I'm just a simple man. I work, I raise six sons, and I love my island wife hard. I go day by day fighting off the specter of battles both from my youth in Chicago to the battlefields in the Middle East. I abide by strong Catholic Christian core beliefs to love and accept even the folks that I'd want to throw piranas in their face and let their bodies lie in a pool filled with killer vampire gummi bears. I am nowhere near an aspiring writer nor want to enter the fray of the film industry. I would just like to one day see something on the big screen and say the same thing I did in countless places around the world...I made that. =) I have a hidden hobby of screenplay writing or jotting down creative ideas that may one day be passed along or found in a glass bottle floating in the sea. If by chance money can come my way from a poor script, I would be satisfied. As much as one can be swinging in a hammock by the side of the beach on a warm day with a cold glass of iced tea in hand. Thus, I am a simple man. Honor, noble, and a side of wickedness that comes out from time to time to keep life interesting and not boring.
This is a promising script with significant potential. The genre is not unique, but the story is compelling. It harks back to "Small Soldiers", "Batteries Not Included", "9 (2009)", and 80's syfy movies. Twenty-two pages of an nostalgic story. I'd recommend multi-genre storytelling. A family story, horror series, conspiracy thriller, and adventure tale all blended. DOn't forget that a good story requires character development. The brothers, Mrs. White, and the mystery of who killed the grandfather can propel these figures to our mind's empathy. The dialogue does need work. An example is when the brother inexplicably calls White a bitch. That was far rom out of the field. Strive for an emotional rollercoaster. Why did grandpa choose to embed an A.I. into a teddy bear? How advanced is the A.I.? Why is the battery capacity such an achievement? Will zero point energy be an element? Any trans-humanist concept to touch upon? Be careful to avoid the rabbit hole like what happened with the "LOST" television series that got bogged down with high-concept stories that left too many plot holes and unexplained events. What is the motivation does the A.I. have? Maybe you can go for Stephen King vibes where everything is idyllic on the surface, yet immense darkness lies behind the peaceful facade. Overall, great start! I look forward to more pages to dunk into.
Let me start off by saying there are regional and cultural differences that are wonderful to notice within someone's writing. pg 1 S1 Show us that it’s midnight by a clock, device, watch, or time keeper. Recommend rewrite “The hospital is almost empty with just a few people.” to “Few people move within the hospital.” S1 Slugline – verify formatting is correct. Remember Once you establish the master (primary) location, then you can indicate secondary locations within that master location. EXT/INT. LABOUR WARD, HOSPITAL.NIGHT -1995 “Writers use the INT/EXT slug to indicate that they want a scene to play both inside and outside of one particular location, without realizing that the inside and outside of a place are actually two different locations (while the inside and outside of a store can both be filmed in the same real location, it is just as likely that the exterior will be filmed on location and the interior on a soundstage), a reality that should be acknowledged with the use of two separate slugs.” (https://scriptmag.com/features/meet-the-reader-on-slugline-and-other-matters) Break this into two scenes with separate scene headings or choose one location. Next, remove the punctuation period between HOSPITAL.NIGHT. Change it to a hyphen. Check your dialogue capitalization. I use https://prowritingaid.com/Free web editor for my main pg 1 S2 Slugline – Recommend removing the date as you already stated that in the previous slugline. Unless you are changing chronology. NODS NO. => change to lowercase Go through the Seven Deadly Sins of Writing at https://yourscreenplaysucks.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/7-deadly-sins-of-writing-2017.pdf I’ve not heard the term DUSTBIN: within a script. pg 2 S3 dustbin is a geographical location. side note: if you mention a character more than 2 – 3 times in a scene it is best to provide them a name. the plot thus far is decent. The baby’s father out of despair of losing his lover to the son’s birth is visceral. Do not change that portion at any time. “Only Use FADE IN and FADE OUT at the Beginning and End of Your Script Too many novice screenwriters use FADE IN and FADE OUT transitions — and variations thereof — throughout the whole script as stylistic camera or editing directions.” “CUT TO Transitions are Useless in Screenplays Forget what you’ve seen in the screenplays you’ve read from older classics. The transition CUT TO between scenes is overly redundant because once we move from one new scene or location to the next, we obviously CUT TO that next one (with minor exceptions). There’s no need to waste important screenplay real estate by typing CUT TO in between every — or any — scene or location.” (https://thescriptlab.com/features/screenwriting-101/8886-15-simple-screenplay-rules-you-need-to-know/) Remove On the soundtrack, or any directions for the director or collaborative team. I was unclear by the first 15 pages where your story and characters were going. I did no discern the sci-fi/fantasy elements mentioned in your logline nor description. Happy writing and hope my critique/feedback is helpful to execute your work evolve to a new level.
Suggest you adjust the grammar and wordiness to: “A white cargo van with the words “BUG OFF” sloppily painted on the side sits parked in front of a house. A yellow and red vinyl fumigation tent covers the house. The house’s yard is well manicured but sparse, and there isn’t another home in sight.” Recommend combing the empty street and sidewalk into one sentence. SLUGLINES/SCENE HEADING Well done in writing them in ALL CAPS, and left margin. Showing the scene is happening inside (INT.) or outside (EXT.) was well executed. The recommendation I have is to remove ADJECTIVES and VERBS from these headings. Only provide the specific location the scene takes place. INT. CARGO VAN – DAWN I recommend reviewing this site for parenthetical. https://writebetterscripts.com/parenthetical-script/ “Ryan stands in front of a clock that TICKS on the wall in the foyer puzzled by the decor.” Review this sentence. is Ryan puzzled by the décor or the clock puzzled by the décor? I liked the tie-in with the SCRATCHES in the wall to the SCRATCHES in the tape deck of the van. By the way, what year is this story taking place? I remember tape decks, do I’m guessing 70’s-80’s timeframe. Which that gives a different “generational vibe”. On page 13, the figure approaches on a sidewalk, then you repeat the figure walks past the house on the sidewalk. No need to repeat the sidewalk. The dynamics and dialogue between the 3 (Ryan, David, Don) was organic and believable. On page 34, David shouts his own name. Was this intentional? When David enters the basement that Don went to check out, wouldn’t the light already be on? Perform a spell check for SRATCHES to replace to SCRATCHES. On page 37, why would David ask Ryan about Don’s location when David thinks he saw Don vanish into a hole in the basement ceiling? The Men In Black ending was cliché. Keep the story with the unseen bugs and lack of any one knowing except for serial killers who actually are feeding these things that go bump in the wall. I believe you built a solid tonal and tension in this script. Leave it ambiguous of the origin of these bugs, what they are (save for spiders and roaches) and fireproof cocoons. I think of this as a Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Mimic (1997 American syfy horror film by Guillermo), and Creepshow (1982, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LsMNs4hW1s) and Hodge podge of syfy horror movies about space bugs. If you keep it more in the vein of avoiding tropes and stereotypical story arc, look at the content of pop culture movies like The Quiet Place, The Bird Box and https://www.dreadcentral.com/news/218162/top-10-unseen-killer-movies/ I think your plot, characters, and active tense are well written. The photo of a water bear (tardigrade) gave me a subliminal clue of your story.
"I Regret To Inform You" opens with 18 year-old LUCY prepping for ANDREW, her 18 year-old boyfriend. Both of them live comfortably with high-middle class families in Chicago. In the first act we find out Lucy only motivation to be with Andrew is sexual need in a strict biological sense. She is not attracted, enamored, nor emotionally involved with him. She fakes an orgasm and he cares for her. They must sneak around in their sexual escapades as she wants to maintain her "perfect daughter" image to her family. Shortly after breaking up with her lover, Lucy sits with her parents to open admission decision letters from top tier universities. After multiple rejection letters and an emotional meltdown, Lucy is convinced to apply to a Minnesota Christian college. The script falls into the standard trope of a high school graduate on her first day of becoming a college freshman and moves into the dorm. Immediately SOFIA becomes her roommate who is definitely into sex, drinking Tequila and the party life. Apparently Andrew ends up at the same college, the same dorm floor, and during the meet-n-greet with the Resident Assistant, their dating history becomes public knowledge. During her subsequent level meltdown, Lucy flings a bible and knocks Sofia unconscious as she was coaxing Lucy to stop losing her mental. Lucy meets with the Dean regarding the incident. This inciting incident catapults a character growth in Lucy. The dean threatens to expel Sofia for the Tequila, despite being injured by Lucy, and retain Lucy. Lucy steps up and takes the alcohol as her own. Lucy informs a distraught Sofia of her self-heroics, despite the motivation to get kicked out and return home. The girls then bond as they discover common ground over wine drinks. The dialogue was natural and flowed well, even if predictable. The high-level story follows a natural progression typical of this genre. The narrative allows Lucy to grow and engross the reader. The first day follows the trope string of everything fitting in a box, a dean with personal issues (racist, hoarder), non-Caucasions attend college on scholarship and must prove themselves daily, there is a clique tour (https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CliqueTour), and after a bumpy first day two female roommates become best friends. There is a noticeable passive voice and some line-by-line that can be rewritten. Check out ProWritingAid (free web app), Outwrite.com, and review Seven Deadly Sins of Writing (https://yourscreenplaysucks.files.wordpress.com/2019/09/7-deadly-sins-of-writing-2017.pdf). A personal recommendation is seeking a premise that will stand out and establish this script worthy of consideration for commercial success. The script does read well and that is testimony to the writer's time and effort. Formatting was terrific, every screen minute per page was put to good use on a slow-burn. The reunion of Lucy and Andrew seemed predictable - whether on the same dorm floor or college campus. I'd consider a twist. Is Lucy pregnant? Do you want to explore a paranormal aspect (Andrew maybe died after their breakup in his underwear, and he haunts/woos/advises her)? Lucy does get expelled, but there is a petition by Andrew or Sofia that gains her readmittance? This script has significant potential. Brainstorm a bit to make it your own unique story to show us that will not fade into the past. Consider "Pitch Perfect", "National Lampoon's Animal House", "Revenge of the Nerds", "Legally Blonde", "Accepted", "Candy-Jar" [Netflix], "TTo All the Boys I've Loved Before" [Netflix], and "Coin Heist" [Netflix].
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