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At Amazon Studios

 
 
 

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About

I write multimedia scripts and panel text for science centers and museums. I've researched and written the text for several coffee-table books on natural history (words that will be skimmed by millions!) and published three children's books. I've had feature screenplays optioned, but never produced.
 

Reviews David Has Written

Blockworld Video 1 - sci-fi short

2 stars
What little happens, happens with agonizing slowness. Few things are as boring as watching someone else play a video game--in life, or in a film. If something were at stake, it would be different.
January 24, 2014

Bagger, Pilot Script 1 - Bagger: Pilot

2 stars
Unfortunately, I just didn’t find this comedy very funny. I think you need to exploit the setting of the grocery store, rather than populating the world with arbitrarily quirky characters.
January 12, 2014

Terror in the Year 3000, Dylan's Original Draft

1 out of 2 people found the following review helpful:

I haven't read your script, but. . .

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
No rating
 
Story structure:
No rating
 
Character:
No rating
 
Dialogue:
No rating
 
Emotion:
No rating
 
January 04, 2014
. . .with regard to your logline:

That's RAVAGED the Earth, not RAVISHED the Earth. There's a big difference.
 

Hiber, Adam's Original Draft

5 out of 8 people found the following review helpful:

Ludicrous story grafted to an intriguing premise

Overall Recommendation:
2 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
1 stars
 
Character:
2 stars
 
Dialogue:
1 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
June 05, 2013
This script starts with an interesting premise: A young man inherits the task of taking care of the house of his girlfriend’s family during hiber—a winter so severe that it is lethal for all but the few who can pass the season in suspended animation.

I like the twist of global warming turning suddenly to an ice age, although it’s a premise we’ve seen at least once before (The Day After Tomorrow).

Unfortunately, many of the specifics of the premise are a little hard to swallow—the idea of passing the winter in suspended animation (itself questionable) in the Washington Monument seems kind of dumb. Converting a monument to a medical facility doesn't seem terribly practical and. . . what's the point? I suppose that as a visual metaphor, it's a giant finger given to everyone who can't afford to be on the inside, but why create such an obvious target for the rebels? I think that it would work in a piece that was overt satire, but in a straight-ahead action movie it only undercuts your story's believability.

Similarly, the military getting around in hovercrafts will look cool but, if the rebels are such a threat, I’m not sure why they don’t use helicopters to get from place to place. Those are relatively minor problems, easily fixed, and I guess forgivable for their visual payoffs.

The biggest problem with this script is that the main action of the story is something of a non-sequitur, given the premise. Nick has to look after his girlfriend’s family mansion during this punishing winter. Although he’s in love with Annabelle, and she with him, he’s merely the hired help. That’s partly because they keep their relationship a secret from her father. That’s all good, and full of dramatic possibilities—like Nick’s encounters with the looters and other unfortunates who can’t afford to go into suspended animation.

Unfortunately, the main action of the story--once it gets rolling--has Nick going off in search of the inventor of the suspended animation technology when the rich folk in their sleep pods start to die. I do like the idea that this is a problem for Nick because he’s wearing this security collar that will strangle him if his employer doesn’t wake up from suspended animation. Kind of a nice ticking clock.

However, that the government would send Nick on this caper is, frankly, preposterous. Just because his father once knew the reclusive inventor isn’t enough of a reason to send Nick (and certainly not his girlfriend and her four-year-old brother) on such a crucial mission. I can believe that whomever they did hire to track down the inventor might question Nick for clues, but why they would send this trio of amateurs off on this mission is unfathomable.

But let’s just say that, somehow, you can fix circumstances so that sending Nick off on the mission actually makes sense. The plot steps of the search are few in number and poorly developed. Ching Anderson is just too easy to locate and contact. And once they do find him, he coughs out some nonsense about winter being vital for our immune systems (I wonder how people living in the tropics have managed to survive all these years?). Finally, he gets to what should be obvious to any low-level technician examining the system: The hibernation pods are being deliberately sabotaged.

So not only is it absurd that Nick and Annabelle are the ones searching for Ching, there really appears to be no need for anyone to find him.

Which brings me to perhaps the worst thing about this script: the dialogue. Almost all of it is bald exposition. Some of it is quite laughable, my favorite line (among many) being “I’m woozy.”

Another gem: “PBS. Old show on asthma treatments. Thank God there was still a little left.” Indeed. Thank God that as Annabelle suffered what could have been a lethal asthma attack, she just happened to be in a museum of 20th-century medical artifacts including a 100-year-old inhaler containing just enough medicine to open up the old airways.

Your script is filled with moments like this: Your protagonists are in a pickle and they are rescued not by their own resourcefulness but dumb luck. On at least three occasions, we’re treated to the old trope of the bad guy who is about to shoot our heroes (but not before he explains something to them) being killed by an ally just O.S. the second before he can squeeze the trigger. I don’t know what to say about this kind of writing except that it may have been a great idea the first 100 times it was done in other films, but you are obliged to do better.

Then there are the character names--General Octavius Specter being my favorite example. Sounds like he would be more at home in a James Bond movie.

In summary, the idea of Nick inheriting the job of caretaking a mansion for this wealthy family while being in love with Annabelle (and while his father is freezing in a rest home, or perhaps staying with him on the job, an idea you touch on) is a worthy premise, rife with dramatic possibilities. But to be blunt, there is almost nothing worth salvaging of the lazy and untenable sci-fi/thriller storyline.
 

OowieWanna Short Video 1 - Excerpt from OowieWanna- Short film which inspired the pilot

5 stars
Nice premise. Well shot and acted. I even liked the song at the end!
April 11, 2013

Favorite Movies

Jaws
Flight of the Phoenix (1965)
Marathon Man
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
2001: A Space Odyssey
The Verdict
Deliverance
Colossus: The Forbin Project
Ordinary People
Aliens
Fail Safe (1964)
Coma
Witness
Master and Commander
The Sixth Sense
 

Influences

I grew up reading mostly science fiction and fantasy but read less and less of it because the writing is often poor. Still, those are the kinds of stories that grab my interest.

Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury were always my favourites.
 

Following

2 People

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