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Submitted Work

Reviews Lisa Has Written

THE BLACK BUTTERFLY, CLIFF's Original Draft

1 out of 7 people found the following review helpful:

Yes!!!

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
No rating
 
Character:
No rating
 
Dialogue:
No rating
 
Emotion:
No rating
 
September 29, 2013
Haven't read past the first page yet, but I like it.
The fact that it's a true story should be a huge advantage to selling this story.
Take is somewhere where it can be appreciated.... please!
 

The Curtain, Neil's 5th Draft

5 out of 8 people found the following review helpful:

Romantically Boring

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
No rating
 
Story structure:
No rating
 
Character:
No rating
 
Dialogue:
No rating
 
Emotion:
No rating
 
April 24, 2013
biggest flaw -- who's your protagonist? Fiona or Peter? it starts off with Peter and ends with Fiona. your logline suggests Peter, but then he dies... does he come back in ghost form?

personally, i don't see anything wrong with that, but the gatekeepers/readers may.
compare this to BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY -- Meryl Streep is the protagonist so the story starts out with her via her journals in flashbacks -- a bookend structure that starts and ends with flashbacks. actually, it's a screenplay you should seek out, read, and study.

montage clips vs series of shots -- on page 2 you have a montage with scenes and locations that have not been established yet and also different locations. i suggest (there are no rules to style) that you set up each with a slugline. IF they're all in the same location then you could get away with just one slugline... something you might want to consider.

a lot of your action paragraphs are way over written. compare novel writing with cinematic writing. you can eventually fix this by reading and studying more screenplays and learning how to eliminate and write more concise. ie -- you don't have to write out each and every movement: he parks. he gets out of the car. he does this. he looks at this. it slows down the read and basic human actions are a given. keep what is significant to the character.

also stuff like "Seamus' owner is searching for him." you don't need to say that. her calling out his name is enough -- we know it's her dog and that she's looking for him. don't say it and then show it. just show it. make sense? anyway -- fixing things like this will streamline the entire story.

not sure why Fiona assumed Peter was a jumper when she found him sleeping.

drop the date caption - "March 2012" unless there's some significance to the story. i mean, couldn't it just as easily be March 2014 or October 2010?


STYLE -- it's really straightforward and boring. romantic movies need more style to keep us interested. i gave you some examples already:
A SINGLE MAN
WHAT DREAMS MAY COME
BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY
CITY OF ANGELS
--- all of these (romance stories) have unique styles that make the story interesting. you should come up with something a bit more creative after you determine who the protagonist is.

hope this helps.

Write on!
 

Good People, V. L.'s 2nd Draft

8 out of 12 people found the following review helpful:

Needs a Rewrite

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
April 23, 2013
Cute story -- and written in 3 acts... something many shorts don't accomplish.

a few things you need to fix is the style. it could be written more cinematic = SHOW don't TELL
too often you mention what people are thinking, but you need to show us what they're thinking in their actions.

there are many, but just to give you a few examples:
Pg 1 - we can't see that Michael was dreaming. and since his dream doesn't come into play later then you can just cut this.
Pg 3 - Michael walks around the room making sure it's ready for guests. this is a conclusion -- but what does he actually do? fluff the pillows... puts out a plate of cookies... tucks his dirty socks into the sofa cushions, etc...

"surprised they were not the only ones invited..." we can't really see this or see what they're thinking. if one or more of them said, "what the hell are you doing here?" then we would know.

-- you didn't say he served OJ from a box, but then you say Mia is unimpressed about that. why? isn't she more concerned as to what they're doing there? she should be anxious or bored or something, not unimpressed. put your feet directly into her shoes. what is she thinking about this visit? then show that.


it's an apartment -- why would they be standing in the rain? no one has an umbrella? if you want to do something like this then it must be symbolic to the story. the rain must be symbolic in some way.

begins to, starts to, etc. -- these are weak verbs. just say what happens straight out. ie - instead of "Rain begins to pour" say, "Rain pours" and instead of "begins to check his email" just say, "checks his email" -- more like that throughout the script


CHARACTERS:
don't really get this cast. i know they're suppose to represent his eclectic circle of "friends or enemies" but you don't really present it that way. why both a Rabbi and a Priest? is he half Jewish, half Catholic?

"Michael looks at his ex-wife" but you didn't introduce her as his ex at the door.

are we to assume the SHADOW is his God? this doesn't quite make sense and conflicts with your revelation/ending.


DIALOGUE:
first line -- again the dream does not come into play so that line should be cut

i get that this is a "contained" story, but that only means the dialogue is more crucial. you have a lot of "talking heads", but each of these characters sound the same. they should all have a unique voice and opinion about being here. again -- step into their shoes more and make them be different shoes. ie -- maybe Mia thought he was trying to get her back OR maybe in an attempt to calm him down with the gun she makes a pass at him, "I've never been so turned on before. You and that gun... wow!" and right in front of the priest and rabbi -- what do they think of that?! lol!


THE DRUGS
you should do a bit of research and find out exactly what kind of drug he was taking -- something with hallucinogenic side effects is what you're looking for. am i right? have the pharmacist explain that.
but also, just taking one or two pills probably wouldn't work so fast. maybe have Michael more preoccupied with taking those pills throughout the scene. he keeps popping them like an addict OR maybe the pharmacist says they can't be mixed with alcohol and there are empty liquor bottles all over the apartment.

oh -- using this is about to come together now. maybe make Michael an alcoholic and his buddy, James called everyone together for an intervention. that makes more sense that they would all show up together and at the same time. you don't have to show him making the calls, but we would definitely get it if you set it up right in his phone call to James.

okay -- hope this helps.

the main reason for shorts is not b/c you can invest less time in them then you would for a feature, it's b/c you can actually produce it for little money. this story is contained and could be easily made by a filmmaker if you didn't want to do it yourself.
 

Punching Tapestry Mills, Michael's Original Draft

3 out of 6 people found the following review helpful:

It's Okay

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
No rating
 
Story structure:
No rating
 
Character:
No rating
 
Dialogue:
No rating
 
Emotion:
No rating
 
March 12, 2013
Hey Mike --

first i must say that i only read the first 10 pages, so i can't really comment on the story itself. however, i will have something to say about 1 thing later.

it's a fast read and cleanly written. anyone who enjoys this kind of comedy will surely enjoy it.

i have a few comments and suggestions that you may consider.

PAPARAZZI - the photographers: you should start off by saying they're paparazzi. pap look different than just traditional type of photographers who is too classy for what you want to portray.

you open with saying "group of photographers" in the first two paragraphs - redundant.

Jason Baxter - don't "tell" us he's a photographer or videographer -- just show him with a camera. and since he's with the rest of the pack we know what he is. AND we cannot tell that he works for Hollywood Publishing (which is really boring btw -- i mean, call is something like DIRTY RAG) until he walks into the HP office or something.

also - the short scene where you introduce us to him tells us nothing about him. there is nothing happening in that scene with him -- the photographers are getting ready? weren't they ready before? anyway -- you could put some dialogue in there suggesting what kind of people they are, JB especially. have him say how he wants to get a "money shot" - which in Pap terms means something juicy like a snap of her snatch or something gross like that. maybe he says that he hopes she's not wearing any underwear and that it's chilly out so her nipples will just out. then we "know" exactly what kind of photographer he is -- sleazeball!!!

JAPANESE GIRL -- she would be more interesting if she were just faking the accent for the job. and later we hear her speak all american b/c after all she was born and raised in LA, right?! not sure why she looks disgusted. does she think they're talking about her? if so, then that might be when we realize she's faking her accent... with some very american comment.

ELDERLY MAN -- the scene with this guy tells us more about him than your lead(s). if he's a one-off character then you don't need him. if you want to keep him then make the scene more about Michael. ie - maybe Michael who wants his own flower shop makes some comment about the exotic flower in the elderly woman's hair. maybe that flower has a rude and sexy name that make her husband mad. b/c otherwise, his anger seems out of place and/or too extreme.

TAPESTRY -- i'm not too excited about this character. she's too much of a stereotypical caricature that we've seen too often with the lindsey lohan types. i hope later in the story we realize that she's a more intriguing person than this. it would have to be something that Michael admires in a woman. what does Michael want with a plastic girl like that? he's your lead so, you need to know what he deeply wants. and you need to make her desirable beyond the physical... which btw, if you're a drunk -- you STINK! for real. wouldn't it be interesting if Michael told Tapestry that she stinks? it might be the first time that anyone told her the truth.

nitpicky - she's drunk so "moves toward" them is kind of weak. she should be stumbling toward them. then she "walks by" -- but she was stumbling, right?! maybe show that she's wearing some dangerously high pumps which makes it even more difficult to walk when drunk.

and that Tappen Chef should have some knives -- make it dangerous when she crashes into him.

also - i don't see how she could feasibly "fall across Michael's lap". and why wouldn't the elderly man react to that? remember - he's sitting right next to them.

PAP - FLASHBULBS SCENE:
here's where you can be more creative. maybe when the Pap take their snapshots we see "freeze frames" of the images. or maybe just the last one -- a freeze frame of Michael pushing Tapestry. and then VO from Michael, "and this is where is all started..."

okay -- that's all i got. hope this helps bring texture to your script.

write on!
 

Stealing Home, L's Original Draft

3 out of 10 people found the following review helpful:

Hallmark movie?

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
February 22, 2013
First of all - kudos for putting your stuff out there. It's really the only way to get feedback so you can improve your project. I must say, that I didn't read it all, but I read the first 15 pages and then the ending to see about the resolution. So, I can't comment on the story within the story.

Not sure if the "bookend" structure is really necessary to tell this story. I know it's like STAND BY ME with the writer talking about his childhood and writing about it. Your bookends match up, but the writing part is irrelevant. You make the guy a screenwriter, but does he finish a screenplay in the end? If not, then this part about him doesn't hold up. I think you should drop that part anyway b/c it makes industry people groan. They hate it when screenwriters write about characters who are screenwriters. And yours isn't strong enough to justify keeping it in. He could just as easily be a history teacher. Maybe the history textbook has the Japanese encampment WRONG! or something like that -- make it more relevant.


ON THE FIELD - should be a separate action slug line -- use for all close up shots on the field. ie use if on page 3 where you say, "on the field we see" -- make the scene actually on the field.
Also - you can have an announcer cut in with the play by play in the b.g. w/VO.
use it again on page 4 -- when he steals 3rd base. it's a structural mixup b/c here you have an entirely new slugline on the field, but you should have the cut to's on the field throughout this scene.

btw - announcers don't say, "he's an outfielder." they actually say the position the player is playing that day. pick a field!

it's unnatural (even for a sharp curve ball) to hit a ball toward 2nd base and it curves over behind the first baseman. maybe change this as a ball hit toward the 2nd baseman who stands bet 1st & 2nd... you can actually have him cheating over toward 1st b/c he knows the pitcher is throwing a curveball.

cut the "credits" line. this is not your call.

p. 5 cut the line "It's a rare treat..." this is not something you can see. only write what you can see. just say what he does. ie - lingers around until the stadium is nearly empty
also cut "no expensive parking for him" -- you need to just show this. how? ie - later when he gets the car we can see where he parked. or maybe he and Kenji walk together to get to it... and he keeps apologizing for the distance.

Why would the convenience store clerk assume he's there to pick up the girl? Why is she sitting in the office? Who does that? After reading a bit more I can see why Kenji didn't go in, but there's a disconnect and it doesn't explain those questions I just asked.

There's no hope that his granddaughter will feel better? Why would he say that? He sounds like a character with hope.

If Eriko runs into the house then there's no need to later say, "Eriko is nowhere to be seen." don't write negatives. ie - Eriko didn't bake a cake is just as true as Eriko is nowhere to be seen. does that make sense?

cut "... a stark opposite of Kenji's mansion" -- no need to say it b/c we can see it.

I know that some lonely people talk out loud to themselves, but when Bryan reads off the bills is just sounds too forced. If he's a lonely-talks-to-himself kinda person then maybe overdo it and be consistent throughout the script. It might make him look like a nutcase though.

How did Kenji know he would be in the coffeeshop? This makes no sense. I know later that he's not really there, but knowing that still doesn't make the scene work. Have you studied THE SIXTH SENSE script?

This Kenji storytelling thing is too "on-the-nose". Make it more natural. Even old people don't just start telling painful memories to strangers.
Suggestion: Don't mention that Bryan is a writer and that Kenji wants him to write his story. Let them be friends first. But you must find an organic reason for Kenji to seek out Bryan... some history -- BUT DON'T TELL US. let it come out naturally in the story... later.
the movie that comes to mind is GRAND CANYON -- where two men from different sides of town meet and become friends (Danny Glover & Kevin Kline). you should check that out.

So now i skipped ahead to the end:

p. 80+ way too much talking esp from David. and it was all so on-the-nose. remember that married people have a history and can communicate from where ever they are in their lives. they shouldn't explain things for the audience. we get it. but also i went back to find out where we first see David. he doesn't show up until p 58 - 1 hour into the movie!! this is too late since he's the antagonist in the A-story. AND he has no description. he needs a description that will suggestion his background and his behavior towards his wife. ie - PTSD? Vietnam Vet PTSD? Some men who purchase Asian women as mail order brides do so b/c they mistaken them as submissive.

FLASHBACK -- you didn't indicate this when Kenji was first telling his story. it needs a slugline.
but later when you do you ghost revelation about Kenji and he's opening the door for him or whatever -- you mention scenes from specific page numbers. you can't do this b/c when you rewrite page numbers change. in cases like this you need to write out the entire scene again AND refer it from that earlier time without page numbers.

okay - that's all i got. hope this helps.
 

THE KILLiad, Gary's Original Draft

2 out of 6 people found the following review helpful:

first 5

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
No rating
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
February 19, 2013
Hey Gary -- I think you have promise, but I went through your first 5 pages with a fine tooth comb... i mean, a lice nitpicky comb. this means of course that I cannot comment on the story b/c i don't know it. nevertheless, i hope what i'm about to say will help. the opening pages are the most crucial in any script.

"feminine hands" -- sounds awkward. just say "a woman's hands"... b/c feminine is a description. not only that, it could be applied to a man's hands and i know you don't want that. or say "a woman clutches..."

i don't think the woman should talk. people don't talk much in dreams. AND she says one word -- that means double "extra" pay for this insignificant actor. the director will cut out her dialogue to say $100 bucks. no kidding.

who screams? he or she? if it's she -- then see what i just wrote above.
maybe the scream should turn into the ringtone on his phone. what kind of "screaming" ringtone does he have? this should be character-telling.

since the man's hands are Jake's, just say Jake clutches or reaches for or whatever. and maybe he should be clutching something or reaching for something when he wakes up on the floor.

*************

"Investigators surround Frank..." -- awkwardly written b/c in the order you have it, it seems like Frank is standing until the last word of the paragraph. write exactly what we see. ie - Investigators surround the portly body of a gentleman -- or something like that.

"artsy" -- not specific enough. ie - is Frank or his wife artist? i doubt it. i'm guessing they just have enough money to buy large, oversized crappy art OR paid an expensive decorator to do their home. just a few more words would help b/c the set decorator needs to know.

When Jake makes the excuse to the Capt why he was late he says, "she was hot." obviously, this is a lie b/c he was having some kind of nightmare where he couldn't save the woman. But shouldn't the Capt "know" him and his excuses? maybe the captain responds by calling him out on an excuse he's heard too many times and responds with a, "in your dreams" kind of comment. then waves him over to the body.

Jake - Mark --- these are basically the same name as characters go. change one to a 2 syllable name. also, maybe it's cliche' but don't most cop's use last names in scripts?
also - Jake is the most popular movie character name. it's so overused that it makes scripts seem too familiar. you want to sound fresh and unique like Riggs and Murtaugh.

Why is Mark tall? there must be something significance to your character descriptions otherwise it tells us nothing and just a word that could be dropped.

Capt says "one through the heart and one through the pecker". but there's no need for him to actually say it b/c we've SEEN it.... OR did we? earlier you said the same thing in the action line. but did we actually see the shot holes? or did we see blood and puss oozing from the man's body... or seeping through his suit b/c you said he was a "gentleman" and a gentleman wears a suit. so maybe you want to go back and write a better description of what they saw when they were looking at Frank's body. don't imply anything. just write what we see -- literally!

Will Mark's wife car have any significance in the future? Will we see it again? If not then cut that line. If so, I hope that it doesn't get wrecked b/c we've seen that done in movies too many times already.

When do the police have suspect sheets with them at the crime scene? Never! However, with today's technology you could have one of them with an iPad or something. Then they can see his wife in a playboy like glamour shot or something -- better than looking a a picture in a frame. which brings me back to the "artsy" comment. maybe there's a huge playboy like glamour painting of his wife on the wall... right there in the living room. lol! that's quite telling in the character department.

Okay -- that's all i got. Hope this helps.

Rewrite on!

oh yeah - study this script: http://www.screenplay.com/downloads/scripts/Lethal%20Weapon.pdf
 

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