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Reviews Elliott Has Written

The Pitch, Jamster's 8th Draft

1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Too safe, good pace

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
January 06, 2013
I liked the concept of the script, it obviously works for other screenwriters with all the references to the trade and the tricks and the rules, but a lot of it would be fairly inaccessible to a large audience. I think this would work best as an indie.



The opening is creative, the character introductions and the pace of the pitch scene but there were a few things like the nametag thing that I didn't really get the need for. One thing I think does need work in is the relationships between the leads. I didn't get a sense of history between them.


I admit I'm not really up on how to write OR read comedy, its not my genre, but the pace felt off after the set-up, and this affected the tone. I couldn't find a belly laugh, or any real biting satire. You want to go for one or the other. Take advantage of having the balls to put Mickey Rourke, Emma Watson etc in there, send them up, make them seem insane, go for it. It all felt too gentle. Dame with the dialogue. It felt too safe. You basically had three frat-boys in Hollywood, but where was the potty-mouth? I know this is probably a personal thing but you're writing about a subject kids won't get, so feel free to write in more 'adult' dialogue and situations.


Things definitely picked up for the end sequence, your creativity and imagination seemed to peak here. Would I be right in guessing that you thought of the scenario and ending it first? All you need now is the middle to be more eventful.


A lot of these nit-picks are personal preference, so they may not sit with the tone and feel you are going for. But if you can sprinkle some if the pace and creativity of the first 20 and last 20 pages into the rest, you could be onto a winner.
 

Flood, William's Original Draft

0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Notes on "Flood" - from WtR

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
July 28, 2012
The world you created was very interesting and offers plenty of great cinematic visuals, similar in feel to Nightbreed and a modern take on Pans Labrynth.

Descriptions were nice and tight and brief.

Great mysterious opening scene, one of the first scripts I've read which I could completely visualise on the big-screen, and as soon as we met Ghost I was hooked. I was immediately grabbed by his dialogue. It was kind of badass, but nice and sparse.

The early scene with the demons did feel a little like the club scene in Blade, yet Ghost was more interesting. Through his dialogue and actions, he felt almost reluctant to do what he had to do, great conflict.

Great little interplay between Ghost and Betsy, giving this everyday approach to the bizarre always wins me over.

The relationship between Ghost and Maria felt like a great partnership, two completely different characters, and using her as an introduction to the world was a little cliched yet works for this type of story.

Very quick pace. For the first 20 pages I felt like I was seeing or learning something new.

Good exposition scene from Allie, a tricky one to pull off but the structure of the images, with the dialogue, mixed very well.

The mythology is really good here. You could see a franchise built around this, a prequel about the River Man, follow other demons etc. But part of the problem with franchises is that often the first part is simply establishing the lead. So a story comes second. And unfortunately that happened here, it all felt very Constantine/Hellboy, the villain was pretty weak, and it was all based around establishing 'Flood'.

A few things I would look at in future rewrites:

With the tone of the script being horrific and very for adults, why not start the script with the brief yet attention-grabbing day-school massacre by Darren. While hearing characters mention it is fine, it would be even more relevant if we actually saw it, or at least the aftermath.

I'd have a few demons speaking different than the everyday, just to have more variety in the voices that we hear, as at the moment a lot of it is hard-boiled.

I would also spend more time on making the finale more explosive and memorable, as right now it feels like an anti-climax, a great build-up to an over too quickly ending.

I really enjoyed this script Will, it was packed full of imagination that would work brilliantly on the big-screen.
 

"4", Jamster's 4th Draft

1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Leaner and meaner

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
July 28, 2012
EXPLOSION OF LIGHT - SOUND-BLAST OF WIND - BLACK not sure about this description, as all we have is this happening to a black screen, no place, time, you could delete this and it would have no effect on anything else.

The first 10 pages are vastly improved from the previous draft, there feels like a coherent series of events this time around, I didn't get lost. One thing I would say again is that our hero is introduced too late still. You have 10-15 pages to introduce us to this world and the hero, they would be better used concentrating on that than all of the back-story. This could all be discovered later in the script.

Eliminate any use of "we". Save that for the shooting script if at all.

Leave out any editing choices, a director and editor are the ones who make camera and "slow-mo" decisions. Plus, this just ups the word count.

There were too many super's. I know that there are many changes in location and time, but unless it is imperative to the plot, eg a countdown, leave it out. Again, word count.

I liked the added conflict when Crenshaw appears for John, much better than the previous friendly exchange.

There was still some fat to the story. The first to me the ambulance transporting Bridget, even though brief, is just a wasted paragraph that serves no purpose.

A lot of scenes start with a description of the room or place. Is this really what we would see? Or would it be a character doing something? Cut these descriptions unless story-driven, get in the scene late, out early. The audience needs to know what sort of place this is, but the finer details are down to the production designers. If a busted brick does not play a part in the story, don't mention it.

In contrast, your action descriptions read much cleaner now, you've eliminated needless extra characters and concentrated more on the main players, which makes it much faster and coherent to read.

I have to admit I'm still a little confused on the motivation for the whole thing. The exposition by Ogard in the end, it still loses me, maybe if its condensed I'll get it earlier but at the moment it reads as a little anti-climactic and unbelievable.

This was a very strong rewrite Jim, vastly improved over draft 3. The pace, logistics and sense of character were all improved. In further drafts, I would suggest getting rid of most of the first 10 pages and use them as things that John can discover on his adventure.
 

Burned, Michael's 2nd Draft

1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Found on Write to Reel, a decent 80's style thriller

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
June 11, 2012
Really enjoyed the script, reminded me of the stuff we used to get from Walter Hill in his heyday, I'm talking 'The Warriors', 'Trespass' and 'Southern Comfort'. A group of badass guys in a bad place, simple, streamlined, effective.

Great opening sequence, throwing us straight into the action with no pretense.

Short, tight descriptions, to the point and punchy. But a lot of the weaponry could have maybe done with a brief visual description as just the names of them did not give me any impression other than well-researched.

I didn't really get much character in the first 10 or 15 pages. Although this was an action scene, small details such as dialogue, attitude, gestures, can still be used to help get a vague sense of who is who. Remember you want your set-up to reflect your finale, the weaknesses and strengths of your characters are going to be exploited, yet I didn't see anything to be paid off.

The arrival at the farm was perfectly paced and set-up, the contrast between the chaos of the opening with the peace of the farm works well. And it also feels foreboding, what mysteries hide here.

The initial confrontation between the Fantoms and Cole was well-written and tense, Cole a great creation. Yet sometimes there felt like too much dialogue. Remember the films that may have inspired you, stark, moody, based on characters of few words and meaningful actions.

I felt no empathy with any of the Fantoms at any point in the script. Yet I also never really rooted for Cole, I thought he was cool, but sometimes I just felt like I was watching a group of bad guys take on a bad guy. That was until around the 100 page mark, when his actions became clearer to me, but I may have missed something.

A masterstroke is the tornado, a great way to raise the stakes.

I can tell a lot of research of military strategy was done for the script, and the way Cole conveyed it in his dialogue was very interesting in terms of a way of communicating exposition.

Once the action starts it doesn't let up, the script is quite relentless and it was nice to see some actual ideas going on.

Overall, this is a mostly taut, tight little thriller, with a great pace and a great feel for structure.
 

NIGHT OF THE RED PHANTOM, Eric's Original Draft

1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Found this through Write to Reel, great procedural

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
June 04, 2012
I came across this on Write to Reel and had to read it after the review, and really enjoyed it.

Good relationship between Finn and his family, didn't feel Hollywood and sugary, felt honest and interesting.

Character introductions were great, created distinction between each, creating a visual very well.

Dialogue was much better than most spec scripts I've read. Short lines, naturalistic, and you knew that sometimes a conversation only needs to be one way, that's more effective. Also, everybody had their own voice

As a personal preference I'm rarely a fan of voice-over. Fight Club, Sin City, and Scorcese use voice-over in a great way, and while you don't use it in the usual bad habit ways, it still felt unnecessary. Also, if you do keep it, maybe start it on page one, that might somehow make it more effective.

The details in the crime scenes were described very well, inspiring actually the way they were structured.

The type of script this was dictated that there be lots of exposition through dialogue, which is fine, it is procedure tale like said in the review. I couldn't find a line of information that wasn't needed, but can imagine while watching the script on screen it could become monotonous. So maybe spice things up. As suggestions go, maybe show what characters are thinking. A good example of this is the film 'Narc'. There is a scene early on where Jason Patric is looking through boxes of evidence. There is barely to no dialogue. We see what he imagines through the evidence, the snippets of information but through his skewed perspective. It made the scene so much more interesting. Through the visuals we get the exposition. Through the way it is presented, almost nightmarish, we learn more about Jason Patrics character. Not sure how you could integrate that, but maybe it will help.

Great script though. Anything that takes an interest in crime without exploiting the violent aspect is always worthy, and difficult to find today.

A really interesting script, and I'm happy to say you have educated me in your prose for certain aspects of my scripts.
 

Transcendance, Cindy's Original Draft

1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

An interesting premise, but not what I expected

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
May 31, 2012
Great opening sequence that establishes the world and Don Miguel.

Use of language in descriptions was good, helped to create the characters in brief sentences.

The interaction between Kevin and Chris felt awkward and didn't ring true, maybe some slight changes in their dialogue, maybe they're more cautious of one another, or doing something completely random at the time. Take them out of the office. Kevin shooting hoops when Chris visits him, just to add an extra dynamic to the scene.

The idea that James has been drugged and played a tape, resulting in complete dependency, felt thin, maybe their could be more to his role. Making Don Miguel emotionally manipulate his followers makes him a smarter and more devious, and also more realistic villain. I understand the idea that this is part of his Black Ops training, but a drug dealer could have a massive following this way. A villain who uses his intelligence, manipulation and cunning is much more terrifying.

The use of media as a central form of exposition doesn't sit right with me, hard to pin why, but I would rather visually see these things happen or have protagonists revealing this. I always try to keep the media out of it, unless the story is about media. It stops your protagonist from having to discover things themselves.

Page 19: DON MIGUEL is smiling and waving to the crowd, seeming very joyful and kissing those who throng to him, touching them with his palm as they fall in ecstasy. The camera follows him up the steps of the plane.

Sounds more like a rock star than a messiah, but that's the world we live in I suppose.

In the first 20 pages of the script, the protagonists have only one scene, and that doesn't tell us too much about their characters. Your first 10 pages are always vital, maybe spend more of them with these two.

Not sure if I missed a beat, but I didn't understand the need for Don Miguel to fake his death when he shows up in public days later. I didn't get that, might just be me.

For most of the script Kevin and Chris are playing a mostly political game. I expected more of a hunt, an actual chase, which may have been less realistic, but more exciting.

I liked the relationship between Kevin and his wife, it added some meat to his character.

The climax was great and intense, but I struggled with Chris' motive and whole agenda, it stretched plausability slightly after such a realistic build-up.

Overrall, a very interesting script. Very professional, other than a few typos and the inclusion of camera directions, very well-written. I was expecting something darker, and could have done with more suspense, but after a few more drafts this could be really good. Hope this is helpful somehow.
 

Favorite Movies

Everything directed by David Fincher (including Alien 3), Stanley Kubrick and Darren Aronofsky, Kill List, Hanna
 

Influences

Directors: Fincher, Aronofsky, Kubrick, Mark Romanek, Jim Mickle, Michael Mann

Writers: David Koepp, William Goldman, Andrew Kevin Walker, Christopher McQuarrie.

 

Following

14 People