Author Topic: Review My Opening Scene - Violence And Some Bad Language  (Read 2885 times)

Offline Robert.OSullivan

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Review My Opening Scene - Violence And Some Bad Language
« on: January 02, 2016, 08:41:43 PM »
Hi, this is my first war screenplay so I'm a bit nervous about posting this - and I really wanted some feedback, so here it is!
Any feedback is appreciated, the title is "Soldier of Overkill"

    1.      FROM BLACK WE HEAR:

                            VOICE OVER
                    From day one, I always wanted to be
                    a SEAL.

                                                                  FADE IN

    2.      INT. LIBRARY - DAY


            The book is in a long line of military books on the shelf in
            the library.

                            VOICE OVER
                    When I was in Junior High in
                    Dallas, I was assigned to do a book
                    report. Not many books could peak
                    my interest. But one did.

            A hand reaches up into frame and takes "Men in Green Faces"
            from the shelf.

                            VOICE OVER
                    That one was Men in Green Faces by
                    Gene Wentz, a former seal.

                                                                  CUT TO:

    3.      INT. BEDROOM - EVENING

            A young-ish boy, around 13, a younger version of the
            narrator, lays on the bed, reading the book. This is Mark

                            VOICE OVER
                    Ever since I read page 1, I knew I
                    was going to be a SEAL.

            There's a knock on the door.


                            VOICE OUTSIDE DOOR (O.S.)
                    Dinner's ready.

                                                           FADE TO BLACK.


            2011 - 21 years later.

                                                                  FADE IN


            We can hear heavy breathing.

            Then, a light flickers on, it comes from the cockpit, it
            lights up the cabin slightly.

            We see an older MARK BENNETT, still not as old as the
            narrator, but getting there, sitting in the cabin, no seats
            are in the cabin.

            He is surrounded by a group of soldiers, 11 to be exact.

            The helicopter they are in is an MH-60 Black Hawk.

            The heavy breathing continues.

            Then; it fades out. A loud sound, of the helicopter's ROTORS
            kick in, it fills the cabin with noise.

            The door to the helicopter is open.

            Mark walks over to the helicopter door and stretches his
            legs out.

                            SQUAD LEADER
                    Don't go jumping on me, Bennett.

                    Just getting the blood flowing,

            Mark is sweating heavily. Understandably nervous.

                            VOICE OVER
                    Tonight was the night. I couldn't
                    feel my legs, I thought this might
                    give 'em a kick. My logic was
                    slightly off. I had been cramped in
                    the cabin for the last hour and a
                    half, but just 5 minutes ago, we
                    put on our gear, helmets, checked
                    radios, made sure the weapons were
                    up to scratch.

            POV - MARK

            Mark looks down at the city of Abbottabad.

                            VOICE OVER
                    The men I was with on the mission
                    were the best of the best, we were
                    handpicked from hundreds to do this
                    mission, and I was grateful for the
                    oppurtunity. I had no doubt we
                    could do what we had to - I trusted
                    these men and they trust me back.

            SHOT IN THE CABIN

            We focus on Mark, still sitting on the side.

            CLOSE UP ON MARK

            Mark closes his eyes.

                                                                FLASH TO:

    6.      INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

            A younger Mark is watching the TV, it's the news, describing
            the 9/11 attacks, Mark looks shocked, in disbelief.

                            VOICE OVER
                    I dreamed about this mission since
                    I saw 9/11 on the news. I was just
                    home from my barracks for 2 weeks,
                    and I came home and saw this.

                                                                  BACK TO


            The shot focuses on the helicopter, Mark still sits on the

                            VOICE OVER
                    As I watched, I wished I was in
                    Afghanistan, chasing down those Al
                    Qaeda fuckers and teaching them a
                    little lesson.

                            SQUAD LEADER (O.S.)
                    Bennett! Get your ass in here.

                                                                FLASH TO:

    8.      EXT. PLANE - DAY

            Set days after the 9/11 attacks.

            Mark gets ready to board the plane, kissing his girlfriend,
            possibly for the last time to his knowledge.

                                                                  BACK TO


            The 12 soldiers, including Mark, and their squad leader sit
            in the cabin, most on the floor, some on cheap lawn chairs.

            Squad leader sits on the chair.

                            SQUAD LEADER
                    We're approaching our destination,
                    should be there soon, we're gonna
                    do one final check on weapons and
                    then we gotta prepare. We gotta
                    take our chances on this mission,
                    been almost a decade after the
                    attack in NY, and 8 years of
                    chasing this fucker.

                    Let's go get this terrorist

                    Mark, Walt, you get the door, watch
                    the compound as we approach.

            Mark and Walt, the sniper of the crew, walk over to the
            doorway of the helicopter.

            Walt hangs one leg out and the other lies behind him.

            Mark sits with both legs out. Mark carries an assault rifle,
            the M16A4, Jay has a long barrel sniper, his barrel scouts
            for victims around the compound. Mark's job to survey where
            he isn't looking.

                             VOICE OVER
                    No one believed this mission would
                    be approved in Washington, but now
                    - we were just minutes away from
                    the compound.

            The heavy breathing starts again.

            Mark grabs the rope attached to the Black Hawk's fuselage.

            This brings a calm over him.

            The breathing becomes less heavy, they turn to long, deep

                            SQUAD LEADER
                    We clear?


                            SQUAD LEADER

                    I said yes, sir.

                            SQUAD LEADER
                        (TO PILOT)
                    We're clear, bring 'er down.

Modified to remove all the cap. letters in the subject line.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 08:00:43 PM by Alice, a Country Gal »

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: Review My Opening Scene - Violence And Sone Bad Language
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2016, 08:57:37 PM »
Hi Robert,

It's always nice to see a new member who is eager to take part in our forum.
But it's considered good manners to take a moment and introduce yourself, sharing as much or as little as youíre comfortable with on our Welcome Board before posting any more:

You may have noticed that I modified your subject line to remove all but the first letter of each word so others wouldn't feel you were SHOUTING at us.

Itís also helpful to read the forum guidelines a moderator will be along to offer you.

Youíll find guidelines for individual prose and poetry boards in the left hand menu when you open the board, titled something such as Read This First and marked with a blue stick pin.

The guidelines were developed to help everyone, new and current members alike, have a fair chance to have their work read and reviewed.

Thank you,
Global Moderator
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Artemis Quark

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Re: Review My Opening Scene - Violence And Sone Bad Language
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2016, 06:52:45 AM »
Welcome to MWC, Robert. I don't usually critique scripts, focusing more on the prose posted in RMW and PW threads, but your post grabbed my attention. Why? Because it sounded like a variation of the SEAL Team Six mission that killed Osama bin Laden. I'm wondering if you based it on research of the many articles written, some by former SEALs, since you interject specifics about arms used, the helicopter type, etc. I will not critique your scripting format, etc. since it's not my forte, however, I will say that the pace and tension the internal thoughts and dialogue need work to heighten the tension and compell audience attention.

You may have seen this article in the August 8, 2011 issue of New Yorker magazine. If not, here is the link:

It was written by Reporter at Large Nicholas Schmidle. The Article contains many details gleaned from firsthand recollections of some of the SEALs that attended the mission. Schmidle's writing style creates an exciting account, and reads like a movie script or novel in the passages that recount the events leading up to and during the raid. You might find it to be a useful 'prompt' for adding to the script you are posting here. Careful not to plagiarize. Use it for research, particularly to get the details correct and add to the authenticity and believability of your script.

JMO. Use or lose and good luck.


Offline Robert.OSullivan

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Re: Review My Opening Scene - Violence And Sone Bad Language
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2016, 10:36:20 AM »
The end to the opening;


    10.     LATER

            The helicopter is on it's shaky way down.

            It is clearly unstable, the driver is having some trouble.

            The helicopter looks as if it might crash.

            Mark looks down, rope in his hand, he thinks about throwing
            it down to climb down, but he decides against it.

            The helicopter steadies up into an awkward hovering

                    We're gonna have to go around.

            Mark looks disappointed.

                            VOICE OVER
                    The reason I was unhappy about this
                    was that it would add time to our
                    mission, we would have to fly
                    around to the south and land, and
                    then assault from outside the wall
                    - giving people inside the compound
                    time to arm themselves and get

            The helicopter starts to climb out of it's hovering position
            - when;


            Mark looks as if he's about to slide out, but Walt manages
            to grab Mark's armor and keep him in place.

            Walt pulls Mark in.

            The ground is getting closer and closer.

            Mark is able to adjust his body to tuck in his legs from the

            But Walt can't, the cabin is too crowded and he can't move

            GO SLOW MOTION

            SHOT ON MARK

            He tucks his head down, preparing for the inevitable impact.

            SHOT ON WALT

            He is scared-looking, one of his legs remain out of the

            POV - PILOT

            The ground is getting nearer and nearer from the view of the

            SHOT ON MARK

            He remains in a tucked position.

                                                             CUT TO BLACK

Offline thatollie

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Re: Review My Opening Scene - Violence And Sone Bad Language
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2016, 08:35:04 AM »
The formatting is okay, but you don't need to number the scenes.

            A young-ish boy, around 13, a younger version of the Here
            narrator, lays on the bed, reading the book. This is Mark

During these descriptions, you have to cut anything that can't be seen or heard. The fact that he is the narrator will be obvious from the narration.

           MARK BENNETT, 13, lies on the bed reading the book.

- - -
Other things...

Capitalizing "rotors" is a bit random and not needed.
The squad leader says "terrorist bastard" but he would probably just say "bastard".
I don't think you need to cut to the 9/11 news report, just stay with Mark in the helicopter.

Tighten this up and it could be pretty interesting.
Never make a decision standing up.

Offline Robert.OSullivan

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Re: Review My Opening Scene - Violence And Sone Bad Language
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2016, 12:31:24 PM »
Thank you for the feedback, I do admit the flashbacks might have been a bit too much and going to stereotypical war movie. As for the extra information - I always include it in my first drafts because I want to try paint a clear image in my head and the reader's head, but I understand where you're coming from. And I like to number scenes so I can make a reference for a character like, when the squad leader is introduced later on as "Gerry" I say "He is a younger looking version of the squad leader from scene (number)"
But thank you for the feedback and I will work to make it better.