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About


I have been writing seriously now for many years. I started with short fiction, publishing a number of stories online and in small press, as well as placing in several contests.

Aged 28 I took a step down from a decent full time job to undertake a degree in creative writing, where I scored very highly in all my creative endeavours, but especially scriptwriting.

Since then I have had to start work again full time, finding myself at the BBC in a support role, and having to write in my spare time. I have, however, progressed through to quarter and semi-final places in a few international screenwriting contests, including the Page Awards and the Scriptwriters Network High Concept Competition.

I am based in the UK, currently working on a comedy-drama for TV.

 

Reviews Antony Has Written

Storm Dragons Video 2 - "Instead of" Teaser Trailer

2 stars
It's neatly made but really just strikes me as a list of stuff that has inspired or influenced the script. What is it about?
July 27, 2014

Alluvion Video 1 - sci-fi

5 stars
Real potential here. So much better than many full-budget pieces on TV. Good luck with it.
June 08, 2014

Everybody want to rule the world, Karl's Original Draft

1 out of 2 people found the following review helpful:

Great concept - take a look at the pacing

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
July 08, 2013
I opened this because I really like the concept. It may seem like I'm slamming the script at times, but most of the scripts on here I find are almost unreadable, and those I do complete I cannot bring myself to review, let alone leave such a long one. So, although I have a fair bit of advice, know that I thought this wasn't a *bad* screenplay, just one that needs a thorough rewrite to push it on.

It is competently-written, but that's often a problem in that it is *only* competent. However, that is a big boon in here. You just need to take it to the next level. Two things will do that IMO:

1) Pacing.

It's off in this draft. The concept of the show is that we are going to see the evolution of an international evil genius and possibly understand him. But it takes nearly half the running time (p13) to get to our first flashback. I would suggest having a flashback to immediately following where Alexander says "It had to be done", and show the assassination. Perhaps end that assassination with the killer feeling sorry for the young son and saying "It had to be done." Or even inter-connect it. Have Alexander say his French section, THEN flashback, and when you come back to the present have Alexander looking distant and muttering "It had to be done." A few ways you can go, but get the concept going quickly. Like, PRE-titles. Once you establish Alexander as a human being, THEN we can move to the people trying to stop him.

2) Characters

Understanding our heroes and villains is the core of great drama, especially in an age where some of the most popular TV includes a drug dealer (Breaking Bad), a terrorist (Homeland) and various mass murdering, perverted, betrayal-happy lords and schemers (Game of Thrones). So the show is about the evolution of Alexander. Great. But we also need to see deeper definition of the people opposing him. We are going to have to *understand* Alexander's motivation, and even root for him very occasionally, but his opposing force - the good guys - need complexity too.

So Rosalind is in charge of an MI5 team. Andrew is the only one who believes Alexander Losier is the big bad. That Andrew is dismissed so readily is a bit of a cliché, and that he is in possession of a file full of evidence that his superior refuses to even read is even worse. Especially as he specifically says “If you read my file you can see his link to numerous such cases.” All she has to do is READ IT.

It’s been something of a movie/drama staple over the years that the superiors in big organisations are morons who ignore everything but their own agendas and theories, but that is starting to wear thin. (I think it may stem from writers who work day jobs for incompetent middle managers and want to emphasise how incompetent these middle managers really are by writing about others in authority in the same way. Just my theory).

Rosalind herself seems impatient and a bit hysterical. Which is another cliché (the hysterical woman boss with no brain) and the way this senior MI5 agent acts in a room full of subordinates is utterly wrong. No way would someone react like that. Would you write this scene in this way if you switched genders between Rosalind and Andrew?

You have an opportunity here to write a great female character, but she is not one at the moment. She is stupid. I don’t know how she got to this position. A lot of people (mostly men) around her seem to believe Alexander is involved in the crash but she stubbornly refuses to accept it. Even when she gives Andrew the go-ahead late on it’s because other MEN have brow-beaten her into doing so. She’s weak and subservient. Can you change that?

Perhaps, in the initial meeting, she is newly promoted. The team dismiss Andrew as a crank, but because Andrew has a FILE FULL OF EVIDENCE, she seems to feel sorry for Andrew (maybe Andrew wanted the promotion that Roz got but his obsession with Losier prevented it?) and offers to read it after the meeting. It will seem to the rest of the team like a sop, so she can be dismissive of him without the hysterical and unprofessional over-reaction. Then, when none of the other theories hold water, she reluctantly turns to Andrew’s file. It’s thin, but when she presents it to Llewellyn, the more THEY dismiss it, the more she plays devil’s advocate. She won’t dismiss it entirely because no matter how unlikely the evidence, it cannot be discounted entirely. That way you have a professional female agent who, despite not really believing it, cannot dismiss it entirely because she is thorough to a fault. Perhaps she is ordered NOT to pursue that line of enquiry but tells Andrew to work on it beneath the radar while she officially goes down a different route. That way you have huge potential conflict with her bosses, the team beneath her, and (if she screws up) this Philip Green guy. You can still have her swearing and stuff, but keep her professional. On the surface she is an obedient employee of the secret service, but is more interested in covering every base (which takes it to a deeper level of character; covering her arse by being TOO thorough, *and* going slightly rogue in order to do so... getting more complex but if you can control that during your writing, it will hold up to viewers).

BTW, you need to change Sir Philip's name. Sir Philip Green is actually a rich tax-dodging British businessman in real life http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Green

So you can really get the audience involved with the show if you ramp up the characters and really think about how real-world people act. Who is driving this, what are their goals, their faults? My suggestions are obviously just off the top of my head as I write, but these people COULD be interesting and deep.

A couple of points on general screenplay etiquette:

Establishing shots should be more than just a slugline. I know, I know, you probably see pro scripts doing that, but it helps if the building is not well-known if you give a little line of description. Everyone from Washington to Burkina Faso knows what the White House looks like, while King’s Cross is probably fairly well known to us Brits, but to a producer in Seattle it may be less familiar. You also “establish” Philip Green’s building but don’t tell us what it looks like. Is it like another Gherkin or is it a stately premises or a monolithic skyscraper?

You shouldn’t start a scene with dialogue (ie, straight beneath the slugline). Give us a spot of description. What is the character doing before they act. Pros do it, but it is jarring in spec scripts.

Parentheses in dialogue are a crutch. You generally don’t need them. If someone is speaking angrily, give them angry words. If a smile crosses someone’s face, that’s a separate action line, not a parenthesis.

Overall, you have a great idea here, but you just need to consider your structure a little more in relation to the show’s selling points, and go a little deeper in your characters.

Best of luck with this. Do keep at it. It’s one of the better things I’ve read on here of late.
 

Max James, Mini-bible 1 - Max James

2 stars
Okay, but I need to see more relatable motivation from Sam. It feels like there is no urgency to it. What happens if he fails? He's a bit annoyed. Let's see some stakes for Sam.
May 28, 2012

Max James, Pilot Script 2 - 2nd Draft

3 stars
Pretty uninteresting opening, but picks up and has some funny moments. The problem is at the concept stage, IMO (see my bible review), and it's Sam's lack of stakes and motivation that holds it back
May 28, 2012

Evolver Video 10 - GRINDHOUSE CUT

4 stars
Really good edit, nice additions, very impressive. Would like to see a little more about the story, but overall vastly superior to most I've seen so far.
February 29, 2012

Favorite Movies

In no particular order: Big Lebowski, , Pulp Fiction, Godfather 1&2, Apocalypse Now, True Lies, Ferris Beuller's Day Off, Watchmen, Bourne 1-3, Star Wars Eps IV-VI, Die Hard, Usual Suspects, North by Northwest, Let the Right One In
 

Influences

Steven Spielberg, Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarrantino, Francis Ford Coppola, Danny Boyle and (although only one movie under his belt) Gareth Edwards.
 

Following

10 People