Author Topic: Give me feedback please. This is the beginning of the script.  (Read 145 times)

Offline Hunter

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Give me feedback please. This is the beginning of the script.
« on: December 20, 2017, 09:54:02 PM »
FADE IN:

    EXT. SECRET AIR FORCE BASE - NIGHT

    A man in a uniform leans against a wall,
    next to a door. Face clouded by cigarette
    smoke.

    He checks his watch, flicks the cigarette
    onto the pavement, extinguishes with his
    boot.

    He turns to open the door to his right,
    walks in.


    INT. SECRET AIR FORCE BASE - SAME

    The cold stern man, SERGEANT MORGAN (40's),
    with an enormous scar across his face, walks
    along the corridor.

    Morgan approaches a guarded door where an
    officer stands in front of. He nods to the guard,
    the guard opens the door.

    Morgan walks into --

    THE SURVEILLANCE ROOM

    Morgan's commander, a cold looking man,
    JOHN (50's), talks to a few surveillance
    workers, then walks over to greet Morgan.

                          JOHN
                   (Shakes his hand)
              Morgan.

                          MORGAN
              Sir.

                          JOHN
              I guess you're wondering
              why we called you here.

                          MORGAN
              It crossed my mind.

                           JOHN
              Follow me. There's
              something I need to show
              you.

   They walk toward a screen monitor.

                           JOHN (CONT'D)
              You're the best negotiator
              we've ever had.
 
   They approach the monitor and MORGAN sees a
   weird, skinny arm twitch on the screen.

                           JOHN (CONT'D)
               We need you to ask these
               things a few questions.

                           MORGAN
               What are they?

                           JOHN
               Aliens... But we call
               them Ellipticans due to
               the shape of their heads.

                           MORGAN
               Why are they here?

   John hands him a sheet of paper.

                           JOHN
               That's why you're here.
               To ask them these
               questions.

   Morgans eyes dart as he considers this.

                          JOHN (CONT'D)
                No one has attempted to
                do this. So get your ass
                in there and get it done.

   He nods to John. A nod that says: "Yes, sir."

   Morgan turns, walks toward a door, opens it and
   goes into --

   THE INTERROGATION ROOM
 
   Morgan walks in, shuts the door behind him.

   He lays the paper that John gave him on the
   metal table, then sits down across from the
   ELLIPTICANS.

   The two aliens, with small slinder bodies,
   oval-shaped heads, no mouths and vast grey
   eyes, sit in restraints.

   Morgan gazes at them. Not intimidated.

   He then studies the list of questions, looks
   up and asks:
                   
                        MORGAN
           Where are you from?

   Nothing. Pure silence.

                       MORGAN (CONT'D)
           Why are you here?

   Morgan hears a trembling noise as their eye
   color change from grey, to a deep bright
   purple.

   He yells at the top of his lungs in agony.
   Then SLAMS his hands against the sides
   of the table while tears stream down his
   face.

   He then becomes calm, starts to speak,
   but it's not really him talking. It's the aliens
   talking through him.

                         MORGAN
            We're looking for
            someone... One of us
            among you.

   INT. AUTO REPAIR SHOP - NIGHT

   A car hood CREAKS as it opens.

   A young handsome man (28), TYLER, works on
   a 65' Ford Mustang.


   

Offline TheOtherAdrian

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Re: Give me feedback please. This is the beginning of the script.
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 08:54:29 AM »
This isn't a script, it's prose.
Quote
Morgan's commander, a cold looking man, talks to a few surveillance workers (the heck is a surveillance worker?), then walks over to greet Morgan.
Quote
They approach the monitor and MORGAN sees a weird, skinny arm twitch on the screen.
We can only know what the viewer sees. How would the viewer have any idea what Morgan is seeing?
Quote
Morgans eyes dart as he considers this.
As an actor, I wouldn't even want my director telling me this. As if I don't know how to portray someone reading.
Quote
He nods to John. A nod that says: "Yes, sir."
Quote
Morgan gazes at them. Not intimidated.
...and so on.

To see whether a scene would be engaging on-screen, try looking at the dialogue alone:
Quote
Morgan.
Sir.
I guess you're wondering why we called you here.
It crossed my mind.
Follow me. There's something I need to show you. You're the best negotiator we've ever had. We need you to ask these things a few questions.
What are they?
Aliens... But we call them Ellipticans due to the shape of their heads.
Why are they here?
That's why you're here. To ask them these questions. No one has attempted to do this. So get your ass in there and get it done.
Here, the short answer is "no".

Offline hillwalker3000

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Re: Give me feedback please. This is the beginning of the script.
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2017, 12:35:29 PM »
This is a reworked version of the same 'script opening' you posted in May - and it's no better. You're either unwilling to listen to our advice or are not prepared to address the most basic flaws. Can I suggest you check out the wealth of scripts available to read on-line for free. You'll hopefully then see where you're going wrong.

H3K

Offline c.e.abrams

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Re: Give me feedback please. This is the beginning of the script.
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 01:44:06 PM »
This was an interesting read, and the scene with the actual interrogation is really cool. However, it's very clear that this screenplay still needs a lot of TLC.

My first problem with this script is that you only barely described the setting. You do hint at a setting, which is good, but you have to remember that a script is not meant to be read for its literary genius. It's meant primarily as a way for directors, DPs, and actors to get the information they need about the story before and during filming. When you write a screenplay like a novel, it often ends up making everyone else's jobs harder--meaning no one will want to buy your script.

Something that you must always keep in mind is, when a scene ends with a character leaving a room, you typically should use the verb 'exists' (e.g. He opens the door to his right and exits; Morgan exists through the door; etc).

It's also really important that you don't leave important story elements in the action. The action should only be reserved for action and description.

Quote
    Morgan's commander, a cold looking man,
    JOHN (50's), talks to a few surveillance
    workers, then walks over to greet Morgan.
I understand the urge to write that John is Morgan's commander, but this information has to be given some other way. Perhaps Morgan salutes John and John says "at ease, soldier" or John is wearing some sort of emblem that makes it clear that he ranks higher than Morgan. The viewer of the movie will not be reading the script, so it's important to stop yourself doing that early on.

Quote
   They walk toward a screen monitor.

                           JOHN (CONT'D)
              You're the best negotiator
              we've ever had.
 
   They approach the monitor and MORGAN sees a
   weird, skinny arm twitch on the screen.
It's redundant to say they walked toward a monitor and then approached it. Redundancies up your word count and make your screenplay seem amateurish, but they're easy to cut out.

Quote
                           JOHN
               Aliens... But we call
               them Ellipticans due to
               the shape of their heads.
This line feels a little contrived. It might be better to just cut out the "due to the shape of their heads" part and let the audience guess that that's what the name means.

Quote
   Morgans eyes dart as he considers this.
It's okay to say "Morgans eyes dart back and forth", but "as he considers this" is redundant. The action and dialogue together already imply that his eyes are darting as a result of what he's just been told. The director, DP, and actors will know what you mean, so "as he considers this" and anything like that should always be cut from your screenplay.

Quote
                          JOHN (CONT'D)
                No one has attempted to
                do this. So get your ass
                in there and get it done.
This is way too on the nose. Try reworking the dialogue to give the audience more to think about rather than just throwing all the information at them and telling them to absorb it. Instead of outright saying that no one has attempted it, you could have John say something that merely implies it. This would be more interesting dialogue, too, because it could add tension if done right.

Quote
   He nods to John. A nod that says: "Yes, sir."
Another redundancy. It's very obvious that a nod means yes, so you can cut the entire second sentence.

You then go on to blend two scenes together, which makes sense why you would think to write it that way, but it's still important that in the beginning of each scene in a new location (including a new room) you have to write what the camera will see. If Morgan enters a room holding papers, you have to start with that.

Quote
   He lays the paper that John gave him on the
   metal table, then sits down across from the
   ELLIPTICANS.

   The two aliens, with small slinder bodies,
   oval-shaped heads, no mouths and vast grey
   eyes, sit in restraints.
It would be better if you wrote how many Ellipticans he sat across from as he's sitting down rather than in the next paragraph. Economical writing is very important in screenwriting.

Quote
   Morgan gazes at them. Not intimidated.
How is he not intimidated? How will the camera see his lack of intimidation? It's not good enough to simply say he was not intimidated, especially since simply 'gazing' at the aliens doesn't really convey anything.

Quote
   Morgan hears a trembling noise as their eye
   color change from grey, to a deep bright
   purple.

   He yells at the top of his lungs in agony.
   Then SLAMS his hands against the sides
   of the table while tears stream down his
   face.

   He then becomes calm, starts to speak,
   but it's not really him talking. It's the aliens
   talking through him.
Again, this is too much like prose, as another critique stated. It's very interesting prose and makes me actually interested in the story, but you have to find a way to write it as action.

The Ellipticans made a trembling sound as their irises shifted from gray to a deep purple.

Morgan screams and writhes in his chair, grabbing his face as tears poor from his eyes...


Something more like that is more fitting for a screenplay. Also remember not to filter the actions of other characters through the main character. So don't write that Morgan sees, hears, or feels something. Show us what he's seeing, hearing, or feeling.

Also, you should never end a scene with a line of dialogue. If you must have someone speak just before the cut, end the scene with the action "On Morgan." This conveys that the audience should be focused on whatever he just said and his reaction is important.


Overall, this is an interesting idea. It could even be a good screenplay if you finish the first draft, learn a ton about screenwriting, and then go back and rewrite everything with fresh eyes.

I hope what I said helps. Your screenplay doesn't suck, you just need to learn more about writing before it can become the polished and pretty finished manuscript that the other critics here were expecting, I guess.