Genre: TV PILOT – one hour procedural drama/thriller
Premise: One of the FBI’s most wanted men mysteriously turns himself in to help the bureau take down a secret list of international criminals that he’s been compiling over the last four years. He calls this list “The Blacklist.”
About: The Blacklist was one of the early pilot scripts that was getting a lot of buzz. The writer, Jon Bokencamp, has done most of his work in the feature world. I’m not sure what area of the business he originally hails from, but he has a few story credits (The Call, Perfect Stranger) which implies he may have worked in a producer or manager capacity? Coming up with ideas and bringing in writers to write them? Or maybe he just got rewritten to death and retained the story credit. His most recent credit is a “story by” credit on The Call, that Halle Berry movie that they made look ridiculous in the trailers but is actually one of the better thrillers of the past year. Definitely worth checking out if you like a good thriller. The Blacklist stars James Spader and debuts this fall on NBC.
Writer: Jon Bokenkamp
Details: 57 pages

james-spader-blacklist

Okay okay, I give up. NBC has been promoting this Blacklist show so heavily that I’ve finally broken down and read it. Now I’ll be honest – while I can tell you with 98% certainty which movies are going to bomb and which will do well, TV is more of a crapshoot for me. And a big reason for that is the unique model. TV doesn’t have movie stars to bring in a built-in audience. They also aren’t as dependent on concepts as films are. TV is more about the characters, which ironically works against the very thing they don’t have access to – BIG STARS.

In my little pretend world of TV knowledge, I believe a hit show comes down to four things. One: is the show written well? You have a lot of guys faking their way through this business. But when a good writer writes a show, you know it.  Next, the casting.  Since you don’t have star power, you have to find faces that excite potential viewers when they see the promo for the show. Three, how the show is promoted. This is huge. A bad promotion means nobody watches the first week and then, even if your show is good, it doesn’t matter because no one’s around to tell anybody about it.

Finally, I think every show has to have something a little sexy going for it. Not “sexy” in the literal sense, but just something that makes it stick out from the pack. Lost had that. Once Upon A Time, House, Person of Interest, Heroes, they all had some “sexiness” factor going for them, some fun thing that stood out.

Like I pointed out the other day – the people who buy TV pilots seem to be really into the “teaser” of your show – the opening scene that sucks the audience in. And The Blacklist doesn’t skimp in that area. 55 year old Raymond “Red” Reddington walks into FBI Headquarters and proceeds to tell the guard that he’s there to see Agent Harold Cooper. The annoyed guard makes the call, and the reaction he hears on the other end when he mentions Red’s name turns his expression into the Scream mask.

Red casually gets on his hands and knees EVEN BEFORE the FBI swarms in and grabs him. Red happens to be the FBI’s fourth most wanted man. Once they’ve secured him, they inundate him with questions. You see, Red used to be an agent himself. Until he disappeared under mysterious circumstances and was found selling United States info to every country with an “I hate America” complex.

Now the FBI wants answers. Unfortunately, Red won’t talk to them. In fact, he states he’ll only talk to one person – Elizabeth Keen. Keen is, ironically, starting her first day as a profiler, and she’s never crossed paths with this Red guy before. So she’s as baffled as anyone that he’ll only talk to her. But if you’re expecting Red to tell us why he’s chosen our heroine, both of you are gonna be disappointed. Red is keeping that secret close to the vest, and he enjoys toying with her about that mystery, which only enrages her (Keen’s got a little bit of a anger issue).

But Keen’s gotta play ball because Red happens to know of a terrorist, Ranko Zamani, who just entered the U.S. and is planning to kidnap the daughter of U.S. General David Ryker. Red doesn’t know all the details behind Zamani’s plan, but enough that the FBI has to let Keen take point on the job, since she’s the only one Red will speak with.

Keen ends up thwarting the kidnapping, only to be attacked by Zamani in transit. The girl is kidnapped as planned, and now Keen will have to figure out what he plans to do with her. All signs point to a big terrorist statement attack, but what that plan is eludes her. Her only chance is to turn to Red, who’s been bunking with criminals for four years now and understands their unique non-American motivations. He will teach her how to take down not only Zamani, but every other terrorist on his secret blacklist.

Hmmm…

This pilot was pretty good I suppose. It was very “feature-like” in its execution. We have a classic movie set-up. Terrorist. Going to detonate a bomb. Our heroes have to stop it.

Pardon the pun, but it was EXPLODING with GSU.

My problem may have been the rather excessive borrowing from one of our favorite FBI movies of all time, Silence Of The Lambs. I mean, at one point, Red, probing for details about Keen’s life even offers the line, “You tell me, I tell you.” The relationship was so reminiscent of Clarice and Hannibal that it became overbearing at times.

And this is where we, once again, run into that oft-used phrase, “Same but different,” which seems to drive every producer’s magic formula for material they buy. For those who have crossed into the sea where we actually understand this phrase, you know that there’s still a giant question mark within it. That is, “How different or same does it need to be?” If you go too far, you risk coming up with something bizarre. If you don’t go far enough, your story feels derivative. I’m still not sure where The Blacklist lies but it feels kissing-cousins close to Lambs. You’ve replaced a serial killer with terrorists. That’s the big change. But the central relationship IS, basically, Hannibal and Clarice.

Another thing that bothered me was the safeness of it all. I was asked after I finished it, “What did you think?” That’s usually when you’re the most honest. When someone asks you point-blank what you thought. And I answered, “It was good but it all felt so…safe, like the exact kind of been-there-done-that show you always see on network television.”

And I don’t know if that’s an insult or a compliment. Because network TV is only going to go so far. They’re not going to have Walter White in primetime. Knowing how far they’re willing to go, and writing a show that fits that criteria is a talent in itself. The fact that this made it to air and is NBC’s biggest bet this season is proof of that. Whereas with features I know how safe or risky you can be in every genre, I still don’t have a feel for that in the TV world. My gut feeling is that if I would have sent this out as an agent, I would’ve gotten the response, “Too derivative.”

Moving on, I may have actually learned something today about pilots!  We had one, and only one, giant set-piece. Is this the standard allotment, due to time and money constraints, whenever you write a pilot? You only get that one big set-piece (I’m asking you, commenters). Because if that is the case, I learned that since you’ve only got one, you gotta make it count. And The Blacklist did.

The scene in question is when the bad guys kidnap the girl from Keen in transit. It happens on a car bridge that’s lifting and splitting as our bad guys are rappelling up from below to get to the top where Keen and the girl are. As the grade gets steeper, cars are falling down one by one, all with people inside of them. A very cool and well-written scene (the best set-piece scenes I can always picture in my imagination as I’m reading them. This scene had that).

I guess this was a helpful read in order to figure out what kind of stuff networks are looking for with their one-hour dramas. It’s clean. It’s fast-paced. It’s packed with stakes and urgency. There are twists and turns and reveals and questions. The writing’s very crisp.

It’s just not very original. I guess you gotta go to the cable channels if you want that.

[ ] what the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[x] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: Don’t over-telegraph your twists. Over and over again, we get these blatant hints that Red is Keen’s dad. He calls her Lizzie. He knows everything about her past. We never get the answer to this question in this episode, but it looks like that’s going to be a huge reveal somewhere in the future. If that’s the case, I beg the producers to change it. It would be the single most over-telegraphed twist in the history of TV.

In general, overly-telegraphed twists are rookie stuff. You never want the reader to be ahead of you.

Un-LESS! Unless you’re over-telegraphing cause you’re tricking the reader/audience. If The Blacklist keeps selling this obvious “He’s your dad” subtext and then turns the tables on us only to reveal a completely different twist we had no idea was coming, then the writer has successfully outwitted us.

So don’t over-telegraph your twists. Unless you’re going to use the audience’s expectations of that twist to pull one on them!

  • Abdul Fataki

    Hmm, so does this mean that eventually we’ll have AFs for Pilots? If not then what’s the point of these TV reviews?

    Last time I brought it up I got down-voted so much I felt like North Korea.

    • Alex Palmer

      We’ve just had an amateur pilot week, and I thought that was a moderate success. I don’t see why AFs couldn’t accommodate pilots as well as spec scripts.

      Pilots and Screenplay; living side by side. What a pleasant world that would be.

      • jaehkim

        I think the response to pilot week was huge. i hope carson does it again.

    • SeekingSolace

      I think Wednesday would be the perfect slot for Professional and Amateur TV pilot reviews. The TV medium is not going away anytime soon and though the internet is stealing TV’s advertising thunder, it will never be able to thoroughly replace TV.

      If the internet begins stifling the ratings of a TV show, the network will simply restrict internet access to it. Hit TV shows always bring in big advertising dollars; so it behooves talent seekers to always be on the lookout for great TV Pilots. I’m sure Mr. Reeves wouldn’t mind discovering the next hit TV show on his site.

      I think he should also consider looking for REALITY TV scripts as well. People say they loathe them, but with the success of “Duck Dynasty,” and “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” naysayers seem to be in the minority.

      • drifting in space

        The scripts for those shows are: Give people in the south more money than they know what to do with. Turn on cameras. Action!

        But perhaps once a month do AmFri with TV pilots? Features will probably remain the core of this site but there’s always room for pilots. I’m sure, as you say, Carson would love to discover the next hit show.

        • Abdul Fataki

          Once every month – on Wednesday seems decent.

          • drifting in space

            AmWed. I like it. The site is evolving.

          • jaehkim

            AmWed. second that.

        • ximan

          I like once every blue moon better. Literally.
          (No offense to TV writers.)

          • drifting in space

            I’m a features kinda guy but it seems TV is the place to be, or at least will be soon. Unless you can grab a gig writing Transformers 29. I’d be totally happy with a writer gig on a show I helped create or even one I didn’t.

      • J. Lawrence Head

        “Reality” TV is the downfall of modern entertainment.

      • klmn

        It looks like the trend is for producers to search out the goofiest rural people they can find. Surely they can find some urban or suburban folks just as bad.

        • Linkthis83

          People like laughing at rednecks and redneck lifestyle. It makes them feel better about themselves. And rednecks embrace their stereotypes and quirkiness.

          • jaehkim

            we really need to ‘raise the bar’ for america.

          • Linkthis83

            I think this is what happens when your allowed to immerse yourself in freedom and absurd luxuries fueled by commercialism/capitalism over an extended period of time. Or rather, one of the things that can happen from aforementioned factors.

            And besides, even if we raised the bar, rednecks still love being rednecks. And honestly, if the stuff ever does hit the fan, it’ll be rednecks that are the most prepared.

          • drifting in space

            There’s a show for that now too. Bunch of rednecks built a castle and train for the apocalypse.

          • Linkthis83

            Yeah, Doomsday Preppers basically created the castle show. The good thing about Preppers was that they picked ALL types of people, not just rednecks.

          • MaliboJackk

            When the aliens arrive — and take over the minds of the politicians,
            the red necks will be ready.

            (Wait… Isn’t that already happening with immigration reform?)

          • Gregory Mandarano

            What if I told you they already were here, and they already have…

  • Alex Palmer

    Carson, can you get hold of the 12 Monkeys pilot to review?

  • http://www.jorgeosvaldo.com/ Jorge Osvaldo

    One big set-piece per pilot seems to be the standard in television. Lost had the plane crash and the aftermath; Breaking Bad had the Winnebago in the desert. I would think it’d be difficult to stuff more than two big set-pieces into a 60-page script while establishing relationships and creating compelling characters.

    It seems that most successful network dramas can either follow the template of a procedural (e.i. solve a crime, find a cure for a disease, win a case in court), or follow a soap opera template (e.i. pair up your characters and watch their relationships bloom and wither, then pair them up again with a different character; repeat). I would imagine that a successful pilot mixes these elements and creates a show that allows characters to tackle discrete problems every episode while also forging relationships that carry over into long arcs.

    I haven’t read The Blacklist, but I hope they have some other compelling characters beyond Dr. Lecter and Clarice, otherwise the writers will struggle to maintain a long arc that people will be interested in following.

    • wlubake

      “I would imagine that a successful pilot mixes these elements and creates a show that allows characters to tackle discrete problems every episode while also forging relationships that carry over into long arcs.”
      A show I thought did this well conceptually was Alcatraz. It had a procedural (track down a different inmate each episode), coupled with a Lost-like set of ongoing puzzles (her dad, the tests at the prison, anything about Sam Neil). Alas, it only made it one season because it was on network.

      • http://www.jorgeosvaldo.com/ Jorge Osvaldo

        Another JJ Abrams show, Fringe, lasted 5 seasons and it followed a similar formula. Alas, the last two seasons aired on Friday nights on Fox, so most people never got to watch it

        • drifting in space

          Fringe was a good show but I never finished it after season 2. I need to add that back to my to-do list.

          • http://www.jorgeosvaldo.com/ Jorge Osvaldo

            Well worth giving it another shot. While not as good as the X-Files, their mythology on parallel universes was certainly more compelling than the alien black goo.

          • Linkthis83

            I liked Fringe a lot and I think I stopped during season 2. I think it was because you constantly have to embrace a huge concept each show. Even though that’s what makes it awesome.

    • jaehkim

      everyone says character is key in tv shows, but previews always focus on the premise. an FBI’s most wanted turns himself in to help them snatch bad guys, but he will only talk to a particular agent.

      the set piece for this show I think is the scene where he kneels in the FBI building with all the guns on him.

      I think the relationship between Red and Keen will be the key to this show. hopefully it’s last.

      • UrbaneGhoul

        I guess it’s selling the premise so the audience so they know what to expect. I can’t remember too much of the Lost campaign but one commercial sticks out. Matthew Fox is talking to a woman, the plane explodes and he’s on an island with the big Lost logo.

        But a premise can’t sustain a show. That’s why character is always mentioned. You wanna spend week after week with these characters to see what happens to them. And when a show is poorly done, bad characters show. No offense to anyone who liked it but Terra Nova is an example of that. Premise as advertised was people travel back in time with Stephen Lang from Avatar. Watch the show, the characters are cardboard with a few being being grating to watch. I quit after 2 episodes. From what I read, they never did show much of the dinosaurs.

        • jaehkim

          I was never hooked on lost, but everyone around me was talking about it and all they’d talk about was the mystery. I mean they’d watch an episode frame by frame to pick up clues and stuff. no one was talking about the characters.

        • Marija ZombiGirl

          Terra Nova is on a regular saturday night rerun here in France, three episodes at a time. I’ve watched it several times because the premise intrigued me but it’s consistently boring. The characters have no real depth, the situations are embarrassingly cliché and there’s definitely not enough dinosaurs :-)

          • Gregory Mandarano

            Never saw Terranova, but saving mr. banks was a good script. That girl can write!

        • filmklassik

          Not always. The LAW & ORDER, CSI and NCIS franchises are 100% premise dependent since the casts (and, by extension, the characters) on those shows are as disposable as a pair of Huggies . They’ve lost cast members left, right and center over the years and kept right on chugging along like the Energizer Bunny.

  • JW

    I’m interested to see it because Joe directed it. Dude just bleeds action.

  • Poe_Serling

    Writer Jon Bokenkamp jump-started his career by winning the thriller category in the Fade In magazine screenwriting competition back in the day. The title of the winning script: Preston Tylk.

    From Fade In:

    After that… “he signed with ICM, he was hired to write a feature for director William Friedkin,
    has since directed Tylk and sold his documentary After Sunset to AMC, wrote features for Julia Roberts, Halle Berry (Perfect Stranger), and Angelina Jolie (Taking Lives).”

    • http://atticofthefilmaddict.blogspot.com/ Matty

      Has anybody noticed grendl has stopped commenting ever since Carson offered to review his script?

      • Poe_Serling

        Trust me… he’s around. In fact, he has a comment to my post – it’s just been stuck in moderation for the last 5 hours.

        • drifting in space

          He still gets moderated? That must be rough on the ego.

          • Poe_Serling

            I hope Carson loosens the leash a bit, especially during the post of the Real Monsters script review.

          • 21BelowZero

            24 pages in — 23.5 pages of people talking. I just got a fresh beer, continuing on…

          • Poe_Serling

            I think that’s why grendl added the disclaimer to the script. Readers looking for a Jaws-like story in a freshwater loch are going to be pretty disappointed.

            Even though these type of films/scripts aren’t my cup of tea, the project is more in the vein of The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain, Saving Grace, and The Commitments (I believe that was one of grendl’s inspirations for the script).

  • JakeBarnes12

    Hey Carson,

    How about an article on one-hour TV show structure?

    No point having a great concept if you don’t know how to shape it.

  • Logline_Villain

    Upon seeing an upcoming show entitled The Blacklist, a synopsis popped into my mind: An aspiring screenwriter goes through hell and high water in an attempt to secure a spot for his beloved screenplay on a Hollywood index of the year’s best unproduced scripts…

    Never mind, that would be called: The Black List.

    • drifting in space

      Every time I see something for this show I always think it’s for that site instead. Gets me every time.

  • Frankie Hollywood

    Great timing for a great article. After finishing my 3rd feature script a couple months ago, I’m now developing a 1-HR drama.

    Currently reading Crafty TV Writing (GREAT book/Kindle) and in the last 2 days I’ve read the Pilots for Alphas (Section 8), Terra Nova, Smallville and The Gates. Excellent source for TV scripts http://www.simplyscripts.com/tv.html

    I’d love more analysis/reviews/info on TV writing, too. I think as writers we should keep stretching ourselves, trying something new. Delving into other types of “screen”writing keeps it fresh.

    I’d love if you could find out more about how 1-HR Dramas are moving from 4 Acts to 5,6, even 7. Crafty TV Writing is an excellent book, but it’s just a bit dated.

    Now I just gotta figure out the “Sexy” for my TV script.

  • fragglewriter

    Thanks for the TV pilot synopsis.

    After reading your interview on writer Alex Felix, I decided to take his advice and add a TV spec to my writing résumé after I’ve done at least two full length spec, but your articles poses so many questions that have me debating in the era of low TV viewership is it necessary.

    I’ e watched the commercial for “Blacklist” and was intrigued by the scene with James Spader coming in and surrendering. Since I think he plays such a bad ass so good, this would probably pull me into watching the pilot.

    As a writer, we have somewhat of a control over what we can show on TV, but I’m not sure if a newbie has such pull with getting a star power to portray our characters. Also, I think set pieces pertain more to thriller, action or sci-fi genre instead of comedy, but correct me if I’m wrong. GSU is definitely included for success no matter the medium.

    Should we forget about budget and write at least one set piece in a TV pilot for success in getting noticed or stick with conflict?

    Also, for the “same but different” I think most networks don’t want to take a gamble on something that hasn’t proven to be successful unless another network takes a crack at it where they can study and learn on how to make it better. I think that’s why being on a cable show migt be successful for this type of gamble like the programming at Netflix by creating “House of Cards” & “Orange is the New Black”.

    • J. Lawrence Head

      Well, to be perfectly accurate, House of Cards was already a British Mini-series and Orange Is The New Black was already someone’s real-life memoir. Netflix brought those series to us, yes, but they were already pre-existing products.

      • fragglewriter

        Pre-existing products don’t necessarily mean success in another country and a memoir doesn’t mean that everyone will find it interesting. It has to do with how the writer conveys the story, how the director envisions it and how the actor (s) portrays it, which I’m not sure how much hands-on influence the writer has on the last two. And also “being at the right place and at the right time.”

        • J. Lawrence Head

          Right. I’m just saying Netflix didn’t CREATE them. They ADAPTED them for US Television.

          • fragglewriter

            What is your opinion on the TV series “Sleepy Hollow” airing on FOX?

          • J. Lawrence Head

            It’s an interesting take on a classic story, to be sure. We’ll see how it plays out. I like CBS’ “Elementary”, another “modernization”. I like Orlando Jones as an actor, and John Cho. I’ll give it its due, but won’t hold my breath.

          • TruckDweller

            My manager held up “Sleepy Hollow” to me as the pinnacle of creativity… Time to find a new manager.

          • fragglewriter

            Well, it could of been worse. It could of been “Dads” LOL

          • J. Lawrence Head

            You mean the Fox show Dads?

          • fragglewriter

            Yeah. I’ve seen about two clips online, besides the commercials, just to give the series a shot cause I love Ribisi and Seth Green. I didn’t even smile.

          • J. Lawrence Head

            Check this soon-to-be webseries, also called Dads, made by some local Vancouver talent.
            http://dadsdotcom.com

          • fragglewriter

            That was hilarious. I think I will have to follow the advice mentioned on the boards and network with up and coming directors cause I think creating shorts/TV shows via online is definitely the way to go.

  • Angel film investor

    …”The Call, that Halle Berry movie that they made look ridiculous in the trailers but is actually one of the better thrillers of the past year. Definitely worth checking out if you like a good thriller.”

    Wait. What?

    • Linkthis83

      Um…I watched The Call, and yeah, it was kind of alright. Some of those scenes were really intense. As a whole it is definitely not immaculate cinema, but in the key moments early in the story; they did a real good job (in my opinion).

      • Angel film investor

        Yes the first 2/3 was very promising.

        • Linkthis83

          Yeah, I feel I even undersold the first 2/3. That first 911 call was really intense.

  • klmn

    OT, Anyone in Houston? Gone With The Pope is showing Oct. 5. I wish I could be there because I really want to see that movie. And Grindhouse is dragging their feet on a homeatrical release. (There, I used Carson’s word!)

    Here’s a link:

    http://www.grindhousereleasing.com/theatrical.html

  • ThomasBrownen

    In addition to Silence of the Lambs, this summary also reminds me a bit of the second season of Alias, in which Irina Derevko turned herself into the CIA and offered to “help” them. Of course, those characters had all sorts of mommy issues and ex-wife issues to work through, so family drama was still a big part of the show!

  • http://atticofthefilmaddict.blogspot.com/ Matty

    Network TV is getting much more risky with what they do. NBC proved that with “Hannibal” last year – easily one of the best shows currently on network TV, definitely the goriest, and probably the most surreal. The finale of that show was one of the best finales of the year; criminally cheated at the Emmys.

    Also made me reconsider how far network TV will go, because that show isn’t for the weak of stomach. In many ways, it’s just as dark as Breaking Bad. So network TV is getting there – it won’t be up there in the same way as HBO or Showtime in terms of nudity and language, but for violence and “dark stuff” it’s inching forward, and NBC seems to be leading the way.

  • Poe_Serling

    Getting their hair washed… yeah, right! More like over in the Scottish Highlands staging this:

    http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/nature/post/is-this-the-latest-loch-ness-monster-sighting/

    And the SS community thought AOW voter padding schemes were becoming a problem.

    • jaehkim

      gotta admit. The timing is a bit curious…

  • J. Lawrence Head

    Disagree. Respectfully.

  • mcruz3

    This is actually not accurate.

    Write your own TV specs — write a lot of them. Networks may not buy it, but execs remember good material, and it will open doors for you to become a writer on a staff and work your way up.

    And, yes, networks DO buy spec from unknown writers. They won’t let them run the series, but read deadline: every day, small writers are selling their pilots and getting production commitments. The way it works is that these writers went to agencies, got a showrunner attached, and THEN went to networks or cable companies to pitch the project as a package.

    Oftentimes, the young writers who do this (and have their shows picked up) don’t get to showrun, but they get a Co-Exec Prod credit and some creative control over the first season. It’s not perfect, having your idea run by someone else, but when you’re starting out, it’s a hell of a deal.

    Unless you’re entering into a fellowship contest from WB, NBC, or ABC — DO NOT WRITE A SPEC EPISODE OF A SHOW ON AIR. It’s a waste of time — almost no one reads them unless it’s from one of those fellowships (which are valuable and a great investment).

    • kent

      This is exactly the way I see it. And with a polished script sometimes the agencies bypass showrunners (it can be hard to find non-writing showrunners) and go right to filmmakers (Fincher/House of Cards) who want to do TV. Young I get. But small writers?

  • blueiis0112

    Hollywood is besieged by scripts on zombies, secret paranormal events and the like. I did not read any of last week’s scripts because none of them appealed to me. As I sat in the theater watching “The Lone Ranger” I realized that it wasn’t until the “William Tell Overture” orchestration that I really like the story. My mind wondered to another story that no one had delved into yet. I would love a snappy script on the legend of the Catskill Mountains-Rip Van Winkle. “The Hobbit” has shown that FX can be really good now. But, we still need excellent dialogue to go with it. Legend has it that this is where we get thunder from. The little men get drunk and play a rousing game of bowling. The thunder is when a strike is bowled. If you were to visit the area, you would find monuments to his story. Just a thought.

  • ximan

    Is it selfish of me to only want Carson to focus on features?

    Probably. But still.

    • J. Lawrence Head

      Hey tips on writing are always useful. Let Carson review as he pleases. Though I will chuckle a little if he starts reviewing plays and musicals.. not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  • ximan

    Lol

  • drifting in space

    God dammit now you’ve gone and ruined the whole show!

  • gazrow

    Ouch! :)

  • Linkthis83

    Well, since you’re the only one being reviewed tomorrow, I’m putting my money on that you’ll finish at least in the top 3, maybe top 2. Not sure if you’ll make FIVE STARS, but I’m also only eleven pages in.

  • j111

    The name Ranko Zamani reminds me of the name of the bad guy from No Country for Old Men, Anton Chigurh, because you can’t really place it’s nationality. Though for some reason to me they both sound vaguely Eastern European.

  • Frankie Hollywood

    I think it’d be cool if he said, “Now, let’s talk about your father. …I killed him. And when this is all over, I’m gonna kill you too.”

    Then she could say the obvious, “But…but…Hannibal doesn’t want to kill Clarice.”

  • jmaze

    I’m 45 pgs in and I have to ask: Is this a joke? This script(?) is so god awful that it feels like a made for Syfy story. If that’s what you were going for, nice work. Otherwise, it feels like a joke submission being offered as an “I was only joking” escape door for the writer.

    • jmaze

      I’m speaking about ‘Real Monsters’ BTW

    • Linkthis83

      I hope it’s not a joke. I read the whole thing.

      • Poe_Serling

        I’m still hoping Carson will post his review early… to kick things into high gear.

        • Linkthis83

          Yep. I’m looking forward to it.

    • Gregory Mandarano

      Even if you think it’s horrible, it is still clearly a script that shows the writer has a strong understanding of the craft. No offense to this weeks offerings, but I’m not crazy about grendls script and yet I’d have voted for it this week if it was up for aow. Last week I still would have voted for didact though. Looking forward to what carson thinks of lemon6 and beth.

  • Linkthis83

    James Spader and William Shatner were brilliant together on that show.

  • steve

    No offense, but you have absolutely not ability to pick winners in movies. Of the scripts that you rated highly on your site that became movies, you were like 0 – 20. You literally picked 20 flops in a row, which is astonishingly awful. I think Django Unchained was the first winner you picked in, like, 2 years. Sorry to splash some cold water on you like that, but I had to bring that up. You can’t pick a winner if you’re life depended on it, bro.

    • Linkthis83

      This is the tip that has been missing from this site since I found it in January = great scripts translate into great movies. How come nobody else has been telling me this?

  • Todd Walker

    I’m confused, this seems like a version of Hannibal Lecter, or not??

  • jbird669

    Not sure you read the same script as I did, Carson. Maybe I have a later draft. But Red knows something about Lizzy’s husband. I think they (Red and Tom) have a history, and that’s why he knows so much about her.

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