Author Topic: The Alliance - An Indie Crime Film - 35 Pages (PDF)  (Read 11502 times)

Offline 2par

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Re: The Alliance - An Indie Crime Film - 35 Pages (PDF)
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2013, 01:18:34 PM »
Just another bit of info.  I wouldn't worry about explaining the trick. That comes after discussing what to do with an expert and with the actor. You only have to say He performs an illusion and takes his watch, or whatever.

Offline Aaron Thomas

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Re: The Alliance - An Indie Crime Film - 35 Pages (PDF)
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2013, 01:23:12 PM »
Thanks again 2par :)

Offline JoeEnt2014

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Re: The Alliance - An Indie Crime Film - 35 Pages (PDF)
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2013, 02:42:08 PM »
Look, I'm asking for help and advice - not for anyone to do my job for me. There's a difference between being helpful and being a jerk. As you can already see, I've taken these things into account and have learned, so no need to have a go at me.

I totally agree with you.

Offline Aaron Thomas

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Re: The Alliance - An Indie Crime Film - 35 Pages (PDF)
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2013, 02:53:57 PM »
Thanks Joe. I just don't get why somebody would come to the advice page and begin talking down to people whilst giving advice. And then blaming them for asking it in the advice section...

Offline JoeEnt2014

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Re: The Alliance - An Indie Crime Film - 35 Pages (PDF)
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2013, 02:55:55 PM »
Thanks Joe. I just don't get why somebody would come to the advice page and begin talking down to people whilst giving advice. And then blaming them for asking it in the advice section...

Same here. They tried to come for me. Like read the entire story first and they you'll understand it. I'm about to delete my account, I have mentors out there who actually sold scripts to studios and they can continue to help me. True talk.

Offline Aaron Thomas

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Re: The Alliance - An Indie Crime Film - 35 Pages (PDF)
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2013, 03:06:28 PM »
I had clearly retracted something I said before and made it clear that I appreciated his advice but he still brought it up like I was still arguing him on it just so he can talk down to me again... I hope I'm not sounding appreciative, because I appreciate the advice a lot - just not the patronizing undertone

Offline 2par

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Re: The Alliance - An Indie Crime Film - 35 Pages (PDF)
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2013, 03:07:27 PM »
Joe, it could be helpful if you could share your mentors' advice with us.

Offline JoeEnt2014

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Re: The Alliance - An Indie Crime Film - 35 Pages (PDF)
« Reply #22 on: December 27, 2013, 03:29:24 PM »
My mentor always told me "to write is to rewrite" which is true. She said that every story takes time to develop because most of the time, the writer can be writing a script that can take up to years to be finished and receive a green light. Green lighting a script is not easy. But as for developing characters, you as the writer must know your characters so well that the dialogue within the scene can flow and not out you in the category as being another amateur writer.

He's being telling me this since I was fourteen years old, ALWAYS outline your story. Act One, Plot Point One, Act Two, Plot Point Two, Climax, Act Three. A writers job is to tell a story, so TELL your story and know what type of audience you are targeting.

Offline jonwood

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Re: The Alliance - An Indie Crime Film - 35 Pages (PDF)
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2014, 07:29:00 AM »
Hello Aaron,

I had a quick look at your PDF and it does need work as you say. For the things you are asking I hope I can help.

You fear your intro is bland and that might be because the first location is EXT. BRISBANE CITY - DAY. Nothing wrong with Brisbane I'm sure but it's the same nondescript scene heading, again and again. To make it interesting it could be something with life, such as BRISBANE'S BEST BUSKING SPOT. A reader would be thinking, How can we know? and you're about to show why.

There is no description for JEREMY. Introduction is a legitimate place for a few words such as streetwise or crafty, whatever characteristics you need to describe personality. Prestidigitator extraordinaire. 'Busker' threw me, in the UK that would mean a musician; a man doing magic tricks would be a street performer, or scam artist if that's what he is. Buskers are harmless, scammers are to be wary of, so a better description would let us know. From this short sample I can't tell if Jeremy is a good guy or bad.

The first line is to tell us he has just finished busking. That's okay if busking is a peripheral activity and we are moving on to the good stuff, but it's actually what the first part is about. Already there is the feeling we have missed something. The viewer won't know anyway, it's a man packing a suitcase.

He sees a news item on TV and I can see very well this is a placeholder description probably because you haven't decided yet how to introduce the important background event. By INT/EXT I guess you mean it's through the window of a shop but it wasn't clear, by "huge" and "above" I thought it might have been one of those screens you see at sporting events. It's too soon to be bored but I was confused.

For packing up and moving on, you explain why in a post but not in the script, where it seems strange after the area is described as a favourite spot? You could have another busker with a guitar case approach and exchange a nod, with perhaps a gesture to the big TV screen showing the time clock on the news channel. It means his slot is up. This would do double duty because instead of staring "longingly" (why?) Jeremy's eye can be caught by the news caption 'PRISON ESCAPE' over mugshots of Vince. His distraction until the guitar busker gives him a nudge would tell us he knows the fugitive. Alternatively, a cop could move him on, with a suspicious glance at his suitcase paraphanalia to show Jeremy is probably up to no good. If the cop or the other busker gave a parting handshake and then quickly checked for their wristwatch, we get that Jeremy is part of the street scene, and also not to be trusted.

We move in a montage through lesser locations for no particular purpose until he sets up again and we are as we began. It may be better the other way around, showing Jeremy in his pickpocket world only waiting for his time slot to come along (a check on the stolen wristwatch and a shake and listen to his own will remind him) before he hurries to his favourite spot and sets up his props with relish, and we are ready to begin. I actually think it doesn't matter, one street is as good as another, there are marks all around. Just open with a smile and flourish of cards.

You write: "He begins by pulling out a deck of cards and playing with them" and then there is a location the same as where he is already, only now he is in the middle of a performance. Remove these lines so it goes straight from handling the cards to "You, sir, whatís your name?" as he draws a crowd.

A slight technical problem as an otherwise undescribed man tells us his name is Paul but continues speaking as MAN before duly becoming PAUL. Keep it one or the other. How should we feel about Paul being robbed, is he a naive tourist or obnoxious business man?

I too did not see or understand the trick. You shouldn't fudge it by "blurry cards" or (without offense to 2par for her suggestion) hoping an expert will come up with an idea or the actor will look as if they have done something wonderful - a clever or surprising trick described here will sell the scene, and at this early stage, give confidence in your script. I did wonder if the two cards are supposed to total the number he was thinking? That would only work up to twenty, it's still not much of a trick. For what you have, the numbers one to sixteen are recited as a list, and even if they are delivered quickly this will be an annoyance on screen. Perhaps Jeremy can have the audience chant along to show they are enjoying themselves instead of you telling?

You already told us Jeremy is a pickpocket, and you told us he is stealing Paul's watch. It would be more surprising if you left this until after the magic trick was performed, and only after the final handshake and call for applause do we see Jeremy pocket the watch. We realise he is not only a masterful performer, he is also a thief.

You can usefully show your main character as charming, talented and resourceful but I think it was stealing from market stalls that had me see him as just a lowlife hustler. If he tossed an apple to a small kid or a pretty girl he would become more of an Artful Dodger, which I sense you are going for.

In the second half we meet Tim, and again BRISBANE CITY as a location tells us nothing when BRISBANE, DEALER'S HOUSE or THE VERY SHADIEST DISTRICT OF BRISBANE would say more. TIMíS HOUSE for the interior similarly tells us nothing. LOWLIFE KITCHEN?

I don't know your story so I can't see if anything in this scene is significant but it seems to be mostly chat, and even quirky chat isn't going to move your story. I wonder if there is something in the day's haul when it spills onto the table that makes Tim sit up and say: "My god, where the hell did you get that?"

Offline 2par

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Re: The Alliance - An Indie Crime Film - 35 Pages (PDF)
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2014, 07:58:19 AM »
We could go on and on discussing this, but I just want to make one note before you go on with this.

Do not leave anything for a "surprise." The director wants to know. The Cameraman needs to know. You don't spring a surprise After the scene. You're not trying to impress a reader. You're giving the director what he needs, not what you want.

Okay, a second note: there's no "hope" in finding an expert illusionist. There are plenty around. The director doesn't need the writer telling him exactly how a trick is done (unless it's absolutely imperative to the story). Directors like making their own choices after consulting experts.

Offline jonwood

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Re: The Alliance - An Indie Crime Film - 35 Pages (PDF)
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2014, 10:23:09 AM »
Do not leave anything for a "surprise." The director wants to know.

Which he will after reading the script.

The Cameraman needs to know.

Which he will after reading the shooting script.

You're not trying to impress a reader.

Yes you are. Before he agrees to become the Director a director is a reader who must be impressed; magic tricks, surprises and all. Although not in this case, because Aaron will direct.

The director doesn't need the writer telling him exactly how a trick is done ...

I can see it now: "At this point I would like you to put in some kind of magic trick from an expert."

Directors like making their own choices after consulting experts.

All directors? Always? I'm new here but I would like to know where this advice is coming from. Aaron, if you find anything useful in my notes you can send me an email. I just finished the PDF.

-Jon

Offline 2par

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Re: The Alliance - An Indie Crime Film - 35 Pages (PDF)
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2014, 05:35:01 AM »
This advice comes from a very successful screenwriter, also from my son who is a script consultant, from practical experience on my part, from reading on script techniques and from discussions with people in the business.

But, hey...some things aren't all that important.

With my first screenplay, I got a scathing crit from the successful screenwriter and learned certain things. But, who knows what changes can be made.

For instance, the trick - compare it to a car chase. The writer only puts in "there is a car chase". The director knows there are experts to help choreograph that. Same thing with making love - the writer only puts in "they make love". He doesn't give directions. The director does.

« Last Edit: January 07, 2014, 05:40:37 AM by 2par »

Offline Aaron Thomas

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Re: The Alliance - An Indie Crime Film - 35 Pages (PDF)
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2014, 07:13:20 AM »
A huge thank you to both 2par and Jonwood for even reading the script haha. I have fixed a GREAT deal of what you've already discussed already, others I'm still only just seeing. I hope you both can keep a look out for my next re-draft and offer just as awesome ideas. This next one will be a great deal closer to readable haha.

Offline 2par

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Re: The Alliance - An Indie Crime Film - 35 Pages (PDF)
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2014, 08:52:13 AM »
My pleasure. Have fun.
Recently, William Blinn told me that when he writes for himself, he has more fun and enjoys it more. Then, he has to rewrite for others.

Offline mdfidelity

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Re: The Alliance - An Indie Crime Film - 35 Pages (PDF)
« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2014, 10:36:16 PM »
I understand how hard it may be to feel like you are transferring the information but don't forget to put yourself into edit mode. Take the advice and roll with it. Everyone here wants to help or they would not reply.