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Reviews TMAC Has Written

Obsessor, Lee's 2nd Draft

1 out of 2 people found the following review helpful:

The Book of Dark Blasphemy

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
5 stars
 
June 28, 2011
NB:

I chose to review this screenplay because of the author’s intelligent comments in the forums and the warm reception another of his scripts garnered from Carson Reeves. In no way did the author ask for or WANT the following notes, so don’t associate him with me. This review was all my doing. (I don’t want Lee’s standing at AS in any way tarnished by my standing with AS.)

This is a great script. It is very hard to for me to believe that it has gone unrecognized by AS since THE INCEPTION of the contest and not, at least, been a perpetual semi-finalist. It is sparsely written, with great dialogue, tremendous hook, and genre appeal. The return on investment would be huge, as it would be cheap to produce and couldn’t make LESS THAN 50 or 60 million in domestic box office. I actually think it would make more in the international markets than here at home, owing to a level of sophistication not normally seen in films of this genre. (I’d also add that not selecting it as a semi-finalist in any of the last seven months is more proof that the readers at AS have something in their proverbial brownies. This is a movie that would make a tremendous test film. I don’t believe in test films, but AS does. Their inability to effectively rate the material that would best serve their needs is comical, to say the least.)

I do think the script could be improved. In whoever read this script’s defense the only significant problem, for me, happens in the first seven pages. I don’t like the opening with the newspaper clippings, off screen dialogue, and the flashback court scene which gives us the backstory. The writing is sound and the backstory itself intrigues, so my attention didn’t waver. It’s just that, on reflection, I find it hard to believe that an audience is going to want to spend the first seven minutes of their viewing experience this way. I think that most of the exposition which is gotten out of the way with the newspaper clippings etc could be spread out through the script a reveal at a time. This might even help to increase the, already intense, levels of suspense. Find a new way to introduce the backstory and the script goes from great to very nearly perfect.

Hesselius and Laurel’s affair feels a little bit unmotivated. There’s a lot going on in the script besides their affair, and the ending doesn’t work unless they have the affair. All of which gives you, the writer, a massive storytelling problem. How do you convincingly portray the emotions necessary to “sell” the affair and still tell the heart of your story which only incidentally involves the affair. I don’t envy the task. (As an aside, actors could pull this off with the right chemistry.) If you don’t want to rely on actors, however, then I think you have to use what’s already in the script and just amp it up a bit. For instance, your genre allows you to play with the rules of psychology. We are allowed, within the logic of this particular screenplay, occult explanations for human behavior. Use it. Explain the love story using Hesselius’s and Laurel’s involvement with The Book of Dark Blasphemy. Their “love” could be a contamination by contact with the book. Kronstein could even issue a warning about how that kind of thing is very likely to happen.

When Danciger and the other cop question Hesselius about Tedesco’s death, Hesselius’s behavior is so strange, so unconcerned, that I think this would be something that would make Danciger suspicious by itself. I can’t imagine a cop witnessing that kind of behavior and then basically saying have a good day and if anything comes up give me a call. To be honest, Hesselius’s behavior almost comes off as textbook guilty. I would use this to increase the stakes even more, or, write it out of the script all together. Have Hesselius find the body and then HIDE the body. It would point to his burgeoning “obsession” with this case. It would show him losing touch with reality in a subsidiary way. We wouldn’t think he has lost touch with reality, but we would know that losing touch with reality is a possibility. It might, if done right, implicate Hesselius as a suspect in Tedesco’s death. A sort of good storytelling ancillary bonus.


What I loved about this script:

The writing.

Top five on the site period. (I wont even add the customary IMHO. It’s not necessary. You’re that good.)

The depiction of paranoia with schizophrenic overtones.

This script doesn’t do the A Beautiful Mind (the film not the book) version of mental disorder. You don’t pick and choose symptoms that advance the plot and leave out the rest. You give us all the symptoms and then you make sure the plot fits those symptoms. Yours is a classic example of industrious writing. (It’s always so much easier, when writing a mental disorder script, to take the mental disorder script shortcuts. You don’t. I applaud you for it.)

Kronstein’s sort-of-soliloquy on the virtue of books.

Okay, I’m a sucker for arguments like these. But yours was a particularly effective example of the type. It reminded me of the scene in Donnie Darko where the title character blames the progress of humanity on soap. I loved it, but, it WAS preordained that I would.

Anyway, this is a very good script whose greatest remaining mystery is its lack of recognition by Amazon Studios. Here’s to hoping that a rewrite and Horror month will erase that neglect.

Great work, Lee

(By the way, there is ONE typo in the script. Since there is one and only one, I'm going to make you find it yourself!)
 

In The Silences, Scott's 2nd Draft

4 out of 6 people found the following review helpful:

Chrysalis

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
June 20, 2011
Scott,

I liked this script a lot. I can see why it was honored and I judge you to be a competent writer. As I like to end with positives, I will begin with the negatives. (My management team at work would call them opportunities lol).

I’ll start with the biggest “opportunity” first and then work progressively through until we flip poles and just start talking about things I liked and then loved about this script.

1. Veda. I don’t like her arc. I don’t like her motivation. And, in the end, her pages in the script become a distraction. It as though Danny invents his watches to impress his high school crush, and one wonders why he ever had the crush in the first place. In the script, Danny actively tells exactly two people about his incredible devices and both are women he is, (and until later in the script) can only be, ATRRACTED to. I don’t know, I want more from Danny than this. It’s like you were riffing on Sorkin’s take on Zuckerberg’s Facebook. And, while that’s okay when one is talking about a social networking website, it’s a little lacking when we’re talking about the kind of genius Danny has. So, I want more from Veda than robbing cash registers and jewelry stores. She doesn’t seem an adequate villain. I think about knowing her and wanting to stop her and say are you SERIOUS? Danny has invented the most incredible device in the history of history AND THIS is what you think to do with it?

1A. I did find myself wondering also why Veda never tells anyone about the watches in the time before Danny meets Sara. Is she the kind of person that keeps things like this to herself? She doesn’t strike me this way. If you open up her world a bit to the possibilities of the watches, she becomes a better villain, immediately. She could try and bribe Danny with her “fake” love in order to try and convince Danny to actually rule the world. I’m thinking Lady Macbeth here.

1B. For sure though, I am not a fan of the mattress scene at the end (not sure about it for Danny either) which ends in her death. It may be more of a commentary on Veda’s lack of depth, but I felt nothing when she died. I could feel sad for her, the way I do for Lady Macbeth. Or, I could be happy that she’s gone—like when Clarice kills Buffalo Bill at the end of Silence of the Lambs. Instead, I’m thinking about the physics of falls and mattresses and if she was going to die anyway, if Danny was going to fail in saving her, then what was the point in lugging the mattresses four feet to the side. Probably be better, for me, if they almost, but not quite, got the mattresses in the right place but missed by half a person and this is why she dies. She just dies, and I would have been just as happy if she’d been arrested. (That would also give Danny the chance to REJECT her. I envision her pleading with him to stop time so she can get away.)

2. There are really only 6 characters in this whole script. Sara, Danny, Tom, Veda, Richards, and Ford. (The cameos by Fred and Al et al don’t count; but they don’t detract from the point I’m about to make ((much)) either). They’re all a slight variation on the same psychologically damaged person. The agoraphobic type. I would think that if you’re writing a script in which all of the people in the world are frightened or otherwise uninterested in human company (if that’s to be their flaw), you would have them come out of the self-imposed chrysalis at the end. This would be the goal you as a screenwriter would give them unbeknownst to them (but beknownst to you). Yet, I don’t see this in the script. No character fully emerges from his protective shell. The script even ends with one last hurrah for the silences. Even Tom who is arguably the most outgoing character in the script is an AUTHOR. And the one thing I can say for sure about every person who has ever slapped ink to a page is: they’re still living in the chrysalis. So, I want to see them, all of them, grow toward the world. Actively choose to be a part of the world. Even Danny.

3. The watch logic is VERY hard to follow at times. Especially how, or even why, there is a hierarchy of watches. I’m not sure what it means to jump between silences, and I’m not sure if the silences are a physical part of reality or if they are CAUSED by the watches. This seems to me, as a science geek, kinda important. If there are an infinite number of silences then it seems impossible for time to actually “run”. If the watches cause them, then there is a sort of preordained quality to Danny’s jumping which he doesn’t seem to notice. In other words, it is determined that he do the things he does because the silences exist in order for him to jump between them. Also, the scene at the mosh pit, while visually impressive gets about three times removed from coherence by its end.

Now, on to the good stuff.


1. I love that you have created a science fiction love story. Very unique. It reminds me of Motherless Brooklyn—with gadgets. Very cool. The damaged nature of the characters makes them perfect fits for each other and perfect accomplices to an aberrant physics. In other words, of course they must stop time to find each other, because they WASTE all the time that is given to them. Major props for premise.

2. Your writing is also top notch. It flows from the page and only once did an individual collection of words pull from the story. The dialogue is authentic and practiced and still wholly believable and true. Great work with the writing.

3. By far, though, my favorite aspect of this script was “the silences” themselves. Whenever the script is in one of these places, I switched from reading to seeing and it was (often) beautiful. (Which is a word you don’t just bandy about when talking about a script.) I tried to think of something it reminded me of and the closest I could come was Coppola’s Black Beauty. A movie which puts to rest the idea that things have to constantly blow up in order for people to pay attention. Your script is like that, these moments of the movie would (in the right director’s hands) sing.

Anyway, that’s my take on your script. I hope you find it helpful.

Below are the page notes. I usually delete non typo notes I make while reading (they seem overly harsh), but I’ve decided to leave them in from now on. I think it might be nice for a writer to get a reader’s visceral reaction to the pages as they unfold.


TMAC







doesn’t see a SMALL DENT appears pg. 11

suddenly instantly pg. 12

lands on perfectly on top of pg. 16

do the watches interfere? Does one have precedence?

Pg. 31 necklace story worries me

Pg. 37 are you an angel rings false for me

Pg. 40 won’t his head on her lap start time again?

Pg. 41 She stops to eye to

Pg. 65 thought you were looking

Pg. 69 the Veda connection is a little weak

Pg. 71 the drink?

Pg. 74 murky world physics here

Pg. 76 There’s a random demand.

Pg. 77 ford,sarah,Richards???

Pg. 80 the Veda plotline is killing me

Pg. 81 Okay. I need you to take them

Pg. 82 Any of my orders that

Pg. 85 the bullet scene is DENSE

Pg. 86 He comes out with too towels;

Pg. 86 He wipes the head with the

Pg. 87 Like you amnd Tom.

Pg. 88 carrying a bag a loot.

Pg. 89 spot on his boss’

Pg. 92 slamming into her. Vera
Pg. 94 Breaths a sigh of

Pg. 102 Veda dies?

Pg. 103 She saved her life.
 

Asphalt John (Careful Who You Screw With), Richard's Original Draft

2 out of 2 people found the following review helpful:

A Long (brilliantly) Dark Ride

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
April 07, 2011
Richard,

Man, this is some seriously good writing. You hooked me quick and I felt like, for the first 40 pages, I couldn’t read fast enough. I wanted to devour the story. So, I guess what I’m saying is, you are a great writer WITH voice. (Side note to show my respect for your writing talent: There is a typo on page 44 which reads—John exists. It should be John exits. I kept staring at it trying to decide if YOU MEANT to say John exists. That is respect :)

So, like I said the first forty is amazing. I wouldn’t change a word. Brilliant.

The next 50 is maybe one half step away from amazing. I still ate it up but occasionally a note or two rang slightly off-key. (1. Not sure about Celia having so much sex with Raul nearby. Makes sense in the first act with Loveland. Here it gets to be a little too much. She’s a good mom. She has to know this is going to be damaging. 2. Also not sure about Celia’s confession of love. I don’t think it has to be this intense at this point. She could, instead, talk about the potential for love with John. Even though she is a former addict with a ferocious tendency toward self-destructive behavior, or maybe because of all that, I don’t think she would be at the point psychologically.

The last 24 was very good. It works. But I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first 90. (This part of the critique is all opinion though. A sort of, if I had been the one fortunate enough to have written the first 90, this is how I would have written the last 24. So take, leave, or borrow from my opinions as you see fit.)

1. I did not like the invasion of the Mansion. There’s an awful lot of unexplained set-up that ends up feeling a bit contrived. (The part with the twine specifically bothered me. So many things have to go right for this to turn out according to John’s plan that I just don’t think it would happen the way it does. Something would go wrong before the Mercedes could crash through the front wall.) Not sure what I would do. You could have him come in Western style and engage the badguys in a ten page shootout. (I know we’ve seen that kind of thing before, but I think you could bring something new to a tired cliché.) At the very least, I would trim the page count from when John gets to the gates of the mansion to when he gets through the front door. This guy is way more Batman than McGyver.
2. Also not sure about having John turn out to not be Michael Cadrille. I liked Michael. I liked his story arc. I sympathized with him. I was okay with the darkness and the murder and the alcoholism because I understood where Michael was coming from. That guy’s life was a long dark ride. I hang on my seat to see that guy be redeemed. A “Mechanic” style killer like John turns out to actually be, didn't sit as well. I still like it, but the catharsis is not the same.

This is a great script, Richard. I will be reading more of your work. (And please tell me this isn't REALLY a FIRST draft :)

T MAC


Pg. 12 Martin and his gang

Pg. 43 She's been a party to death. (Could be me, but it took me three reads to figure out what this sentence meant.)

Pg. 44 John exists.

Pg. 54 be how to visit places

Pg. 88 Counter eyes look here, there.
 

A Heart for A Heart, Jessica's Original Draft

0 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Great Writing and Story Design

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
April 07, 2011
Jessica,

I am very unsure of my ability to effectively rate this script. I just don’t know what I think about it. Part of me thinks it is five star. Your writing is nearly flawless (witness the lack of typos below) and you set up and execute the rom-com plot perfectly. You miss no beats and all of the plot points occur as they should. My problem is that I’m just not a fan of the genre. I think I would actively praise exactly two romantic comedies. (When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle). I’ve seen dozens of them, but those are the only two I would recommend. So, if I were rating this in terms of my investment, I would put it at the three to four star range—like say, How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days or maybe While You Were Sleeping.

There are three things I would consider if this script doesn’t immediately become a semi-finalist. (And I honestly think it could be.)

1. Dabney is sometimes hard to root for. She is beautiful, intelligent, successful, and funny. She has this great guy, Tommy, totally in love with her. I can’t imagine that it would be hard for her to meet someone equally as appealing as Emo. But, I think, parts of her plan come across as vindictive. Granted that he has hurt her and she thinks he has done it again owing to Heidi’s manipulations: still, her plans seem better suited to an Iago than a Sally (remember, the one that Harry met :).

I’m not quite getting at what I mean. Let me hold a magnifying glass to one particular element of your plot and see if that helps. I guess it’s like this: most of the guys in the audience are going to empathize with Tommy and not Emo. Emo is the Nietzschean SuperMan, the kind of guy that always gets the girl. Most guys in the audience are going to be The Tommy. So when we find out that Tommy actually cares for Dabney and is dismissed by her with the “I thought you knew that was just fun” line, all the Tommies in the seats are going to rebel against Dabney.

2. I think you’ve got to make a decision on what kind of rating you want. Right now this is an R script. There is nothing wrong with that in theory, but… I think (don’t know without googling it) the only R rated “romantic-comedy” to ever make over a 100 million is There’s Something About Mary. So, the rating is definitely a bit of a gamble, as you’re ruling out everyone who is currently in high school.

3. I didn’t like that Dabney edited the tape to implicate Kingsley. I would have liked it better if she had just reported about the note and leapt to the incorrect inference that Kingsley was involved. I’m not sure that the editing would be as easy to forgive as Kingsley makes it seem.

Good luck with this project,

Trevor


Pg. 14 Doesn't matter. I'll never happen.

Pg. 22 kerb Don’t know what this is. (Thought it was a typo, but not sure.)

Pg. 27 kicks Tommy's leg and mouths

Pg. 38 you're still out of his league. (Shouldn’t it be: he’s still out of…)

Pg. 39 Journal hmm?

Pg. 53 The race to fill the seat opened up with the
passing of Henry Wooster is heating up with
four candidates vying for the spot.

Pg. 54 The feet/socks thing is good—increases his culpability a lot.

Pg. 62 An school play program takes us

Pg. 63 "Cintaurs Stomp Golden
 

Kodiak Hybrid Show, Au's Original Draft

1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Wild!

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
March 31, 2011
Whew D.B., this is one packed script. I like the initial concept, of a hybrid bear trying to find his real identity in the Kodiak wilderness. I think THAT would make a great animated movie. You lost me though when you introduced the Truman Show plot point, and I scratched my head even more at the WC memory pill. It’s not that I couldn’t understand the story, I just think it would go way over the head of its intended audience. I think this is a shame because the initial concept is a winner.

For me, I would reformulate and have Bargel be a regular bad guy (not a memory deprived hybrid) and have him keep his plan to tank the town’s economy in order to bring in the BearMart. (As an aside, I would tone down the more direct references to WalMart like Always Low Wages. It’s not that it’s not funny, it’s just that it isn’t a battle I think you want to fight. A generic retail goliath would work equally as well.)

Then I would concentrate on the BearNapping story. I guess (I’m not 100 percent sure) that you mean for us to assume that Paul’s disappearance was part of the show. I’d rather it be real and the goal toward which Gregsky works. (In trying to solve the riddle of the disappearance of Paul, Gregsky accidentally solves the riddle of the missing Salmon and Halibut. He also learns to embrace his unique heritage—Balto style.)

One thing that I feel confident should go is the Obama and Oprah references at the end. I couldn’t exactly figure out what the pattern was behind those particular dots.

Again, I really like your initial set-up and concept. And there is a lot of excellent comedy in the script as-is. I basically just think the story is way too complex for the kids who would be watching it.

I would even say that the first ten pages is nearly perfect. After that it becomes mildly episodic and then (for a while at least) nearly science fiction.

Normally I think when a reviewer says he/she sees a lot of potential in your script, they’re generally trying to avoid hurt feelings. THAT is not the case with this review. You have a great idea on your hands. Tighten the plot by 20 pages and it will go far.

T MAC


Pg. 2 still hovers the geese.

Pg.3 The Largest Goose approach the Smallest Goose,

Pg. 5 sky with his binocular.

Pg. 7 takes his binocular

Pg. 8 birth certificate 

Pg. 11 Now that I’ve witness the

Pg. 12 The wrestling team hovers Gregsky puffing

Pg. 12 he towers every bear,

Pg. 12 he brush his chubby

Pg. 26 The red foxes rushes to cross

Pg. 27 DMV issue

Pg. 32 The Polar bears obliges, laughs maniacally.

Pg. 33 an expensive equipment like that.

Pg. 34 smaller Polar bears hovers

Pg. 34 Gregsky towers the 3 smaller Polar bears,

Pg. 38 Maniacal laughters

Pg. 38 Bright sun rays illuminating

Pg. 43 3 HAWKS (unemployed
Camerabirds) wearing miniature video cam on their heads flies

Pg. 45 Hawk #1 & #2 keeps

Pg. 46 Grand structure with 4 Greek columns adoring

Pg. 47 An UNEMPLOYED SITKA DEER and ELK giggles

Pg. 51 every eyes are fixed

Pg. 51 bargaining agreement has breached

Pg. 52 wide order and resumes to perform

Pg. 54 before Grizzly Wrestler 1 was about to shove Gregsky,

Pg. 55 just getting to? (think there is missing dialogue here)

Pg. 60 I’ll lose majority,

Pg. 68 The bears all rushed out

Pg. 68 Griesle hovers Polsky.

Pg. 70 Like what I said,

Pg. 72 that I found every since

Pg. 72 your love put’s

Pg. 72 the blurry it gets.

Pg. 73 Your old office yes. (I think this should be my old office?)

Pg. 73 walks at the end of the hallway,

Pg. 73 sign that state you are

Pg. 74 second-person? (I think calling himself mayor would be referring to himself in the third-person. Either way, it’s slightly confusing and is a new speech tic for the mayor. I like it. I just think you should have him do this throughout the script rather than introducing it here.)

Pg. 76 Sizzle appears out of breathe

Pg. 81 bat their eyes on the 3 Hawks

Pg. 81 Barry and Sizzle appears

Pg. 82 Okay, so this is an animated Truman Show. Did NOT see that coming.

Pg. 84 Do What?

Pg. 86 hovers him, points

Pg. 86 Who helped you escaped?

Pg. 88 seem to forget to fill

Pg. 89 hire every Kodiak residents

Pg. 90 it’s not,

Pg. 96 Grandma Polly and Grandpa Elvis rushes

Pg. 97 So, it’s not Truman Show.

Pg. 99 leads the revolution

Pg. 99 Barney and Eagle Earl blends

Pg. 101 Mayor Bargel rest his left

Pg. 103 pine cone almost hit her,

Pg. 104 steps hovering their unconscious

Pg. 104 Bearak and Bhopra exits the helicopter.

Pg. 106 Eagle Earl nod

Pg. 107 Gregsky and Bargel wakes up,

Pg. 109 wirings in the brain releases

Pg. 110 Barney and Bargel joins the bear hug,
 

Disarm, Paul's 2nd Draft

1 out of 2 people found the following review helpful:

3...2...1...

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
March 31, 2011
Paul,

Once again I am impressed by the quality of your (and your partner’s) writing ability. The script flies off the page. You are EASILY one of my favorite writers on the site.

Having said that, I think this script has a few moderate plot credibility issues. I go through most of those in the page notes below (so I won’t rehash them here). The one thing I didn’t get a chance to mention in those comments is the motivation of Jesse.

I need a lot more here. Either make his removal from the force a legitimate move by giving him a history of erratic, bizarre, and violent behavior, or think of a different motivation for him. When I got to the end, I was seriously unsure of why he would do the things he does. Dress up his craziness Hannibal Lecter style, or increase his reasons to be upset AT Gustavo. (Maybe Gustavo’s testimony could be a cover-up for a conspiracy. Jesse as Oliver North fall guy gone psychotic.) Also, it is kind of strange that so much time passes between the slight by Gustavo, and Jesse’s attempted revenge. Not sure how I would handle that. Perhaps, an increased slide toward the abyss through the years (a nod toward craziness) or maybe he could have spent the time as a demolitions expert in the army. Something I think would be helpful.

Disclaimer: I did read the script twice, so maybe I’m being harder on it than I need to be.

Anyway, I loved the writing and enjoyed the story. The climax is gripping. (And the title is very cool also.)

Hope this is helpful. From a true fan,

T MAC



Pg. 4 I think you’ve been getting this a lot, and I’ll agree— blowing up the school bus is hard to accept. If you definitely want to go with it, then at least let Jesse keep “the little girl” from getting on instead of doing the opposite. I recognize Jesse is all badguy, but if “the little girl” gets away, the audience can feel some relief.

Pg. 4 flaring to two— I would x the to

Pg 21 (and before during the 2nd bomb test) I wonder if the information in the parentheticals wouldn’t be better relayed by a blanket action description.

Pg. 23 They share this moment embraced and emotionally

Pg. 30 Jesse pins the him down,

Pg. 30 Maybe give Jesse a line about Darren being in this mess for being a copycat with no “courage”.

Pg. 35 Okay. Is the school bus at the beginning supposed to tie back to Darren (since he is in high school)? If so, then I can justify its use. However, if that IS what you mean to imply then I think you have to have Jesse get to Darren earlier. Darren has to be involved in all three “bombs” before the evidence points to him. Otherwise it feels a tad convenient that Darren is in high school and Jesse happens to blow up a school bus.

Pg. 36 dresses woman of Japanese descent,

Pg. 39 So, the pg. 35 remark IS what you intend. I can hang with that. ALTHOUGH, I still say you should set it up better. Have Jesse plan the school bus bombing as a result of choosing Darren as the victim of his frame-up, or, have Jesse see Darren’s bomb-making queries on the internet (a point the script references) and then decide to bomb the school bus. ((As an aside, the moral implications are the same but go down a little easier if you remove the school bus bombing. People react badly to bullying EVERYWHERE, I still think you should go in a different direction. College student, office worker?))

Pg. 41 Hmm. The Italian is a small gamble. If Gustavo is willing to risk Jesse’s ire by speaking in Italian, one wonders if he wouldn’t be better off telling Francesca Jesse’s name. (The script implies Gustavo DOES know Jesse’s name.) I would rework this so that, at this point in the script, Gustavo doesn’t know who Jesse really is.)
Pg. 48 attempt suicide.

Pg. 55-56 Jesse’s dialogue about needing steady nerves repeats itself here.

Pg. 56 Not sure about this, but “He felt no pain”—wouldn’t that be more like 43 seconds of agony?

Pg. 57 She lies down the ground face first

Pg. 62 I don’t buy Jesse’s explanation for the missing footage. Could be because I know what really happened. Might be better though if he just damaged the tape with a magnet or something. (I don’t know for sure, but I think Francesca ought to be more suspicious. I mean, this is THE only three minutes that matters.)

Pg. 63 …poor judge of talent— may have more to say on this later.

Pg. 66 If Francesca is going to be forced to tell everyone anyway, then why not have her tell everyone from the beginning. It is hard to see why now she’s okay with letting Ivanov in on the abduction of her father NOW. As she herself says, it’s, at best, probable that her dad is dead. I think I would rework this so that Jesse forces Francesca to be the lead officer at the bomb defusings rather than trying to motivate a solo effort by way of the abduction of her father. (Still abduct the father, just don’t require her to go solo.)

Pg. 68-69 Something off in the flow of the conversation between Ivanov and Francesca when discussing the “talent” clue. At one point it is like they are talking at each other rather than to each other. Also, the “talent” clue is falling a little flat for me. Too forced. It reminds me of “forget that phone” in Disclosure. If you want to use it, I think it needs to be reinforced with something else, maybe an eccentricity of speech or pronunciation.

Pg. 71 Partial retraction. Still, I don’t see how “talent” is an odd choice of words. Maybe it will clear later. And now, I’m a little worried about Jesse’s motivation. Is that all kind of thing.

Pg. 72 Now this is a MUCH better reason for Gustavo not to give away Jesse’s identity AND a reason for him to tell Francesca to do what Jesse says. The threat of killing Francesca works. I would use it earlier.

Pg. 81 Sears Tower—hmmm.

Pg. 87 Francesca looks again Murphy's body,

Pg. 87-end Loved the climax. Great stuff.
 

Favorite Movies

The Brother's Karamazov
A Skull in Connemarra
What is the What
The Bluest Eye
Fly Girl
Gilead
Absalom! Absalom!
The Magus
The Sirens of Titan
As I Lay Dying
A Gathering of Old Men
Love in the Time of Cholera
Still Life With Woodpecker
 

Influences

Grandfather
 

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