Genre: TV Pilot (Drama)
Premise: After tragedy sends a local judge into a spiritual awakening, he starts making judgements based on faith over fact.
About: Amazon is tired of being left out of the TV discussion so they’ve decided to come hard to the table. “Hand of God” will star everyone’s favorite character actor, Ron Perlman, and have super-helmer Mark Forster (World War Z, Quantum of Solace) directing the pilot. The cool thing about these big TV pilots is that they’re written by “nobodies,” so every time we read one, we get to experience a new voice. “Hand of God” was written by Ben Watkins, whose only work up to this point has been on the show, Burn Notice. Recently, Ben was asked what the most difficult challenge was about this business.  He answered, “This business is built on one ridiculous challenge after another. In my opinion, there’s only one condition that is fatal – losing faith in yourself.”
Writer: Ben Watkins
Details: 68 pages

Ron-Perlman-by-Matt-Carr

I’m not going to mince any words here. I’m pissed this is going to Amazon. Because if it’s on Amazon, no one’s going to see it. And this is too good of a show (or pilot) not to be seen. I mean honestly, how do you watch a show on Amazon? I go to Amazon and I see 10 billion different links. I’m lucky if I can find the electronics section.

I get that Amazon wants to rule the world but the reason Netflix is so dominant in this space is that you know what it is when you go to it. I want to watch something. Click. Netflix. With Amazon, you have to jump through 18 dozen hoops. Combined with the fact that most people don’t know that Amazon even offers TV shows, and I’m not sure how Hand of God is going to get any attention.

It won’t always be like this. I can see a future (maybe 10 years from now) where TV and cable are dead. Everything will be on demand and a la cart via services like Netflix and Amazon. But we’re not there yet. Which means Hand of God might go down as the best show nobody’s ever seen.

We find 50-something Judge, Pernell Nathaniel Harris, in a park, naked, speaking in tongues. Nobody’s seen him for days and this is how he decides to reintroduce himself. Pernell has a pretty good excuse, though. His son shot himself a few days ago and is brain dead on life support.

As the mayor, attorney general and police chief all try to delicately bring Pernell back to the land of the sane, they realize this religious awakening he’s had isn’t going away. Pernell has pledged his loyalty to a con-artist wacko priest who claims to have a direct line to God – to the tune of a 50 thousand dollar endorsement check.

In the meantime, we learn that the reason Pernell’s son tried to off himself is because seven months ago, he was forced to watch his wife get raped. Although he tried his hardest, he couldn’t live with the fact that he didn’t do more to try and stop it, so a bullet to the cranium seemed like a pleasant way out. Pernell is now on a mission to find the rapist and make him pay for what he did to his step-daughter and son.

The problem is, Pernell’s kind of crazy now. And instead of listening to logic, he’s listening to “God.” Voices and signs have taken precedence over testimony and facts. So when a religious sign points to a random member of the police department as the rapist, the authorities have to stop Pernell from taking the man down. But it’s too late for that. If Pernell has his way, he’s going to make sure Officer Rapist meets his maker, whether he’s proven guilty or not.

Wow.

I think this is my favorite pilot I’ve ever read. Tyrant was good, but this is REALLY good. Speaking of Tyrant, I don’t know what happened to that show. They took a gritty show about 3rd World dictators and tried to turn it into an 8 o’clock NBC family drama.  Parenthood 2. Ugh, I’m still smarting from that. But Hand of God is getting me back on track. For a lot of reasons.

First of all, Watkins got the NUMBER ONE thing right when writing a pilot. He wrote a great meaty main character! How ironic is it that a man whose job is based on listening to facts, is making his decisions based purely on faith? Add in a healthy dose of crazy, the fact that he’ll hire hit men to get the job done, and you’ve planted the seeds for one hell of a harvest.

But as we know, every harvest needs rain. And Hand of God’s got plenty of that too.

The opening 10 pages are crucial for ANY script, pilot or feature. And they usually fall into three categories.

1) Nothing interesting happens in the first ten pages at all; I’m miserable that I have to spend the next 2 hours with this thing.
2) One or two interesting things happen in the first 10 pages, enough to pique my interest. I read on with desperate hope.
3) Every single one of the first ten pages is good, in which case, I know the script’s going to be awesome.

Number 3 is a rarity but that’s where Hand of God falls. We start off with this bizarre mystery. A man is naked in a park speaking tongues to the sky. At the end of the scene, we find out he’s a judge. Hmm, how did he get here, we ask? We’re intrigued. We then move to a hospital where a devastated beautiful woman tries to keep him from seeing someone named “PJ?” Who’s PJ.  Ahh!  We learn he’s Pernell’s son. And he’s in a coma. Why is he in a coma?? What happened? I need to know more!

In other words, there’s a lot going on in the first 10!  Usually, amateurs will bumble along in their first 10 pages setting up the characters well, but in boring ways.  They don’t have their heroes in parks, naked, speaking in tongues.

I also thought the whole “botched sucide” storyline was a great choice, and I’ll tell you why. 99 out of 100 writers, in order to motivate our hero, would’ve given Pernell a daughter and killed her off.  Someone raped and killed her, now he’s out for justice. It would’ve worked, but it WOULD’VE BEEN BORING. Because we’ve fucking seen it before!  The quickest way to disappoint a reader is to open the gates to The Kingdom of Safe and Predictable Choices.

The “watched rape/botched suicide” setup poses a more interesting set of questions. There’s not only a rapist on the loose we need to find. But there’s also the question of whether PJ’s wife is going to pull the plug on Pernell’s son or not. A big deal because Pernell, who’s riding dirty on Miracle Lane, now believes PJ will live. But he doesn’t have a say in this decision.  And since she doesn’t want to see her husband suffer anymore, she calls to pull the plug.  Interesting choices always lead to more interesting choices.  Boring choices lead to… well, you get what I’m saying.

Then there were little things that shined like characters playing against the obvious in a scene. When Pernell’s wife goes to threaten Reverend Paul to stay away from her husband, she plays the whole scene calmly and with a smile.  Her threats were veiled and implied. A lesser writer would’ve written this more on-the-nose, with the wife coming in and angrily warning Paul to “stay away from my husband!”

We even get some classic urgency (ticking time bomb style) to the pilot, with Pernell’s daughter moving quickly to pull the plug on her husband (in two days!). Pernell’s got to figure out a way to keep him alive, as he believes God will perform that miracle.  But he can’t perform a miracle once the plug is pulled.

But what tipped this into the impressive category was the ending. The ending is almost always responsible for whether a script makes the “impressive” list. You can kick ass for 60 pages, but if you suck for the last five, nobody cares. Hand of God gets really good when one of Pernell’s religious visions points the noose at a random man who couldn’t possibly have committed the crime.

Not only are we wondering if he’s going to kill this man, vigilante style, but we’re fascinated by the question of: What if he’s right?  I mean what if this totally random man really did commit the crime?  What does that mean moving forward?  Could Pernell truly be channeling God?

This was a wonderful pilot. Now, if only Amazon can figure out how to show it to people. That would be great! Oh, and since Amazon Studios is all about posting and getting feedback of their projects, I’m including a link to the script. Enjoy!

Screenplay link: Hand of God

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

What I learned: Never set foot in The Kingdom of Safe and Predictable Choices. It’s a land littered with 7-11s, McDonald’s and Supercuts. It’s comfortable. But it’s never inspiring. Aim instead for Paris in spring time.

  • gazrow

    Wow! This script sounds awesome! And we even get to read it too. God bless Amazon, oh and Carson of course! :)

  • Stephjones

    So. A looney guy, who only listens to the voices in his head, wants to kill someone vigilante style because he’s really sad about his son. Oh goody.
    Hard pass.

  • Scott Chamberlain

    Really *really* enjoyed this. There is so much going on. Not going to spoil it with spoilers. (because saying “That scene where the hero makes his daughter-in-law look at a cop’s penis to identify her rapist is such an awesome scene” just makes me sound weird. But, seriously, what a great scene.) Everyone is in conflict with everyone else AND with themselves, and yet they’re not quirky. They function as proper human beings being human and have believable agendas. Thanks for this one. Kinda nice to see the bar set so high – ’cause constantly seeing dross get made gets depressing.

  • Robin the Boy Wonder

    Holy hoodwinked! After spending the last month watching the World Cup, I thought this was a script about Maradona. That cheating bastard…

  • Scott Strybos

    “We even get some classic urgency (ticking time bomb style) to the pilot, with Pernell’s daughter moving quickly to pull the plug on her husband (in two days!).”

    Is this a typo?

    Judge Pernell Nathaniel Harris is the protagonist / P.J., who is in a coman, is Judge Pernell’s son / But Pernell’s daughter wants to pull the plug on her husband?

    Are Pernell’s kids married to each other… or did you mean to write Pernell’s daughter-in-law?

    • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

      I’m sure he meant daughter-in-law lol I caught that, too… and there’s a link because it’s probably easy to download from Amazon, who seems to make their scripts readily available.

    • hickeyyy

      After reading, I’m relatively confident it is actually Pernell’s wife.

  • Scott Strybos

    OH MY GOD! There is as script link! There is a script link, people! Is this a mistake? I read the article twice and didn’t even realise it was there. I was about to ask in the comments section for someone to send it to me, but Halleluiah, there is a script link. Oh, happy days!

  • cjob3

    I was surprised Tyrant got such negative reviews – after the praise it got here.

    And yeah, Amazon Prime is tough. I signed up for the one month free trial. Naturally I forgot to cancel and they charged me close to a hundred dollars for a year! (Okay, my bad, but that’s steep.) Even with the $100 membership you still gotta pay per episode.

    In their defense, they gave me a refund without any hassle. (Although I did have to google just to find a customer service number.)

    • Sebastian Cornet

      So you weren’t happy with Prime? I’m surprised about the paying per episode thing. Sure, some shows are not included in the deal and you still have to pay, but there’s a large wealth of amazing shows that are part of the package.

      Before I had it only for the free two-day shipping, and when they announced the price hike I considered dropping it at the end of this year, when my next fee is due.

      Then the HBO deal came out and I went down on my knees and thanked God. For an HBO-fiend like me access to The Wire, The Sopranos, Oz, Deadwood, Band of Brothers and other shows/movies at $100 a year was the bargain of..well…the year!

      • cjob3

        To tell you the truth I didn’t have much chance to investigate if it was a good deal or not. (Though Carson’s right about menu system.) I was gonna write a new spec – a Broad City – and Amazon is the only place I found with entire episodes. I only wanted Amazon long enough to watch them. It’s not that I wouldn’t want Amazon TV, I just can’t afford it.

      • Hadley’s Hope

        The ISP bandwidth wars are changing things nowadays. Depending on who you get your internet service from, Netflix streaming can either look great or horribly compressed and even unwatchable. I also still need to have the whole disc via mail plan if I want to rent any new releases from Netflix as well.

        Amazon Prime is not only cheaper for the year, but is more reliable in terms of streaming HD. Prime members also get free Kindle book loans every month and the two day free shipping (which saved my ass once and came in handy near the holiday season). Netflix gives me 2007 360p YouTube quality video streaming and a ton if absolute shite that needs to be sifted through to find the good stuff. I love House of Cards and The Killing, but at this point I can always wait until the new season hits Blu-ray for twenty bucks.

  • Jim Dandy

    I thought this was a great pilot. However, it reminded me of a 2001 movie called Frailty, directed by, and starring, Bill Paxton.

    • cjob3

      I was just gonna say that. In the film he was even called “The God’s Hand Killer.”
      Very underrated flick.

    • Javier Eliezer Otero

      Is indeed Frailty, but turn into a serial. That is why I’m so much excited about. I had a lot fun watching that movie, is one my favorite thrillers!

  • Ryan Sasinowski

    Whoa. Thanks for the link, Carson! Much appreciated!

  • OddScience

    I’ve been watching TV shows on Amazon since they picked up the HBO’s. It’s not that difficult.

  • ElectricDreamer

    This sounds like a smart play for the upstart streaming service.
    But I think Amazon Prime’s best move so far:

    Exclusive streaming rights to HANNIBAL. What a show!

    • Hadley’s Hope

      Last night I added Hannibal to my Amazon watchlist. Been watching Orphan Black on Amazon lately and decided to line up some other shows for the near future. Amazon recently added a bunch of great HBO shows as well (Sopranos, The Wire, Rome). No Game of Thrones yet though.

      Netflix is kind of fizzling for me. Video quality has gone down the toilet. Just a month ago I was getting nice full HD quality from Netflix, but now it is all pixelated and blurry. Unless I’m watching one of their specific shows like House of Cards or Orange is the new Black, it sucks because of all the ISP bandwidth wars going on now. As crazy as it sounds I may just cancel Netflix streaming and keep the disc in the mail plan I’m on now! Or just cancel both and use Redbox for DVD/Bluray rentals of new releases.

      Carson, get yourself one of those Amazon Fire TV boxes. It is basically Amazon’s version of the AppleTV. It only costs $99 and hooks up to your HDTV via HDMI and lets you watch with Amazon Instant Video app as well as Netflix and Hulu+. Or if you have a game console such as a PS3, you can just use the Amazon/Netflix/Hulu apps on there as well. Unless you prefer to watch on your laptop or tablet (I believe tablets and smart phones also have an Amazon video app available as well).

    • charliesb

      Hannibal is the (pardon my language) tits!

  • ElectricDreamer

    Thanks for the script, Carson!

    There’s no question anyone that’s seen FRAILTY may be a tad skeptical here.
    But I like how adding the JUDGE occupation elevates the concept from the Paxton film.

    It all goes back to the Secret Life Protag TV shows I talked about the other day.
    But where I think this pilot really INNOVATES, is that the “secret” is out right away!
    It’s more like a town wide damage control situation. Law versus Faith.

    My only concern: How can this last for several seasons and still feel fresh?
    Can you see these characters still wrapped up in this dramatic scenario in season five?
    It’s a tall order, unless this is intended just as a one off miniseries.

    • pmlove

      (SPOILERS) I suspect it might keep upping the ‘baddies’. The mention of ‘they’ and the big corporate deal – it’s going to be an extended conspiracy, at the end of the season just basically do what happens at the end of episode and introduce a new target – maybe this time his town is at stake. Etc etc. The twist being, he’s some sort of superhero and is turning on his friends when he gets into the conspiracy.

      Just like last time too, this succeeds by throwing in a unique angle – it’s conspiracy thriller boilerplate but the protagonist is damn sure going to have a unique take on it and that’s what’ll keep people watching (in theory) – what is the Judge going to do next? It’s also primed for the classic underdog scene – bad guys underestimate the crazy protag (Lethal Weapon, Breaking Bad etc) and he blows them out the water with some unpredictable move.

      P.s: Paris is spring time seems a rather predictable choice. What about Tuvalu in monsoon season?

  • Javier Eliezer Otero

    I read the first 10 pages and “Oh My…” if the whole pilot is as good as these 10 pages I’ll give it a Genius! I wanted to keep reading but I need to go to work. I’m really excited. It remains me to Frailty but turn into a Serial

  • fragglewriter

    I’vre read the first 16 pages, and I have to say, I don’t see what the fuss is about. I’ve seen the naked man hollering jibberish, ex-wife who looks like she MILF pornos cause she thinks she still has it, and vigilante/revenge cause of a child that’s been hurt or killed.

    Now, I do like the protag, but if maybe, it was just switched up a little. I do like the idea of him being a judge and judging by faith instead of facts, which will create a long running show, but I guess I wanted a pilot to start off with a problem not revolving around the family. Maybe if his son was not on his deathbed, and PJ’s faith was based on his son almost dying (I haven’t read the rest of the script, but will) and the son makes it through fine, but now, his faith has changed him to be a different man,

    Show me what PJ was like before his son’s accident. Again, I didn’t finish the pilot, but will do that tonight, so maybe my questions have been answered.

  • jw

    First 10 and (surprise-surprise) I’m going to disagree here. I find the opening (while a lot is going on) resolves itself WAAAAAY too easy. Find a guy speaking in tongues naked in a park, police show up, people are all around, and what happens? NOTHING. The police walk over and put a shirt around him (holy LAPD batman, but this is primed for something to actually happen and nothing does). We go to the hospital where his wife shows up, she talks with the doc, the doc wants him to stay, he doesn’t, an argument ensues and he leaves.
    Wow. A lot of drama there.
    He’s crazy, but there’s no distinction of when exactly he’s going to be crazy and he drifts in and out without provocation, so it doesn’t jive. If you remember BOSS, this was a tactic they tried to use with Grammer and it was the WORST part of the show. Literally. Hence, cancellation.
    I don’t know. If you’re going to try to ground your show in some sort of reality, it’s NOT about just having things happen, it’s about those things actually adding value to the conflict of the story. If this guy is going to be crazy, why on holy fuck’s Earth is he just speaking in tongues, looking at the cop like a baby and then realizing he’s fucked up? There is absolutely NOTHING exciting about that.
    What is exciting? Him not getting it. He shouldn’t want to be taken away and there should be a struggle. We should see him NOT want to go and THAT would be real conflict. Oh, he remembers his son is in a coma? No drama. What if he doesn’t remember his son’s in a coma and holy shenanigans would shit hit the ceiling. This is so primed for what would actually be GREAT writing, but it settles for being GOOD.
    Hopefully they make adjustments.

  • Andrew Parker

    One thing the writer does very well is movement to start every scene: A car pulls up… Or people walk through a hospital… etc. It keeps the reader engaged and leaning in.

    Another good thing is specificity in character clothing when we first meet characters. The mayor and son wearing tuxes cause they’re on way to daughter’s wedding… the police chief wearing his golf shirt cause he got pulled off the links… etc. They’re little throwaway details, but humanizing and memorable.

    Stuff like this separates the pros from the aspiring. An aspiring writer would have a cop car already on scene or a doctor standing bedside talking to someone… and the mayor would wear a button down shirt and khakis, with the police chief wearing his uniform.

  • ElectricDreamer

    I wonder why IMDb lists Hand of God as only a one-off — TV Movie of the Week:
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3505668/?ref_=nm_flmg_wr_1

  • Hadley’s Hope

    Starring Ron Perlman?

    [x] genius

  • Craig Mack

    Scared Straight, a screenplay I scrapped just made the Semi’s at PAGE… The Devil’s Hammer did not. Maybe I should reevaluate? I’ve changes SCARED STRAIGHT so much since the entry, I don’t even know where to pick it up…. I

    • fragglewriter

      Congrats. I made the bottom of the barrel. Oh well LOL

      • Craig Mack

        Hey, competitions are a funny thing. It all depends on the reader.

        I submitted Scared Straight out of morbid curiosity… it was my first draft.

        • fragglewriter

          Sometimes writing in a cathartic manner works out for the best.

          Will you submit it to Amateaur Friday?

          • Craig Mack

            Maybe after a few more revisions… I have the original draft that made the quarters… but I think it’s terrible.

          • fragglewriter

            What makes you think it’s terrible? I think as writers, there is never a finalized version because we look at a scene a hundred different ways. I think it’s hard to look at a script and go “you know what, it’s perfect, I’m done.”

          • Craig Mack

            Really, what I stated below. I found a few HUGE flaws that I can’t live with. I started a rewrite to address them, and now I’m stuck… so I’m in between drafts. THE ENDING which is stuck in my head, I can quite work out now.

    • Linkthis83

      I’m glad you posted this. I just saw it and was about to email you.

      Congrats, man. Even though now it might cause you some headaches. Good problems to have maybe?

    • Nick Morris

      Nice. Congrats, brother! m/,

    • Malibo Jackk

      What’s the logline for Scared Straight?

      Does PAGE ask for the logline?

      • Craig Mack

        Something like this: When a group of privileged teens are unwillingly enrolled in a Scared Straight program, a prison riot turns their day of reformation into a primal fight for survival.

        • Hadley’s Hope

          I like the concept, but I also immediately thought of the classic Beavis & Butthead episode where they have to go to prison for a day in a scared straight program.

          http://img.rp.vhd.me/4532277_l2.jpg

          • Andrew Parker

            Joe Gazzam, who made a few script deals this year, sold a similar concept titled “Scared Straight” to New Line in 2005. They never did anything with it, so he wrote it as a book and it was released last year: http://www.amazon.com/Uncaged-Joe-Gazzam/dp/061584863X

            The best part of the story… he *allegedly* created the persona of a 12 year old girl online to pimp the book on websites, and got caught: http://38caliberreviews.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/kids-today-the-joe-gazzam-story/

          • Craig Mack

            I bet you his version was much better…. ha.

          • Andrew Parker

            I wouldn’t sell yourself short. I agree with Malibo’s post that it’s all in the execution. For example, “Disturbia” had a pretty solid hook, but could have been completely botched if not for some interesting writing/directing/acting choices.

          • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

            Sony just bought one of his spec scripts “Shadow Run”… so they could always revisit it… especially since it’s now a book.

        • Malibo Jackk

          Has an interesting ring to it.
          (As always, the devil is in the execution.)

    • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

      Maybe send the entry draft and the newest draft to people to read (who have the time to read both) to see which is better, what seems to work, what doesn’t… etc, especially if both scripts are almost like two different movies.

      Or maybe try and submit to AOW? I know you just had one on the site… but maybe people won’t mind since it seems like you could use the help. Not sure which draft to recommend sending in, though…

      Or just post them in the comments section.

  • Randy Williams

    Read the first ten pages. Really like this. Thanks for a rare link!

    We read so many dark stories on here, and this seems to include some dark elements by reading the review, but what set this apart in a good way for me is that it opens with something that sets the characters apart from animals. No competing, killing, fucking, sleeping or waking up. No, just the desire to protect the reputation of another. Uniquely human.

  • Citizen M

    Read the whole thing, and wow, talk about ending on a cliffhanger/major twist. I demand the second episode!

    That said, I can’t see this going on for many episodes. Who are we rooting for? Not the judge. He’s a crazy old bastard. None of the others are protagonist material. They are either too sleazy or not strong enough characters. The baddies are corrupt, but are not evil or malicious enough for antagonists. So there’s no David vs Goliath vibe for us to latch onto, and the story isn’t interesting enough, so far anyway.

  • RO

    When I started reading this, I was surprised that Carson liked it so much. There is a lot of thick text between dialogue. It’s good. But I have read better, sparser action lines in amateur scripts. I figured it’d get a few negative points for conveying information that’s not going to be known by a watching audience. “Bobo’s” description for example; it was a quarter relevant at best. In fact, given the quality of the dialogue in many of the scenes a lot of the character description seemed redundant, and in a few cases stymied some fun reveals as a scene developed.

    However this pilot has a really strong set-up. I think that, over everything else, really got Carson and a lot of others in to this script (myself included). I have my reservations that the pay-off will be as strong. That was the big problem with Lost, right? A really great set-up, a question, a mystery and the explanation ends up being lame.

    While I am not rooting for any of the characters because they are all entertainingly despicable, I am crossing my fingers that this show has a great pay-off. If Amazon manages to get a second episode out of this (as many of their shows die after the pilot is aired), I hope the second one gives a bit more of an outline of the pay-off to add to the intrigue.

  • kevin thomas

    Question for anyone:

    Why do certain pilot scripts contain acts and others don’t? Does it boil down to the writer’s preference or the network’s?

    I noticed neither ‘Hand of God’ nor ‘Tyrant’ had act breaks in their scripts. Just curious…

    • andyjaxfl

      Taking a shot in the dark here, but possibly because the show will be streaming (Amazon, Netflix) or on a pay channel like HBO or Showtime where they do not have commercials. But wait, wasn’t Tyrant on FX with commercials? I think my shot in the dark missed.

  • Hadley’s Hope

    They do have good content too. I also don’t mind sorting through stuff since once in a while I find an unknown gem of a show or film. The video quality has gotten so bad though, and even then still has to buffer. I’d be happy with regular old standard definition DVD quality since my TV sort of upconverts that. Except I am almost stuck with VHS quality with a lot of Netflix streams. I feel like I time travelled back to the 1980s.

  • Craig Mack

    Thanks Rachel– honestly I WOULD post it, but I’m in between drafts so I don’t have a complete version. I have to tweek one to make the opening make sense… OR finish the rewrite I started. I’m stuck on the finale. They are WILDLY different versions.

  • Ambrose*

    “But he can’t perform a miracle once the plug is pulled.”
    Actually, Carson, that would be the time that it’s a REAL a miracle.

    Thanks for the script review. The script sounds worthy of a read.

  • koicvjr

    Uh, Paris in springtime is safe and predictable, too. Everything’s the same under the sun, of course. The only way these scripts come off being original is through the collaborative process toward the end artifact. Now, if we truly want something original in a script then we must look to a deeper structure. The challenge is that readers are commercially programmed and are given a workload to ensure that scripts with deeper structures are not encouraged. Carson seems to try to rise above this…. What do I mean? *Remember, a reader wants to avoid disorientation and confusion. They want a crystal-clear premise. They do not consider the idea that this is an assumption (a perfectly practical and therefore valid commercial assumption), but that there may be other assumptions that are of value. For example, what if the theme of the movie is disorientation from home and then finding that home again? If this were the case then we would want the structure and plot to match this in shape and theme. The upshot is that it may require a higher burden of investment from our dear readers. However, this does not happen (unless very rarely) except if a reputation is attached to that script….

    • Malibo Jackk

      In this business, EVERYONE has rules.
      The problem is that the rules differ.
      A professional screenwriter like JA will tell you: Your job is to make the reader see the movie.
      A reader will tell you: Your job is to make the read easy.

      (Classic case of the tail — wagging the industry.)

      • koicvjr

        Paradigm shift, Jack. Paradigm shift.

        I’m interested in the future of this business. I’m sure there are others who are as well….

        Did you hear what Francis Ford had to say?

        • Malibo Jackk

          Not sure what the Vatican has to do with it.