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Submitted Work

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Scripts

Title Average Rating Downloads Date
Created

Receiver Laura's 2nd Draft (Script 2)

4.5 stars
(2)
118 01/27/13

Receiver Laura's Original Draft (Script 1)

4.0 stars
(3)
159 04/29/12

About

I'm an independent screenwriter and director living in New York City. I've studied writing and directing at USC and at The Independent Film School with Ela Thier. I've had feature scripts reach the top 10% of the Nicholl Fellowships and Austin Film Festival screenwriting competition.

I mostly write stories about ordinary people fighting powerful opponents, often evil corporations or the state. I love writing action, suspense, and badass women.
 

Reviews Laura Has Written

Children of Others, Barrington's Original Draft

4 out of 6 people found the following review helpful:

Great premise; needs work to make it awesome

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
December 01, 2010
FIRST, A NOTE TO AMAZON STUDIOS: For the love of all that is holy, please make PDFs available for download!!! If you have a Mac, the RTF doesn't have page numbers or page breaks at all. Do you know how hard it is to judge pacing in a screenplay that has no page numbers? Luckily Barrington is smart and put a link to a PDF of the script on her blog, but seriously, get on this, Amazon Studios tech people.

End rant. On to the review.

You have a great concept. Woman who just wants to have a baby--something pretty normal for many people--can't get pregnant, and when she finally does, she finds out her baby is destined to save the world. (Insert Virgin Mary/Sarah Connor reference here.) I think this script could be developed into something very cool, deeply human and moving inside an entertaining sci-fi shell.

For me, you hit on the thematic core of this story on p. 94, when Skylar says her line to Dillon about "Say you're with me, no matter what happens." It seems like you have the opportunity to say something very powerful about what family means. It's not the white picket fence; it's not about appearances or Little League games or a certain lifestyle; it's people who love each other and will fight to protect each other. The hybrid army represents this on a large scale--they could choose either side, alien or human, but they've chosen to fight on the side of their human family members (seemingly the weaker side) presumably because they care about them. That's powerful. If you think I'm onto something with this, I'd suggest thinking about how you could develop this theme more explicitly throughout the script.

Now on to all the things I think you could improve :-).

The first act is WAY too slow. My instinct is that something like the clinic blowing up should be happening around page 25, but now it's on page 40-something. You could cut a lot out of the beginning and get things moving much faster, which would give you more room in the second act to build up the tension of the government chasing her, meeting the hybrids, finding out the truth about her baby, etc.

You need to work on the tone. It never felt scary and Skylar never felt scared. Her baby's an alien, Homeland Security's trying to round her up, this band of human-alien hybrid fugitives are saying they can protect her but she's not sure whether or not to trust them, and oh yeah, this is all connected to a potentially apocalyptic alien invasion of earth. And yet, except for that one scene of screaming in a car wash, Skylar seems...pretty Zen about the whole thing. We never have a real freak-out, what-the-hell-is-happening-to-my-life? moment from her. Having something alien growing inside you would seem pretty horrifying to most people and the government chasing you ain't exactly a picnic either. I need more horror, confusion, panic, shock, disbelief from Skylar and Dillon, and more scenes of them debating what to do. They both seem to go along with things pretty easily.

Skylar and Dillon seem pretty flat to me. Dillon in particular is kind of a non-entity. What connects them? Why did they fall in love? Are they still in love? What's special about Skylar that convinces Dr. Zen she has what it takes to carry an alpha? And why, specifically, does she want a baby? What does it mean to her? I think this is a particularly important question, because that's the dream of happiness she'll be fighting to preserve throughout the whole script.

There's no tension between Skylar and Dillon in the first act, so Dillon's betrayal seems to come out of nowhere. Nick's obvious attraction to Skylar also comes off as a bit sketchy and weird, since she seems to be happily married. What if she's not? What if there's tension between Skylar and Dillon, partially because they have different visions of the future and what having children means. Maybe for Dillon it's a lifestyle thing, a milestone; it's all about appearances; all their friends are doing it, whereas for Skylar it's more of an emotional connection. Then it makes sense that Dillon would abandon the idea of a baby when it threatens to disrupt their lives, while Skylar would cling to it.

Maybe, when they're all running from Winters, Dillon doesn't get away. He gets arrested, and we actually see the scene where Winters convinces him to track down Skylar and turn her in. We can see Winters promising Dillon everything he tells Skylar--safety, a normal life, etc. It doesn't have to be true, and we don't have to know what Dillon decides--keep the tension alive for later. But then we can see that he genuinely does it out of love for Skylar, which makes him seem like not as much of an ass.

You need to develop Winters into a more threatening antagonist and maybe introduce him earlier. I'm also not entirely clear on what the government wants: kill the hybrids? Contain them? Study them? "Kill them" seems to be the easiest one to go with, but then we have to see clearly that that's what they're doing. This will help you answer another big question I have, which is why Skylar decides to trust the band of hybrid fugitives. You can make it really simple by not giving her any choice at first--it's go with them or be captured by Winters--she makes a snap decision, trusts them, and they protect her. It's only later that she learns to value and even love them. The relationship between Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese in the first Terminator movie is a great model to follow for this--she doesn't really trust him at first but some mofo in a biker jacket is about to blow her head off, so she'll take her chances. In each action sequence, you see them working together a little more until she's finally taking the lead. (Actually Terminator is a fantastic model to follow for anyone writing an Everyman/woman-Becomes-the-Chosen-One story.)

Your scenes of action and peril need to be more compellingly written. You don't have to get all Michael Bay or anything, but right now they don't have a lot of momentum. There are loads of different ways to write action so just get some spy/thriller/chase-y scripts, find one you like and copy the style. Also Nick's death goes by pretty quickly and didn't have much emotional impact for me. And what happens to Dillon at the end? Oh, and how did Skylar find out about the email address that has the clues for the rendezvous points? Did I miss this somehow? I'm also not entirely clear on the rules of what powers the hybrids have and when they can use them.

I really liked the ending scene where you see the little community they've established--again, the idea of family. I think the tone is still a bit too light though. I mean, they don't really know that everything's going to be okay yet, right? They still have to fight off an alien invasion. I'd say they've got a long way to go before things are okay.

As the script exists right now, I don't know that it works as a stand-alone feature. As a two-hour pilot it could be pretty cool. I'm interested to know how you would envision the rest of the series.
 

Favorite Movies

The Battle of Algiers, Milk, Incendies, The Time That Remains, Salt of This Sea, Pariah, Hard Candy, Compliance, 127 Hours, The Cabin in the Woods...those are just a few I can think of right now.
 

Influences

Joss Whedon and JK Rowling - I feel like I can always learn something from them.

Mostly I'm inspired by the struggles of ordinary people around the world for justice, freedom and equality, both today and in the past. History rocks.
 

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