Author Topic: My first three minutes of film ever written  (Read 3281 times)

Offline Virgil

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My first three minutes of film ever written
« on: April 09, 2014, 04:06:58 PM »
Hey guys,

A few days ago I decided to learn how to write screenplays. So after studying up on terminology and the way scripts are written, I decided to write my first scene so I can get my first feedback. Below are the first three minutes of film I've ever written. I'm looking for any and all kinds of feedback. Did I use all aspects of scripts (scene headings, parentheticals, dialogue, etc) right? Is it easy to read? How is the quality of the story? How is the quality of the dialogue? Are there any beginner mistakes I've made? Etc, etc. Both positive and negative feedback are welcome. Honesty, no matter how harsh, will be appreciated.

Thanks guys. Love ya :)



FADE IN

EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT

JONES, MORGAN and JAYCE, all black and respectively 20,18
and 17 years old, are standing on the corner of a street
across a night shop. ROBIN, white and 16 years old, turns
around the corner next street, sees them, and walks over to
them.

TRACKING SHOT - Robin walks towards his friends Jones,
Morgan and Jayce. He exchanges handshakes and fist bumps with them.

JONES
What's up, man?

ROBIN
I'm good. How's your mom doing, Jayce?

JAYCE
She's still sick, man. It seems to
be getting worse, but the doctor
told her to hang in there.

ROBIN
Sorry to hear that.

JAYCE
It'll be all right.

Jones steps forward into Robin's personal space. Robin looks
up in expectation.

JONES
(raises chin)
We didn't summon you out here
tonight to talk about mommas.

Robin nods.

JONES
In the past few weeks you've shown
you've got what it takes to roll
with us. Tonight you have to do one
more thing to prove you're worthy
of joining the gang.

ROBIN
(nervously)
All right. What's that?

JONES
See that night shop across the street?

Robin turns his head and looks at the night shop for a few seconds.

ROBIN
Yeah...

JONES
Rob it.

Robin is startled and looks at his friends questioning if
they are for real.

JAYCE
What is it, snowflake? You look scared.

ROBIN
Are you for real?

JAYCE
You damn right we're for real.

Robin takes a step back, considering his options.

JAYCE
Look, it's for my mom, man. She
hasn't got health insurance. We
need to buy all these pills and all...

ROBIN
But, man...

JONES
Either you do this or you're on
your own. We don't hang out with
sissies. Our little group is for men only.

Robin presses his lips together as he makes his final considerations.

ROBIN
All right, man. I'll do it.

Morgan pulls out a gun and hands it over to Robin, who
nervously accepts and puts it in the pocket of his sweater.

JAYCE
That's more like it.

Robin swallows.

JONES
Now, before you go, here's
something to take the edge off. Morgan.

Morgan pulls a joint out of his jacket and puts it in
Robin's mouth. He then lights it.

JONES
He may not talk much, but he always has what you need.

Robin inhales.

JONES
All right. Take one more.

Robin inhales again.

JONES
Now get to it.

Robin hands the joint back to Morgan, pulls his hood over
his head and turns around.

TRACKING SHOT - Robin walks over to the night shop. Slowly
at first, jogging by the time he reaches the door. He
violently pushes the door open and aims his gun at the cashier.

INT. NIGHT SHOP - NIGHT

ROBIN
Give me your money!

The cashier stands behind the counter and puts his hands in the air.

CASHIER
Oh, shit. Hey, don't shoot, man!

ROBIN
Take one of those fucking plastic
bags and put the money in there!

CASHIER
Okay, okay!

The cashier grabs a plastic bag and opens the register. He
puts in all the paper money from the register.

ROBIN
Come on, man! Hurry it up!

CASHIER
There! There! It's all there!

The cashier gives the bag to Robin, who grabs it out of his
hand and starts making his way back to the door.

ROBIN
If you tell anyone about this, I'll
fucking kill you.

Robin storms out.

CASHIER
Yeah, how the hell am I supposed to
keep quiet about this?

The cashier presses the alarm button.

EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT

TRACKING SHOT - Robin runs back towards his friends.

JAYCE
Give me the money!

Robin hands over the money to Jayce. The whole group runs away together.

JONES
Good job, man.

Offline Virgil

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Re: My first three minutes of film ever written
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2014, 04:14:27 PM »
Here's the PDF file.

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: My first three minutes of film ever written
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2014, 04:40:23 PM »
Hello Virgil and welcome to MWC.
 
Our members are great at offering critiques or suggestions to one another, but it helps if you read and follow the guidelines before posting your work.

Please take the time to visit the Welcome Board and introduce yourself.
Welcome Board:
http://mywriterscircle.com/index.php?board=1.0

Forum Guidelines:
http://www.mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=7415.0

You will also find Guidelines posted for some individual boards, especially the prose and poetry boards. They are on the left hand menu when you open the board, generally named something like Read This First and stuck near the top with a Blue Stick Pin.

Please read and follow them.

Thank you,
Alice
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Offline thatollie

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Re: My first three minutes of film ever written
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2014, 04:41:02 PM »
This site screws up formatting so I'm not sure if you did it and it was screwed up or if you didn't. I'll tell you anyway because why not.

Quote
EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT

This is right.

Quote
JONES, MORGAN and JAYCE, all black and respectively 20,18
and 17 years old, are standing on the corner of a street
across a night shop. ROBIN, white and 16 years old, turns
around the corner next street, sees them, and walks over to
them.

This is mostly right, there are minor quibbles but in terms of formatting it's okay.

Quote
TRACKING SHOT - Robin walks towards his friends Jones,
Morgan and Jayce. He exchanges handshakes and fist bumps with them.

Here's the first proper mistake. The writer is not responsible for deciding the type of shot used, that is the director's job and will be written into the shooting script not the screenplay. This should be normal action the same as the previous quote.

Quote
JONES
What's up, man?

As I said earlier, the site screws up formatting. If the character names and their dialogue is centered in the actual file (I won't look at it, I'm only giving quick advice), that's okay. If not, it should be.

And there's some advice even though it isn't much.

Here's a link to a formatting guide.
http://2012.scriptfrenzy.org/howtoformatascreenplay
« Last Edit: April 09, 2014, 04:46:06 PM by Sprocket »
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline Virgil

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Re: My first three minutes of film ever written
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2014, 04:51:02 PM »
Thanks, bro. I'll keep in mind to only write establishing shots and/or inserts if some important detail has to be shown. I believe those are used in spec scripts. Am I right?

In the actual script (I uploaded the PDF three posts up) the name and dialogue are indeed positioned in the center of the sheet. I use a screenwriting program (Trelby), so that's taken care of by pressing a single key.

Oh, and Alice, I'm gonna introduce myself now ;)

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: My first three minutes of film ever written
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2014, 05:14:08 PM »
Good for you Virgil.

I don't write scripts, but this link might help with the formatting.

http://mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=39962.0
MWC Charity Publications.
http://www.lulu.com/spotlight>
The universe is made of stories, not of atoms. -Muriel Rukeyser, poet and activist (15 Dec 1913-1980)

R. L. Copple's: http://www.rlcopple.com/

I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.
-Mohandas K. Gandhi

Offline 2par

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Re: My first three minutes of film ever written
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2014, 05:14:46 PM »
Virgil, just remember not to give the director, actor or cameraman directions. Your job is to just write the dialogue.

hillwalker3000

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Re: My first three minutes of film ever written
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2014, 05:18:30 PM »
Quote
A few days ago I decided to learn how to write screenplays. So after studying up on terminology and the way scripts are written, I decided to write my first scene so I can get my first feedback. Below are the first three minutes of film I've ever written.

That's your first mistake - not fatal, but close. You admit you've only spent a few days deciding to learn how to write screenplays, study on terminology etc. and have now written your first three minute scene. Hmm. And now you want us to give feedback. If you're seriously considering making it as a screenwriter then 'a few days' study' is a joke.
It leaves me wondering how seriously you're taking this screenplay-writing business. And why should I spend my valuable time reading it and giving feedback.
If it was as simple as you make out, everyone and his dog would be producing screenplays.

For what it's worth there are a few things you need to consider about screenplays:

Most are dialogue driven. The director decides the camera angles, the way the actor delivers his lines and behaves on-screen, etc. Some of your directions are impossible to show in a movie so they don't have a place in a screenplay:

Jones steps forward into Robin's personal space. Robin looks up in expectation.

Robin is startled and looks at his friends questioning if they are for real.

Robin takes a step back, considering his options.

Robin presses his lips together as he makes his final considerations.


As for the plot - it's not exactly new. A guy holds up a store to prove how tough he is to his pals then they run away. Hardly ground-breaking as it stands. I suggest you come up with something original and work on that before getting hung up on formatting. And next time let your work speak for itself.

H3K

Offline Virgil

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Re: My first three minutes of film ever written
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2014, 04:06:54 PM »
Thanks guys and gals.

H3K, I've only spent a few days studying how to write screenplays so far. Although I probably do underestimate the difficulty of writing a good script, I don't think I could write Resevoir Dogs 2 or something next week. It's like someone explains you how to use the pedals of a car. You spend some time learning how to use them and then you're excited and want to drive a few yards on an abandoned parking lot ;). I simply spent some days studying formatting and the rules of scriptwriting, and now wanted to use them so I'll remember them better and have someone look at it to see if I made any mistakes. I know I have a long way to go, but for now, your feedback has been very helpful. I reckognise the mistakes I've made. Thanks, bro :).

Oh, and the plot - I didn't really find that important, as this was mostly to see if I was writing and formatting correctly. I just picked that plot because we've all seen that scene in movies often enough to be familiar with it - and I have some real-life experience on the receiving end.

Next up I'm going to read my first book on screenwriting: Save The Cat: The Last Book On Screenwriting You'll Ever Need.