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Reviews Indigo Has Written

Home Invasion Video 2 - What Do You Believe

5 stars
Even creepier than the first version. Great job!
February 26, 2012

Home Invasion Video 1 - Menace, Horror Mix

5 stars
Beautifully done. Truely creepy!!!!
January 20, 2012

Mother's Guilt, Justin's Original Draft

6 out of 6 people found the following review helpful:

Mother's Review

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
2 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
September 30, 2011
This is a very haunting script. There are some really strong ideas at play. Writing the nuts and bolts of a ghost story is a difficult thing to do. You need to explain in a 2 dimensional medium, something that will be portrayed in an almost 3 dimensional medium, a thing that has no dimension at all. This writer has a true talent of this type of writing. I was able to picture each step of the haunting from black slimy mess to silver dust floating on the air. There are lots of jump out of your seat moments in the script that the writer should be proud to take credit for.

There were moments where the dialogue was spot on and other times when it was stilted and a little awkward, however dialogue-wise the good outweighed the bad by a wide margin. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that this script might have been put together very quickly because some areas of the script seem very polished and others are almost rough drafts. The rough draft sections get the point across but they stick out so much more because the polished scenes are so good. While the concept is solid, the script doesn’t feel quite ready yet.

Some things to think about for the rewrite:

The Lack of Police intervention was jarring. Why do we never see the police in a genuine way looking for Shelly? She feels abandoned and that could be a good reason for her to haunt them but it’s not realistic as it’s set up because she’s portrayed as a good kid with no reason to run away. If you set up a situation where she has run away a couple times in the past then the dismissal of her vanishing act now is a little bit more authentic. If she ran away before it could have been blamed on her parents fighting but in reality she was running away from the abuse. I think you need to set up the abandonment of the search for her better, because most parents would move heaven and earth to get their kid back. I know that there is no such thing as an absolute when it comes to human nature so maybe these are the one in a million parents that would act “out of the norm”, but their flippant attitude toward their missing child doesn’t support the story you’ve created. I guess what I’m saying is I didn’t feel the love from her parents so it’s hard for me to get attached to Shelly, if they care so little about her, why should I? We find out in the end why Ellen was so detached but Troy seems ambivalent at best about his missing child with only tiny bursts of “let’s find her” and even then it’s all talk and attempted phone calls. Again there are no absolutes even in police work but there is one point where Troy goes to Claudia to get info from her about the night that Shelly went missing but it’s all stuff that would have been gathered by a police report. Police would have also talked to Dale long before Troy did, so Dale asking Troy not to mention it to his dad (the guitar thing) would have been moot.

The friendship between Steve and Troy needs to be built way up. Right now they seem like virtual strangers. For Steve to play such a big part in the ending he needs to be more present in the script throughout.

Around page 27 (in rtf page numbers are different on my mac then they are on my PC) Troy said: “I don't know... Everywhere between here and Steve's place, where she was seen by Claudia, right? That can't be more than...” I didn’t understand that on my first read. When did the information that she was seen near Steve’s house come out? Fast forward to around page 30 when Steve says: “No, her and Claudia were having a great time. I left the room for some snacks, and when I came back Shelly had left.” That’s when I first realized that Claudia was Steve’s daughter. So now the line about “Everywhere between here and Steve's place” makes sense because I knew that Shelly was at Claudia’s house, I just didn’t know Claudia’s house was also Steve’s house.

Small thing but it was weird that Ellen fell from the second story through what would be a plate glass window at a hospital and she gets up and walks away but after the fire Troy hangs off the rain gutter and falls what would be half a story and gets knocked out.

The fire seemed a bit unmotivated. Shelly is obviously trying to scare her mother so for Ellen to cause her own death weakens Shelly in her revenge. I think Shelly needs to have some part of the fire for it to fulfill her motivations. Or Ellen could die from the fall out of the window at the hospital because Shelly was chasing her down the hall. That would fulfill Shelly’s motivation.

Around page 42 is a good example of one of the scenes that feels like it was unfinished and just stuck in to hold that place in the script. Claudia taking off her clothes, I would assume is the author trying to drop a hint about what is happening to her re: her father, but to have it be such a blunt gesture steals all the power from the scene and ends up sort of comical, which I don’t think was the authors intent. It needs to be her trying to seduce him and even succeeding a little. It just needs to be more nuanced. Also for Claudia to blurt out what her dad has been doing to her was basically like writing “this is what the ending of this script is going to be so you don’t have to read any further”. The writer had teased it enough that it’s on our minds that might be the ending, but to blatantly say it out loud takes all the wind out of the sails. But then again, the title gives away the ultimate ending anyway before you even start reading it.

I think the writer is on track to have a good script eventually but this draft it just too piecemeal to really know what the end product is going to look like. It’s a good idea that needs time spent on it for a well thought-out rewrite. There is real writing talent here, and many wonderful pieces to the script.

If you have any questions please let me know.
 

THE EVIL, Anthony 's Original Draft

6 out of 6 people found the following review helpful:

Evil Review

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
September 29, 2011
The heart of this script is some very solid character work. There is a vividness in not only the way each character is described but in how each character’s dialogue reflects their personality and function in the script. It’s these distinct voices that propel us through the story and ultimately deliver a very satisfying theme. As Wicca, Salem, and Zoraida progress through the adventure we the audience/reader can feel a connection to them because of their distinct personalities.

We’ve seen coven films before but the unique angle of witches taking on a demon to protect one of their own brings a fresh take on a familiar subject. The familiarity of a classic witches coven gives the audience/reader a nice way of digesting the story while the writer adds their own flare to the mythology.

Great imagery of the beast makes it come alive in the reader’s mind and makes it easy to imagine it on screen (that’s a tough thing to pull off with just words on a page). Some very gruesomely depicted death scenes paint a scary picture of what’s at stake for these three young witches.

This script is going to be a very good movie one day, but before that happens there are a few things the writer needs address.

The pace of the script is quick and the flashbacks help push that pace even more, however the teaser scene with the “young girl” and the demon (pg 1) is confusing and I don’t think it serves the purpose that the writer wants it to. I believe the writer is trying to give the audience/reader a big bang moment to open the script which is a good idea but as it’s written it’s confusing as to whether or not that is actually Wicca in flashback or has the demon played this “game” before with a different girl. Since the outcome is different from Wicca’s I assumed it was a different girl but the question of whether it was supposed to be Wicca bumped me out of the script a little bit. Somehow I think you need to make this opening scene as different from Wicca as possible. If you can even make her a different nationality that would help. Or set the scene as being obviously in the past (maybe a link to the Salem witch trials).

The next thing that will clean this script up is to have Wicca’s father more present in the script, especially in act one. I wondered who was parenting her since her mother died. To wait so long for him to make an appearance in the script and to have it be for such a short scene it weakens his death because you didn’t give the audience/reader time to get attached to him. Wicca needs his influence in her life to show how the loss of her mother has affected her life.

Finally, the preparations for the spell during the 8 hours were good but the writer sort of painted themself in a corner. With just the 8 hours they had to spew out a lot of stuff in a few short pages. Having the 8 hours to prep the girls is fine but some of the getting ready stuff should be carried throughout the second act and into the third by the elders rather than all smooshed in the third act. James’ death could come much sooner in the script so that we get our feet wet earlier on as to what this 8 hours will have in store for the witches. I think James’ also needs to give more actual information, right now it’s just implied that he gave information and it doesn’t feel like enough of a “Bad” for the audience/reader to go along with him dying in front of us.

Oh and be careful of the word “contemporary” in flashbacks. Unless the flashback is from this year, nothing is contemporary in a flashback.

Like I said, this will be an amazing script with a little bit of cleaning up. I think for a first draft you have a great sense of what this story needs to be. Please don’t take any of my comments as gospel. These are just ideas that came to me as I read the script. This is a wonderful start keep going with it.

If you have any questions please let me know.
 

NINER, Eric's 5th Draft

8 out of 8 people found the following review helpful:

Niner Review

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
September 09, 2011
Niner is a gritty drama with great possibilities. Let’s start with all the things this script does right then move on to the places that might need a little work.

The first really great thing about this script is the fact that it doesn’t follow the rules regarding the protagonist. I’m a big believer in bending the rules if you have something interesting to say. And this script definitely does have something interesting to say. Normally you want there to be at least one redeeming thing about your protagonist to keep the audience invested but you won’t find that in this script. Even in the moment that our hero “saves the damsel in distress” he’s still a callous man. But his objective is unwavered and we end up wanted to see his story fulfilled even if we don’t like the man. This is not an easy task to do, to write a wholly unlikable “hero” but you have done that quite nicely. Detective Rawley Niner is a Cop with an agenda. He’s in it for what he gets out of it in every situation. Hitting on women even though he has confessed that he’s “seeing” a nice pharmacist. Bigoted and brash, he demonstrates that his thoughts run no further than his own needs, and right now he needs a man to lie. Who is Niner will to sacrifice to get that lie? Pretty much everybody.

Carla is a nurse that happens to have the great misfortune to run into Niner as she works to save the world that he’s attempting to tear down. The sparks fly though she protests to dislike Niner for his profession. We expect that these two will eventually hook up and though we have to wait for it the eventual resolution, their chemistry is deadly.

Well written thugs in the form of Bobby, Scottie, and Farrin start us down the path of actually rooting for a “bad cop” like Niner to win. When you throw in a guy like Trent, who tried in earnest to save a woman’s life, you have a nice little character study of the nature of when you have no moral ground to stand on how low are you the audience willing to go to find someone to identify with and what wrongs are you willing to live with when someone uses the “two wrongs do make a right” mentality to solve a problem.

The dialogue for the most part conveyed a darkness that puts the reader in the mine of film noir. The settings are rich and vibrantly drawn. And the pace of the script is so tight that I read this in one setting without really realizing how far I was into it until I was actually done with it. Nice job!

There’s a rawness in this script that brings to mind a film like the “Bad Lieutenant”. Niner is not an easy character to pull off but you have done a beautiful job with him.

Places that could use some tightening would include the opening. It takes just a little too long to get into the heart of the story. The protracted scary “what’s going to happen” feeling of the men entering the house is great but in my opinion it’s misplaced. You want to sucker punch the audience with a quick shot of scariness then let them boil on it. You need to tease us about what happened in the house without giving up everything. And you want to get to Niner as soon as possible. Just a suggestion, but I’d like to see you start with Abby running bloody and bruised through the woods without giving us any sense of what happened right away. I know people say they hate flashbacks but the thing I’ve learned is that people really don’t hate them as much as they hate when they are misused. The story needs to be told in the present with flashbacks used almost as footnotes to the story. Use flashbacks to let us in on what happened to Abby almost as if she’s remembering the “events” one piece at a time. Let use almost see what she saw as she remembers it bit by bit until the end when you can run the whole truth from start to finish and resolve the puzzle.

Second place to look at tightening this script is the through line. You sort of have two competing through lines competing with one another. You need to decide which is the real story you are telling and relegate the other to the B story. B stories can be very compelling but if you try to run a B story as a second through line it can make the script lose focus. The two lines you are trying to run are Abby’s escape from the house with all that went down with that, and Niner’s trial. I think you need to focus on one of those stories and let the other one support it. My personal opinion is that you were attempting to have Abby’s story be the through line with the trial be the B story but unfortunately Abby get lost in the middle of the script and her resolution, while powerful feels a little anticlimactic because she gets lost through so much of the trial part of the script. Her story can but used to push the trial along by having her constant in Niner’s life during. Carla also needs to be more constant in the script to help support the powerful ending you have constructed.

This is a good draft of what I know will be an amazing script. I think this script might percolate for a while in my brain so I might email you some other thoughts as they come to me. I think you have such a strong idea and a brilliant character with huge potential here.

If you have any questions please let me know.
 

Cat Dingas Survives the Wild, Kristie's 6th Draft

7 out of 8 people found the following review helpful:

Cat Review

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
July 26, 2011
Million dollar idea in need of some serious retooling. That is my initial thought on this script. One of the reasons I decided to take on your script swap was because your concept was beyond intriguing. This idea will have people begging to buy into it, if you can dig into it and do some serious rewriting.


Again the concepts of your main characters are smart and innovative, they are highly castable. But they lack authentic voices and often times you have them acting in ways that are in direct opposition to the concept you have built for them.


I think your jungle setting juxtaposed with the urban jungle is brilliant. There are so many possibilities that need to be explored.


There were times the dialogue worked but often times it felt very “talking head”. When your story arc wandered to some tangent plot point I felt that we lost the momentum of the pacing.


Many, many typo’s made this a tough read. I can never find my own typos so I do two things, I let my script software read my script to me and I listen for the things that sound wrong, and then once I get all the typos I can that way I find a good friend who owes me a favor to red pen my script. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about on pg 7 one of your action/descriptions reads: “Dave shakes his head as he though he’s made the connection….” There’s an extra word in that line. Or pg 68 Ted says: “When you’re sober, Ted, anything’s possible.” I think you meant that to be “When you’re sober, Cat….” These bump the reader out of the script and make the pace drag.


But the biggest problem is focus. Whose story is this? Who’s the bad guy? You’ve got the killer concept, you’ve teased us with the hint of a stellar story, now get back in and retool this thing until it’s razor sharp gold.


I know that this might seem really harsh but the good news is you really are onto something. I’d like to offer some suggestions for your next rewrite if I can.


1. Figure out whose story this is. I think you want it to be Cat’s story but he doesn’t hold our focus very well as written. Can you start us off with Cat looking like a hero? You told us about an incident on the river but you don’t show it (cardinal rule of screen writing: show don’t tell). Scripts should always open with a bang, what better bang can you get than the “Celebrity Survivalist” saving his poor nearly drowned camera man. Then after the big action hero rescue scene hit us with what Cat did to actually cause the near drowning. Maybe it’s the editor that we see in the second scene trying to figure out how to piece the footage together so Cat doesn’t look like an idiot. Then hit us with another Cat on location scene and an even bigger screw up. That’s when we need to have the big-wigs start to talk. Now take us out to Cats adoring public with a public appearance/ demonstration that goes horribly wrong (maybe he sets Comic Con on fire). What I’m trying to say is we need to have a reason to want to take this journey with him.


2. Ted is probably a more defined character than Cat so he’s probably good for right now. Anne is okay but you could bulk her character motivations up a little bit more. You kind of give us the bullet of why she’s really here when the natives find her bag. I think you can provide more subtle hints to her real motives earlier on in the script or change her motives altogether (see # 4).


3. Too many big-wigs to keep track of and since many of them don’t play a huge role in the script they tend to get lost. I had to go back and figure out who Larry is. If you need all these guys to make the story work, think about giving them more distinct personalities and names.


4. I was expecting a different twist at the end. I don’t know that you teased the Uncle enough for him to play that big a part in the end. It would mean a huge rewrite but my thoughts were, what if we the reader/viewer weren’t let in on the “Cat lost in the Wild” set up by the network plot. What if we just see the plane go down and think it’s just an accident and it’s not until the third act that we realize a couple of network guys set the whole thing up for ratings. It’s a little bit of a familiar set-up but then again a “little familiar” isn’t a bad thing. It helps the audience feel invested in the story. Maybe Anne instead of being an eco-terrorist is a producer that’s taking over the show, Teds not in on it so he feels betrayed when he eventually finds out. I also wonder what would happen if when things go haywire, the big-wigs have to fly to the Amazon to try and salvage the show.


5. I personally think this would be a much funnier script if you lose the drunk aspect and just make Cat bad at the survival stuff and a just a general ass. I’d prefer to see Cat be the good looking guy in front of the camera that has no idea what he’s doing and Ted be the sort of rough looking guy that actually is the true survivalist, but he’s stuck behind the camera because he’s not handsome. Ted would do all the work but get none of the credit. If Cat doesn’t’ know what he’s doing in the beginning and ends up saving the day then his arc is more interesting.


6. I think Scott can still be out to kill Cat but he needs to act alone and keep it hiden from the other big-wigs that are just trying to revive the show. Maybe we see him cause bad things to happen on Cat’s journey and we think they’re accidents but as we get to the end we hear about his wife sleeping with Cat and we realize that the accidents that happened were part of a plan that Scott put in place to try and kill Cat.


7. Scrub some of your dialogue. You have a lot of places where you have the same info written in a couple different places. In real life you might say something over and over again for emphasis but in a script you have to be more frugal with your words.


That’s all can think of right now. I might have more later. If I do I’ll send that to you via studio mail. If you have any questions please let me know.


I know it seems like I tore your script apart but I honestly wouldn’t have taken the time to do that if I didn’t believe this script has a huge future.
 

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