts through the second guessing before and during the writing phase. It also limits how much you nitpick yourself while writing. It opens up your mental floodgates of ideas and helps build creative brain muscle.

      I am very impressed, and would love to know about your progress with it.

      Are any of the scripts going to be entered into AoW, or were any entered into this contest?

      • Stevetmp

        Thanks so much for the encouragement, Midnight! Really appreciate it. I might try for one more and a pilot, which would make me feel a little better about missing 6.

        Second guessing (and actually finishing a project) was a big thing for me. I love breaking story but used to get distracted by the next idea before finishing the one I’d started. So giving myself a target of finished scripts for the year has been an exercise in shaking that bad habit. Next step for me is to get through re-writes and start sharing. That’s the next barrier I need to break down.

        I’d love to enter one or two into AoW when it returns. Sadly I didn’t get the most recent one done in time for this contest.

        Hope your writing is going well! And thanks again!

  • UPB13

    I’ve been enjoying the concept behind The First Daughter. However, I have to point out, it’s the Secret Service, not the Secret Services.

    • Abdul Fataki

      Thanks, I’ll make sure to remember that for the rewrite. Bloody deadline had me sweating from the fingertips. :)

  • Garrett

    My vote is for: “BLOOD RED, SILVER SCREEN”
    After reading only 15 pages it’s clear that this a fairly polished draft…which makes me doubt it was written for this contest, but I suppose in the end it doesn’t matter: a good screenplay is all anyone’s after.
    While I agree with the point of critique from Eric Boyd regarding your protagonist William Roman having not shown his face early on, I still think your writing and storytelling so far indicates someone who clearly knows what he’s doing. If anything, adjust your logline a little so it reads what the story is now, versus what you may have wanted it to be starting out.
    I wish I had time to give notes on the rest of your draft. Surely though, I will continue to read as I have time. Best wishes on your story Andrew!

  • wlubake

    Weekly first impression based upon loglines alone:

    Title: Corpse Flower
    Logline: After a brutal home invasion, a psychotic mother must go head-to-head with a sadistic plastic surgeon to save her abducted little girl — a little girl who isn’t as innocent as she seems.

    The elements of this script seem wholly unrelated. A home invasion, a psychotic mother, a plastic surgeon and an abduction. It feels like 4 movies. I would suggest that you focus on the most compelling and defining element of your script. Let’s say the girl is abducted by a sadistic plastic surgeon (maybe he uses pretty young girls for parts). Then the logline looks like: “After her daughter is abducted by a sadistic plastic surgeon, a desperate mother must fight to rescue the girl before she becomes the surgeon’s latest “beauty donor.” Then use the script to introduce those other elements. It complicates things in the logline without adding substance.

    Title: The First Daughter
    Logline: A rich teenager’s house party turns into a deadly hostage situation when a group of first time criminals discover the President’s daughter is amongst the partygoers.

    Awesome concept, though I am left wondering who the protagonist is after reading the logline. Is it the daughter? Is it the bumbling criminals in over their head (like Best Men)? Is it her rescuer? Without having read the script, I’d say the criminal are the best protags because they are the most likely to be overwhelmed by the situation. Secret service would tear up a “group of first time criminals”, so it feels like low stakes otherwise. Either the criminals need to be bad-ass (Hans Gruber level) with the daugher/hero protag, or the criminals need to be the protag. IMO, at least.

    Logline: When independent filmmaker, William Roman, gets the opportunity of a lifetime to direct a movie for a big time Hollywood studio, he jeopardizes his career and maybe his life when he casts a real Vampire in his Vampire movie.

    Don’t know the name William Roman. Googled it, and there is nothing. If he is fictional (and not a famous literary character), there is no need to name him in your logline. Also, check out the movie SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE, which was based upon the real film Nosferatu, and unknown actor Max Schreck cast to play the vampire. The gist of the movie is that he is a real vampire.

    Title: Gods of Rock
    Logline: After faking their death to get out of a bad management deal, a KISS-type rock band resurfaces 19 years later as their own tribute band.

    Although it takes a big suspension of disbelief, I think there is a concept here. I’d be curious to see what you do with it. I’d try to find a way to build a goal into your logline, like climbing to the levels of success and fame they previously enjoyed. Also, make sure that’s a REALLY bad contract to justify 19 years away from the spotlight.

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

    I’m immediately curious as to HOW this is possible. Also, do they go back into their own bodies then? Are they disembodied? Are they transferred into their loved ones? Also, I tend to favor loglines with a stronger statement of goal. “Get the chance to rewrite history” is much weaker than “must work together to prevent the accident that killed their loved ones” or the like. There’s a strong indie low-budget sci-fi idea here, though.

    I’d want to read, in order: Jump, 1st Daugher (though maybe try a title that hasn’t been used on a Katie Holmes teen romance movie), Gods of Rock, Corpse Flower, Blood Red Silver Screen.

    Good luck to all!

    • Abdul Fataki

      Writer of First Daughter here: you’re right. The first time criminals are the protags. :)

      • wlubake

        Maybe then the logline should be more like: A band of first time criminals find themselves in over their heads in a high-stakes hostage situation when they hold-up a teenage house party attended by the President’s daughter.

        Make the protagonist(s) the clear focus of the logline.

    • RO

      That’s what I thought after I read the log line for Blood Red, Silver Screen. I was thinking, I’ve seen this movie with Willem Dafoe.

      • Scott Crawford

        Almost identical. Needs one other original element in the logline – maybe there’s something the writer’s keeping from us that he should put in there?

        • RO

          I think if this premise were in a comedy environment, it would be more unique. But I will be working in a read of it today alone with the others for sure.

          • Scott Crawford

            It has something of We Live in the Shadows or whatever it was called about it…

  • Scott Crawford

    Voting closes in: 2 days 14 hours 15 minutes

    Votes so far 10/14/16, 15:45 GMT: 1 vote

    The First Daughter: 1 vote (100%) – Lucid (1)

    Blood Red Silver Screen: 0 votes (0%)

    Corpse Flower: 0 votes (0%)

    Gods of Rock: 0 votes (0%)

    Jump: 0 votes (0%)

    <strongRunner-up votes

    • Dan J Caslaw

      Another vote for GODS OF ROCK

    • Carmelo Framboise

      I vote for the FIRST DAUGHTER.

    • ShiroKabocha

      You’ve counted GreenBlooded twice for Jump :) I believe Angie should be vote number 5 for Jump.

      • Scott Crawford

        Not sure why I did that. GreenBlooded took a while to vote, I only noted his vote a short while back. I’ll just have another check and then amend it. I know Angie’s just voted but don’t forget many of these comments are held in moderation for several hours.

        • Scott Crawford

          Had a check and it’s just six votes for Jump, I counted GreenBlooded twice for some reason. Thanks for spotting it. I might try listing the votes alphabetically next week if it doesn’t get too complicated to avoid listing people twice.

        • ShiroKabocha

          Yeah, I hadn’t checked the site this afternoon so just now saw she posted before Carmelo, whose vote was counted. She’s been commenting for some time now so I forgot she was still on the moderation list.

    • GreenBlooded

      You counted me twice for Jump. Probably due to my indecisiveness

      • Scott Crawford

        Yeah, as I was just saying to Shiro, I must have added your name to the list, added two more votes that appeared then worried I hadn’t added your name and added it again. I may, MAY try arranging the votes alphabetically next week.

    • Eric Boyd

      Hi Scott,

      My vote goes to JUMP.

    • Scott Serradell

      Must say: I’m liking the High-Def version of the vote tally here Scott.

    • -n8-

      Jeez Scott, u continue to impress

    • Lironah

      JUMP is my vote. Totally killer premise, and the first pages didn’t turn me off, which is rare.

    • gazrow

      My vote: JUMP

      Just a few quick thoughts:

      I’m not a fan of time travel/sci fi but JUMP was the only one I wanted to keep reading. That said, I really disliked the execution of the terrorist attack. Not only did it demonstrate a complete lack of imagination, mimicking a tragic true life terrorist attack to such an extent felt cheap.

      FIRST DAUGHTER – my favorite premise. But as others have noted, it has tonal issues and the set up lacks believability. I just wonder if having her and her BFF sneaking off and crashing a party in disguise would work better? Seeing her wanting to experience the life of a normal teen would help us empathise with her more but would also get rid of the secret service guys. Then when everyone realizes who she is the shit really hits the fan.

      BLOOD RED SILVER SCREEN – Liked the premise but the initial conflict – should she sleep with the guy to further her career? Felt forced and a tad boring.

      GODS OF ROCK – pretty sure this appeared on AOW? Not that I have a problem with that. But going off the logline. Why are these dudes in the music business to begin with? If it’s for fame they already have it. If it’s for the money then disappearing into total obscurity for almost two decades isn’t going to exactly boost the bank balance. The cashier flirting with PJ and mentioning he used to be in a band – yet not mentioning he looks a lot like the famous rock star who went missing 19 years ago killed this for me.

    • Erica

      3 suspicious first voters on this round. lol.

      • Scott Crawford

        Yesssss… I don’t think there’s anything TOO suspicious going on. Carson can check IP addresses to see if there’s any the same, but I don’t think so.

        All the same, I do wish people wouldn’t choose a voting day to make their first or one of their first comments. Comment earlier, join in the fun!

    • Steffan


      You’re the man. Great work. You upped the ante just for the helluvit!

      • Scott Crawford

        I needed to make it easier on myself to count votes so I went vertical but that leaves a lot of white space so I added in the quotes. Hopefully it makes look a bit more Black List-y!

        • Scott Serradell

          I don’t say this to embarrass you…But your hard work and dedication to this board brings so much class to the proceedings that, quite honestly, if you didn’t exist we’d have to invent you!
          From myself: An enormous amount of Thanks.

    • smishsmosh22

      I did read the first 10 of all, sorry for the confusion.

      • Scott Crawford

        Mea Culpa, I’ll change it. Do you have a pithy quote you want to go with your vote?

        • smishsmosh22

          “I read this.”

    • Joe Marino

      I’m splitting my vote between CORPSE FLOWER and THE FIRST DAUGHTER. I put my full thoughts in another post.

    • Cal

      In alphabetical order as well. Very nice.

  • Scott Serradell


    *NOTE: Some REALLY amateur offerings this week. 3 (out of 5) scripts had significant flashback/forwards inside the first 3 pages. 3 scripts tried different title fonts. All of them were rife with inexperience/immaturity/inauthenticity. This will not bode well.

    In order of appearance:

    — The beginning is comically redundant: The scene is…The corpse flower. Melissa is explaining about…The corpse flower. And insert the title…The corpse flower. I mean, at that point you’ve kind of said it all, no?
    — By page 4 I’m done. We start in (what I assume) is present day…Go back 5 years…Then return five years later. So in your first 4 minutes you’ve put the audience through 3 different times periods (in the beginning!) instead of establishing anything. That’s bad storytelling. Also when I see the word “melancholy” TWICE in the same 4 pages, I know there’s trouble ahead.

    — “The daughter of god himself is coming here” is a very strange and jarring line.
    — “We all know Martinez will be the head chef for their table.” No, wrong. This is a 3 Michelin star restaurant (of which there are only 6 in the United States!) CHEF Martinez (as he is addressed) is the first and last word in this environment; HE speaks to the kitchen. The “manager” (perhaps you meant the Maître d’?) addresses the front of the house staff. So, 10 minutes of research (like I just did) goes a long way into helping establish a scene/environment and helps elevate it past the generic images of “silk and Versace”.

    — On the title page you forgot you blood type, your Social Security number, your PIN number, and your preference for either Coke or Pepsi…
    — …that aside, this is nicely written as far as descriptions go: Clear and detailed and well paced. “Years of hair gel have eaten his brain” is clever.
    — But it’s painfully un-dramatic: Every emotion is just vomited out, which tells me these aren’t characters but caricatures. Basically it’s reading like a USA Network late night thriller. But at least it’s consistent and doesn’t pretend to be something else.
    — BTW: It’s “THROES of ecstasy”.

    — Has this shown up here before? Seems familiar…
    — Logline has promise. Clever little concept…
    — …that is ruined immediately. Strange choices all around: Band name is Arcanum? Hits like “Dead Chicks Walkin” and “Light My Ass”? A 19 year time jump on page 2? A park ranger that says “city slickers”?
    — PJ’s memorabilia to himself (and band) is odd given they walked away from it. And then the conversation with the cashier…Moaning on a about sick father and then “Are you gay?”?! You realize we’re still introducing this world and its characters, right? If these guys were legends, bring the legend out. Then really dive into the mystery of their disappearance. Again, a good concept but you have to lure us in.

    — “Bros and chicks”? Really?
    — Why would you use quotes around a character description (“sensitive artist” type)? To me this shows a lack of confidence, like you’re unsure what you’re saying.
    — Page 3 and it’s 10 years later. You could beefed this up, perhaps get more into their relationship and crescendo the action/emotion into the airplane crash.
    — Anna, now 33, wearing Ryan’s Spock watch. The improbability of all that aside, it’s an immediate sign that she hasn’t matured in 10 years. I mean, how important was Ryan to her at 23?
    — “All the cars you’ve stolen in the past ten years have barely covered your rent.” First, how would someone know that? Then: Either Anna is living too luxuriously, or she is seriously bad as a car thief. Not buying it.

    • Carmelo Framboise

      You are a bad person Scott. And hilarious:

      “On the title page you forgot you blood type, your Social Security number, your PIN number, and your preference for either Coke or Pepsi…”

      I feel that you could sense the ‘amateurness’ of some of this week’s offerings (and other week’s) from the unfocused wannabe loglines. Although they all have good stuff they also suffer from first-time-writer syndrome.

      I don’t really understand this: One can just write a convoluted logline full of twists, mysteries and stakes and in the meantime have a totally different script. This happens all the time. And I think it is unfair.

      • Scott Serradell

        This is where Carson’s advice of reading scripts really comes into play. Inside 3 years, and including Amateur Friday submissions, I’ve read through something like 500 screenplays. And, believe me, you can immediately start to tell in a few pages (if not a few paragraphs) what you are going to be confronted with.

  • Scott Crawford

    Alternate titles for The First Daughter:

    It’s My Party and I’ll DIE if I Want To
    The Kidnaping of the President’s Daughter (the Ronseal title)
    The Party Crashers
    Rosebud or The Ransom of Rosebud, etc. (was the codename of Maureen Reagan and now Sasha Obama)

    You might also get inspiration from this list of Secret Service codenames:

    • Abdul Fataki

      I’ll use those for the sequel. :)

      • GoIrish

        It may be worthwhile considering an alternative title. The current title just makes me think of that Katie Holmes movie.

  • Linkthis83

    After five weeks I feel I know where the bar is for these 13 week scripts. Based on that bar, all five of these landed below it (in my amateur opinion of course).

    Over the remaining weeks, scripts will start to get bumped from this list (assuming that better scripts are lurking in the upcoming showdowns). The list will most likely finish with only 8 scripts once we’ve completed the first round.

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




    p4 = all you need to reveal is the pink, fluffy bunny. Not the car seat and especially not the legs of the little girl

    p7 = VO info pointless. Jolene already knows Dwight is dead because she was just caressing his severed head.

    p9 = too many time transitions up to this point (for me). And I think you can even get rid of the “three weeks later” one. Why do we care if it’s been three weeks? Just take us to what’s next in the story.

    p9 = stopped

    I like the title and I like the idea/concept behind the title. I feel this script had the best visual writing of the group, but not effective storytelling.

    I liked the brief scene between Dwight and Tallulah at the motel.

    When we first got to the scene with Dwight all bearded out and living alone, that felt like the opening of your movie. However, the way that scene plays out and ends, makes it ineffective as an opening as well. Unless you draw it out more.

    The biggest reason I didn’t get into this is Jolene’s character motivation. It doesn’t work for me because the guy she needs revenge on the most is dead already, and now she’s going after his wife and daughter. I get that from her perspective, it is justified. It just feels too illogical because Dwight can’t suffer anymore since he is dead.


    P3 = stopped

    Was Tommy worried that something bad was going to happen to Leo because of the President’s daughter coming to the restaurant that day?

    I have a feeling your going to get dinged for tone in this one. I’m going to be a bit blunt here, but I feel it’s necessary. TONE isn’t the only issue going on in here. It’s a lack of sincerity in your premise.

    What I mean is this; you have a valuable concept/premise, but treated it with very little sincerity. The whole point of storytelling is to build. You use TONE when you do that. But also use SINCERITY. This is a part of words you use in your action lines. Including analogies. Make sentence choices that build towards the intention and help set up tone/intention/feeling.

    Having LEO be indifferent about the big deal that day makes me indifferent. Especially if there’s no craft in the indifference other than he’s indifferent.

    And if you still insist that you need him to be indifferent, then you’ve got to make the rest of the world around him sincere. That restaurant wouldn’t wait til the day of and randomly select waiters yelling out “Me. Me.” Or a manager talking about people creaming their pants. No manager would pick Leo in that set up – find a more effective way to put Leo in that role. You are killing any momentum you could possibly have right out of the gate.


    p2 = gives makes = gives makes

    p2 = him opening the door to his PRIVATE bathroom makes it appear as if he wants to fuck her now. His dialogue says otherwise. Just have him open the door to his office to show her the way out.

    p3 = Francis/Frances showing up on page

    p5 = stopped

    The writing isn’t getting me invested. I liked the idea in the logline though. And I think you can remove the word “vampire” from “vampire movie” in the logline. Makes it a little cleaner and we should make the connection that it’s a vampire film.


    p2 = you need title cards for 19 years ago and present day. Or just use one here that reads “19 YEARS LATER”

    p5 = stopped

    Not feeling this one.


    p1 = the ticking of hands on a watch = the ticking hands — however, a watch only has one hand that ticks

    p1 = twenty thousand people have gathered = ARE gathered. Otherwise it sounds like you are giving us historic info instead of “actively happening on-screen” info.

    p1 = There are no visuals to show the audience this is a NYE’s event

    p1 = dial tones don’t ring

    p3 = stopped

    This one needs a lot of work based on these opening pages. I’m not sure how I feel overall about a 747 taking out the Space Needle. I think I like it as an opening, but not how you connected the characters.

    • Andrew Bumstead

      The writer of JUMP here. Thanks for your (incredibly specific) feedback! You make some really good points. I wanted to start with a bang but I do think I could spend more time developing the characters from the get-go, especially Anna and Ryan since this scene should lay the foundation of their relationship for the rest of the movie. Will keep that in mind during the rewrite phase. Thanks for reading!

      • ocattorney

        Thoughts on Jump. The three telepaths floated in a tank in “Minority Report” which pretty much failed as a TV series. The assignment here was to write a script that set goals and Heroes had to overcome obstacles. Didn’t see nearly enough obstacles in their path. Didn’t feel the heroes were truly challenged or reached a point where they felt their mission was doomed and they had to restore a damaged relationship to make the huge last push to achieve their original goal. “Quantum Leap” pretty much exhausted the idea of going back in time to fix things. I thought there was material here for a re-write but the end product would be something I had already seen on TV. Which isn’t a bad thing in this contest, by the way. “Men In Black” showed how to create conflict before letting the Hero join the team. Needs one, maybe two original obstacles to the Goal that wasn’t done on “Quantum Leap” – Bill Hays

    • Carmelo Framboise

      The First Daughter turns pretty good later on. I had problems with the start too though.

  • klmn

    Judging from the logline of Blood Red, Silver Screen, it sounds a lot like Shadow Of The Vampire – a movie about the making of Nosferatu that depicts Max Shreck as a real vampire.

    This will be the first one I open.

    Carson, did you ever review Shadow Of The Vampire? If you haven’t, you should, being a creature of the shadows yourself.

    • Miss Ma’am

      Shadow of the Vampire was released in 2000, so that was before he started blogging; however, he does bring up the movie in a review of a Dracula tv pilot.

  • ocattorney

    Several problems with “First Daughter.” When John Parker checks in on the intercom and gives a code word, real Secret Service agents would have stormed the house less than five minutes later. They would push everyone aside until they found the President’s daughter. The Secret Service is three, maybe four times more serious about their jobs than you imagine. The house is in Washington Heights. The President’s daughter decides to go to bed with a Secret Service agent in Washington Heights? I see why you think this would be a cool movie, but the Reality Check is, No. I’ll vote for “Gods of Rock” – Bill Hays

    • Abdul Fataki

      He gave the “It’s all OK” code word. So things went on as normal.

      Also, there’s the question on whether she went to bed with an agent or was raped by an agent.

      Thanks for reading though. :)

      • ocattorney

        Why would a real Secret Service agent give the “It’s all OK” code word?
        These are men who have sworn to take a bullet for the President, to give up their own lives to keep his safe. And, his daughter.
        why in the world would any Secret Service agent tell his team, the men he trains with every day for the deadly possibility of a real terrorist threat to the President, false information? You seriously underestimate the Secret Service, which was my point.
        Also, you want us to consider the possibility that a Secret Service agent raped the President’s daughter? OK, I’m not voting for this script, but do some research on the reasons why men join the Secret Service. They’re not clowns or hidden psychopaths. They have psychological testing to eliminate those men… “there’s the question whether she was raped by….” Well, that’s something you should eliminate during a re-write. Seriously, ie don’t give you honest feedback about mistakes like this, you’re not going to make it better in the rewrite. – Bill Hays

        • Abdul Fataki

          Thanks for your notes :)

  • Poe_Serling

    WEEK 6…

    A dramatic comedy … followed by a double dose of horror and a double dose of

    It looks like Carson might be kicking off the Halloween season around here
    a bit sooner than usual. ;-)


    It’s the one that caught my attention this week. Just starting to read it.

    On the first page: I’m pretty sure it’s no longer called ‘Mann’s Theater.’

  • jbird669

    Congrats to everyone selected! Put me down for Corpse Flower.

  • The Colonel

    I don’t have any problem with that opening, I like it. Also don’t have a problem with a different font on the first page, you see that all the time on blacklist scripts.

  • Kosta K

    I liked this up to the first crash. After that, I was lost, and after two time jumps, I was out. Try keeping the actions in the present tense as much as possible; it’s kind of all over the place now. Maybe start with the home invasion right off the bat? I started the rewrite on my own entry and, although setting things up is fun, taking too long will ultimately hurt the script in the end. I cut away so much after my round that it’s a completely different animal now! Keep on truckin’! I can see some skills here :)

    This one had a nice, big, shiny premise, but the setup didn’t work for me. I like Leo’s intro. Show how desperate him and his friends are, but maybe have the president’s daughter sneak out of her room somehow with a trusty secret service agent/comic relief in tow? Have her go to the same party they’re jacking and have them only realize it’s her after all the shit hits the fan? Make her more like Jasmine from Aladdin ;p Also, why is everybody losing their shit over her? Maybe rethink her intro. (So many maybes!)

    I didn’t get into this one at all. Should’ve maybe opened with some vampire carnage. Maybe werewolves instead of vampires to play on the “silver’ part? I don’t know.

    Exposition overload! I thought the beginning was enough, but then the cashier got in on it and then the videotape :/ Sorry, man. I was also expecting PJ to be a lot more reluctant to perform again for some reason and at least have a different name. Why would they get back as a tribute band? If they wanted to hide out, maybe they should form an entirely new band? I don’t know where the story is going, but if Mick Jagger disappeared and came back in a wig and sunglasses and sang “Angie”, his cover would be blown the second he opened his mouth.

    The best for last! I loved this one. Big opening, quick pace, solid action. I breezed through the first ten and am actually thinking of going back for more this weekend. I was beginning to worry about this round for a second there :/ Good job, Andrew. Great stuff!

  • RO

    This is not good. I’m struggling to figure out which script to vote for here. I mean, I’m impressed that these writers finished their script and got them in for this fun tournament… but none of these were fun reads for me.

    “Corpse Flower” – reads like a bad “b” movie shown on SyFy at 3am with some cast members from Star Trek Voyager playing the leads. There was no hook in this script and having a time jump just felt off.

    “The First Daughter” – This script really changes gears by page 6, not easy to follow. Starts to drag around the bar scene. Started skimming at page 14.

    “Blood Red, Silver Screen” – Starts off okay. Kind of sleazy but I’ll go with it. Don’t know where the heck that corpse came form on page 18. Now we’re in to a training montage? This script doesn’t really reflect the log line. Mia’s motivation now is non-existent. Rod’s motivation for helping Mia is also flimsy

    “Gods of Rock” – Not interested in what is going on. Lots of expo about the van and band but not through a character we’re following in the script. Don’t see any conflict or plot for this script. Stopped at page 11.

    “Jump” – Got to page 20, this reads like a syfy original movie that would star Tara Ried.

    My vote would go to “The First Daughter”. While it may have a strange direction, the character work is done well compared to the others.

    I will say that there is a consistent problem among all of these scripts: All of them are lacking plot structure. I get the feeling that these writers skimmed through week 1-3 of the Let’s Write a F#&%ing Screen Play posts and moved on with all the set pieces and character. Now those are good, but they’re not strong enough to make up for the poor and in some cases familiar plot structure among today’s (so many time jumps!) scripts.

    This was my struggle with the challenge as well. I wasn’t able to meet the deadline because I wasn’t convinced that my own plot structure wouldn’t do what I have read here today. Which ever one ends up winning this week, I can not strongly suggest enough to rewrite the first act to really hook your reader and keep it clear and goal oriented. I feel the character work is fairly well done, but I’m not going to care about these characters if your first act is unfocused and I’m not sure which one is the protag and what they’re after.

    • Scott Crawford

      I’ll make a note of your vote in a minute. I saw INFERNO today, with Tom Hanks, and absolutely loved. Haters be damned, as the kids might say. But anyway, not read the book but this film had one heck of a good opening. Not surprising, perhaps, because it was written by David Koepp who has been doing this for years and just knows how to write well-paced, fat-free content.

      The key thing is, I think, that Koepp, working with the producers and director, I guess, probably went through different openings, trimmed stuff off, in other words just what you said, RO, plan, rewrite, however you do it, get the opening right, get the story right too.

      • brenkilco

        The reviews say it’s dismal. So apart from the opening how are the other hour and forty five minutes? I thought the first movie was ridiculous but reasonably involving. The second just ridiculous. So I wasn’t expecting much. Have not read any Brown. Also had never even heard of the book Girl on The Train, which has sold like fifteen million copies. That movie is also supposed to be awful. Have both writers and film makers lost the thriller knack?

        • Scott Crawford

          Who gives a flying fuck about the reviews? Were they EVER going to like it? I know what I saw, it was fantastic. It held my attention with suspense and plot twists, it built to a climax that was both emotional and spectacular, great performances from a diverse cast. But what else was I expecting when I post that I liked it. Enjoy your misery, people.

          • BellBlaq

            I enjoyed the novels more than the movies (Brown). Have you read them? Just curious.

          • Scott Crawford

            I read a bit of Angels and Demons and I felt he’s a better storyteller and researcher than writer. This one – INFERNO – I don’t know how different it was from the book but I think they had a really good story about overpopulation and the people who want to stop it and bringing in amnesia, although a bit “out-there,” it really works as a plot device here, seeing Langdon, who’s normally so together, struggling. And also it means we don’t know who the good guys are and who are the bad guys, and that works too.

            I don’t think they’ll be any more films after this one, but I’m really happy they did it, I think they’ve gone out on a good ‘un.

          • BellBlaq

            I liked the first two novels, but couldn’t get into LOST SYMBOL, and I’d never heard anything about INFERNO, but I likely won’t read it, rather watch the movie when it hits Netflix. I think I understand your movie tastes a bit, so I’ll heed your recommendation :)

          • Scott Crawford

            There was also Deception Point, but I take YOUR point. Compared to the previous two movies, inferno has less religion less… elaborate puzzles, it’s more of an old-fashioned race against time thriller. And Ron Howard does thrillers remarkably well.

          • Kirk Diggler

            “Who gives a flying fuck about the reviews? Were they EVER going to like it?”

            If it’s a good film, why wouldn’t they? Personally, it think the trailer looks like paint-by-number dogshit and don’t expect much at all. I read the first book, thought the film was so-so. I agree with Brenkilco, the 2nd film was ridiculous and worse, forgettable.

            The problem with these films… they are all exposition nightmares. It’s like politics, if you’re explaining, you’re losing.

          • Scott Crawford

            That’s the point, if you’ve already decided before hand you’re not not going to like it, what the point in reviewing it? It’s like a jazz critic reviewing a blues concert; he may not love the music but he should be able to appreciate it. What bothers me, like with other movies, is that there will be people who WANT to go and see this film or that film and are put off by reviewers who are more interested unmaking lame puns than doing their job, which these days is ultimately saying will FANS of this type of film enjoy it. They will.

            And as I’ve said there’s much less exposition in this one. A bit more emotion.

        • BellBlaq

          Carson reviewed the novel for THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, in case you’re interested in his thoughts.

    • Abdul Fataki

      Cheers for voting for me bro! I appreciate it! The main thing I’ve gotten from the comments is that the story drags a bit in the first act.

      Solution: Get to the meat of the story earlier, skip some of the background BS that’s holding readers back from getting invested.

      Thanks again! :)

      • RO

        Thanks for writing the script. I look forward to see the next draft.

    • Andrew Bumstead

      The writer of JUMP here. Thanks for your hilariously candid feedback! Originally my script was a TV pilot that I expanded into a feature, so maybe that’s why it has a TV vibe. Good to know. Either way, I had a blast writing it and I appreciate you giving it a read!

      • RO

        Hi Andrew,
        That explains a lot of the speedy jumps into the team and organization and mission. If it were a TV show it would come across more in the style of the CBS hour long action/drama (like the current MacGuyver). But reading it as a feature, I was visualizing the medium that uses those TV styles you incorporated – which is like the TV movies that you see on TNT or SyFy or something of that nature.

        Personally I would like to see this as a TV show because it could be defined as Quantum Leap meets Mission Impossible and I would watch the hell out of that. But that’s just me.

  • Jovan Jevtic

    My Vote: Blood Red, Silver Screen. Very entertaining first 20 pages. Make me wanna read more.

    I read first 20 of Jump and the premise is just silly. Time trave has been done and redone. Not buying it.

    I read the first 5 of Gods of Rock and didn’t like the writing. Sorry. And you can’t start with several pages of reporters. Show us what the guy is doing now while the old reports run. Show he isn’t having fun or whatever.

    I read the firrst 25 of The First Daughter and just coulddn’t figure out the tone and the story. It was all over the place.

    I didn’t read Corpse Flower. Not a fan of Horror. Maybe I’ll give it a try.

    I just wanted to comment on the voting. I think that there is big difference between something being well written and something that can be a movie.

    Put yourselves into producer shoes and don’t listen to Carson. No Swiss army man wasn’t good and will never make money. Would you buy this screenplay and would you make it a movie. That’s the question you should ask yourselves. Just my way off seing things.

  • smishsmosh22

    Congratulations to today’s writers! Looking forward to checkin’ em out tomorrow.

    OT: Today I had my first ever meeting with a producer in LA. (over the phone) They read Log and enjoyed the hell out of it and wanted to hear my other stuff. They loved my ‘voice’.

    I pitched a few ideas that worked with what they do and one of them got them really excited. So now I have to write up a treatment for that and we’re talking again next week. It sounds really promising!

    • Miss Ma’am

      See what happens when you stay true to yourself!

    • Erica

      Great news! so exciting!

    • GreenBlooded


    • Scott Crawford

      Write a treatment? But writers don’t write treatments, do they? They use The Force!

      Sorry, I had to get that out… obviously, absolutely fantastic news, well-deserved. I’d offer you help on writing a treatment but I already know you’re bloody good at them

      Couldn’t have have happened to a nicer cooler person.

      • smishsmosh22

        hehehe, yeah I’m cool! heh. thanks Scott. Actually, they just need like a paragraph about it, not even a treatment. I think I can probably handle that much. If it was a proper treatment I would gladly accept help. Let’s see how it goes. They also mentioned pairing ‘new voices’ with great ideas so who knows!

        • Scott Crawford

          It was just a stupid thing, so many “writers” on here dismissing outlining and story in general, I just wanted to point out that producers DO sometimes want treatments or just paragraphs. Don’t want to take away from your great news… LET’S DANCE!

        • Erica

          I’m on reason number 5) today of struggling to break [] with no Phobe in the tournament yet. Just on my way to the liquor store, can I pick you up anything…

          I guess Carson hasn’t caught the Phobe Wave taking the country!!

    • klmn

      Great news! Hope it works out for you.

      Is there a Table Read on for today?

      • smishsmosh22

        Yes! We are reading Tor’s script about the pregnant superhero, World’s Greatest Mom.

    • Randy Williams

      Congratulations! I dare anyone to resist your voice!

    • Midnight Luck

      Awesome Job. I wish and hope good things for you!

    • Scott Serradell

      GO SMISH GO!

    • Linkthis83

      Congrats, Alison. It’s so great that you mentioned ‘voice’ and not the other bs that amateurs obsess over and advise because they think they need to.

      I know most people here listen to Scriptnotes (and if not, ya should). The guys did an interview with an agent recently and this is an excerpt from that interview (PETER is the agent):

      John: Well, it’s also interesting because you’re not looking for “is this the movie we want to go shoot?” You’re looking at “can this person write?” Your standards for whether to sign Christina as a client or not are not sort of like “is this going to be the best possible movie?” It’s like “can she write [repeatedly]?”

      Peter: For us, and for new clients, it’s all about voice. Do you have a voice? And it doesn’t matter if the voice is in the most uncommercial sounding script in the world. That could still be an amazing voice that we can take and use that unconventional/uncommercial script and launch them into the stratosphere as a cool writer.

      Craig: I think everyone is listening to this and going, OK, so I’ve learned my lesson. I’m not going to sit here and freak out over log lines. I’m not going to sit here and write cutesy query letters to agents. I’m going to accept the fact that my work has to be of such a nature that now I’m helping them, as opposed to me trying to convince them to help me.

      • smishsmosh22

        Thank you Link! I suppose the argument could be they might not have read my script in the first place had I not had a good logline and query letter.

        • Linkthis83

          I’m so glad you pointed that out. Thats an important distinction I completely overlooked – that advice is tailored towards agents.

        • GreenBlooded

          Are you able to elaborate on how a “query letter” works, and how one might go about sending one?

          • smishsmosh22

            I have used two methods. One is the website Virtual Pitch Fest where you pay $10 per pitch to production companies, producers, agents and managers. You basically just fill out a form and put in your logline and then a personal message about why they should check it out and who you are. That’s the ‘query’ part. I also find emails for production companies that might be interested in my film and send queries that way. There are actually examples of how to write query letter here:

          • GreenBlooded

            Thank you!

    • Stephjones

      Great news! Good luck!

    • Mike.H

      Did producer gain your contact info with PDF front page or contacted Carson? Congrats!

      • smishsmosh22

        Neither, I pitched him through Virtual Pitch Fest a few weeks ago.

    • Joe Marino

      Congrats!!! Wish you the best of luck! I could definitely see this succeeding in the audience vein of “Rubber.” Keep us posted!

      • smishsmosh22

        Thanks Joe!!!

    • Citizen M

      They loved my ‘voice’.

      They liked the timbre of Log.

  • Randy Williams


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

    Read to page 37. Why I stopped there later.
    I liked the writing. Felt, however, more like a thriller than a horror up till page 37. Nice mystery boxes and a plastic surgeon as a villain is certainly unique and interesting.
    Before I get to my main problem with it, I wondered why the Jack Daniels and the Capris cigarettes were bolded and underlined. Are those props supposed to be burned into my brain, because they will be clues later on?

    For me, I think this script should start on page 9. The beginning, although the car crash was well drawn, was confusing with the odd occurences, the time jumps. I think a more domestic opening would serve this better. First, you want us to identify with the mother because she has the goal yet we get little of her. Second, it would get us to the home invasion faster and to the horror whatever it is that comes next.
    By starting on page 9 also, you start with a situation, two mystery boxes, a missing husband as told by a law enforcement officer, and the missing man’s wife’s face battered. Scraping the horrific incidents that are really confusing at the beginning also makes the sudden visual of Tallulah’s husband on the bed, dead and bloodied very very shocking. As it reads now, it was just another one biting the dust in this dead body filled first act.
    Showing Jolene in surgery wiping away the tear could be happening when she has the conversation on pages 36-37. This would really show the contrast in her. I didn’t understand the purpose of her going to Sam’s house and why would she torture his girlfriend?
    The talk about the corpse flower could be on page 16.
    Scraping the beginning, I feel, lessens the confusion. Endears us to a mother and child in a domestic scene, identifies a villain who otherwise is normal has something against this little girl. Gets us to the invasion sooner and the hook that the girl may be turning the tables on the kidnappers.

    I stopped on page 37 when I realized how much work I’d done in my head to get there when it could have been so much easier. Also, I felt that I was rooting for the Jolene. I wanted her to rearrange everyone’s face including the mother and child. I don’t think that’s what the writer intended.

    • MichaelKospiah

      Excellent notes, thanks! Definitely taking into account what has been echoed overall here on SS… gotta work on that opening!

  • GreenBlooded

    Congrats to all the writers this week!

    My heart/brain/consciousness/thetan/chi wasn’t in it this week though I guess. I only read 10-30 pages for all and don’t really have notes this time. Sorry… it’s me though.. not you.

    My general advice I guess would be to Pavlovian style reward the reader/watcher for their time with something mysterious or clever or visually unique or explotionesque as early as possible. If you treat your boos right, they’ll hopefully come back for more. Perhaps think of your script/movie as a Bird of Paradise.

    I thought the writing was all pretty good this week. I’ll vote for Jump from what I’ve read. It’s got a hook and a goal, and could have potential with how it all resolves.

    Congrats again to everyone.

  • RO

    Hi Michael, Not sci-fi like science fiction, but the channel syfy. They show some science fiction, horror and thriller films, but are known for things like Sharknado. When I read your script I saw Robert Beltran as the dad that missed the deer and caused the accident and Roxann Dawson as the wife.

    • MichaelKospiah

      Ah, cool… I actually kinda like those actors. But, yeah, there was supposed to be “B” movie elements here. Plenty to work on w/ rewrites.

      • RO

        I like those actors too. If you’re going for “B” movie elements, then you have a good start IMO. I would suggest that if you want your reader to get kicks out of it being “B” movie-esque, to try and suggest that this style is intentional in the first few pages somehow.

        I wrote a pilot a few years ago that takes place in the 70s, so to convey the style I was going for, I wrote at the end of an action line “you dig?” and would throw in little bits like that through out the script. I got a lot of positive responses for that from readers, agents and actors. As soon as they saw those little add ons it confirmed what they suspected I was going for.

        It doesn’t always work with every story mind you, but maybe it might spark something extra on a rewrite.

  • Scott Crawford

    Lots of horror fans on this site. Hold tight!

  • Randy Williams


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

    I read to page 30. I’d like to read more if time allows. I think the writer has already shown in what I read the ability to entertain. With that said, the entertainment veers often towards comedy, in tone when the genre says thriller. I think the description is the main instigator here.
    Much of my childhood was spent in trailer parks. If I’m white trash to the writer, I’m white trash. But the first paragraph of description has a comedic tone that sets the stage for everything else.. Then we get the boss’s face as pink as a gay pride rally. Comedic again and a bit demeaning. Even Hassan’s mansion is compared to the mansion in the Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
    So, there is no escaping the effort to make us feel in a laughing mood. Keep the funny in the dialogue, but don’t go too far from reality?The restaurant scenes do that. Upscale restaurants, especially hosting a special event are stress laden and uptight. This felt totally unrealistic to me.

    We get a lot of characters in the first ten pages and I’m a bit lost add that character lineup to the Arab background and the human trafficking in Libya and I’m doubly wanting to get to the main event.

    I’d suggest setting things up faster and with more impact. I don’t think we need three scenes of people throwing up by page 18. First, the first daughter is hardly a blimp. Give her more emotion? Maybe the restaurant is falling all over themselves to please her and she is trying just to be normal and not be fussed over? Is there an attraction with Leo that might complicate matters later? Or do you want us not to like her? In that case, she needs to be made more of a villain. We don’t get mention of her for a long time so she needs to make an impact, I think.

    LOVED, the flashes of how Hassan runs his party. Give us more of that and sooner. LOVED the traffic stop and the turn of events there. Get to that sooner, I think.

    I feel this is a good effort for a challenge script, lots to work with from here on a solid idea that I can see at the movies.

    • Abdul Fataki

      Jesus dude, I was about to give up on screenwriting and posts like this get my blood pumping (in a good way).

      Literally all of the comments have featured the same complaint: It takes too long to get to the meat of the story. I realize I’ve spent too much time on the different characters.

      I’ll also work on making the restaurant scene a bit more realistic as well as establishing the First Daughter a bit better (there was one line in italics that was meant to show she might not be what we think of her but I’ll guess I’ll have to make that clearer).

      • Carmelo Framboise

        But don’t overdo it with the trimming! Making the first act sorter by 3-4 pages could really boost it.

        I reached page 33 and at that point the first Act made sense. So, you are not even THAT off. It just we are all always in a hurry! :)

  • Randy Williams


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

    Read 15 pages. Honestly, vampire stories are not my thing. I think of all the Universal Monsters, the Creature from the Black Lagoon is my favorite. Dracula seems tame in comparison. Can Dracula swim?

    I really liked the clear, elegant writing to this. None of the confusion I’m finding with other entries today except for the time period. Since we’ve had so many “Hollywood” stories here on AOW and contests as period pieces, I assumed this was one. The first description mentions the Hollywood sign, Mann’s Theatre and Sunset Blvd, but these three have been icons for a span of many decades. I had no idea what year we were in. The “elegance” I mentioned earlier and some dialogue, like, “Hey Sweets!” propelled me into the thirties or forties, but then suddenly on page 11, there is a mention of fast food joints and I’m thinking, okay this is the 60’s maybe?
    Everyone is so earnest and speaks a bit formally, the beats, especially the lover finding their spouse in a compromising position so quaint, for any decade after that for me.

    I can see this getting some votes on writing alone.

  • Randy Williams


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

    Read to page 17. I think it’s an excellent premise. So many elements that audiences would enjoy but these pages are so lacking in drama for me. They are all “catching up”.

    First, the beginning was not involving. Are we going to flashback later to more of what happens, how all this was set up? Maybe begin us with the person arranging all this? We wonder, what is this person planning for these guys?. Then the person does something odd that makes us think that this person doesn’t have the rock group’s best interests in mind? I, for one, would be fascinated about how a celebrity would arrange their fake deaths and the intricacies involved. I wouldn’t mind being tricked into thinking one thing was happening but another thing was actually occurring.
    Then there is a long stretch of reporters talking but the visuals are unclear. What are we seeing? Are these TV broadcasts? They still need to be shot. Where’s the visual intro on the Park Ranger? He still needs to be cast.

    The cashier is just oddly too nosy, yet PJ doesn’t present a real negative force against him, which you would think he’d do to protect his privacy. That would be drama.

    In meeting up with the group’s members, there is no tension so far in these 17 pages. Everyone just seems happy or at least resigned to seeing each other after so long. Where are the fireworks? Maybe some insinuation that the group actually didn’t break up because of a bad management deal but for something more personal?
    And the comedy isn’t there so far.

    A good start for a challenge script with a marketable premise I think, with great potential. Hope it gets some good notes but I can’t see many making it too far into this one.

  • GreenBlooded

    Congrats to all the writers this week!

    I only read 10-30 pages for any script this week so I actually don’t think I can make a clear choice. Good luck to all.

    • Scott Crawford

      I think you can make a choice based on that. It would really help given that read at least SOME of each script.

      • GreenBlooded

        Alright, well then I read all the first acts, and JUMP was the one I most wanted to finish. So it still gets my vote then.

        I did finish it this morning too, and here are my notes.

        First… I gave your movie this soundtrack to help the read. :)

        I like Anna. She’s got some spunk filled grit.

        Make Madeleine extremely eccentric? She’s basically a time witch businesswoman. Visually cool character.

        Cut this line perhaps.

        Well,you would have if…
        (off his look)
        Forget it. I’m just tired, I guess.

        The audience knows the truth. She should just eye him back in return.

        I might have missed this.. but how does Madeleine cause the car theft time travel, when it takes the apparatus to send them back the 10 years?

        Time travel is tricky. It pretty much always needs some level of buy in from the audience to forget the loopholes. Maybe fill in the backstory of Quantus vs. Kronos a bit more? Like an ongoing war. They think this is a pinch point that is important to change. They should be interviewing all survivors that were close enough at the correct point in time to make a difference

        A business entity has time travel, and everyone agrees to be
        experiments. It’s a bit fast. Perhaps they don’t agree, and she’s
        like. You should just trust me now when I say you’ll be back. Choices are big in stories. The choice for the second act should weigh on them all. Wistful glances at old photographs and the like.

        Maybe be nicer to Gretchen? She’s a bit Meg like.

        I wouldnt have Knight wink at Anna. This is srs bsns.

        Pike Market is big… how could there be no survivors?

        I think in general it’s good to focus, but if you go with three time
        travelers maybe consider showing ALL their past histories in the
        opening? Show Knight lose his family, and Sam die as well. It could emotionally justify their willingness to jump besides just the knowledge of their past.

        Good twist that the terrorists also have more going on with them, and have it tie in to Ramirez.

        I liked your emotional memento watch tie in to the plot action finale. And believe me… um.. Spock is dear to my heart… but not sure the nerd reference fits all that well with the action going on. Might be comical to see her left holding a Spock watch. Just a warning. Worst thing is to have audience laugh when you don’t want them to.

        I liked your story. I liked the multiple climaxes all happening at the same time. Hard to probably avoid the DoFP comparisons, but it still all works for me. Perhaps again though have this event cause more than just the 17,000 deaths, and tie in to a larger war with Kronos.. who’s goals aren’t really stated unless I missed it.

        Congrats again!

  • Mayhem Jones


    CORPSE FLOWER: Haha, this “corpse flower” thing was in the news a few months ago, huh? It only blooms every 10 years or so? I agree with wlubake who said there’s a L-O-T going on in the logline—things that could spin out into their own full movies! ANYWAY, really visceral opening (well, SECOND opening, after page 1). Especially liked how the deer was lingering nearby after the car accident, watching everything before darting away. It’s a small but cool cinematic touch. OK so I’m not TOTALLY following what’s going on–how exactly does Tallulah know Dwight? What is the significance of the corpse flower? 5 years later? So did a guy in a deer MASK cause the accident? Was that a dream? Now we’re in a HOSPITAL???!–however, Michael, I LOOOOOVE your writing! An easy-breeezy style that both explains a lot but doesn’t overwhelm on the page. Literally a pleasure to read.

    THE FIRST DAUGHTER: SUPER SUPER SUPER commercial idea—good for you for coming up with something like this!! Seriously, I feel like that’s half the battle sometimes (erhm, most times). Nice descriptions (and FUNNY at times!!!) and dialogue felt authentic and conversational. Liked the Google joke in the opening. Really liked Leo. I think Kosta K had some really good ideas on ways to make the set-up pop a bit more, but I definitely liked what I’ve read so far of this!

    BLOOD RED, SILVER SCREEN: Holy. F***ing. SH*T. I feel like I’m reading a script that’s currently circulating Hollywood. This is so well-written, so professional, so thoroughly invested in its concept. The descriptions! The DIALOGUE! Hell, the title. Even the sleaze of the opening is done impeccably. I don’t have a goddamn thing to say about this except: it gets my vote. I’ll be reading as much as I can this weekend. It’s written with such real-world-rooted sophistication I’m almost having a hard time imagining how it’s going to spin out into a horror with a REAL vampire??? Oh well. I’LL FIND OUT!!!! Can’t wait.

    GODS OF ROCK: LMAO, what a crazy idea. I laughed out loud at “Light My Ass (On Fire)”–sorry Scott Serradell I FOUND THAT FUNNY hahaha!! Why do I feel Judd Apatow could have had an insane amount of fun with this concept several years ago?

    JUMP: Although THE FIRST DAUGHTER has a commercial premise—I almost think JUMP here has the MOST commercial appeal because the idea of “re-writing history” is always a relatable favorite. The opening for this was done well with the added tension of the potentially/teased unaccepted engagement ring ending with the crash of the plane. Feel free to embellish the CRAP out of that scene, though. Shock the hell outta the audience. It’s powerful! I like Anna’s dialogue (especially the “whats YOUR mom’s number?” jab). Totally picture Michelle Rodriguez playing her.

    • Scott Serradell

      Ha ha! No apologies necessary. I was just trying to imagine KISS or Led Zeppelin or (and I’m sure there’s a joke here) Queen belting out “Light My Ass On Fire” to a whole stadium rocking out… (if Adele did it however ;)

    • Andrew Bumstead

      Writer of JUMP here. Michelle Rodriguez! Yes, that’s the kind of actress I was thinking of for Anna. Or Gugu Mbatha-raw from Belle and Beyond the Lights. Thanks for the feedback about the opening scene — will definitely embellish more with rewrites. Thanks for giving it a read.

  • Randy Williams


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

    Read to page 15. I’d like to read more. I was pretty engrossed into it, forgot I was supposed to be critiquing. It helps that a script begins with a focus on one character. I thought Anna was strong. This is a concept I think Carson would like. Well, obviously, he picked it, but he often talks about Source Code and this has a similar feel.
    The downside and why I stopped is because it seems TV and very familiar. I yearned for a bit more energy, too, more visuals that rocked. More mystery. I thought the young cast at headquarters and the explanations was generic and motionless. Giving us too much explanation when I hoped to connect some dots myself. Maybe Madelaine gives her a lesson in the field? Anna is fighting it at every turn? We the viewer understand the science before Anna does?

  • Mike.H

    Congrats to Smishmosh22! Q: Did producer gain your contact info with PDF front page or contacted Carson? Congrats!

    • smishsmosh22

      replied below also but I pitched them on Virtual Pitch Fest. Thanks!

      • Mike.H

        Please settle a rumor as I hear Virtual Pitch Fest producers are a bit on the lesser known, smaller projects type. Their budgets & deals are skewed toward smaller stuff. True?

        • smishsmosh22

          not true, although there are lower budget companies there’s huge ones too. The producer I spoke with worked on many huge budget movies. It’s really exciting. :)

          • Mike.H

            Sending good vibes, best wishes over…!!

          • smishsmosh22

            thanks Mike :)

    • Mike.H

      My last script was reviewed by a paid reader and he crossed out my POV… he claimed that was camera angle and a big no no. I gasped in frustration. Let writers write, come on! Agree?

      • Mike.H

        in Log PDF, I found a few POV’s…

        • smishsmosh22

          I used tons of POV’s. They didn’t mention it. But I have heard I should cut down on those.

          • Mike.H

            POV creates tension like no other description could… Let writers write I say.

          • klmn

            If you’re going to direct it yourself, write it your own way.

  • Angie

    Corpse Flower by Michael Kospiah – 97 pages

    Page 6. What? Suddenly transported to a new universe. Never saw smoke escape from the corners of their mouth.
    Page 7. Dwight’s head in a box drove me out. This screenplay does not focus on one scenario that makes sense. Can get bat shit crazy later on but not confuse readers from the opening. Time not made clear. Who are the protagonists? First Dwight’s head, then an accident with Sam saying Dwight is dead?
    Skipped to page 88. Lily daughter of Dwight.
    Page 90. Lily has supernatural powers?
    Page 97. Must have missed something, not feeling the story.
    Jolene tries to save a fugitive. Why? Suggest a revision that goes slowly in chronological order to explain what happens and why. The psychotic mother of the logline also needs
    Sorry, couldn’t get into this draft.


    Have confidence in your work! Stand by your decisions in your script! Because someone doesn’t like it doesn’t mean it isn’t good. If you get criticized and don’t agree with the criticism – then don’t say you agree. Most people on here only read till pages 15-20. You can’t judge an entire body of work fairly in 15-20 pages. WRITERS, TRUST YOUR GIFT!!

    • Omoizele Okoawo

      The guy who wrote Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid as well as The Princess Bride regularly sends his scripts off to other award winning writers that he knows for feedback.

      Evan Dougherty, the guy who wrote Snow White And The Huntsman and sold it fir three million dollars, got fired from the movie. If you read the original script, you realize that, even though they kept the premise, massive changes were made in the main characters and the story which they needed to get another writer to do because Evan either couldn’t or wouldn’t do it.

      If someone reads fifteen to twenty pages of your script either they are feeling generous, your script is good, or they are doing you a massive favor. You can tell whether a writer knows what he’s doing within the first five pages. Probably sooner if the formatting, the grammar, and the spelling is bad.

      Screenplays are kind of like martial arts; you can’t fake it when you step into the ring. It will become quickly apparent if you don’t know what you’re doing our you haven’t read enough of the work in your genre of choice to be able to make interesting story choices.

      I don’t trust my gifts. I trust the craft that I’ve spent a great deal of time learning and observing in other great works. Ultimately a screenplay is a machine designed to effect the mental state of other people, so if you don’t listen to other people when they tell you something isn’t working you aren’t going to be able to write anything that anyone will want to invest their time or their money in.


        I disagree. And I’m not saying opinions don’t matter and feedback isn’t important. But how someone else feels about your work shouldn’t affect how YOU feel about YOUR work.

        ….and that first 5 pages crap is a bunch of bull. Just another rule used to keep you boxed in.

        • Carmelo Framboise

          I understand what you are saying but I agree with both Scott and Omoizele.

          Of course your work is 100, not just 5 pages. But remember every scene is a short story. So, if every little scene is good than chances are (not always) that the whole thing is good too.

          When you read criticism of your work you can take whatever you want from it. It is never personal after all. But bear in mind that the reader has spent a lot of time to give you that feedback.

          As Scott mentioned it takes hours to read and note on 10-20 pages of 5 scripts. I spend 3-6 hours each weekend in order to give feedback. And another 3-6 in middays for other scripts. I take something from the process and I give something to the writer.

          Ideally a day would have 100 hours and I would read all 5 scripts from the tournament. But it is not feasible.

          There have been chances though were I actually read the WHOLE SCREENPLAY. And there are chances when a scipt is not well written but I keep on reading just to find that it keeps on being badly written and most of all the structure, story, theme are all a mess.

          The bottomline is that although seeing or hearing just a part of an artwork is not enough and there are always exceptions, USUALLY you can tell from some pages if the writer knows his stuff or not.

      • Scott Crawford

        I’m slow at reading scripts, can take me up to two hours depending on how many words it is. Add on an hour, maybe more to write up the notes, and that’s a good chunk of your day taken up. Now some people will do that in exchange for money or in exchange for the someone doing the same for your script or maybe some people are a lot better and faster at it than me.

        So the ten, fifteen, twenty pages is more understandable. Especially when, like this weekend, people have five scripts to read. AND you can tell a lot about a script from its first five pages. If a writer can’t get the first five pages of their script right (not perfect, just RIGHT) then there’s little or no hope for the other 105.

        1) Formatting mistakes, spelling errors, bad grammar, like you said, Omoizele. Mistakes can occur at any point in a script and they can flick by you… but mistakes on the first page? One or two errors is not enough but if you’re struggling to get through the pages because of bad English or distracting formatting, that’s a problem.

        2) Storytelling. I wrote yesterday about how I felt INFERNO had a great opening. I checked Wikipedia and it doesn’t seem appear to be the same opening as the book, though I’d like to check. It’s not a question of opening with something spectacular, grabbing the reader by the throat and then having lots of boringness, but you can tell, almost always, from the first few pages whether this writer KNOWS where his story is going.

        It’s a bit difficult to describe, it’s more of a feeling you get when you read a bunch of scripts, or even novels.

        One danger sign is long, long dialogue scenes. A script has around 60 scenes, maybe a few more, maybe a few less. Not transitional scenes like entering a building, but ACTUAL scenes that advance the story. 60 scenes, 20 pages (easy math) is 2 pages per scene. If you’re reading and the first scene, second scene, maybe even the third scene are going on longer than 2 pages and it’s all dialogue, that’s a danger sign for me. PRO SCRIPTS NEVER READ LIKE THAT. You’re wasting pages, probably because you don’t have much of a story, what I call a “postage stamp story” because it can be written on the back of a postage stamp. And therefore you’re using “How are you?” “I’m fine. How’s Linda?” type dialogue to pad it out. I’ve been there myself, believe me.

        3) Lack of research. Fortunately screenwriters don’t have to go all Freddie Forsyth or Jefferey Archer and spend months traveling around the world working out every detail of how everything works, but if you’re writing history or true stories or westerns or whatever you’ve got to get your facts right. too many obvious blunders and I’m out.

        In other, shorter words, within the first few pages, maybe even the first page, you can tell whether this is a very early draft and needs a lot more rewriting or whether the writer hasn’t put in the minimum – MINIMUM – effort expected of them.

  • Cal

    My vote this week goes to…


    Out of the five scripts listed the two thriller concepts grabbed me the most, and Jump is the one I’m most interested in reading after reading the opening acts of all the scripts. Andrew I’ll read your full script and get back to you with some feedback… definitely interested to see where this is going.

    None of the others really stood out to me this week. For GODS OF ROCK and BLOOD RED, SILVER SCREEN, a quick fix to make the presentation more presentable would be to take the WGA and Copyright symbols/numbers off the front of the scripts. I suppose it is just a preference thing, but no professional scripts I see these days has this and it immediately strikes as odd, putting me — the reader in this case — on guard. Again, just a preference thing but worth considering.

    Congrats to everyone for being chosen this week.

  • Final_boss

    Doing a live edit of the scripts at:

  • smishsmosh22

    Actually just a paragraph for now. They really liked my pitch.

  • smishsmosh22

    I think that’s next, but they wanted a paragraph at least so they could start sharing that around the office.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Day 2 — Austin Film Festival Screenwriter’s Conference
    A few lessons learned:
    1.) You might think that there’s one right way to write a monster movie script.
    But the three screenwriter/panelists offered differing approaches.
    (Note: This only happens when you’re NOT writing a how to book.)
    2.) C.M. still refuses to recommend ANY screenwriting book.
    3.) SHOCKED to find a few friendly sharks swimming
    among the attorneys and managers.

    • MichaelKospiah

      I won an award at Austin Film Festival in 2014. Great festival, changed my life!

      • klmn

        What was the project that won the award?

        • MichaelKospiah

          I wrote a feature called “The Suicide Theory” that won an Audience Award. We picked up U.S. distribution b/c of it — we got a limited theater release w/ the VOD treatment and it’s now available on Netflix. The film will be screening at AFM in a few weeks for international distribution consideration.

          • klmn

            Congrats, and good luck with all your projects.

          • MichaelKospiah

            Thanks. Not looking good for “Corpse Flower”, though. Oh, well, I’ll do rewrites, whip it into shape. Some great advice, here.

    • Joe Marino

      Envious!!! Hope you’re enjoying your time there.

  • Final_boss


    Video of edit:

    ScriptCompetition – 10/14

    P1 – Using landmarks and seasonal moments helps anchor us in time
    and place wise choice with a time travel movie
    P1 – ANGLE ON – might not need this — use description to show camera
    not actual camera unless its REALLY important
    P1 – “won’t let you in easily” – show don’t tell
    P2 – good relationship problem = nice touch – but this is the opposite
    of not letting someone in easily
    P3 – This is exactly like nine 11 – might there be better options?
    P4 – You do a great job showing she don’t GAF so no need to tell
    P7 – Is she a psychologist – this is a pretty overt way of telling
    the character’s internal struggle I’d avoid
    P7 – That woman’s insane can be cut b/c it’s said the next time
    P7 – good that the story is progressing here and moving along
    P8 – trimming dialogue in here might help flow
    P9 – beware dupe words – can be JARRING TO THE READER

    –great story flow its moving really well here so far
    –great mechanics and description – like how its flowing

    –Trust the reader, show the internal moments through subtext
    not action or dialogue & avoid camera direction
    –Clean up some character modivations – Anna boosting cars out
    of nowhere felt really unexplained and sudden to me


    P1 – Solid work on action and phrasing
    P1 – Gives melissa a good choice in the beginning
    P5 – Unless someone will NOT answer the question directly
    avoid asking it.
    P5 – repeating what we know here that it’s a tough choice and
    just setting up characters – give us that sense of progress
    P5 – she doesn’t even mention james with the guy – feels
    killed as quickly as it was setup
    P5 – Scenes like this will feel melodramatic unless you make us care
    about what’s happening as much as the characters do.
    P6 – Make your parties feel UNIQUE!
    P6 – right now it feels like there are no vamps in this world –
    worried that it will feel random when they arrive
    P7 – these internal thoughts are IMPOSSIBLE to express through
    the action lines and they come across difficultly – trust your
    reader to be able to infer this from a scene you describe.
    P9 – this scene feels very forced – characters are taking actions
    that nothing suggests they would do.

    –cool world, and a valuable setup – a lot of people don’t realize
    that this stuff happens in hollywood, so good to bring to light
    –Good writing mechanics and phrasing overall – read smoothly

    –ensure character’s choices feel motivated – a lot of stuff happened
    but didn’t seem reasonable
    –consider combining characters – we have a lot of intros and action
    but don’t spend enough time with anyone to care
    –Be sure to express internality with subtext and in-scene movement
    don’t describe this in the lines.

    • Andrew Bumstead

      thanks for your vote! And for your helpful notes!

      • Final_boss

        Great work! Hope the notes help with future drafts :)

  • Tyler Givens


    Hey, everyone! I wish I could participate more actively in the voting, but I just don’t have enough time these days and all the free time I get I use to write my own stuff. However I feel like I should get back in the game and join the party.

    So today I read about 10-20 pages of each script and was quite pleased with the quality of the material. All of the loglines got my curiosity, but only two of the scripts got my attention – The First Daughter and Blood Red, Silver Screen.

    However I’m giving my vote to The First Daughter, simply because it felt alive. Is it perfect? No. But neither are the other scripts. All today’s contenders have their strengths and weaknesses, but I feel like Abdul is the only one, who is not afraid to let loose and have fun with his story.

    I believe Jon Favreau said that first drafts, while being far from perfect, possess this fascinating raw creative energy that often gets lost in the process of rewriting. That’s why he didn’t want to rewrite Chef, he wanted to save this energy of the first draft. Now, while I strongly believe that a writer should do their best and write as many drafts as needed in order to create a great story, I agree that sometimes early drafts do possess the kind of energy Favreau was talking about, the kind of energy I saw in The First Daughter. Yes, it starts a bit slow and, yes, the story takes its sweet time to get to the action, but it’s the little things that give the script its charm. Like that scene in the trailer park, where Leo ‘helps’ Tommy with those mathematical equations. It’s a sweet little touch, not really that important, but it makes the story feel more authentic. I think the relationship between the two brothers gives the story and its protagonist a heart.

    I also like the dialogue here, because it didn’t feel formal like, for example, in Blood Red, Silver Screen. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Blood Red, Silver Screen, it’s a solid script, but I didn’t see much life in the dialogue, it sound a bit fake, too uptight, I guess. The dialogue in The First Daughter was entertaining, often unpredictable and sometimes really funny. Take, for example, that long scene where Mickey tells the guys about the job. Yes, the scene may be a bit too long, but it feels alive, because every character has a distinct voice. The dialogue is a little messy, just messy enough to sound authentic.

    So, yeah, I realize that The First Daughter may not be the best example of, what we call, by-the-book writing. But you can always fix the technical aspects of a script, it’s a matter of time, experience and patience. What you can’t fake is the energy that drives your script. And to save that energy you need to take risks, to let loose and have fun. Abdul managed to do that. His story doesn’t follow ‘the book’ bit by bit, it has certainly its flaws, but it has a heart and a voice and that’s what I’m looking for in the scripts I read.

  • Andrew Bumstead

    thanks for your vote! I really appreciate it.

  • Carmelo Framboise

    Disclaimer: I do not see what the other commenters have voted until I finish my reviews and
    cast my vote – in my head at least.


    Here are my thoughts on today’s contestants. Bear in mind that I am only giving my own personal thoughts and if I am being cruel at least it is for your own benefit. What I don’t like might seem excellent to someone else.

    So, most scripts – like today’s – don’t have good first pages nor good character intros. I think these two things can really help a reader invest in your script.


    Read to page 19.

    Nice work, clean writing at the first 10-12 pages, it starts disintegrating on the
    following ones.

    I get the storyline of this first sequence. Although a bit naive and superficial, it can lead to something good. As long as you dwell deeper later on. Cause otherwise, the cute Midwestern girl, the producer you will make her a star if she sleeps with him, the couple that breaks up because of career-sex, the typical party, the wife that kills the lover of her husband, are all so basic, and the characters are caricatures, so… Lynch! But Lynch has a twist in his seemingly perfect worlds. Maybe you want to imply something about the star-system and I get it. I just hope you do, cause otherwise it will fall flat.

    On page 13 James, Melissa’s boyfriend notices that she is not yet dead and does nothing
    about it? What is his motive? That he is going to be a star? Is this possible? She is not even dead, man!!

    Page 14, “I am gonna make her one of us”, this line is so bad in so many levels. Damn, where did the excellent writing of the previous pages go?

    Page 17, gunhost.

    Page 19, the story has become something we have seen many times before. Dialogue and
    character motivation not particularly good at this point. Where is the story the logline has promised us? Here I see the story of Mia trying to get revenge; not a William (where is he anyway?) casting a real vampire for his next movie.

    Ok, so we get that there are vampires in this world. Hmmm. Weird twist. Can it be weird
    enough? :)

    IDEA: What if the scene Melissa plays out at the first scene is from a Vampire movie? So, you set a tone and we get in the mood. And there is a tragic irony right there.

    Read to page 20.

    Had to google the phallus plant to check if you are bullshiting me. Interesting flower. :)

    The idea of this slowly blossoming flower in a story that takes years to come around is

    Page 3, so did something supernatural stop Dwight’s car? should I regard this as a mystery
    or was the description of the crash just badly written?

    Page 5. Five years later, some masked hitmen kill Dwight.

    Page 4, I don’t understand their relationship. Did we skip forward in time? Dwight who crashed and found the Woman (Talullah) and 4 year old girl (Lilly) in another crashed car is now at a motel with them? and they know him? Should I want to find more about this mystery or is it again badly described action?

    Now I am confused. Is it Anabelle or Lilly? Are there two girls? Ok, I went back. So, Dwight killed a different woman and girl in that car-crash and then went and left Tallulah and Lilly. That woman now, seeks revenge, kills Dwight and is after Tallulah cause… Revenge. That’s not how the human psyche works though. And if you think it does I need to see why.

    Page 13. Price for killing a cop is a nose job. Bad people are bad, and they only care
    for money, beauty and killing.

    Page 21. A 70s R&B song comes up. Why so specific? Is it important?

    Later, we realize that there is some face-swapping and plastic surgery involved. Lilly
    looks like Annabelle, maybe she is Lilly and so on. So I see. I prefer something more streamlined instead of stories full of twists that we aren’t really surprising cause they don’t hold real value. Sorry.

    What would help is better character intros. Especially in such a convoluted, multi-character story full of flashbacks and flashforwards. Then I can care a bit more about them and therefore the story.

    Read to page 10.

    About the font: I have the same problem when I write in Greek. Only Courier New is available which is a very thin typefont, with only commas and dots being thicker which makes for a very tiring read. FD’s Courier is really great, having a bit thicker characters and I would recommend getting it. Such a minor detail can help your script a lot.

    Page 4. The Cashier is being awfully intrusive. Unless she is flirting. (wouldnt a 20 year
    old flirt or concider flirting with a 40 year old? Even if she isn’t flirting, she must know that HE could take it as flirting. Anyway nothing interesting or funny comes out of this situation.)

    Sadly, as much as I think the premise is really interesting, this isn’t remotely funny so
    far. If you label this a comedy and it is not then you are in for some unhappy readers.

    Read to page 23.

    Not the most original idea but it has potential, it is well written, has characters who still need
    work. All in all I think it is the best of the five.

    Page 1. Why 2015? Why not, but still…

    Page 3. Big catastrophe. Not only a plane crashes to the Needle but its tale crashes into
    Anna’s house. And then we cut to ten years later. So, many scripts start like this. I don’t really like it. That’s just me. And Aristotle. :)

    Page 11. It reads fast till here. But she just googled the company? What did she google
    exactly? I understand that no one can hide from google in 2025 but feels off. And easy.

    Page 15. Butterfly effect and Marcus is in love. A ten year old knows about the butterfly effect. And we are in 2025.

    Page 17. Ok, I like the premise. Go back and save the ones you love – AND stop a terrorist
    attack. And Anna has a personality. That’s good. Maybe it was too easy to convince them to go for the mission but understand you want the story to keep moving forward.

    Read to page 33. Interested in reading it all.

    After a bit of an awkward start that sets up the characters this gets really itenresting.
    I am not sure about the tone in your writing. I understand that you want to start of lightly
    but there is nothing in the first 20 pages that indicates thrills and suspense.

    Page 3. So is it Rebecca Mason or Sarah Mason?

    Page 5. I didn’t exactly get what was all this “And then it happens” scene.
    Something falls off Sarah’s spoon and Leo runs… Was it fish? What happened? He did something stupid but what exactly?

    Page 8. We left the party, went to a school then the streets. Why? Why not just stay at
    the party and get this story going? (Cause that was just an intro party, as I found out later)

    Page 20. With a bit of skimming I am reading their plan. It is interesting, I can’t say,
    although there seems to be no real depth in the characters the fact that Leo will be the one holding the President’s daughter is really nice.

    But Leo has motive, the stakes are high. Compelling story, as long as you pull off the
    thriller genre which I still haven’t witnessed.

    Page 27. Smart move with the cop and the camera. Leo is smart. Good. A couple of scenes
    like this in the first ten pages and this script is gonna fly!

    Page 33. Nice twist. This gets better and better.

    • Abdul Fataki

      Thanks for the vote! I’m glad you liked it. It gets better, I promise! Keep reading :) and thanks for the notes.

  • ScriptChick

    Basically this whole tournament lasts the duration of what could be another 13-week challenge….anyone thinking what I’m thinking? We’re already 6 weeks in, go writers go! Would love to hear if anyone wrote another script during this time from scratch. And because writing gives me almost as much stress as it does joy, I’m calling it PTSD — Post Tourney Script Dare!

    • smishsmosh22

      I am writing another script but will have to take a break to do my Log rewrites…

    • Cal

      I wrote a script in two weeks right after the competition started… the story had been brewing all summer… it had to come out.

  • ocattorney

    I was looking at Domestic Box Office for movies so far in 2016. At the top is “Finding Dory” with a billion dollars worldwide.
    1. Finding Dory $408 million domestic
    Captain America
    3. The Secret Life of Pets $ 365 million domestic
    4. The Jungle Book $ 364 million domestic
    6. Zootopia $ 341 million domestic
    If I’m going to write a spec script that connects with the audience… do you see a trend?
    Movies about vampires and “London Has Fallen” about Secret Service agents going against terrorists… they’re not earning half of what a story about pets having an adventure while their owner is at work took in.

    • Scott Crawford

      True, but LHF only cost $60 million to make. With the exception of Deadpool, those top 6 movies are all mega-budget.

    • Zack Snide Err

      If I thought I had the next Zootopia or Frozen in me id write a children’s book and wait for Hollywood to come $ee about it.
      That’s how Miss Peregrines got made. Most animated family content is made in-house anyway.

  • Citizen M

    I’m sorry but I can’t recommend any of the scripts this week.


    Read to page 25. Slightly misleading logline. It seems the little girl has unusual powers, possibly something to do with plants. I feel things could be set up better and faster. We need more motivation for the surgeon and more on her plans. Why did she look at the child in the parking lot when she already has a photo? Elementary mistake. It ties her to the kidnapping, something she would want to avoid. Why is the father on the run and why did the vases explode when he was killed? There are too many unknowns, and I’m not invested enough in the characters to want to read further.


    Read to page 25. Too much time setting up with scenes off the main storyline. Scenes go on longer than they should, the character count is high, and the dialogue needs more spark. A couple of good ideas, like how Mickey gets them not beaten up and Leo getting fired while innocent, but generally I’m not getting a feel for the characters despite their tricksy introductions, nor do I feel the situation is realistic.


    Read to page 25. Too slow to get going. We need to have the vampire cast and on set by now. The early scenes could be trimmed. It’s an interesting choice, having an actress becoming a vampire and wanting revenge, but I have a hard time believing she is so instinctively strong and good at fighting as she appears to be. Maybe have her take ballet and martial arts as an actress. What happened to Rodrigo’s sidekick Guillermo? Do we need him?
    p. 18 – There’s a reference to a corpse, but no indication how it got there. Is there a scene missing?
    Please call Rodrigo by his full name throughout, not sometimes Rod, sometimes Rodrigo.


    Read to page 25. Nice authentic sounding band talk, but not much plot. Things need to be faster and harder. More intense emotion, more conflict in scenes exploited for more comedy, more ageing musician jokes, clearer setup so we understand what they’re up against. After 25 pages I still don’t know why they can’t re-form. Without obstacles to overcome there is no story.
    p. 3-5 – An example of really bad exposition.
    Please name your pdf file with the full title, not just with an acronym.


    Read to page 25. Interesting cast of characters, good motivations, big stakes. Moves with reasonable pace. Unfortunately, I don’t buy the premise. Assuming a corporation did have time travel ability I don’t see them using it this way. And I didn’t buy the continuum explanation. Anyway, since Anna redid the car theft and didn’t get arrested, has the movie followed a new timeline or is the real Anna still in jail. And how could she be made to experience an alternate timeline while she was in jail with all the computers and stuff the process needs to use? There are just too many questions, as there are with most time travel scripts, which is why I don’t like them.
    Why the asterisks in the margin? Is this a pro script under development or a challenge script?

  • ScriptChick


    THE FIRST DAUGHTER – (Read to page 30. First daughter not make an appearance after restaurant scene, taking a while to get things going. And how long is Leo going to be a puppet in the action? I still see him as the main character, but the logline doesn’t exactly make it clear what his goal will be)

    Pg. 2 – “Coming to visit us is NONE other than…”
    Pg. 2 – “You can thank your wife for that.” – Why? Thought they would just choose the chef based on their cooking skills, not their wife?
    Pg. 3 – remove his ribs so he could suck his own dick – haha
    Pg. 5 – The smile makes me think it was a test? I actually hope it was because otherwise it seems way too convenient/contrived situation.
    Pg. 5 – I kind wish Geeky Student’s line was Donny’s line. I got more of a sense of Geeky Student than Donny, who will have a bigger part to play, but right here, his intro is weak.
    Pg. 6 – “…saved up to 50% (write 50% out and needs a period)”
    Pg. 7 – The phone convo feels a little heavy and rushed. Also, waiting to see how this factors into the logline because it feels like we’ve suddenly shifted from Leo as the main character to Donny and I’m not too sure who to predominantly give my focus to.
    Pg. 8 – Like the cleverness of pregnant girl scam but again, what is the main story here?
    Pg. 10 – So they are all friends? Donny live in the trailer park too? Or also work at same restaurant as Leo? I was hoping for a little more resolution in Leo’s situation. Last time we saw him, he was getting tackled by the secret service. And now all the exciting action has passed and he’s just moping at a bar. Felt we missed out on something.
    Pg. 11 – “45(comma)000”
    Pg. 10/11 – Who are these goons? Will we ever see them again? They seem so generic to the story. If they don’t come back into play, what are they establishing here? That Mickey can diffuse a situation/pit greedy men against each other? Mickey’s introduction felt like a misstep. Wasn’t clear that Leo was his friend. Was he there with Leo earlier or did he just drop in? Reactions from the rest would help. His intro raises a lot of questions when I feel you should have already established his relationship at the beginning with the rest of the guys. Here, I’m still learning relationships and I want to enjoy the action already.
    Pg. 15 – How is it Leo’s fault for what happened to Tommy because Tommy “tried to download the Walking Dead”?
    Pg. 15 – “I might have saved that GIRL’S life!”
    Pg. 15/16 – This scene feels like it should have taken place after the incident. Girls not say anything about fish? Leo not stand up for himself then? This seems like the meat of the story but missing an important part. Seems like it was intentionally delayed to give Leo his refusal of the call moment before he committed – aka, feels like a forced beat.
    Pg. 18 – Would Hassan be the type to be bullied? Mickey paints him as a baller, spender of $$$ = fake friends. If he really throws such great parties, wouldn’t he not be bullied just so everyone benefits off his wasteful spending?
    Pg. 22 – Scene back on Donny didn’t add much clarity to what happened to his parents. They dead? If they are, is this something he’d reveal to Leo? How big of friends are they?
    Pg. 25 – Not believe Leo would ask if car stolen and get an answer, no matter if sotto. Cop is only a few steps away!
    Pg. 25 – Ralph saying “free country, ain’t it” twice came off as comedy. Going for that? Wish Leo was doing more in these scenes. He’s very passive.
    Pg. 27 – “He doesn’t care about us. He’ll get us shot for views.” – this argument…Donny saying his friend not care. This convolutes what Leo is saying, about racism, black lives matter. The gist is that if the cop shoots, Leo has so many followers that will see the video and revolt, not that Leo will manipulate it into getting his friends shot. That’s not the issue in real life situations. The situation is that racist, trigger-happy cops shoot first. The blood would be on the cop’s hands which scares him, not Leo’s, so some of Donny’s lines very confusing to me.
    Pg. 28 – I can see this scenario working in a normal street/neighborhood, but the way it was described as total elitist, 1% residences – no, I don’t believe the cop would let them go that easily. Already mentioned how shitty the car looks, there is definite suspicion here and it is brushed off very easily. Anything about Mickey saying he works for Hassan, showing proof, then using the race card to help them?
    Ralph is a good character to have but he can be very one note sometimes.
    Pg. 30 – Mickey not even going to take part because he’s passed out? This plan seems so slapped together and ill-planned and with the half-naked girl – it’s verging on comedy.

    BLOOD RED, SILVER SCREEN — (Read to pg. 31 – wish Mia was the decision maker in very beginning of quest for revenge and later, it doesn’t feel like she is putting all the pieces together in a smart way vs. slicing her bloody way haphazardly to the top.)

    Take the registration number off. Contact info on the left of the page.
    Pg. 2 – His hot breath gives (extra word) makes her hair…
    Pg. 2/3 – Both women so far described with “beautiful” “beauty” more than once. Not that exciting description.
    Pg. 3 – Years of hair gel HAVE eaten away at his brain – like description.
    Pg. 6 – Uber cheaper than a taxi, more modern and appropriate for struggling actress to use?
    Pg. 6 – Weird to me that James there. Had no forewarning he’d be at the party and why would he? He just got a commercial, nothing to do with David and the movie business.
    Pg. 8 – He’s in the THROES of ecstasy.
    Pg. 9 – If Melissa saw it coming, then does she dodge? Or is she too paralyzed with fear to do anything? Either or those two things are actions I can see vs. the line of description given – I have no idea!
    Pg. 13 – “Do we have to check between your toes?” – like the line.
    Pg. 13 – …drinks his blood….drinks his blood… — little repetitive
    Pg. 14 – Missing a line where Rodrigo cuts himself so his vampire blood mixes with Melissa’s?
    Pg. 16 – Is there any human part of Melissa left to react to the fact she just willingly lapped blood off the floor?
    Pg. 17 – …we hear the three GUNSHOTS.
    Pg. 18 – I understand why Rodrigo would want Melissa for his own – but why would he care about her getting revenge? Not sure if that reason is all there for me yet.
    Pg. 18 – …it’s the corpse – what corpse? When was there a corpse established in the cell with Mia?
    Pg. 19 – Rodrigo seems to push her towards training and revenge, so then what does Melissa want? Just to be free? I think the whole training sequence isn’t as impactful to me because it doesn’t stem from Melissa’s desire, but more from Rodrigo’s. Where is the passion of Beatrix Kiddo and Zorro?
    Pg. 21 – Like the fighting leading to a passionate kiss. What is the other guy during all this though? He and Rodrigo seemed to hang out and hunt together.
    Pg. 25 – If you’re going to refer to William as Bill in the description then I’d state it in the character caps intro – WILLIAM (BILL) etc. Temporarily stopped my read.
    Pg. 31 – I’m just wondering the choice to kill Peter before Mia has obtained the role. He is involved in casting, isn’t he? Wouldn’t she want to get on his good side, a guy who can be easily manipulated by the opposite sex? Now that she’s killed him, she’s leaving casting more up to chance if it still will be scheduled for Monday now that they’ve lost their head of production.

    GODS OF ROCK – (Read to pg. 31. I like the band and idea behind the story, but Duke not seem like clear enough as an antagonist yet. Motives for them reuniting in the first place a little murky too. At times it seems well thought out and at other times it seems like they’re cobbling together everyone on the fly. Is their endgame just to be an awesome band and perform?)

    Pg. 1 – Maybe it’s just me, but I kind of wish I had more insight on this band plotting their “death”. I feel cheated out of what could have been some funny, Spinal Tap-esque dialogue. It’s already established that they just walked away, so there’s no real mystery as to them going missing from any suspicious means. All I have are news reports that tell me how popular this band is, when I could have seen their charisma and star power in action. Also a pitch: If they were arguing beforehand about their plan then it might be funny to have a payoff of the reporters arguing how they might have gotten lost/died, etc. Placing their bets so to speak on how the media portrays the incident.
    Pg. 9 – Like the names of the band.
    Pg. 10 – Wish I knew exactly why Keith is all of sudden wanting to reunite the band under the guise of a Tribute Band? He really seems to have a plan, just wanting to better understand the motive/emotion behind it.
    What’s at stake for PJ whether or not he reunites with his band?
    Pg. 13 – Who is Carl? Were we ever introduced to him? Can’t understand how this person affects PJ’s decision if I don’t know who he is. I’m guessing it’s his Dad but I think you need to be very clear here or else people will gloss over what you intend to be a turning point for PJ.
    I liked Spyder’s intro, Viper’s got a little long/boring to me with the whole name stuff. Like the weight issue though since he swapped food for drugs.
    So Keith called Duke? Unless it’s a misdirection. I’m told very briefly that the band left because Duke’s terms were harsh but I never really understood them, and if I’m to believe they were harsh enough for them to fake their deaths, then why is Keith calling him? Fifty million dollars is a lot of money to put on good faith/personal relations.
    Pg. 23 – “Go away (comma) Paul.”
    Pg. 25 – “…oh shit, (space needed) what are you up to?”
    Pg. 25 – Like the conflict Ronnie provides and what they want to enlist her to do.
    Pg. 26 – &  write out “and”
    Pg. 26 – Keith being with Ronnie seems to be good conflict but I’m wondering why it wasn’t brought up earlier when Keith first propositioned PJ with the idea of reuniting everyone? PJ reveal he knows Keith been with Ronnie?
    Pg. 28 – “Why did I not know that?” I’m wondering the same thing since Ronnie was the main love interest, basically biggest fan of the band, right?
    Pg. 31 – quilting bees and dogs with zebra stripes – Ronnie was a news reporter? This dialogue between them has me feeling left out of the story. Not really know what’s going on in her life but he sure does.

    JUMP – (Read to pg. 30 – I like the characters and I like the story. It feels the most like a movie to me than the other three above that I’ve read so far and I’m excited to see how the action will turn out)

    Pg. 2 – I like the opening, but I find it very convenient that the plane is also hitting Anna’s place. It was established that Ryan and Anna are apart, yet not too far apart to be affected by the same plane attack? (it explains her losing the baby but it still feels forced). If they really aren’t that far apart, then would she know Ryan might be at the needle?
    Pg. 4 – Liked seeing the watch again, this time on Anna.
    Pg. 5 – “What’s your mom’s number?” – haha
    Pg. 5 – She rubs her wrist where watch is no longer – would have rather seen her reaction in the moment as her possession (watch) are taken from her once she gets to jail.
    Pg. 7 – I like the setup that Madeleine provides, the whole time travel premise of the story. Just wish it was given to us in a more unique way than a presumed attorney visiting a girl in jail. Pitch: Someone in the jail that then disappears? Don’t really have a solution but the delivery was so straight forward without anything fun until the actual time jump. Not high concept delivery for high concept idea.
    I like once Anna’s given the opportunity to go back in time she still takes the petty choice of stealing the car but just decides to wait now knowing what she does. And I like the complication from Johnny – maybe this would have been better if we had seen him in the beginning too running away vs. hearing it in dialogue? That way seeing him staying is in direct contrast to what we, the audience initially saw.
    Pg. 10 – Intrigued by the cut on Anna’s lip still there.
    Pg. 11 – “Found you.” – wasn’t really something Anna had to go digging for. Madeleine readily gave her a card and contact info.
    Pg. 14 – “You of all people shouldn’t be worrying about legalities.” – haha
    Pg. 16/17 – Clarifying the rare chance of a butterfly effect and they use Hiroshima as an example – but then they say there’s recent evidence that suggest otherwise, so they choose the attack on Seattle to try and stop it. But if recent evidence suggests otherwise, then why not do the bigger history events (Hitler, Hiroshima)? I think I want just a little more explanation how Seattle’s events are able to change (vs. the other events) – does it have anything to do with the people involved? It seems like they only chose these people first and foremost because they’re risk takers. The fact that they lost someone in the attack comes only as incentive for them to join, not that it mathematically/scientifically factors into helping change the course of events at all.
    Pg. 18 – “Temporal displacement takes up more power than a 747.” — little weird that he links the power to the 747 plane. It’s not just a comparison because in light of the events, it feels more personal. Is he intentionally dredging up bad memories for Anna and the others?
    Pg. 18 – The image of the three jumpers very much smacks of the Pre-Cogs in Minority Report.
    Pg. 20 – egg from one of those PSA drug commercials – even now this is an old reference. Don’t believe 10 years in the future people will still reference it or even know the commercial.
    Pg. 22 – “Your lab rat needs a break.” – like the line
    Not sure how you saw Knight surviving, but could Ryan have maybe seen him in the needle partying it up? Anyway to show his character before the accident? Or do you imagine that everyone in the needle died and the survivor was more ground floor? Could have Knight getting into the elevator? Since he is a big player now, it would have been nice to see his character interacting before the shit hit the fan.
    Pg. 26 – Nice description about Madeleine’s office relating to herself.
    Pg. 26 – Footage of Anna, then freezes on her with razor blade. Honestly, that’s a powerful moment and I would have liked to have seen it. Does she do it quickly or lots of hesitation? I think this is another opportunity for more insight to character – and makes Marcus’ doubts about her even more realized for the audience.
    Pg. 29 – No mention of boat blowing up in the opening? To have this info on pg. 29 seems too late.

    CORPSE FLOWER – (Read to pg. 30 – Questions and logic problems distanced me from the story by the end of Act One)

    Pg. 1 – The opening explains the nature of the corpse flower…and not much else. But I like the idea of a corpse flower and what this story may be doing in terms of its theme around death.
    We see Tallulah with her daughter and Tallulah beaten up, but then the scene’s over. We have no answer and the scene is abruptly stopped. Really wish there was more to this opening or follow up on Tallulah rather than cutting to a different person the next scene.
    Pg. 4 – Oh, the car accident is a flashback?
    Pg. 4 – Tallulah knows about the accident? When Dwight’s in there, I thought he had just come home from the wreck he caused…but that’s not the case?
    And then we flash forward to the present. Present – past – present all within five pages is a lot to ask for me. Wish the transitions were smoother.
    Pg. 5 – Dwight is shot three times and still able to jolt awake and lunge? Hard to believe… okay, now I’m starting to suspect that something supernatural is protecting him since it was mentioned his car defied physics, but then wouldn’t that same supernatural force not let bullets hit him? This seems to be a different power at play, the ability to come back from the dead vs. prevent it. I’m confused.
    Pg.7 – Jolene would have a head delivered to her work place? Huh?
    Pg. 7 – Already bolded and underlined her Capris – don’t think you need to do it again.
    Pg. 8 – So Jolene intends to cut up Lily to look like her daughter? This over the top villainy isn’t really selling me.
    Pg. 15 – The FBI are involved with Dwight/have his body? And why do they have it on the couch? Are they expecting it to come alive? And even if that’s the case, why isn’t it tied down?
    Lily’s a little off and looking so similar to Jolene’s little girl – is Lily in fact Jolene’s little girl that Dwight abducted and he gave his weird powers to (in order to save her, dead girl brought back to life ala corpse flower)? I have no idea and so much confusion has me floating through these pages without anything to grab on to.
    Pg. 18 – Waiting to see current Dad come home. Seems that a lot is happening behind the scenes vs. on the page.
    Pg. 19 – I picture these deer masks as very cumbersome and limiting vision.
    Pg. 19 – Reading the description of Tallulah fighting the man in the deer mask veered overly graphic and at the same time comical. Two groin hits with a double dose of face pummeling in between…
    Pg. 20 – Cop Husband is dead and under the bed. Was not expecting that. No plans for Tallulah and Lily to leave though?
    Pg. 21 – The song pulled me out and it’s not even playing organically in the scene with Tallulah. It’s a stylistic overlay. If it was already in the Tallulah scene maybe I could buy it as a transition, but I still don’t’ see it going smoothly from one scene to the next.
    Pg. 21 – Again, what’s the deal with the Capris cigarette?
    Pg. 23 – Does Tallulah have back from the dead powers too? Unclear.
    Pg. 25 – Jolene did give Sam’s wife a nose job – didn’t think a lot of time had passed since the parking lot and kidnapping. This kind of slows down the time line if Jolene had a chance to operate in the middle of her plan. Wouldn’t she do the favor after what she’s gotten what she wanted from Sam?
    Guy about to beat up Lily – cut to van’s been wrecked. I feel cheated out of what might be the most exciting action from Lily and what could have given maybe more insight and answers to the nature of her character/origins.
    Pg. 27 – Do you need the Moments Later? Would Rebecca really wait til moments later to inquire about the shrieks heard through the phone? And for us to spend more time on these bickering secondary characters?
    Pg. 30 – Like the black peephole and following gunshot. But how know where Sam lives?

    • Andrew Bumstead

      thanks for your vote ScriptChick!

    • Abdul Fataki

      Writer of First Daughter here, thanks for your notes, it’ll help me a lot. I spent too much time on the backstory of every character because I wanted the audience to get attached to all of them (as there’ll be a lot of conflict between them and didn’t want to make it an easy choice to back our main guy “Leo”)

      Thanks again for everything :)

    • Cal

      Epic notes.

  • Poe_Serling

    Though the overall vote total is a bit lower this week… it’s still another tight

    Still not sure which one I will vote for yet.

    A few quick thoughts of mine regarding Red/Silver and Flower projects
    are buried in the middle of this thread.

    I’m hoping to check out the other 3 scripts later today.

    Good luck to all the featured writers this week.

    • Cal

      It’s funny how competitions go. I personally think all five of the scripts in last weeks bracket are stronger than even my first choice this week. Basically, if any one of last weeks scripts was listed this week it would have had my vote.

      So the winner of each bracket moves forward. But what if the weakest script in one bracket is better than the strongest script in another by general consensus? Ideally, the strongest scripts overall should all face each other in the end… I suppose Carson can’t really know which scripts potentially carry the strongest content until we vote, unless he looks into it himself a bit beforehand, but by the way the brackets are rolling out it appears to be random.

      I just hate to see stronger material get eliminated while weaker material moves forward, but with the way this competition is structured I don’t see any way around it unless the brackets were pre-screened by Carson to try and even out the competition a bit so we don’t have some first-round weeks where all the scripts are at professional or near-professional level, and then others were they are all first-time or amateur.


      • Linkthis83

        This is why I created my list. Of courser, mine is tailored to my opinion only though.

      • Poe_Serling

        Over the course of the tournament there have been quite a few
        suggestions by the SS faithful on how the winners should be

        Personally, I might go with the top 8, 10, or whatever number
        of scripts that received the most overall votes during Round

        So… you might have 2 scripts from week 1… none from week 2 or
        3… 3 from week 4… and so on.

        Of course, it’s Carson’s contest – his rules, his way. ;-)

        • klmn

          See my answer to Cal.

      • klmn

        Carson did announce a Wild Card round, for 10 scripts that didn’t win their first round match-ups. That will cut the 10 down to 4 that advance.

        So, it looks like the 8 first round winners and the 4 survivors of the Wild Card round will go on to the second round.

        • Cal

          Nice, that makes sense, EXCEPT, the four survivors won’t stand a chance against their victors if they come up against them again because that vote has already been cast, which it will come to again if they advance far enough after the initial elimination. It will give them a chance to advance, but not a chance to win, so it makes sense only to get more eyes on the scripts… as long as that is the point that’s fine. If it’s to give them another shot to win, I don’t see how that would work.

          • klmn

            Everyone gets a chance to rewrite. I’ve tightened up my first act and I’m working on the third. I hope voters will at least open the scripts, but some will still vote on the basis of loglines. One of the readers suggested a better logline than I had, which I think I’ll use – I’ll give him credit in the comments section if I make the wild card round.

            I don’t expect to win, but I shouldn’t come up against Paul again for awhile. Maybe I can hang around a few rounds.

            This is the last feature I write, so I’ll use it to learn what I can and then give the script a Viking funeral.

  • Disqus_39nm8T

    Lots of “harsh” critiques and tough love. Are commenters getting edgy because there’s only 2 weeks left and their scripts haven’t been chosen–yet?

    To the 5 writers, I just read an article on Carlton Cuse, he quotes Nora Ephron’s (RIP) words of wisdom to “never take a note from someone who doesn’t like your script.” I’m sure a lot of commenters are going to trash that advise but who are you going to listen to, a couple big league pros or a wannabe amateurs?

    There’s helping and there’s belittling. Too bad it all can’t be helping.
    Best of luck.

    • Mayhem Jones

      “Never take a note from someone who doesn’t like your script.”

      WOWOWOWOW! Such an interesting quote. I usually look FIRST to people who don’t like my script to see where I can improve. Can’t wait to read that article–thanks for sharing!

      • Scott Crawford

        Talking to yourself now, May.

        • Mayhem Jones


          • klmn

            Leave it up and look like a moron.

          • crazedwriter

            Keep it up, otherwise, I will look like a moron too!

          • JasonTremblay

            Edit your comment and add the text of the deleted comment. That’ll show them.

      • crazedwriter

        I’m with you, mayhem. I think people with the most negative notes, probably have the strongest, most real reactions to the script. So those are the ones I especially pay attention to.

  • Jarrean

    OT: Congratulations to Paul Clarke! “Never Leave Your Vehicle” won in its category for the Page Awards!

    My vote: The First Daughter (based on logline alone this week unfortunately)

    • Mayhem Jones

      HOLY CRAP!!! YOU ROCK PAUL!!!!!!!!

    • Eric Boyd

      That’s a big deal! Sure to open up a lot of doors. Congrats Paul. Hope you’re celebrating hard.

    • Eldave1

      Congratulations Paul – well done!

    • jeaux

      Not much time this weekend so may not be able to vote but wanted to say congrats to Paul. Very cool! Was your Page entry revised from AOW version or the same?

      • Paul Clarke

        It was tweaked a little. Page allow updates to be submitted at the semi-final stage, which is really helpful given that it’s often 6 months between submitting and the winners being announced.

    • Abdul Fataki

      Thanks for the vote! :)

    • Paul Clarke

      Thanks Jarrean (and others), very exciting news.

      • Joe Marino


      • Stephjones

        I was pulling for you, Paul! Great news!

  • Andrew Bumstead

    thanks for your vote, Angie!

  • Eric Boyd


    The title is a little boring and the premise isn’t exactly the most original. A lot of the science and explanations seem like they came right out of movies like Source Code and X-Men DoFP. The protagonist steeling cars and then being approached in jail by a mysterious bureaucrat feels like something that I’ve seen a million times, but one place where I think the screenplay really nails it, is in the unresolved relationships, we have three strong characters all with there own unresolved relationships and there motivations for resolving them all feel genuine. The scene where they are all sharing the spiked coffee, explaining why they want to go back and fix it was fantastic. It really made me want to read further to see how this all played out,
    and I just might, but I’ve defiantly read enough to give it my vote this week.

    Nice work Andrew. Just try give us something in that set up that feels fresher, something we haven’t seen before.

  • Andrew Bumstead

    writer of JUMP. Thanks for your vote, it means a lot!

  • Deaf Ears

    My vote goes to GODS OF ROCK, after reading the first 20 pages of each entry. BLOOD RED SILVER SCREEN is the runner-up. These two were not only the best-written but also the clearest in terms of both the log-lines and how the stories played out on the page. I’m finding more and more than simple clarity is an unsung virtue in screenplays – in a lot of them I read I can’t even tell what’s going on.

  • Zack Snide Err

    Whew, read the first 20 of each, I think this was the hardest group to pick from yet. All of you guys can really write. Great work by all.

    Voted for JUMP which, is much better than its poor title suggests. I found it very enjoyable and, to me, it felt like a script that could be made more or less as is.
    The major weakness I think is that the lead character Anna is introduced very weakly and not given any distinguishing characteristics. Her boyfriend has a Star Trek watch… She is dressed in black and is hot and distant. The initial impression there is that he is the lead… Not she. And that’s not to say she isn’t well written, cause she is, but the first impression is not good.
    Secondly, the action and general description could better. More visual description and less flowery description. Some specifics:

    Pg. 1- bros and chicks brings to mind a bunch of slobs on spring break. Doesn’t fit with that scene.

    Pg. 2- “Low, or very low, flying airplane” would due since it caught Ryan’s eye against the night sky.
    Pg. 2- Ryan’s eyes widen… Don’t think there’s a need for that since we already know there’s a plane headed right at him.
    Pg. 3- I think the pane crashing into Anna’s apt could go straight from “what’s left of the plane”… To “Anna takes cover.” Then section of the plane heading towards her could be described in place of the former quoted bit.
    (Altogether I did like the Space needle destruction scene)
    Pg. 4- well done chase sequence.
    Pg. 7- Instead of Anna answering “this woman’s insane” she could say “is this woman insane.”
    Pg. 9- terrific callback of “past” Johnny leaving Anna
    Pg. 11- Anna’s dialog is great.
    Pg. 12- Given and Knight were a breath of fresh air. The sequence that followed: Them with Anna and Madeline, was terrific in how it worked to space out the science exposition talk. I enjoyed all the quips, asides and small character moments.

    CORPSE FLOWER was a very good script. By the end of the terrific scene on page one the title and concept had my interest hooked. I could both see the poster and the promise of the premise.
    I didn’t place it higher because it’s somewhat topsy turvy first act is a little tough to follow. I feel like their, are little nuggets of info (like Talulah being married to a cop) that are not made obvious enough. On more than one occasion I had to go back in the script to sort out something I’d read further along.

    Some notes:
    Pg. 7- Dwight’s head in the box could have been written with more visual flair.
    Pg. 11- loved this scene between Talulah and Jolene.
    Pg. 15- loved Agent Whites reply… “But it doesn’t look like any of the other agencies…” Funny!
    Pg. 18/19- I think the scene that straddles these two pages, when Talulah enters LILY’S BEDROOM, would be more cinematic and read smoother if it was switched to TALULAH POV when she enters the room. The guy subsequently grabbing her from behind and dragging her into the hallway could serve as a natural transition out of her POV.

    THE FIRST DAUGHTER was such a fun easy read. Very concise one shot per sentence description, a few terrific scenes and some colorful characters who deliver fun punchy dialogue.
    It didn’t get my vote because the first 20 pages gave me very little inkling as to how, or if, the script would make good on the interesting title/premise. By page twenty I shouldn’t still be without a clue as to the title subjects involvement.
    Another issue I had with it, is that the first daughter should given a little more build up both, before the scene with Leo, and in general. In contrast, the character Hassan was given a great build up ahead of the party. Something similar in the restaurant as the Manager talks to the staff might work.

    A few notes:
    Pg. 3- The character description of Asshole Jimmy. Nice.
    Pg. 4- Not believable that waitstaff would speak to the chef at that type of joint. But given the breezy tone of the script, it may not be that big of a deal.
    Pg. 7/8- Fun well executed scene.
    Pg. 11/12- Love Mickey. Maybe the best and best written character in the script.

    BLOOD RED, SILVER SCREEN was pretty enjoyable and I like the premise and execution much more than the title. This script did one thing fantastically well, and that’s create an interesting lead who I both felt sorry for and wanted to root for: Melissa/Mia.

    BRSC didn’t place higher because of the disparity in quality between the first 10/11 pages and pages 11-20. It doesn’t get great until the vampires showed up and the storyline really started to unfold.
    Most of what I didn’t like about the first ten pages is addressed below:

    Pg. 4- the whole blow up between Melissa and James is to dry on her end. Her emotions should come through from her dialogue as opposed to having her feelings described by the author.
    Instead of describing her as being dumbstruck when James asks if she’s going to agree to F the producer, she could say “excuse me?” Then…
    Instead of describing her as furious, either or both of the last two words in “you want me to fuck him?” Could be in CAPS.

    Pg.7- “…the end of the world fuck we all dream about.” Melissa is being taken advantage of in this scene. I don’t dream about this sorta scenario, and most guys probably don’t either. I’d advise that the line be gotten rid of.

    Pg. 9- More could be done with Melissa’s death. Similar to page 4/5: Less of the writer telling us what happened and more show. Describe the gunshot sound. Melissa’s body hitting the wall. Sliding down the wall. Does Melissa cry out to James? In agony?

    Pg. 14- loved the description of the bite.
    Pg. 17- loved that Melissa’s new name as a vampire (Mia) was drawn from her existing name. Cool idea and neat execution.

    GODS OF ROCK was very enjoyable and at times fun. I thought the dialogue was especially terrific when not weighed down by exposition. Of all the characters, Viper was,the most well drawn and interesting to me… Oh and the singing FRUMPY WOMAN (whose name should be capped on page 5).
    GOR didn’t place higher because the script didn’t do enough to justify why the band took such a drastic measure and why they were banding together against Duke. An opening scene set on the tour bus with the band fighting, over the phone, with their manager about their contract could accomplish both.

    A couples notes:
    Pg. 1 – Don’t think it necessary to say “No dialogue heard.”
    Pg. 3 – The cashier shouldn’t spoil it for us, and PJ, that it’s karaoke night at the bar.
    Pg. 17 – A few too many obvious expository questions between the guys.
    Pg. 20 – I liked the scene where Duke is told of the band. And the Wang Chung reference.

    • Abdul Fataki

      Thanks for the notes, I’m happy you enjoyed it (Writer of First daughter here). Yeah, I think I took too long on setting the story up. I’ll deffo work on that in the rewrite. :)

      • Zack Snide Err

        Congrats humble braggart :)

  • Abdul Fataki

    Holy shit! Thanks for liking my script!

    Yeah, I’ll work on changing some of the dialogue to give everyone a different ‘feel’. I’ll also work on Romeo’s introduction a bit better.

    I fully agree that the first act took a bit too long. Thank you for your vote ;)

  • brenkilco

    Read the first 37 pages of Jump. Because I generally like time travel movies if done well. We’re only now going into the past so it’s a little slow moving despite the explosive opening. Now all time travel movies fudge but the better ones make an effort to think things through logically. This premise would seem to have problems.

    First we’re told that only a person’s consciousness is sent back and only for a limited period of time. So when a person’s visit to the past is done, he awakes at the point he began his journey? So if our protag who is sitting in a jail cell goes back in time and avoids her arrest where exactly is she when she wakes up? No, in the script that original future seems to be eliminated and the protag just continues on with the knowledge of a nonexistent future, which is somehow shared by Madeline who would actually never have met the protag and whom the protag locates by means of a business card which indicates that physical objects at least may also be transported back in time. And how is it you need an enormous gizmo to send our heroes back at the end of the first act when a mere business card was enough a few scenes earlier? Sorry, I’m already getting irritated.

    Personally if I wanted to convince someone I could time travel I’d just zap both of us back to the same point and then introduce myself and deliver the exposition. It would avoid the standard you’re out of your fucking mind response, which just wastes time. And these mysterious business types who somehow know everything about everyone and have the authority to do things like wander into jails at will and interview prisoners are awfully cliched. This may be cheesy B fun but at this point I’m not sure it’s going to run any clever or original variations on other time travel suspensers or keep its temporal conundrums straight.

  • Kit folk

    My vote is for “Jump”. The story is fast paced and interesting, it deals with very modern fears of terrorism, has some great characters, and I like the twist near the end that amps up the drama. I like that it leaves it open for sequels or a series, while still concluding the actual story.

  • Ethan Hunt

    All scripts were pretty disappointing. So it becomes a battle of the loglines and concept and with that I’ll have to vote for the First Daughter.

    It seems cheaper to make. (one location) + it’s high concept.

  • Omoizele Okoawo

    I read 30+ pages of GoR. The bad guys found them way too fast and the writer needs to take advantage of the reason they bring the band together again. It would have been cheaper if they just hired a lawyer given how much money they were making.

    Blood Red SC I read the first 5 pages. The first half of the first page going from the city of L.A. to a building to a busy office, to an actress reading fire a part in a movie was boring. Why not start with the actress staring into the camera and saying creepy lines as if she were a thousand year old vampire about to kill a guy and then go to the producer clapping his hands in approval of her performance? It’s a more interesting beginning. Also someone wrestling with the idea of sleeping with someone to get a role at this point is flat. They should have already thought of that. It’s not like the casting couch is an unknown phenomenon, hell, it’s so known that it there’s a phrase for it.

    Corpse Flower I actually read the entire thing yesterday on the zoetrope screenplay website. I left a long review there but I’ll reiterate a small part of it quickly here; Tallulah is a woman in an abusive relationship who later on, while searching for her daughter, hunts and kills at least twenty people in the script. The script is rife with characters who do things that don’t make sense. It’s like having a serial killer who starts off as Mother Theresa. It’s not that it can’t be done but if you don’t provide the emotional logic to the reader so that it makes sense then it won’t work.

    First Daughter passed the Pringles test. I was going to give it three pages to get me and it hooked me from “Google is your friend” to “knock this son of a bitch out” I kept waiting to be bored or disappointed but it didn’t happen. I read up to page 12 and I’ll probably go back and finish it.

    Jump had a satisfactory beginning but there were a few unfilmables in the action lines like there is no way we would know that the ring in her hand is an engagement ring. Also the moment you find out time travel is real why do you bother stealing a car that you stole in the last time line when you could be saving your fiancé’s life? Furthermore if you can only send thoughts back then how come Anna had the Quantus business card with her when she traveled back in time?

    My vote goes to The First Daughter

  • Zero

    Overall, I have to give my VOTE to JUMP.

    Blood Red, Silver Screen had it’s good qualities, but Jump was significantly better.

    My Brief Thoughts On:

    Corpse Flower
    I think I might’ve read this already, a while back. But I’ll still read what I can.
    The opening five pages are interesting, and stuff happens, but it’s a bit too confusing for me. The next few pages aren’t any clearer. What does the name brand of the cigarettes have to do with anything?
    I read to page sixteen. While it presents odd – and intriguing, I’ll admit – juxtaposition of elements, I was just too confused to keep reading on.

    The First Daughter
    To me, ‘house’ and ‘trailer’ are two very different things. But I’ll chalk it up to English maybe not being writer’s first language, so I’ll keep reading.
    It’s difficult to keep track of all these characters.
    Read to page 29. It was more engaging and ‘straightforward’ than Corpse Flower. However, I did not continue reading because I found it difficult to empathize with any of the characters. They were pretty much all rough-and-tumble and somewhat stupid.

    Blood Red, Silver Screen
    Title isn’t so good.
    I do wish we’d start with even just a small hint of what’s in the logline – the protagonist or the vampires. Maybe I’m just impatient, but I’m wondering who these characters are, and when William will show up.
    But it seems to pick up once we get to Mia’s training and the first mention of William. I’ll definitely keep reading this one later, and it might even get my vote. But just barely; I really with the opening was a bit quicker.

    Gods of Rock
    The logline isn’t great. What problem does the band face? What flaws must they fight against?
    On one hand, I liked how easy to understand everything was, how clearly it was communicated. The problem is, it was all communicated through EXPOSITION and seemingly non-stop TALKING. I was getting a lot, but nothing much was really HAPPENING.

    Now that’s an exciting, interesting, alternate-history opening.
    This script is quite easy to read, fascinating and engaging. A little bit expository, but only so much as needed for the science fiction genre.
    It reminds me of Looper and Minority Report. The only part I don’t like so much is the kinda bland title.

    • Andrew Bumstead

      thanks for your vote Zero!

  • Scott Crawford

    Some have suggested that JUMP needs a new title. Here are some suggestions (you may have to look up what some of them mean!):

    Crime Travel
    The Gamma Factor
    Tachyonic Antitelephone

    • GreenBlooded

      Timeland Security

      • Scott Crawford

        Five Hundred Million Seconds
        Time Melts the Snowman
        Try to Remember

        A Charles Branson movie was called TEN TO MIDNIGHT simply because the producers like the title. It had NOTHING to do with anything.

        • GreenBlooded

          Well it does take place on New Year’s Eve.
          Back To Midnight
          Time’s Eve

        • brenkilco


          You could do a whole post about great movies with meaningless titles. Like North by Northwest.

    • Kyas

      Quantum Leap

  • HRV

    All of my comments are based on first impressions, not a detailed analysis.
    I didn’t read any of the loglines prior to my reads. FWIW, #s 2,4 and 5 match their loglines within the first 20 pages.
    Blood Silver: Read to page 20. Lots of typos to go back over and correct. Too much sex to be considered for a mainstream film. What’s special about it that makes it standout from other vampire movies?
    GoR: Read to page 20. Easy read, but slows the reader down when the characters refer to something the reader has no clue about. Could picture the old rockers while reading.
    Jump: Read all of it. Easy read, so read all since I’m into time travel stories myself. Noticed one type error on page 20 his = its. I thought the comment about going through their memories frame by frame was odd since we don’t remember things that way.( I know, just a manner of speech). What didn’t make sense was the travelling back in mind only, since they would be displacing their existing consciousness/spirits. It was also mentioned that they couldn’t affect major events, but this one was. It would be very hard to get a 747 to spin and then right itself. What happened to their “other” selves when their minds went back to the future? Who is Johnny?
    Daughter: Read to page 33. Pg. 5 final = finale, pg. 7 looked like a scene from Caught on Camera, pg. 19 shook = sure, pg. 33 must BE. Some scenes felt like they were pulling you/the story in a different direction — seemed it could use a little more focus to simplify the read. I would be interested to see where it goes though.
    Corpse: Read to page 20. Disjointed and Hard to follow were the only notes I wrote down. I see I wasn’t the only one who noticed this.
    In spite of the logic/technical issues I’m going to have to go with JUMP this week as it was easy to read, a topic many like and, as a film, one that would cater to a wide audience.

    • Andrew Bumstead

      writer of Jump. Thanks for your vote!

      • Abdul Fataki

        Yeah, I think you’ve won this one bro. Congrats! You lucky bastard! Make sure you win the entire thing so I can at least say I got beaten by the champion :)

        • Andrew Bumstead

          thanks man! I enjoyed your script. I’ll do my best to win it for you…no pressure, right? :)

  • smishsmosh22

    My Vote: Jump

    Not a lot of time for comments this week, but Jump feels like the most compelling concept to me.

  • Joe Marino

    Hey, guys! Congrats to Michael, Abdul, Andrew, Sean and Andrew for getting in this week. I apologize, my thoughts are a bit lackluster this week.

    My vote is split between CORPSE FLOWER and THE FIRST DAUGHTER.

    CORPSE FLOWER: I read to page 25.
    I absolutely love this concept. Kospiah has one of my favorite writing styles; a great flow, a frenetic visual language, impeccible cinematic touches and 90s-level badassery. I love the idea of a corpse flower and what it stands for in the script. I enjoy the mystery boxes (the surgeon motives and the daughter’s powers especially). I did get a little lost in the plot mechanics, as mystery box holdouts muddied my immediate understanding of what’s happening (particularly with Dwight and the revenge portion of the plot). I really did not like the time jumps at all (very jagged). But regardless, this is a finely-written, exciting and oozing-with-cool setup. While the storytelling isn’t as instantaneously clear due to the many mystery boxes, there’s so much to love about this (particularly the cinematic visuals). There’s a machismo here that’s so rare in scripts these days, and I would definitely read more.

    THE FIRST DAUGHTER: I read to page 25.
    I felt like the biggest strength here was the sparse writing style – the writing is very easy to read with a solid flow. The concept/logline is an exciting idea, one that could easily be action, comedy or thriller. While I dig the Leo setup (although I am a big confused by the Sarah/Rebecca element), I wasn’t as in love with the Ralph/Donnie intros. I like that, by page 10, we know the main trio (reminds me of “Horrible Bosses” in that way). The dialogue has a fun cadence to it but it takes a big bulk of the plot and I believes holds the story from moving quite as fast as it otherwise would. Page 14 makes a massive change in tone (as the underage girls element and Leo’s relationship with his brother feels like it just showed up from another movie). It becomes clear pretty quickly after this that tone is going to be a bit of an issue. I personally think the story would be stronger if the script picks one tone and sticks with it rather than bouncing around between dark and humor (the setup feels too comedic considering what the story core is). I’d recommend doing a quick punctuation pass in the dialogue a few “Let’s eat grandma” vs “let’s eat, grandma” moments). I really like Abdul’s writing a lot and I think he has a truly cool high concept here that could start bidding wars if done right. Bottom line, the concept is one that excites but I wish I could see a deeper inkling of that in the first 25 pages. I will continue to read more, as I want to see the script get to where the logline comes into play.

    JUMP: I read to page 25.
    The writing and the world-building is definitely worthy of applause. I do like the opening moment, it’s very exciting. The time jump is jagged but I get it. Anna is a cool main character and I am quite intrigued by Madeleine. I’m a fan of clandestine organizations (Men in Black type stuff), but even with how well-written this all is, I feel like we’ve seen this all before. The setup sequence from pages 11 to 17 is a bulky bit of exposition, but it does a solid job at delivering the rules of this realm. The rules feel more TV in nature, but it works. I’d keep reading this. Nice job, Andrew!

    BLOOD RED SILVER SCREEN: I read to page 25.
    Not a big fan of the title, but I like the concept (I’m a bit biased as “Shadow of the Vampire” is one of my favorite movies). I like the slow burn development before Melissa meets her new lot in life (and the careful creation of an actress fighting the sexist nature of the industry and suffering the very worst of it is honest and compelling). James’ choice to take the “owe ya one” is a soul-crushing moment and brilliantly done. The origin story to how she becomes a vampire in the first 15 pages is a great juggling act of sympathy and indignation. Melissa/Mia is a character I’d watch for a full movie. I REALLY like the dialogue style. Overall, this is absolutely a story I’d continue reading. This is a revenge story I want to see the end of. Well done.

    Gods of Rock: I read to page 5.
    I gave up on this one a bit, I’m afraid. The logline isn’t really a story I gravitate towards. Sorry! :(

  • shuddles

    I’ve gone back and forth on these but I ultimately my vote goes to JUMP.

    It felt like Minority Report meets Source Code, so it does seem sort of “same old, same old,” but I suppose audiences need a concept that feels somewhat familiar but is also presented in a slightly different way. The execution isn’t perfect, but this one feels more like a movie than any of the others, and the writer has something to work with here in rewrites. The dialogue is snappy and entertaining and establishes these characters well. The first act gives us a protagonist that we can root for and characters we can sympathize with. The writer could spiff up the intro a bit and give us a little more to sink our teeth into with the main relationship, which would also add some emotional weight to the proceedings as thing unfold later in the story. I look forward to reading the rest of this one.

  • klmn

    It could be the mother of all paragraphs.

    • smishsmosh22

      oh yeah, this paragraph would blow your mind.

  • JasonTremblay

    You might want to give some consideration to the logline. Seems like two completely unrelated stories. I do like both, however. But where’s the link?

  • smishsmosh22

    omg Carson said my name *squeee*. :)

    • crazedwriter

      Girl, you are just making an impression all over the place! Congrats on all the success you’re having with Log from the producer contact to the contests! Keep us posted!

  • Zero

    I sent a reply by email this morning, as I’m quite interesting in doing a note exchange. It’s from an email address with ‘dev-m’ in it.

  • MichaelKospiah

    Wait… Corpse Flower didn’t win?

  • Andrew Bumstead

    whoa, totally did not expect to win this round but I’m very grateful to everyone who voted for me. Now I have to get to work on that rewrite. Thanks for all the helpful notes and feedback. Onto round 2…

  • Cal

    Hi Andrew-

    I read your script. Here are the notes I jotted down while reading…

    Pg. 1 Love that it starts in Seattle — I’m always going to enjoy any opening that starts in Seattle.

    Pg. 1 — maybe replace ‘Bros and Chicks’ with ‘Cool guys and Hot girls’, or something of the like. Unless this is a slasher film, maybe keep the bros and chicks at bay.

    Pg. 8 I thought the ‘broken infinity symbol’ on the silver card was cool.

    Pg. 12 Joseph Knight, ‘The Miracle Man’, — cool.

    Pg. 17 ‘Send you consciousness back in time’ — cool.

    Pg. 20 MARCUS: stretches the mind to ‘its’ limits

    Pg. 23 Here is a great place to use a dash (–). On GIVENS line ‘It would be an honor to have my ass handed to me by you, sir — Vodka?’ The dash (–) represents a change of thought within the characters dialogue. Rhythmically I think this would work well for the line and would make it stronger. Just a suggestion. It’s up to you. I personally love dashes (–) when used correctly. When used incorrectly I can’t stand them, but when used correctly nothing beats it.

    Pg. 22-26 QUANTUS BREAKROOM scene — consider revising. There are a lot of cultural references in here that I think cheapen the characters because they’re focusing on unimportant stuff. Find a way to use these pages to reveal more about the nature of the characters. Surface level contentleads to surface level conversation. It’s not bad… just think it can be better here.

    Pg 26 Cold, modern, sleek. like Madeleine herself — I like that you set up the environment with the description of a character. Haven’t seen this done much. Very cool.

    Pg. 31 (and many others) — make sure to put ‘spaces’ after your (…). For example, on page 31 you have on RAMIREZ’S dialogue ‘And, getting him out of there, it’s…impossible.’ make sure to put a space between … and impossible. I saw many other instances where you should have spaces after your … and the next word.

    Pg. 40, 41, 42 — If feel Sam and Givens relationship is a little to ‘bro-mance’ to be believable. I don’t mean it in a bad way, I just suppose it depends on what tone you are going for. Parts of the plot are very serious tonally, and also well-executed, but other parts read like a B-movie. I think it all has potential, I’d say go deeper with the tone… if the stakes are really as high as it would be realistically, I think the dialogue and relationships can be deeper.

    Pg. 43 ‘Anna, standing next to the Rachel the Piggy Bank Statue,’ — consider revising, I’m not sure that’s the wording you mean to use.

    Pg. 45 Like the conversation/talk/discussion about the butterfly effect… it’s a continually fascinating phenomenon that has nearly infinite variations that can effect a stories plot, or, ‘possible plot.’

    Pg. 49 The Givens/ old man armed passenger exchange — I don’t buy it, too comical, again, tone really comes into play here… I’m not getting it off the page.

    Pg. 50 KNIGHT: ‘take’ control of the plane.

    Pg. 61 Picked up again. I like that action scene, maybe consider using another dialogue line instead of ‘we are legion’… it’s been in a lot of films, also, a very well known Biblical verse people like to use for antagonists.

    Pg. 80 top of page, ‘New Years’


    -Tonally, I’m not really sure what you’re going for here. It’s suppose to be a thriller, but there’s a lot of content that comes off as trying to be comedic on the page… to me this read as pushing and felt forced, unless you are going for a comedic-thriller, but I didn’t feel that was what you were going for.

    -There’s a lot of time jumps and a lot going on. I found it hard to follow on the script, and often didn’t really feel immersed in the world because my time was spent trying to follow the plot.

    -Lastly, I’d just say try and make it more realistic. Obviously the circumstances are extreme, but just focus on making the characters more believable and realistic within the given circumstances. Would they really say what they say in those scenes in those circumstances? I just didn’t find it relatable. If you’re going for that over-the-top action tone, then I might get it more, but you have it listed as a straight thriller so I figured you would want it to be more grounded in reality.

    That’s it. You had some cool moments. Stick with what works and take it with a grain of salt. Congrats again on winning your week. Good luck moving forward.