Overall Recommendation:
3.6 stars
(7)
5 Stars:
14.29%
(1)
 
4 Stars:
28.57%
(2)
 
3 Stars:
57.14%
(4)
 
2 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
1 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
Premise:
3.9 stars
(7)
 
Story structure:
3.5 stars
(6)
 
Character:
2.8 stars
(6)
 
Dialogue:
3.0 stars
(6)
 
Emotion:
2.7 stars
(6)
 
 
1-7 of 7 reviews
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0 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Too Telly still.

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
2 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
1 stars
 
January 07, 2011
Review of the first 18 pages of “The Truth: The Nathan Fredericks Story”

First the technical issues:
The script is written in Courier 10 instead of Courier 12, which is the standard.

Lots of black space on the first few pages. First four pages are exposition. I think that’s a risky amount. I don't mind the narration on the opening page, but the next few could be handled better, I think, without narration. I’d lose the next bit from page 5 altogether:

“But that was all about to change. The police had no idea, but a tip
was about to fall into their lap that would break the case wide open.”

Too much ‘tell.’ The audience will figure it out on their own; this just spoils the surprise.

Also the action is a bit dense. I think it could be trimmed back some.

For Example this bit from page 4:

“The scene opens in a bare room. A man, in handcuffs, is sitting at a plastic white table. The prisoner is named Bobby James and he is wearing an orange jumpsuit. He looks dirty and has long hair. His hair appears to be greasy. He is pretty thin, but not overly muscular.”

Could be written (When characters are first introduced, their name should be in all caps):

BOBBY JAMES, in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs, is seated at a plastic white table. He is dirty, thin, not overly muscular and has greasy long hair.

Or better yet:

BOBBY JAMES, a scrawny scumbag, wearing an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs, is seated at a plastic white table.

...Leaving the details of how to depict a scumbag to the director.

Your dialog is a bit stiff. It reads like a person writing what they want to say, instead of talking. There are also words missing in several instances and some words misused or wrong tense.

I had no problem reading to page 15 and beyond. The story seemed interesting enough to that point. A bit beyond it gets more complex, which is good.

Needs work. Not quite ready for the big screen, IMO.
 
0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

first 15 pages

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
No rating
 
Character:
2 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
January 06, 2011
Ok so I just read the first 15 pages but hope that my review will help throughout the story. Really quickly changing the format of the script to enter it on the site messes up the format and needs to be corrected. With that being said I'm not going to talk about format.

First of all your dialogue is both to long and to cliche throughout the first 15 pages. I would recomend trying to read the script out loud so to realize when the dialogue just doesn't work.

As far as the story I do not see someone who claims to be innocent rat out his cousin with no actual evidence against him.

Finnally try not to use a narrator to talk about something that you can show.
 
2 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Pages 15-30 review

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
December 31, 2010
I assumed because I started reading from page 15 that I probably would not understand what was going on in the story but I was very wrong. I quickly was able to decipher the story and the characters. That is a definite compliment to how the dialogue was written. I'm sure in a subsequent revision you will cut some of the dialogue down, but for now at least it moves the story.

The biggest problem you have here is with formatting. You must never write action in the past tense. You have instances where you do it correctly but then you revert back to doing the past tense action again. Below are examples of what you're doing wrong and directly under it is a suggestion how to do it better.




"Prosecutor Lemmings turned off the tape recorder and knocked
on the door. In a moment a man came and started to lead
Bobby out the door. "

Prosecutor Lemmings turns off the tape recorder and knocks
on the door. A man enters and leads Bobby out the room.



"The man cut Bobby off and pushed him through the doorway. "

The man cuts Bobby off and pushes him through the doorway.



"Prosecutor Lemmings closed the door as Bobby was led away.
She sat down at the table and the Detective sat down as
well. "

Bobby is lead away. Prosecutor Lemmings closes the door.
She and the Detective sit down at the table.


"There is a close shot on a television set. There is a news
report on the television. The female reporter is standing in
front of the courthouse."

CLOSE UP on a television set.

ON THE TV

A female news reporter stands in front of a courthouse.


INT. BAR - NIGHT

" Nathan Fredericks and the Detective sat at a back corner
table of a dimly lit bar. It was a dive bar and they were
practically the only ones there. They both were drinking a
beer. Both were wearing jeans and t-shirts, along with
baseball caps. "

Nathan Fredericks and the Detective sit at a back corner
table of a dimly lit, empty dive bar. They both drink
beers.


"Nathan took the final drink of his beer and stood up to
leave."

Nathan gulps the last of his beer and stands up to
leave.


"Just about that time, the bartender was wiping off a couple
tables and came over to the Detective."

The bartender wipes off a couple
tables. He walks over to the Detective.


"The Detective slowly took out his wallet. He thumbed through
the bills that were chronologically organized. He slowly
flipped past the ones, fives, tens and twentys. He pulled
out a crisp $100 and handed it to her. "

The Detective takes out his wallet. He thumbs through
chronologically organized bills. He flips past ones, fives, tens and twenties and pulls
out a crisp one hundred dollar bill. He hands it to her.



"The Detective smiled back and her and then walked out of the
bar. "

The Detective smiles back at her and walks out the
bar.


"Bobby James is knocking on an apartment door and a man
answered the door. He was well-trimmed except for having a
goatee."

Bobby James knocks on an apartment door. It opens. A man
well-trimmed with a goatee stands on the other side.



I hope from these examples you get the idea and can go back through your script and make all the action present tense. Once you do that I think you will not only have a very intriguing story but also a correctly formatted one that a producer will be comfortable to read.
Good luck,
Terry
 
0 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

15 pages swaps

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
December 31, 2010
I feel bad not to be able to give you better feedback after the amazing review you gave me but I'm writting this to help you. I read the Pages 13 to 30 as I told you I would in the forum and the first thing I noticed is that the writing is too small, it should be 12 and not 10. Considering the fact that there’s about 2000 scripts to read for the readers, I suspect that they’re gonna be very strict on these rules for the competition.

Also the dialogue is way too long. The movie should be more visual. For example somewhere in the dialogue it should move on to a flashback or something like this where instead of being told what happened the night of the murder we actually see it happen.

The long dialogue should be cut by some action lines sometimes allowing us to be able to visualise much more what's going on in the scene. As I have been told, in movie writing you need to describe every pictures that you see. We say that a picture is worth a thousand word you then need a thousand to describe a picture. Adding more emotions, more reaction to your carachter's will give them a life and not just a story. For example, if Bobby is a prisonner, he's surely been through a lot and this should read in his face, his reaction and movement. The more you say in the script and the more you have the chance that when it's gonna be made it's gonna look like what you had in mind, unlike if the direction have to guess all of these details.

Overall, the action should move on faster in the beginning. The first part that I read was very interesting and the story seems to be the kind of story that I like but then the long dialogue quickly disinterested me. Perhaps if there would be more action and less dialogue we would easily get wrapped up in the story and it would allow us to know where the story is heading a lot faster. So keep up the good work and good luck for everything!
 
1 out of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Review swap (First 15 pages)

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
No rating
 
Dialogue:
No rating
 
Emotion:
No rating
 
December 31, 2010
First scene description is telling and not showing. Spec scripts should not have camera directions or angles in them. The image I had in my head is that you want the audience to see a car driving through a tranquil place with a camera on top of it, however, that may not be your intention.

White space, not enough of it; scene descriptions should be three to four lines at the most. Here are two great articles about white space. http://thescriptlab.com/the-formula/script-tips/447-white-space-know-how & http://thescriptlab.com/the-formula/form/the-page/100-white-space.

Narrator should have a (O.S.) next to it – off screen.

The narrator was sitting in front of the public library. (This is passive voice and is telling the audience, instead of showing.)

Next line says that he parks and gets out of the car. (Who? Who is the "he?" The narrator or someone else? We need an introduction of the character.)

As written, there is a lot of telling instead of showing. Action in scene descriptions is all about showing the reader. Also, there are long blocks of dialogue.

The RTF has gotten the formatting of your draft a little off on my computer. Not sure if this has occurred with other readers. It was hard for me determine if it was the same character speaking or if it was supposed to be a new character and the name was accidently left off.

I think the story will be even more compelling with revisions.

All the best!

M Sweeny Carey
 
1 out of 2 people found the following review helpful:

the title does seem to catch a person's attention

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
5 stars
 
December 29, 2010
since I am more used to reading books it was different to read but still caught my attention; you can actually see in your mind the small town, Main Street, the mom and pop stores that are described in the opening. The characters do keep you guessing as to who really committed the murder and brings to mind some of the more popular cop shows on TV today, such as Southland and the Closer. this is a movie that I would definitely go see...
 
2 out of 2 people found the following review helpful:

needs work

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
1 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
1 stars
 
December 29, 2010
The synopsis drew me in. I will give this 5 stars after a couple major flaws are corrected.
first, it was hard to become engaged since, every few seconds, I was reminded I was reading a movie. for example, the first sentence is "The film opens with..." Anytime you tell me what the camera does, "The shot...", I become disengaged from the story.

second, (this might be considered a nitpick), your sentence tense changed from time to time. for example, "The detective tried to remain stoic, but it was obvious he was in shock." This is in past tense; "Detective points his finger at Bobby." this is in present tense.

The first sentence, above, reminds me to remind you, "Show. Don't tell."

third, character voices. They all sounded the same. The bartender is my example for this. I should be able to read her dialogue and visual a woman without being told "she is [a woman]." Also, I should know her age by the way she speaks. Of course, it's required to include age in each character's introductions. But, if I scanned over (or covered up) every intro, I should still know alot about each character based on the way they speak.

Overall, I felt this screenplay was cut-and-pasted from a novel.
 

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