Genre: TV Pilot (Sci-fi)
Premise: Inside a giant city within a spaceship, a former detective is hired to find a dead woman who’s uploaded her consciousness into a robot.
About: AMC wants that next big genre show. We reviewed Galyntine a few weeks ago. Now we look at Ballistic City, a creation from Tron director Joseph Kosinski, and written by Pacific Rim and Killing on Carnival Row scribe, Travis Beacham. The show is being pitched as Blade Runner meets Battle Star Galactica. While he’s definitely got talent, Beacham was one of the lucky ones. While in his senior year at college, he sent his latest script out to a recent graduate who’d gotten an intern position at a producton company in Hollywood. All he wanted was some feedback. A few days later, agents and managers and producers started calling, wanting a piece of this new talent.  That script was Killing on Carnival Row.  Beacham and Kosinski met on their collaboration of the as yet un-made remake of the “The Black Hole.”
Writer: Travis Beacham
Details: 60 pages

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Here’s a question for you. How many scripts should a writer write a year? Because when you’re Travis Beacham, one of the most in-demand screenwriters in Hollywood, you’re constantly getting million dollar assignment offers. And success never lasts in Tinseltown. Just ask Val Kilmer. So the inclination is to take everything and get that money while it’s there. Indeed, Beacham seems to be writing everything these days (he’s got projects with JJ, with Cameron, with Del Toro, with Fox, with AMC).

Then you have the other end of the spectrum. When nobody even knows that you write. You don’t have anyone paying you or waiting for your next script. When that’s the case, it’s easy to lay back and putter away, finishing one script every three years or so. Which is not good if you want to work in this industry. Writers and managers want prolific screenwriters.

So that’s my question to you guys. How many scripts do you write a year? And how many do you think a writer should write a year? I’m thinking the top number is three.  Anything more than that and you’re sacrificing quality, no?

Speaking of sacrificing quality, Ballistic City isn’t what I was hoping for. I thought I was getting straight sci-fi, but this is more “Killing on Carnival Row on a spaceship” sci-fi. Some of you are going to love that. But this was so focused on the cricks and cracks of this noir-ish city, I began to wander why it was set on a spaceship in the first place. More on that in a second. But first, the plot.

“Ballistic City” is about a giant city on a huge spaceship that’s travelling between the stars. The journey for this voyage is taking so long that the last member of the first generation on the ship just died.

That’s where we come in, and where we meet Canaan Bendix (lots of bizarre names in this script), a private detective for hire. Bendix is hired by the police to look for the “Geist” of this First Generation woman who died. See, First Generation had a robot that backed up her memory. Therefore, when she dies, she’s still “alive” in this robot. Well, as soon as she died, her Geist ran off into the ship. And police wanna find her and ask why.

Bendix goes into the dirty underbelly of the city and Beacham gets to show off what he does best – create big detailed weird worlds. For example, people have modifiers for skin and hair and eyes to make them look like animals. They take “hits” off each other’s memory devices. You know, weird fucked up shit like that.

When Bendix finally finds Robot Chick (who actually looks like a beautiful younger version of our 117 year old dead woman), she claims that she was murdered. But she doesn’t remember how or by whom. So the two team up and look around the ship until (spoiler), it becomes apparent that no one murdered Robot Chick. She murdered herself.

First the good. This was better than Moonfall!

Of course, I’ve seen cats fall sleep on keyboards and create better screenplays than Moonfall. “Fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff” is still an all-time favorite of mine.

Ballistic City was good in that “Travis Beacham atmospheric” kind of way. He’s the screenwriting equivalent of a young George Lucas, filling every little piece of the frame with some cool gadget, a detail to help bring the world alive. Like the kids wearing animal mods. Like gene-modifier drugs that turn you into mold. Like dead people living their lives inside glitch holograms.

There’s actually this cool little storyline where Bendix’s old partner killed Bendix’s wife. The partner was convicted, went to prison, and was executed. His memory was placed inside of a hologram, and in accordance with the law, the last week of its life was erased, the week he killed Bendix’s wife. So Bendix goes to meet with his friend every so often, and the partner has no idea he killed Bendix’s wife. He always innocently asks what the last week of his life was like, but Bendix can’t tell him.

Neat stuff like this was scattered everywhere.

But here’s the big reason Ballistic City didn’t work for me. It doesn’t do anything with its premise. And that KILLS ME. We were just talking about this the other week. What’s the point of creating an eye-grabbing concept if you’re not going to explore it at all?? It’d be like building Disney World and filling it with skate parks. Yeah, we’re kind of having fun, but not “Disney World” fun.

Ballistic City may take place on a city inside a giant spaceship, but you wouldn’t know it by how little its mentioned. The ship and its ongoing journey are rarely talked about. And when they are, it’s never in accordance with a plot point. It’s a radio personality blurting out the equivalent of, “This trip is taking too long.”

Whenever you come up with an idea, you first see the material through a macro lens. If you came up with an idea about a future war on Mars, initially, you’d think of the big battles that would take place, all the cool Mars architecture being destroyed, the big beautiful centerpieces of the city.

But as a screenwriter, your job is to find a SPECIFIC vessel to tell the movie through. You must find an interesting character who’s living in this world, is directly affected by this world, who’s directly involved in the problems this world creates, and tell the story through their eyes.

So in our Mars movie, maybe we tell the story of a 20 year old female miner who lives in a dying Mars city.  In fact, the city is almost out of water.  She has the choice of moving to the bigger cities to survive, but if she does, she’ll have to join the army and fight in the war, something she doesn’t want to do. Now we’re tackling the idea through a specific point of view.

Ballistic City decides to make Bendix its specific point of view, and he’s a detective. Okay, I guess that works. A detective will have a new goal each episode (inspect a disappearance or a murder). And a detective will be exploring a big slice of the city, allowing the writers to show every nook and cranny of this unique world.

But if the people whose deaths we’re inspecting have nothing to do with this ship or where it’s going, who cares?? Tell that story back on an earth city. I mean this murder needed to be about someone who knew a secret about the ship, someone who was hiding something and could put a lot of high-powered people in danger.

That way we’d have Bendix, who was previously inspecting a tiny little crime, moving up the ladder to a bigger and more elaborate conspiracy. Plot points should include ship-specific things like a decrease in cabin pressure, slow-downs in engine velocity, the discovery that their course has been changed. This is a show about being on a ship. Therefore, the plot points we encounter need to be about the ship. A show about a robot killing her human self is a different show altogether.

Ballistic City did bring about one good thing though. The question: Would you have sex with a 117 year old woman if she were inside a synthetic fake body? Because Bendix didn’t seem to have a problem with it. But you guys are the final authority on this.  Yes, we’re pushing the boundaries of screenplay analysis here. But if your script doesn’t bring it, we gotta find something to talk about.

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

What I learned: Beacham is a big imagination guy. And a lot of people have asked me if should they should “limit” the imagination in their script to account for budgets. Beacham was asked this very question by Film School Rejects. This is what he had to say: “As a writer, you can easily get stuck in the trap of, “Is this doable? Are people going to pay to make this?” I think you have to bury that. You just gotta try the best you can, and if it’s good and people like it, it’ll get made. With special effects nowadays, you can basically do anything. If somebody likes something enough, they’re going to find a way to get it made. When you’re in the early stages of coming up with an idea, you just have to let it tell the idea tell you what it is.”

  • Scott Crawford

    I have nothing to say about today’s script, however, I have just read the first eight pages of Catherine the Great by Kristina Lauren Anderson, and have to say how relieved I am. Why am I spending so much time getting my screenplay to the best it can be when the bar seems to be SO low.

    Is it a comedy? “Princess Caroline’s son, Prince Frederick… would have been a good choice, but unfortunately that match will no longer be possible, as he died last week.” Rimshot! “Marriage is our only weapon and it can only be fired once.” This is the 17th century – surely every weapon then could only be fired once. We’re a long way away from automatics and revolvers.

    ELIZABETH: You are aware, doctor, of our impending war with Prussia?
    DOCTOR:I did not know it was so eminent.

    I hate is when war is “eminent”. Nice try at trying to make a piece of clumsy exposition seem less clumsy, but it still reads like a piece of clumsy exposition.

    Ken Follett this ain’t.

    • brenkilco

      Ya better prepare. It’s not just eminent. It’s inimitable.

      • Scott Crawford

        It gets a BIT better as you go on. The story’s not too bad – Anderson’s clearly done her research and none of the scenes go on too long so she’s probably written an outline – but she should have had someone proofread the script.

        Also some of the description is a bit lackluster, like her description of the Winter Palace – “It’s on a par with Versailles.” Maybe in this age of Google and tablets she figures people can just look up what the Winter Palace looks like. But then shortly after she has a scene where her Peter plays a practical joke on Catherine, having his “tall, handsome” (they’re never short and handsome are they) servant pose as her future fiance. When Catherine sees Peter she is disappointed. But Peter has not been described to the reader – is he short and fat, like me? Spotty? Picking his nose?

        • brenkilco

          Interesting point. Is it necessary to waste words in a script describing a famous or at least an easily googleable structure. Practically speaking, probably not. But this pathetic description is not likely to fill a reader with confidence that the writer either knows her subject or knows how to string words together.

          My feeling is that the ability to write dialogue that is literate, formal and clever is a prerequisite for a period piece involving nobility. Doesn’t sound like this writer has the knack.

          Peter is generally described as physically grotesque and morally depraved so the writer’s failure to point this out, since it drives a lot of Catherine’s subsequent behavior, is pretty inexcusable.

          • Scott Crawford

            I haven’t got the Titantic script to hand, but I doubt Cameron wrote “TITANIC. Slightly smaller than the Queen Mary.” Does everyone (especially outside USA) know that the White House is three interconnected buildings? That the Statue of Liberty is green. You need to tell us, especially if a large part of the script is going to be set there.

          • brenkilco

            How do you get the script? No link in the newsletter?

          • Scott Crawford

            Tracking Board.

          • IgorWasTaken

            Does everyone (especially outside USA) know that the White House is three interconnected buildings?

            It is? You mean the original, plus the wings? Or the WH, plus the EOB and the Eisenhower Building?

            Either way, I’ve never heard anyone before say “the White House” is three buildings.

          • Scott Crawford

            I heard it in White House Down. I get all my information on the White House from that movie.

            I think the character in the movie says it’s the main building, the east and west wings, which are linked by a corridor, but are like separate buildings. In any event, if you’re writing a script largely set at the Winter Palace, tell us what it looks like.

        • Andrew Parker

          Hi Scott,

          This was from page 5, before the scene you are describing:

          Among them is GRAND DUKE PETER ULRICH (18, heir to the

          Russian throne).

          He is small with awkward features, but he holds his head

          high, beaming with pride and contentment.

          ———————–

          So, yes, probably short like you.

          • Scott Crawford

            Mea Culpa (Latin for “My bad!”). I was skipping trough the script, as I have a habit of doing. However, if it confused me, I bet it caught out some other people. This is Peter’s big introduction to Sophia – it could have been clearer.

    • Nicholas J

      I didn’t know jokes weren’t allowed in dramas.

      Ever heard of a bow and arrow? A cannon?

      Could you nitpitck any more?

      • Scott Crawford

        Can I nitpick any more? You bet I can! The first ten pages of a screenplay should as immaculate as you can make them. Schindler’s List has jokes, but there’s a question of tone. “The match will no longer be possible, as he died last week.” is like something out of You Highness rather than a MEGA-BUDGET, high-class (hopefully) drama.

        I think “the weapon that can only be fired once” line stood out, as do some other lines, as a bit too modern. It’s a tough, thin middle-ground between “forsooth, thou doth” and “CU @ the mall, LOL!”.

        In fairness, as I read further into the script it GETS BETTER, but twenty pages in and I’m still not hooked.

        • Nicholas J

          I don’t really believe in tone on the page. I guess there is a tone to a point, but remember the script is not the final product. Tone in film mostly comes from the direction, the acting, and post production. You can read any given script a number of different ways. You read that line like something out of Your Highness but that doesn’t mean it will be filmed as such.

          I guess I just don’t like seeing people tearing down another writer’s work because they found small nitpicks in the writing, especially when looking at screenplays, where story is king over details like descriptions of historical buildings which would have zero affect on the final film. The director and art department are not even going to glance at the writer’s description of the Winter Palace.

          So you’re right in that it isn’t Ken Follett. He writes novels.

          (With all that said I haven’t read the script, can someone send it to me?)

          • Scott Crawford

            I don’t want to tear down someone’s work, but… we have ALL been told to make sure our work is the best it can be before it is put out. I would argue that Catherine the Great is not quite ready to put out there yet, and I’m surprised that Ms. Anderson’s management team (if, of course, she has one) let her put it out before it is ready.

            The two-hour (at least) script starts waaaayyyy before all the juicy stuff about war and murder and coups. That’s her decision, but I’m not sure it’s the right one. She’s obviously done her research, but she can’t even be bothered to describe what the Winter Palace looks like, except that it’s a bit like Versailles.

            Period dialogue is tricky. Nobody knows (for sure) what these characters said and, besides, they’re speaking a foreign language. That said, I feel that some of the choices are a little off. Like referring to marriage as a weapon. It’s fifty/fifty but I think people like these would more likely refer to marriage as a treasure. Weapon is, I think, a bit more modern. And the idea that a weapon can only be used once sounds modern too.

            And then there’s the “eminent war”. I read my scripts once I’ve written them. I enjoy reading them, that’s one of the main reasons to write them, to give me something good to read! Egotistical, but a writer MUST be egotistical. Shucks, I’ll read this comment when I’ve finished writing it. And I’ll spot any mistakes. And I’ll use the edit button to correct those mistakes. Any one can make mistakes, and I have often put in the wrong word, like “eminent” instead of “imminent”. But I’ll spot it and change it.

            This is why it’s a good idea to get someone else to read your script, maybe PAY them to read your script. How about $100 for a proofread?
            http://scriptshadow.net/script-notes/

            Heck, you’re hoping to get at least a five-figure option for your script, what’s $100 if it makes your script look more professional. (Theory: Ms. Anderson may have been pressured to get the script out there fast, perhaps to grab a director or actress – Jennifer Lawrence?).

            And I disagree about tone. Tone is VITAL to a screenplay. And it’s the writer’s job to set that tone. Not through music or lighting, but through story choice. A brutal murder in a romantic comedy could set the wrong tone, and a silly joke (one that I don’t think that character would make, unless she WAS supposed to be a comic relief character – and I don’t think she was) can ruin a drama.

    • Andrew Parker

      Carson – You said on twitter that Catherine the Great was going to be the next spec you were going to read.

      Knowing your distaste for historical drama, did you choose to read it because:

      A.) You really respect the person or people that recommended it to you.
      B.) Something in the logline caught your attention.
      C.) You cracked open the first few pages, and were impressed by the writing so decided to read the rest.
      D.) You asked yourself “What makes Catherine so great? Guess I’ll have to read to find out.”

      Thursday article on what in particular gets you to read specs that go wide before they sell? Was Moonfall because of that Jeff Sneider “The Wrap” mention, since you read it before the writer sold his 7 part series?

      • Scott Crawford

        I was impressed to find that someone was trying to sell a (decent) script about Catherine the Great; it shows ambition. It’s not about vampires, it’s not about the high school prom, it’s something different.

        Story’s not awful – but is slooooowwww – but the writing feels first draft. I’m surprised the writer’s manager told her to put it out as is. And yes, I’m talking about the “eminent” war!

      • klmn

        With a title like “Catherine The Great” it should be porn.

        ‘Nuff said.

        • Scott Crawford

          I miss the days of Good Will Humping, Shaving Ryan’s Privates, and Hidden Penis, Something’s Draggin’.

      • carsonreeves1

        With this one I just heard several people recommend it to me. Actually, that’s not true. One did. And several others were talking about it. If you have people talking about your script, others are going to want to read it, good or bad. How Catherine achieved this is anyone’s guess, but the surest way to get read, above all else, is getting people to talk about your script.

    • lesbiancannibal

      You can reload a musket. You can’t reload a hymen

      • Scott Crawford

        I actually thought of that! The mother could have said “Marriage is like virginity, you can only give it away once.” Or something. But Anderson decided to go down the weapon route. I still don’t know if it was the right choice.

  • SinclareRose

    It has to suck when so many people have the same idea as you at about the same time. I feel like we’ve discussed the upload-your-conciseness-to-a-computer plot several times this summer alone. In a way it sounds cool because Beacham made it a normal thing in his world, but we keep hearing this one.
    I liked A Killing On Carnival Row. It was interesting and his world was definitely different, from the people and the creatures, to the living situation.
    But was it just me? Every plot point was incredibly cliché. I couldn’t get over that every way out that they took, and every decision the characters made were the same one’s I’ve seen over and over again. I wonder if Ballistic City is the same way.
    Now I just have to reflect on my writing and make sure I’m not doing the same thing.

    • Randy Williams

      The premise of a robot searching for its owner’s murderer using the victim’s downloaded mind was a premise on a AOW script a great while back.

      • Hadley’s Hope

        Wasn’t there a TV pilot with a similar premise reviewed here as well?

        Something about a robot that had to help a detective find his owner’s killer. Or maybe it was the robot who was framed and had to clear his name? Something like that, with a robot/android murder mystery box driving things forward.

        • Linkthis83
          • Hadley’s Hope

            That’s the one.

            For some reason I was thinking it was titled Adam. But then that was the title of a sci-fi spec reviewed here last week. I guess I got the character name mixed up in this case.

      • carsonreeves1

        Yeah, I knew that sounded familiar but I couldn’t pinpoint where. It bolsters my point that downloaded minds and stuff isn’t what we should be exploring here. That stuff’s been done. We should be exploring the unique world of a city on a spaceship.

        • Hadley’s Hope

          So did Transcendence flopping at the box office sort of kill the whole “mind uploading” party within the realm of sci-fi filmmaking?

          I kind of feel like there might potentially be lots of cool stories able to be told exploring that idea, but I just don’t see it being looked at with much love by the gatekeepers. Not for awhile at least.

    • Casper Chris

      Yea, the plot in A Killing On Carnival Row was not particularly original, but I thought it had some memorable moments. Kinda like how Alien is just a generic monster movie when you remove all the cool stuff. The devil is in the detail sometimes.

    • Nicholas J

      And that’s the exact reason that it probably got so much attention. It’s called being the same but different and it’s what Hollywood wants. It’s the sweet spot between weird and familiar where the money is made. Guardians of the Galaxy is a perfect example of this and is a main reason that it’s going to make a buttload of money.

      • Casper Chris

        Hollywood doesn’t know what the fuck it wants. Except money.

        • Nicholas J

          Obviously Hollywood wants to make money, it’s a business.

          Look, you can sit there and be Disgruntled Amateur #37,498, hating on the very industry you’d give your left arm to be a part of, or you can attempt to learn something by looking at what is getting attention and trying to figure out why.

          • Casper Chris

            It’s not something that can be “figured out”. One day spy thrillers are all the rage and so every hopeful jumps on the bandwagon to write the next big spy thriller. By the time they finish their scripts, the town’s looking for romantic comedies. Look at the What I Learned of this article. It’s certainly more in line with “stop worrying so much about what Hollywood wants and write what you want instead”. And that’s from someone who is a part of Hollywood. Hollywood doesn’t know what it wants. It’s not me ragging on Hollywood. Hollywood will tell you the exact same thing.

          • Scott Crawford

            You need a portfolio of scripts, just as you might have a portfolio of shares. You need you personal script or scripts, then maybe one or two, not crassly commercial, but more “Hollywood friendly” scripts. Guy who springs to my mind is Wayne Kramer, who wrote The Cooler. He also wrote Mindhunters. I don’t think he wrote it cynically, but I think he reasoned – or his manager/agent reasoned for him – that he needed something “commercial” to draw attention to his “less commercial” stuff. Many more examples I’m sure, but can’t think of them right now.

          • Hadley’s Hope
          • Nicholas J

            Right, but I’m not talking about genre trends here. I’m talking about knowing your market and the types of things people look for in a script. What gets people excited. Actors, directors, producers, etc. These things rarely change.

            Also, scripts sell because somebody saw dollar signs in the content for one reason or another. I believe that by looking at sales and trying to figure out what made someone see those dollar signs, you can learn a great deal that will inform how you approach future ideas so that you don’t spend a year writing something nobody will care to make.

            You might think looking at scripts from this business angle takes away the artistic aspect of filmmaking, but it doesn’t. A Lars von Trier movie needs to make money just like a Michael Bay movie does.

            On one hand, you are right in that the main thing Hollywood cares about is money, but on the other hand, by simply leaving it at that you aren’t doing anything to help further your understanding of what sells and why.

          • Casper Chris

            It’s not just about genre trends, it’s about trends in general (or lack thereof). People don’t know what they want until they see it. And because Hollywood wants what the people wants (so they can make money), Hollywood doesn’t know what it wants either. “Same but different” is a catchphrase so vague as to be almost meaningless. Follow your heart. Write what you love. Knock it out of the park. That’s what Beacham here did. If he had been too concerned with the type of material that sells in Hollywood, he would’ve never written that dark neo-noir fantasy crime thriller that made him blow up.

            Obviously, we’re not in that much of a disagreement. I’m mostly just playing the devil’s advocate here as I think too much analysis can lead to paralysis. There’s a certain comfort in knowing that “no one knows anything”. At some point, you just gotta follow your gut. After decades of watching Hollywood movies, your gut is probably pretty well-versed in the most basic appeals and cravings anyway.

          • MaxNorm

            Again…Amen

          • Hadley’s Hope

            I think it isn’t so much figuring out Hollywood in exact detail. You’re right, that’s an impossible task. I see it more as staying far enough ahead of the game to not get run over when a giant comes stumbling through your story garden with the same types of ideas and scripts, yet they have clout because they’re on the inside track due to previously having material produced. If an unknown writer is up against Shane Black or Ridley Scott or Jerry Bruckheimer, and both parties have a high concept zombie script they’re trying to sell, Mr. Unknown is dead in the water. Even if his zombie spec is infinitely better on all fronts. It is much easier to just let the big kahunas option World War Z or whatever is the latest popular comic, young adult novel, or video game sensation within the zombie sub-genre.

            Reading Carson’s review of Ballistic City now has me going back to my own stuff and throwing out a ton of things because I see them as being similar to this premise. I thought I was maybe far enough ahead at this point, but now I realize a lot of my current ideas and projects are dirty old hats in a dusty old thrift store. It sucks and is painful and has me really worked up at the moment, but that’s the way it is.

            As someone focused on writing science fiction, I might as well go so far ahead as to invent a new genre or sub-genre. I don’t see how you stand out otherwise, both in print and in film/TV. Oh, and the plotting and characterization must still be rock solid too. We have to always fight against getting buried by all the fancy out of this world conceptualizing.

          • MaxNorm

            Amen…

          • Hadley’s Hope

            I agree with this sentiment, but at the same time it gets so damn frustrating. To those of us on the outside, we can’t just write something good enough. We can’t do the whole pitch of “movie X meets movie Y” and get any interest.

            So then come up with something really unique and original. Then it gets pegged as too odd or not marketable enough. The line is so fine it might as well be string theory.

        • Scott Crawford

          Hollywood’s revenue is down, maybe down for good. The heyday of DVD money is gone. Sure, Hollywood could take a chance, produce a script that a handful of people like, and lose a tonne of money. Look at the biggest box office moneylosers.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_box_office_bombs

          There’s a lot of risk-taking there, a lot of chances spending a lot of money on what they hoped will be the next best thing. No one likes to lose money, and Hollywood knows that it can make a lot of money from YA adaptations and comic book superheroes, because youngsters are the people who go to movie theaters and see the same film over, and over again (and those plots that seem so overused to us oldsters are brand new to them).

          So yeah, Hollywood knows what it wants. To keep making movies even though revenue is down.

      • Scott Crawford

        “Give me the same thing only different.” – Sam Goldwyn, legendary movie mogul.

  • Randy Williams

    “Would you have sex with a 117 year old woman if she were inside a synthetic fake body?”

    Is she an agent?

    • Scott Crawford

      No, she’s a manager. But she knows a good agent, and she’ll get your script to them, promise.

      • Randy Williams

        117 years old. Afterwards, she’ll probably describe my performance as
        “the bee’s knees”.

        • brenkilco

          And then ask you to adapt your script for radio.

    • klmn

      I suppose it depends on the craftsmanship of whoever built her body.

  • carsonreeves1

    I wanted that to be the hint – that she was wrapped up in something bigger at the end of the episode so we’d have some mysteries to look forward to. But no, her case is pretty open and closed.

  • Bifferspice

    the reader’s top 25 list needs redoing!

    • Scott Crawford

      Yes, but top 25 what? Unproduced scripts? Soon-to-be-produced scripts? Amateur scripts?

      Personally, I think it makes more sense to do a top 25 AOW or other amateur scripts, rather than big up a script which has a better than average chance of being produced. (I don’t know if it will work but I like discussion.).

      • Awescillot

        How about scripts you’ve read (about) here on SS, and you would actually pay money for to go and see.

        Not just scripts that would probably have more chance of getting produced, but scripts that you would actually want to see get produced for the purpose of providing you with a cinematic experience (for the love of screenwriting, storytelling, etc. Whatever genre).

        These could be all unproduced, soon-to-be-produced, amateur scripts. Just nothing that has been shot already (to keep a possibly bad director etc out of the equation)

  • Logic Ninja

    RE: how many scripts per year?
    I think it depends on how long you’ve been doing this. I wrote four scripts this year, but only because they were my first four.

    • Scott Crawford

      It’s often said you should get your first script (or first few scripts) done quickly because it’s unlikely to be that great (LOTS of exceptions, I know) and you’ll learn how to write better.

      My early scripts suck, SUCK. Maybe my latest ones are no good either! But what I learned was OUTLINE.

      • klmn

        I don’t think it matters if you outline or not, because you’re going to have to rewrite it anyway, probably multiple times.

        While an outline can give you a road map to follow, you might discover more just by hitting the road.

        • Scott Crawford

          Outlining seems to be a personal choice, but the VAST majority of professional writers do it. If a story works in outline, it will work even better in script. Outlines make writing the first draft quicker and less painless, and (most of the time) prevent the need for a page-one rewrite And if you want to work in features, you will at some stage probably be asked to write an outline. If you want to work in TV, you will DEFINITELY be asked to write an outline, because that’s how they roll. So it’s a good idea to practice.

      • Logic Ninja

        On my darkest days, when everything I write seems like garbage and I’m sure I should throw in the towel and sell shoes, I open up the original PDF of my first script.

        It sucks so bad, so thoroughly, that it reminds me at least I’m moving in the right direction! Haha

  • brenkilco

    “But as a screenwriter, your job is to find a SPECIFIC vessel to tell the movie through. You must find an interesting character who’s living in this world, is directly affected by this world, who’s directly involved in the problems this world creates, and tell the story through their eyes.”

    Yeah. A premise isn’t a plot. The distance between the two is vast. A cool setup is no guarantee that the story is worth a damn. But judging from most movies today, it’s the premise that sells the project.

  • Sebastian Cornet

    There’s always a problem when the worldbuilding is more impressive than the character work. In that regard, I’d say, yeah, he’s the equivalent of a young George Lucas. I can see the Giger connection, though.

    It was the same with Blade Runner; couldn’t get into the movie until it showed it’d be about terrified but still dangerous androids trying to escape death instead of flying cars and impossibly tall skyscrapers.

  • Linkthis83

    A little devil’s advocate and some questions:

    “But here’s the big reason Ballistic City didn’t work for me. It doesn’t do anything with its premise.”

    -Since this is just the pilot, they are probably banking on people wanting to know more about the things they didn’t get to see. If they make this world interesting enough from the start, they are making a promise to the viewers; “Trust us…we will get there.” Have you ever tried to do Disney in one hour ;) You need more time. They need more episodes.

    “Ballistic City may take place on a city inside a giant spaceship, but you wouldn’t know it by how little its mentioned.”

    -I’m also betting that this is purposeful. They probably want you to forget they are on a space journey. At least early in the story. For the purpose of getting you invested/familiar with Ballistic City, and then learning more and more what this journey is about.

    **I did the devil’s advocate bit because I’ve noticed on AOW how readers will fault writers for certain choices, me included, and we learn that they are purposeful choices for a greater purpose. Because of this lesson I’ve learned, I try to give writer’s a lot more room when I read and critique. Sometimes when I’m having certain reactions I think – “Maybe this is how the writer wants me feeling right now.” — and if that is true, then the writer is in more control than, I the reader.

    QUESTIONS:

    1) If this is a giant spaceship traveling between stars, do they ever state where they are going and why?

    2) Why would (did) the police hire a private detective? Are the space police not good at being detectives?

    3) This city has an underbelly? It’s one city on a spaceship – they should’ve made it “underbelly” proof when they built it. If it was a nation on a ship, I could understand the issues, but one city? What’s the population?

    4) Did ALL First Generation people have Geists to house their memories, or just this woman? If so, when the other FG’ers died, where did their Geists go? If not, why was the Geist created for this woman? I mean, was she special? Just because someone lives to be 117 doesn’t mean they know more shit than anybody else did – it’s not like if Einstein lived to be 117 – that’s a man you want a Geist for — So why THIS WOMAN?

    5) Does the Robot Chick have her own personality + the 117 year old woman’s? Or is it JUST the 117 year old woman’s?

    6) She claims she was murdered but doesn’t know how or why? Then how does she know she died? And how did she know to run away?

    7) And we learn no one murdered her but that she committed suicide – yet she doesn’t remember — however, there’s a huge gap of info here –> when did she get uploaded into Robot Chick? Was it before she was killed or after or during? Why wouldn’t you suspect the Geist of doing this I, ROBOT murder?

    **I truly hope this episode didn’t come down to the unreliable memory of a woman who is 117 years old

    8) I know I’d have to read the pilot to understand, but this really irks me – Bendix’s partner killed his wife. The partner is dead but his memory is in a hologram. Bendix goes to visit this hologram, only the last week of his partner’s life has been erased, so he doesn’t know he killed Bendix’s wife —

    –Well, Bendix sure as shit knows, so why go visit him at all. Is he that lonely and in need of a friend.

    –Was it an accident, because otherwise, the partner may not know he killed Bendix’s wife, but he might’ve been planning it the week before

    –Bendix can’t tell his partner what he did — Does the partner know he’s dead? Does he know he’s in a hologram? Do they have real conversations? And if I’m Bendix — I telll that motherfucker in eternal hologram hell exactly what he did.

    • IgorWasTaken

      LT83, I’m glad I read your post before writing my own, because your opening “replies” to Carson’s points were the very things that came to my mind.

      The most important GOAL for a pilot is: Inspire the audience to WANT to come back for Episode 2.

      That said, what’s most likely to help achieve that goal? Something in my head keeps fighting this notion, but apparently…

      People tune in to TV shows not for the plot, but for the characters.

      Seems to me the rookie mistake (i.e., “the obvious choice”) would be to spend lots of time in the pilot making the most of the “we are on a spaceship” part – the COOL part of the premise. But in any show, especially a PILOT, there’s so little time. And the spaceship here, apparently, is nothing more than NY City is in the pilot of a crime procedural – which can be fine.

    • carsonreeves1

      I agree with most of what you’re saying, Link. It’s just that in my experience, the good pilots mine the subject matter better, even in the first episode. That doesn’t mean they give away all the answers in the first episode. But you feel like they’re exploiting the subject matter. I didn’t feel like Ballistic was ever exploiting the subject matter.

      • Hadley’s Hope

        I think Tyrant is a good recent example of a pilot that hooked us with the big idea while at the same time not giving too much away all in the first episode.

        Or, on the subject of science fiction television, Battlestar Galactica was initially rebooted as a miniseries. It basically worked as both a pilot and a standalone entity, leaving just enough juice to give the audience a hint of the direction a potential series could go. WIth all the complex world-building going on in Ballistic City, why not go the 2-3 hour pilot/miniseries route? That seems like a better way to present it at first.

  • hickeyyy

    I suppose if this is just a pilot, her secrets could be a revelation that could come in later episodes? Maybe he wrote this pilot as a one-off just in case it didn’t get picked up? I’m just making excuses for the writer, honestly. I’m ot sure.

    In my mind, the premise here was excellent. I agree that the old woman needed more importance than just being old. She should have some secret that would come out at the end about the ship like Carson mentioned. Maybe she is aware that the ship is actually on a suicide mission and she doesn’t want to see an entire city of people die? I’m thinking on the fly here, but anything is better than nothing.

    To the last point; age ain’t nothin’ but a number, baby.

  • Scott Crawford

    Sorry, I don’t think that was called for, I don’t think that was called for at all.

    I’ll give you an answer, but you don’t deserve it. I GOT the point of the scene – she was disappointed that Peter wasn’t the tall, handsome man – but I didn’t think the scene was well written.

    Now, if you’ve finished insulting me, I suggest you find another comments board to inhabit.

  • Tailmonsterfriend

    Memory transplants, noir cyberpunk, a client who was supposedly killed but actually killed him/herself… Sounds like a riff on Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan. Which isn’t a bad thing at all, but, you know. That book’s film rights were purchased by Warner, and at some point James McTeigue was attached to direct.

    Makes sense, because that novel really DID do a whole lot of amazing things with its premise; not spaceships, but memory transplants, which is arguably WAY more exciting than spaceships. Maybe that’s why that aspect of Ballistic City was underdeveloped: we’ve seen spaceships. We’ve seen big ships, small ships, evil ships, sentient ships, ships that need to be kickstarted, ships that are really insects, ships that are lost, ships that are on a really long trip… We’ve got spaceships coming out of our asses, is what I’m saying. It’s HARD to do something completely new with spaceships. Memory transplantation, though? Radical biomodification? There’s something we haven’t done to death yet.

    One of the most devastating reviews I’ve ever read went something like this: “X’s work includes a lot of interesting and new ideas; unfortunately, the new things aren’t interesting, and the interesting things aren’t new.” And, you know, that’s hard to pull off. You’re inevitably going to reference some prior work, knowingly or not. The writer’s job is to make sure than when they do, they don’t just add a new spin on it, but a new spin that changes how we perceive the works that came before. If Ballistic City would have made us look at shows like Galactica in a different light, maybe it would have gotten more than a “Wasn’t for me.”

    Don’t just reference other material; enhance it.

    • Casper Chris

      We’ve seen big ships, small ships, evil ships, sentient ships, ships that need to be kickstarted, ships that are really insects, ships that are lost, ships that are on a really long trip… We’ve got spaceships coming out of our asses, is what I’m saying.

      How about spaceships that are coming out of our asses. Literally, I mean. That’s novel, right?

      • Tailmonsterfriend

        I can see it: a remake of the Dennis Quaid/Martin Short classic “Innerspace.”

        Directed, of course, by Michael “RoboTesticles” Bay.

      • Scott Crawford

        Two words: Meet Dave.

      • IgorWasTaken

        They did something like that in the pilot of “South Park”…

        • Guest

          xxxxxxxxx

    • Hadley’s Hope

      I remember hearing about Altered Carbon being optioned. I was thinking it could make for a pretty darn cool sci-fi/action/noir, but nowadays there is way too much sex and violence in it for a PG-13 theatrical feature.

      I suppose it would make more sense to go the HBO, Showtime, AMC, or Netflix route with it. Either as a miniseries for each book, or expand upon it enough to let it breathe a bit into a regular series.

      • JakeMLB

        The script is out there. And you’re bang on about the sex and violence. The script basically tried to water down the plot and all the sex and violence to create a PG version of it and it suffered heavily for it.

    • JakeMLB

      My thoughts exactly. There’s actually a script of Altered Carbon floating around. I read it. It wasn’t very good. They basically tried to make a PG stripped-down plot version of the novel which you probably know is pretty kick-ass and adult-oriented.

  • MaxNorm

    My name is Max Normandin, and I’ve ALWAYS wanted to be a filmmaker. The problem is, I suffer from panick attacks and a pretty severe case of social phobia. I don’t get out of my house often, and I certainly don’t surround myself with people. Which makes it pretty darn hard to make movies…

    This is the story of how I went ahead a shot a 25min short film all by myself, with no crew, using family members as actors. I don’t know if this is unusual or not, but I think the quality of the final product, given the very limited ressources I had, might be uncommon.

    When my father passed away last year, he left me a little bit of money. My dad was always very adamant of my filmmaking/screenwriting, and no matter what stupid decisions I made to pursue my dreams (quit college, quit my job, etc) he never lost faith in me and did everything he could to help me reach my goals.

    So with the money my dad left me, I purchased a Blackmagic Camera, a couple of lenses and a microphone, and went ahead and started shooting my first short film.

    I was so excited by the idea of making this film that I began without a script, which made things a little difficult. Since I have virtually no friends and very little contact with the outside world, I cast my girlfriend in the lead role and my niece as the secondary. My mom and sister also played roles in my film, as well as myself.

    Making a movie all by yourself is silly hard, but not impossible. I often had to operate the camera, pull focus and boom at the same time. Often times I would just abandon sound and do everything in post. It certainly involves a lot of foley, ADR and post production.

    I shot basically all my ”alone” scenes by myself, when my grilfriend was at work. I would place a mirror behind the camera to arrange my frame and focus. I even tied a rope to a DIY dolley to pull some camera movements since I had no camera operator. I was filming theses ”alone” scenes, well, all by myself…

    I shot for 5 months, on weekends, mostly at night. A friend of my girlfriend did come out to help on two or three occasions, and I credited him in the movie because he’s a great guy. But it’s safe to say that 99,99% of the film was made by a single dude.

    Basically, the message I want to send out with this film is that if you’re really passionate about cinema, just go out there and make a film. You don’t need a budget and you don’t need a crew lol. I know that sounds ridiculous, but all you need is a little inspiration, alot of determination and a WHOLE LOT of patience.

    Here’s the link to my film:

    http://vimeo.com/102559146

    Thanks for watching, and I’m hoping you can help my movie garner a little bit of attention.

    • pmlove

      My rudimentary French tells me this might be Canadian. Tabernac!

      • MaxNorm

        your rudimentary french is right! Tabarnak is also the greatest word our laguage has ever produced. ;)

    • Matthew Garry

      If I understand correctly, you’re playing “Mark” yourself, right? Because if that’s true there’s some pretty grim irony at work here, since

      >I suffer from panick attacks and a pretty severe case of social phobia.

      I don’t really know a lot about acting, but as far as I could see your performance was out of the ballpark. I’m not saying the rest of the cast was bad, but it was what I sort of expected it to be.

      You should really be out there auditioning your way up, but I guess your condition would make that difficult if not impossible.

      As for the short:
      > I began without a script

      Yeah, it shows. There was a bit too much filler and too many horror tropes to pad out the story, and too much reliance on the soundtrack to cue the audience in. I did enjoy the cinematography though.

      Overall, I’d say find yourself a good script you feel comfortable with–maybe a contained horror, cast yourself as the lead, put up “Rivalry” to show what you’re technically capable of, and try and kickstart it to life.

      • MaxNorm

        Thanks for sharing, Matthew. I really appreciate your input.

      • carsonreeves1

        I thought his acting was really good too. Surprised me as I don’t typically see that in short films.

        • MaxNorm

          Coming from the man himself. Thanks Carson!

          I’m actually NO GOOD at acting whatsoever. That’s a promise.

          You didn’t notice because the movie is in French and you were too busy reading the subtitles.

          You guys are great though, thanks a bunch for watching! A lot fo work went into this and there’s no movie without an audiendience. :)

    • S_P_1

      I enjoyed watching your short. I’m not convinced you’re a rank amatuer who happened to choreograph and compose on a prosumer camera the level of polish you presented. I don’t believe you’re as green as you claim. I’m involved with a 48hour film group that has scripts, a crew, cameras and equipment, access to Adobe editing suites, and actors. The level of quality you presented isn’t from a first time filmmaker.

      I just recently watched a 48hour film festival in which 53 participants entered. Its very obvious when you view a first time filmmaker. And using a high grade camera wasn’t the deciding factor in your overall presentation.

      I observed very few plot holes. The multiple angles and rigging you used is telling me something different. Black Magic outputs CinemaDNG RAW files which require a computer rig with some type of RAID class 10 compacity. Not to mention you need a few SSD hard drives.

      I don’t mind supporting fellow filmmakers or scriptwriters but don’t claim beginner status in order to gain sympathy votes and views.

      • MaxNorm

        Thanks for commenting, SP1.

        I never meant to imply that I’m an ”amateur”. I’ve been raised on movies. I’m a film fanatic. I watch 1-2 movies EVERY night.

        But this was my first shot at directing a short film.

        And this film was made using extremely llimited ressources, IMO.

        And I do have a camera and I do have a computer with final cut pro, but as I explained, I was only able to afford those thing through an heritage (although the computer I’ve before my father passed)

        Also, I didn’t shoot RAW…but Prores.

        Truth is, I’m actually flattered by your comment. If you think my stuff looks ”professional” and you’re ”involved in a 48-hour film group” than maybe you should email me and we could work together??

        Although I have to warn you, if and when I shoot another short, it will most likely be in my house, with the same actors, and without a crew :).

  • ripleyy

    I agree. I loved the writing, and Beacham always brings a refreshing take to the table. When it airs, it’s going to look stunning.

    • Hadley’s Hope

      I thought this one was not going to be produced.

      Last I read about it, AMC had passed on shooting a pilot. Which surprised me since it has both Beacham and Kosinski involved.

      • ripleyy

        I didn’t know that. That’s sad, because I was looking forward to seeing what it looked like. :(

        • Hadley’s Hope

          It sounds like it has some cool elements. The most interesting stuff in it seems to be peripheral. The animal skin mods, the memory swapping, etc. Of course, as Carson states, all that stuff could be done on Earth in a future city.

          Although I do love a good generation starship story. I just think more could be done with it than what this project seems to be doing with the idea. At least that’s what I sense from reading this summary of the pilot script. I would love to read it just to see in more detail how they tackle the world-building aspects.

  • klmn

    When I read KOCR, my impression was, “How the hell would you film that? WTF am I reading?”

    Having said that, if it ever gets made, I would buy a ticket just out of curiosity.

  • Scott Crawford

    Extant is being HEAVILY promoted here in England (commercial in almost every break), and it seems to me it’s as much to promote the relatively new Amazon Prime as the show itself.

  • Hadley’s Hope

    Blade Runner meets Battlestar Galactica?

    The recent BSG revival series was basically that already, albeit with some political drama and a military sci-fi tone added on top. You had the humanoid Cylons hiding within the human population, some as sleeper agents doing naughty things like killing in some cases. In Blade Runner, the replicants were hiding out amongst the humans and doing bad things too sometimes, often to survive capture.

    So this sounds like BSG with a Blade Runner skin thrown on top, plus a little Strange Days added in for fun.

    It kinda upsets me a little, as I’m working on a generation ship spec (feature, not a pilot) that actually does something different and unique with that particular sub-genre of science fiction. So if Ballistic City gets made, I guess my script would be out of luck :(

    Also, cyberpunk and tech-noir can be really interesting, but not if all they’re going to do is continue to rehash Blade Runner in terms of approaching the genre. There is more to that stuff than Blade Runner and The Matrix.

  • Hadley’s Hope

    While I enjoyed Pacific Rim, I kind of see a pattern emerging with his stuff. It all seems to boil down to more “this movie meets that movie” syndrome. Just more rehashing in a lot of ways, which is kind of the era we are in nowadays (constant reboots, remakes, and a lot of previously established IP getting made over newer ideas and concepts).

  • Ambrose*
  • peisley

    Agents and managers want their writers to be constantly putting material out there. If you’re a relatively unknown writer, then expect them to require at least three scripts a year, either as writing assignments or specs. They also will be on your case for developing tv material because that’s where they can make a lot of money with less payout delays. They love tv, I think, even more than features for this reason. So, have at least a couple of tv samples or a pilot or two with a lot of other concepts for further development. This has been my experience, at least, when meeting with them. I can’t blame them for wanting more from you than even you can imagine. They have to pay the bills like you and want to make as much money as possible like you. Anybody who can’t deliver within a fairly reasonable time is usually cut. It’s like being a professional athlete, except they make even more money.

  • MaxNorm

    Thanks for watching!

  • craze9

    Anyone have a pdf of the script?

    craze9 AT hotmail.com

    Thanks!

  • klmn

    Generally, scripts are judged like a dog show, by conformation to breed standards. From Carson’s description, this script is a mongrel – both scifi and a mystery.

    I wonder if any mixed breed screenplays have done well in screenwriting contests? It seems that people are pretty much locked in to the old standards.

  • Hadley’s Hope

    Thank you for the advice.

    I’ve cooled off a bit. In a way, it’s these little moments of crisis and frustration that often push us to do better, be more innovative, and attempt to transcend the tropes and cliches of the genre(s) we have chosen to write within. After today’s article, I’m really thinking about how I can twist my characters and story ideas into tastier cinematic lemonade. Minus the pulp.

  • Hadley’s Hope

    One thing I think worth mentioning that Carson touches on.

    “Ballistic City may take place on a city inside a giant spaceship, but you wouldn’t know it by how little its mentioned. The ship and its ongoing journey are rarely talked about. And when they are, it’s never in accordance with a plot point.”

    Something I find that shows like Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and Farscape all do really well is make the ship a character. In Trek, you’ve got the majesty of the starship Enterprise, boldly traversing the cosmos in search of new civilizations and high adventure. The ship is not just the setting, but almost like a part of the crew. There are interesting areas like Scotty’s or in The Next Generation, Jordi’s engineering complex. The bridge feels like it is modeled almost like a cross between a stage play and a court. The captain’s chair high up and in the center like that of a judge’s seat. Then you have the holodeck, which is a universe unto itself with all of the virtual adventures that take place within it.

    In Battlestar Galactica (let’s stick to the rebooted series for now), the ship is like a hub for the entire fleet of the human exodus. Before the Cylon attack, the Galactica was going to be retired and used as a war museum docked to a space station. The old warship then becomes the last hope for humankind when the Cylons attack. It is forced to go up against a superior enemy for the entirety of the show. The Galactica is an underdog. We all love to root for the underdog don’t we?

    In Farscape the primary ship Moya was a Leviathan, which in the show’s mythos was a biomechanical starship, that was alive. It even had a pilot creature that could converse with the crew. Later in the series, Moya then gives birth to another ship. Yes, a baby biomechanical warship. The spaceship became a mother.

    Of course we could get into the unique quirks of Doctor Who and his TARDIS, or the creepy industrial labyrinth of the Nostromo in Alien, but you get the point. To truly stand out in the sci-fi/space opera arena, you need a starship with character and at least one unique trait that makes it memorable. Especially for a television series, as the cast will likely be spending a lot of time on that starship.

  • Malibo Jackk

    A grendl jones popped up a few times on the NF website.

  • Malibo Jackk

    “He said he felt bad for them at the time. Two more struggling wannabes.”
    Suggests that this is part of the problem. Many people not recognizing talent or great ideas.
    (But is also not a reason to give up.)

    Questions: How many scripts did you write before your first sale?
    Looking back to that first sale, do you think it was a case of being
    in the right place at the right time?

    • rockineagle

      I worked in TV as a sitcom and animation writer for a few years before I ever wrote a screenplay, so I already had an agent. My first spec feature was a comedy/drama hybrid that sucked balls, and my agent said so. Actually, what he said was, “I don’t know what I can do with this,” but I knew what he meant. I wrote two more comedies after that. They didn’t sell but got me studio meetings. (Studio meetings are pointless unless you’ve sold something). Then an exec friend of mine said I should just write what I would pay to see, which I realized wasn’t broad comedies. I wrote two absolutely awful scrips after that, very quickly, but I’m not sure they count because they were more like exercises than first drafts. I then settled on a horror/drama, which I spent about nine months on and used to get a new manager (my TV agent had dropped me by then). The horror/drama didn’t sell, but it got me interest from several top agencies. More importantly, it taught me a ton. It taught me how to write a screenplay. I then wrote a sci-fi, which was my first sale.

      As to your second question, I don’t really believe in right place, right time. Sure, I knew a few people, but none of that meant squat until I had a script people wanted. Nobody was going to buy my work because they went to college with me or met me at a cocktail party. I honestly don’t think it’s about who you know at all. I mean, sure, some bad scripts get sold because the writer is Bradley Cooper’s personal trainer’s nephew. But that can work against you too. Don’t underestimate the power of being an unknown. There’s nothing agents like better than saying “Where did THAT guy come from?” Everyone wants to discover new talent.

  • S_P_1

    Side Topic.

    Somewhat relevant.

    I just recently saw Pacific Rim. I haven’t read the script or see a reason to at this point. As much as I respect the visual quality of a del Toro film: Pacific Rim was corny, predictable, unbelievable, cheezy, and exposition heavy.

    I’ll go on record and say I actually enjoyed reading A Killing On Carnival Row.

    What I realized is, nobody has the guts to film a monster/robot film that’s 80% focused on the creature(s) and 20% on the human element.

    The monster fight scenes were very intense except the last underwater scene in which SPOILERS they had to hurry up and cheat a victory for the jaegers. Two giant robots operating at 60% capacity, fight two full strenght class 5 kaiju. What makes these monsters special they are a full class above anything they encountered before.

    Scenes that made me cringe.

    Any interaction between the two lab scientist. (Why in the FUCK was a fireplace bellow attached to high tech machinery like it was some type of steampunk contraption?)

    Why were the jaeger trainees segregated by race? Why were the jaegers designed to play into a stereotype of a particular region?

    Why was physical combat training a requirement for dual operation of the jaeger? It would seem to me some type of advance mental flash card matching would be more appropriate. Also some type of synchronous floor gymnastics would make more sense.

    Why did the kaiju stop attacking the giant robot after it stalled from an EMP blast? Did they instantly forget the robot previously tried to kill them? Or its not sporting to kill a disabled robot that tried to kill you moments before?

    How is it possible for a human to comprehend an alien brain link and process that information in order for it to be useful? Why was the alien brain still connected to the rift AFTER it was clinically dead? How exactly did they keep the alien brain alive BEFORE Ron Perlman told them how to? What leverage did the scientist have in demanding Ron Perlman help him?

    The wacky professor scientist literally bullied a gun toting syndicate by the tone of his voice.

    The kaiju visual acuity is so sharp they can focus on one single human being in the chaos of war. They become totally distracted by one (or two) human being(s) and lose their ability to kill but are able to commit tremendous property damage only the Man of Steel could appreciate.

    Was Rinko Kikuchi character remotely necessary? She needed to be told everything, she needed to be saved from herself several times, she chose to be aroused by the arrival of Charlie Hunnam. Prior to his arrival she was surrounded by HUNDREDS of Pinoy males. None of them were a romantic compatibility match.

    In relation to today’s topic why is the entry wall nearly unscalable, but once you cross over script storytelling quality is not a priority?

    • Malibo Jackk

      “In relation to today’s topic why is the entry wall nearly unscalable,
      but once you cross over script storytelling quality is not a priority?”

      Studio executives are reluctant to invest millions in an unproven amateur.
      (Their jobs are on the line.)
      And readers are reluctant to endorse scripts.
      They have strong (often misdirected) convictions of how scripts should be written.