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About

IMDB Listed Screenwriter: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm56...

Author of 3 Novels and 20+ Technology books: http://www.amazon.com/Laurenc...

Head writer on 'untethered' TV Pilot: http://laurencemoroney.azurew...
 

Reviews Laurence Has Written

Threat Level Earth, Henry's Original Draft

0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Interesting scenario, but structure and writing does need some work.

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
2 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
April 17, 2014
[Based on a 20 page read]

While there are a few grammar/spelling bumps in this draft, they aren't too bad, and don't really take away from the work. A quick pass over the script, reading aloud, would probably help you find and fix them.

The scenario -- where first contact wasn't really first contact at all, and the aliens that we contacted have a hidden agenda that involves self-survival is a good one. I like it.

The structure of how the story is written is the greatest weakness. To be honest, the first two pages are almost entirely exposition through the mouth of a reporter, and that feels lazy. I think you should follow the 'show, don't tell' rule here. Now of course exposition to set the world scene is necessary, but it needs to be a lot less in your face than it is here. TBH, if I weren't committing to read at least 10 pages, that would have lost me on page 2.

Next is story structure and believability. The core inciting incident here is that the Guestic ship shows up 7 months early.

First issue is that it's right on our doorstep before we notice it. You cite that the Guestics are able to travel at 23 times the speed of light, and that Tau Ceti is 12 light years away. That means that the ship could get here in 6.25 months. Yet it's 7 months early. Huh?

Second issue is with the science. Why 23c ? It's an unusual number. How does it break light speed, and why is it limited to 23c?

Also on the science, the ship shows up 7 months early. It must have been travelling extremely fast to get here that quickly. How does it decelerate so that it can 'land' on Earth? At those kind of speeds it would hit the planet like a bullet going through a tomato.

Third issue -- some weird exposition with the aliens. "Is it true that they have jelly brains? / It's a specialized form of sap."

A specialized form of sap is their brain? I know you're trying to foreshadow the pilot overtaking barb later (she has goo coming out of her mouth), but how can the brain of an alien that is able to devise something that can travel at 23c be a specialized form of sap?

Final Issue -- dialog. A lot of it (like above) just seems out of place. Biggest problem is blatant exposition, where people say things they wouldn't normally say -- another example -- p15 "Ah, looks like the 'galaxy protectors' are here." !?! -- They're just men in suits.

There's the kernel of a good story here, but you certainly need to work on it to have folks consider it for any kind of production.
 

Alien Time Bomb, Joseph's 2nd Draft

2 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Interesting Premise - Well Written - Good characters - A few minor grammar bumps

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
No rating
 
March 28, 2014
[Based on a 10 page read]

I like it, I like the intrigue, and how you set up a mystery. There's also a hint of the underlying plot with the newscast talking about bombings. Very nice.

Bombing in Boston thought might be a bit sensitive -- maybe pick a different city?

The one thing I didn't like was the two truck drivers who were thrust into an antagonistic role in a way that felt very false. All of a sudden they enter the story to hit on Jessica, and then get offended by Dillon to the extent that he shows off his fighting moves to put them down. It screams plot device.

'weirdos' (p11 -- drop the apostrophe)

Same with SUV's -- no apostrophe.

Also -- black SUV screams cliche.

P12 -- a heat signature detected using a Geiger counter? Ummm....not quite right.

GC and HVG -- hmm. Wonder what they stand for?

[Will read more -- interesting premise so far]
 

Fair Play, Ryu's 3rd Draft

2 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Perfectly crafted - Gripping Start - Want to see where it goes

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
5 stars
 
March 28, 2014
[Based on a 10 page read]

There's really no critique I can give. It's as close to flawless a script craft-wise as I have ever seen. Well done.

This should be held up as a banner of how it's done to aspiring writers. Very nice work, Ryu.

As for the story -- it gripped me at the beginning, indeed on the very first page you proved that you aren't messing about. Beth gets arrested and extradited right away. Why was she extradited so quicky? I hope that's part of the story and not a convenient plot point.

Why was her face bruised and battered? What was her motive for murder? Did she really do it?

So many dramatic questions, so early on. That's what keeps me reading. The time (after midnight here) is what stopped me reading, but I'll be sure to finish this.

There was only 1 minor grammar bump that I saw, and I'm not even sure you got it wrong -- Page 8 "Well, that and girls" -- usually I would expect a pause after that, so maybe "Well -- that, and girls". Told you it was minor :)

The only other minor nit was sometimes phrases were repeated...
"Look at you, look at the man!" (p7) and "He was my best friend growing up. Hell he's still my best friend." -- I think you could be more economical with words, and it would sound better when spoken.

P6 has some awkward dialog -- Rick's first phrase is He... He... He...

But...wow. Great work.
 

Half-Hour Break, Steve's Original Draft

3 out of 5 people found the following review helpful:

Potentially a good movie - but don't like the title, and the story from the logline needs to arise much earlier than it does.

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
1 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
March 27, 2014
[Based on a 10 page read]

Well structured, well written. A few grammar bumps but nothing show stopping.

I like the concept, and I like where this might go, based on the logline.

Your craft is really, really good. Better than most.

However, the opening didn't really communicate the story to me. It's very weird that none of the characters are named until about page 4, so it makes it hard to follow what's going on at times. Just name any of the ones with talking parts up front.

When introducing a character, you should give gender and age

-- i.e. GREGORY (20s, M) -- a video game nerd who loves his job

.. or something like that.

Page 6 has some odd repeated dialog..

Isn't it George, Isn't it.
Not now, Gregory, Not now
Good luck, man, Good luck

I don't like the flying baby scene -- even if it landed in a shopping cart, it would be really hurt, unless this was a dream scene...but it doesn't appear to be.

Too many 'G' names -- George, Gregory, Grace -- makes it hard to read who is who at some points.

I think it also needs to be tightened a bit -- 10 minutes into the movie, 10 pages into the script, nothing has really happened.

Only minor grammar error I found was on page 2 -- where you say the driver of the car screeches to a halt. It's the car that actually screeches to a halt, not the driver.

Also the phrasing here: "He sees that it is going to be in a location too far from where he is to make it feasible to run to it" -- that's a mouthful for "He realizes he wont be able to catch the baby on time" or something simpler.

...after this I skimmed forward...and there's pages of dialog with another 'g' (Guy in Suit)

In fact pages 11,12,13,14,15,16 -- are all dialog, and every character is a 'G'.

The hook that got me into this story was him travelling to the fantasy land. The first hint of this doesn't happen until Page 36 -- way too late....and then it doesn't happen until Page 54 -- which should be the end of Act 2 or thereabouts.

That's much too late.

Consider a movie like Avatar -- the hook there was exploring a new planet -- can you imagine how boring that movie would be if we didn't get to see Pandora until 2/3 the way into the movie? Or Titanic -- if we didn't see the ship and life on it until 2/3 of the way in, etc.
 

Emperor of Mars, Jmack's Original Draft

1 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Authentic 1950s Sci Fi.

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
March 27, 2014
[Based on a 10-page read]

I liked it. A lot. I think it has great potential. You've obviously done your research to make it authentic.

I love that it's set out of the way in Manitoba. Nice touch.

Feels a lot like the classic 1953 'Invaders from Mars' though.

On my list to read the whole thing someday.

Nits:
Capitalize 'Rice Krispies' -- it's a brand.

Joel Bernstein is a famous photographer -- did you mean to use his namesake?

The setting is October 1957 -- but the history class refers to an invasion of Egypt by British, French and Israeli forces -- which I would assume is the Suez crisis which occurred in 1956! :)

Only weakness for me is story structure -- it feels like it's taking a long time to get going.
 

ANGELINA GREY AND THE JOURNEY THROUGH TIME AND SPACE, MS's 8th Draft

2 out of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Could be very interesting...

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
2 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
March 27, 2014
[Based on a 10 page read, followed by a skim]

Biggest thing is that you need to think about this as a screenplay, and not as a novel -- the craft in writing these is very different. In a screenplay you have to SHOW everything, and TELL little.

Passages like: "She soon drifts off to sleep and has the first of a series of what she believes are vivid dreams."

You are telling us that she believes the dreams are vivid. This is wrong (for a screenplay) on many levels.

My suggestion is to read a few good screenplays, and check some books on screenplay writing, and then completely rewrite.

Also, it faces some off authenticity issues.

1. Early scene 'main road to the airport' -- there is no main road to the airport in Manhattan. It's a grid. Maybe study a map and pick out actual locations and road names -- it'll lend great authenticity. Google Maps, and in particular Streetview are awesome research tools. Pick a location in Manhattan and describe it.

2. Egypt flashback. This is the time of the story of Moses, and Moses' sister was Miriam. It's odd that you introduce a Miriam at this time, and it's not the Moses story.

3. Would a baby of a slave Jew in Egypt have a 'grave'? Not sure that's the right term. Also the soldier says she'd be 'Tormented' -- this feels like the wrong phrase.

...after this I started skimming, and wondered what kind of movie this would make. Woman gets on plane, has drink, has dream (Egypt), wakes up, has drink, has another dream (Greece), wakes up, chats a bit, has another dream (Holland), wakes up, has another dream (England), wakes up, has another dream (England again) ... we're now half way through the movie, and nothing has happened but a bunch of dreams.

I can see what you're going for here -- flashbacks a la Lost (I see Jack as being Jack from Lost by the way), or multi-layered stories a la Cloud Atlas, but them all being dreams of the same woman, on the same flight, isn't working for me structurally.

....and then you lost me as a reader...sorry.
 

Favorite Movies

Blade Runner
Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Forrest Gump
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
 

Influences

Spielberg of the 80s!
 

Following

0 Projects

4 People

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