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Retired Space Shuttle worker with time on his hands. Have always enjoyed writing and now have the time to participate.
 

Reviews John Has Written

Room 9 Video 1

3 stars
February 15, 2016

Walkin' on the bridge, Erminio's 2nd Draft

0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Strong premise, has great potential, but script needs work

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
February 03, 2013
Let me start out by saying, I enjoyed the script. It's a good story and I think you captured the atmosphere of Mississippi very well. And you have a built in audience of Elvis fans ready to see this movie. So, just some notes, other reviewers will see different things. Pick and choose what's useful.

It is a bit slow at the start and sometimes a bit confusing. I can go back in the script and make sure I understand, but the movie audience won't have that opportunity. The characters need to stand out more earlier in the script, be more recognizable.

The dialogue is often "on the nose", overly talky explaining too much or awkward. People just don't talk to each other this way.

I understand that you, and therefore the characters, are trying to not say anything about the wreck, which is the motivating event driving Ronnie and his mother's actions, but there is a piece missing from those earlier times. What was the early relationship between Ronnie and his mother that drove them apart? We know she's a drunk and couldn't have been a good mother, and that the accident is the cause of her drunkenness. But her inability to make an effort to love Ronnie must have some cause. Why does she blame him? The relationship between Ronnie and his mother is the core of the story, it is driving Ronnie's behavior. Belinda is Ronnie's triumph over that cause we are missing. Weaving that character story in with the Elvis plot is what will give this script its strength.

The "train" is a good device for showing Ronnie's character development. The story needs something more about Ronnie's father being the type that would hide things. Finding the paper was a 'out of the blue' moment. Anna is also quite a stretch for believability, but not totally out of bounds. The PHONE BOOTH scene p.67, just can't figure that one out? At times, it's a bit over the top, such as the scene where Ronnie masturbates after meeting Belinda or Mr. Cooper's unsanitary habits - both add color, but nothing to the story.

There are some great moments also, such as when Belinda sings 'Walkin on the bridge' and also when Ronnie turns the photograph over.

Good strong premise for a story. It has great potential, but the script needs work.
 

Starlight, David's 2nd Draft

2 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Good story, but stay with your main characters.

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
December 27, 2012
I like your style of writing, the story flows evenly and it's engaging. Premise is good. Intro scene, sets the main characters. Although, the story is a basic retelling of "Alien", you draw us into this story world quite well and the action is well paced.

OK. Just some nitpicks you need to look at...

Need to go through and make sure Marshal is used consistently in CHARACTER lines.
p.23 "effect" should be "affect"
p.27 CAS: "At least, until the we decide what to do with you." - Choose either "we" or "they"
p.32 "Donnie looks toward the door, then back at Valentin before sitting back at his station." - Probably superfluous, it doesn't foreshadow or provide information.
p.33 "Corin, now a vampire, " - that should be or become obvious.
p.34 CAS: "I think I broke my leg" As the doctor, she would know. And for the moving about she has to do, that seems a bit much.
p.35 INT. ENGINE ROOM - LEVEL 1: They might be a bit concerned, but moving in tactical form doesn't seem right yet. Something's wrong, but they're not yet under attack, at least not that they are aware of.
p.38 Septimus direction -> Septimus' direction
p.67 SEPTIMUS: "You’re not exactly Shakespeare," How would he know Shakespeare?
p.82 SEPTIMUS: "come" -> "came"
p.94 JASON: "Hey fuckface. Bite me." -> Seems out of character for Jason.
p.101 "Septimus release" -> "Septimus releases"
p.102 "A moment later and her eyes a solid black, depthless." - Doesn't read right, maybe skip the "and": "A moment later, her eyes a solid black, depthless."

This is just my opinion, but it's what I felt when reading through. When you think of the movie "Alien", you think Ripley. A strong willed character, that drives the story.

Unless the fight between Cas and Jack is central to the story, you should probably foreshadow something else in the opening scene. I'd leave the setting where it is though.

In this script, you think Jack. He is driving the story early. The initial scene places him at the heart of the story. But he gets tossed in the carnage. The last few scenes with him as a slave vampire, just don't seem to fit. They humiliate the character you've built.

Donnie has few scenes early, mostly engaging the headset or other equipment, he almost gets engaged in the story, but is shut down by Valentin. He isn't propelling your story like a main character until late.

It just kind of takes the wind out of the story to have a secondary character drive your ending. In the beginning, the audience will invest in Jack and their emotional attachment will likely die with Jack. They may want to see how it ends, but it becomes just a curiosity without emotional attachment.

Jason is a main character and vital to the story, but the audience won't resonate with him. He is captured quite well, I think, in your descriptions and actions, but he remains an outsider.

Good luck with the script. I think it's got good potential.
 

Seed Book Trailer Project Video 42 - SEED

5 stars
Sound/music was great.
August 29, 2012

LATHEM Video 1 - Teaser

3 stars
February 24, 2012

Lost in Los Alamos, Marilyn's Original Draft

0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Good premise, but needs more drama

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
February 24, 2012
The story has an interesting premise and delivers at the end. However, it needs work on building drama in the middle.

The script is pretty well formatted, just a few items with typical formatting that need correcting, the format recipe is located at http://www.storysense.com/format/headings.htm

The hook into the story, Betti dying, creates a mystery and also nicely sets up the story. The initial world scene is set well. The call from the lawyer and possible money from the sale of Betti's property provides an inciting incident. The stipulation in Betti's will sets the stage for Act II. So far so good. Act II hinges on the mystery of people dying and Scott fixing the trailer. This Act needs work, although there is increasing revelation, there should also be an increasing tension. The event that spins Act III into motion is removing the paper from the wall at Betti's trailer, leading to the scenes where Scott and Al clash. And I think Act III conflict is done pretty well. Then a few loose ends are tied up and we get a nice interesting twist at the very end. I thought your dialogue was good and pretty believable.

The protagonist, Scott, is set up nicely as a guy shortchanged from his computer software design dream job into a low paying computer fixit man job. But after the first act, he doesn't drive the story until the third act. He is passively following events throughout the second act.

The villain, Al of Big-Orange fame (excuse me... Orange-ware), is a pretty well drawn evil character, but doesn't really put the hero in danger until Act III. Prior to the third act, his actions with the protagonist are limited to trying to get him out of town. While not physically appearing until the final showdown in the third act is OK, he should have a hand in driving more conflict, overtly or covertly, with the protagonist.

Supporting cast, Rachel, Lee and Todd are the aggressive personalities carrying the second act and as secondary characters, they do rather well. Todd is a hoot and from unfolding his story, we know why. You've set up these characters nicely to add a lot more tension, but failed to capitalize, just push Todd's juvenile behavior and Rachel's romantic interest with Scott much harder.

Just a few notes/questions:
-Would like to understand what happened to Betti, the loud POP doesn't indicate dementia and led me to think that she had been shot, which may have been the case. And, more importantly, why is Betti's house so important to Al? What could he know about the house? I do see him wanting to get rid of Betti, but the house? I'm drawing a blank, maybe I missed something.

-The part where Al offers Scott a job again in the last act doesn't really ring true, I think Al would be too smart to believe that Scott wouldn't want revenge.

-The G-men are not very effective guards, good thing they aren't being paid.

-It would be nice to know by some means who was being controlled and by what method.

- The stab at political incorrectness is funny. You should have Al look just like his namesake.

Overall, I enjoyed the read. Definitely a story that has promise, but some work to get it in shape is ahead. Keep in mind, this is just one opinion, another reviewer will certainly have another opinion, but it will give you something to think about.
 

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