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A great subject but screenplay needs some work.

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
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Story structure:
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First, I congratulate the writer. He wrote: "Margot Myles Literary Agency picked up the representation and contacted the award winning director Roberto Monticello. Roberto felt the script was as compelling as "EMMA" and we started development to where we are now with pre production and budget."

I've read that if a story is good and has attracted talent, then other things don't really matter so hats off to the writer for already having a director. I could find no other screenplay about Frederic Auguste Bartholdi and it's unfortunate because the man was very, very talented so Randal has chosen a good subject to write about.

As I point out with my reviews, I'm not a pro. All I can tell you is what I see that's good and what's wrong with a script, at least in my opinion. And the good thing, as I've already pointed out, is that it's about a very talented artist. It's obvious the writer has researched his subject well.

I've given this a three star rating which means it's okay but it needs work, at least in my opinion. The problems I see are:.

1. There's no title page and the pages aren't numbered.

2. There's a total of 85 pages and there should be between 90 and 120, but with the amount of dialogue, 85 isn't anything to squabble about.

3. We need to know what the time period of the screenplay is. Obviously it isn't present day.

4. We don't have the approximate age for Frederick in the very beginning so we don't know if he's a teen, in his twenties, thirties, or if he's elderly.

5. SHOW, DON'T TELL. In the scripts I've read, this plus dialogue, seems to be the biggest problem for writers. One example in this: We're told what Frederic sees. Paint the scene for us so we'll know exactly what he sees without telling us that he's seeing it.

6. The word "SEEN" is frequent and not necessary, i.e.: "A WOMAN carrying a torch is SEEN running in front of the barricade and is shot down by the Soldiers." Simply put that a woman carrying a torch in front of the barricade is shot down by the soldiers.

7. Punctuation and spelling needs corrections. Examples:
a. "Frederic shocked turns and runs back the way he came disappearing into the night." Needs some commas. "Frederick, shocked, turns and runs back the way he came, disappearing into the night."
b. "wagons break..." should be "wagon's brake..."
c. "Citizen's of France stop for a moment." Should be: "Citizens of France! Stop for a moment."
d. "Your going to end up in an asylum like your brother." Should be "You're going to end up in an asylum like your brother."
e. "...the dinning hall... Should be "dining hall."
f. "Frederic raps..." Should be "Frederic wraps..."
g. "not to late." Should be "not too late."
h. "your well before I die." should be "you're well before I die."

8. There are several places that confused me. Here are just two examples:
a. Jean "Good morning Frederic. So good of you to make it in today!" Frederic stops drawing and throws down his pen. Angrily he stands up to Jean. The class stop their work disturbed and look on wide-eyed. I'm not sure why Frederic would be so upset at Jean's comment. (Plus punctuation problems in that sentence.)
b. "Cretian is stirring a pot of boiling water and is overjoyed with Frederic's entrance." I'm not sure why someone would be stirring a pot of boiling water.

9. "A long table with GUESTS seated in candlelit room, conversation AD LIB." Don't do this to actors. What one may talk about when ad libbing (is there such a word as "libbing"?) , others may talk of something else. If they're talking, tell them what to say.

10. And lastly, the dialogue. As said before, this seems to be the problem with many writers. First, I believe there's way too much. The script needs more action and less talk. It will be hard to find actors who have to memorize as much as is being said, or at least I'd think it would be. Second, in many places it doesn't sound natural. It should be natural and the best way to see if it is, is to read it out loud and ask yourself if that's what the person would be saying. Or, have someone else read it out loud for you.

While I can personally overlook some of the format issues and certainly punctuation and misspellings can be corrected, it's really the dialogue and "show, don't tell" that are my concerns with this screenplay. If those were fixed, I could kick my scores up a couple of notches because as I said, a story in pictures of this talented man should be done. I sincerely hope the writer will take this in the constructive way it's intended and not a negative one.

Again, I congratulate the writer on the subject of the screenplay and on the fact he has had a director read it who likes it and would be willing to do it - something most of us haven't had.
 

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