ScriptMother

D Ray Van

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I'm retired and enjoy writing and photography as creative outlets.


Reviewer Rating:
Scripts: 38
Reviews: 19

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D Ray Van completed a review for
16 hours ago
I Hate the Rain short
Genre: Horror
Review Rating:

There are several things I don’t understand about the storyline; consequently, I couldn’t connect with your main character, Thomas. After reading it several times, I still can’t say I grasp the story you’re trying to tell—but that’s me. Welcome to ScriptMother, and thanks for submitting your script, I Hate the Rain, for review. In this review, I will 1) Check the formatting against Industry Standards. 2) Check for spelling, punctuation, and grammar issues. 3) Offer my opinion regarding the storyline/plot, characters, etc. WHY DOES IT MATTER? --It’s expected! It’s a given! Without proper formatting and grammar, you reveal your inexperience and your ignorance of established standards. --Consider the following: Two art galleries display the same paintings. One gallery is in shambles—cluttered surroundings, poorly framed artwork that is haphazardly hung. The other is pristine—immaculate surroundings, exquisitely crafted artwork that is expertly displayed. Same art, but which galley is more likely to sell the artist’s work? Formatting “frames” and sells your script, assuming it’s a good script. --Therefore, it behooves writers to present their work: 1-Formatted correctly and 2-devoid of spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. But software helps only if you know the “basics.” THE BASICS: ----------------------------- GENERAL GUIDELINES: https://www.storysense.com/format.htm --A title page should include a copyright notice. Here’s an example: Copyright © 2020 by D Ray Van Ann Arbor, MI 48103 This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose, including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author. ----------------------------- SCENE HEADERS: https://www.storysense.com/format/headings.htm --Scene headers have the general form of INT. LOCATION – TIME, EXT. LOCATION – TIME, or EXT/INT. LOCATION – TIME --Note: --Only one dash [-], not two [--] between LOCATION and TIME. --Do not identify each scene with “SCENE NUMBER.” INT. or EXT. is enough. --General use of CUT TO: is redundant. Remove them from your script. ---They are used when two scenes coincide, and you jump back and forth between scenes. Here’s a reference: https://www.finaldraft.com/blog/2017/06/13/transitions-cut-not-cut/ ----------------------------- ACTION LINES: https://www.screenplayreaders.com/screenplay-action-and-description/ --A screenplay writing ISN’T the prose of novel writing. --Goal to create vivid characters, blunt settings, and enthralling action with as few words possible. ===== You wrote: Page 1 INT. LIVING ROOM -- MORNING It’s early morning. Light is beaming through the window in front of the couch THOMAS, 12ish, is sitting criss-cross on. Thomas gets up with a sigh and walks down the hall to his bathroom and washes his face. Then he looks at his reflection. He looks sad. Just then, Thomas’s mother walks in on him. SHARON, 40s, looks tired, but musters a smile. Suggested: --Don’t restate TIMEFRAME in action. --Use present verb tense—BEAMS, not present participle—BEAMING --Keep action tight and to the point. --SHOW don’t TELL. INT. LIVING ROOM – MORNING Light beams through the window. Illuminate the floor in front of THOMAS, 12ish. He sits crisscross on a couch. Thomas sighs. Gets up and walks down the hall. INT. THOMAS’ BATHROOM – SAME Thomas enters. Turns on the water. Washes his face. Looks at his reflection. --SHOW what SAD looks like SHARON, 40s, Thomas’ mother, walks in on him. --SHOW what TIRED looks like. She musters a smile. --Note: ----SCENE change – Thomas goes from LIVING ROOM to BATHROOM. ----Another SCENE change occurs when they are in the KITCHEN. ----GOOGLE how to describe emotions of SAD and TIRED/FATIGUE. ----------------------------- DIALOGUE: https://www.storysense.com/format/dialogue.htm --Dialogue MUST be punctuated correctly: https://www.thepunctuationguide.com --Dialogue interrupted by an ACTION LINE continues with (CONT’D) after the CUE. --Try to make dialogue “natural-sounding.” --ON-THE-NOSE (spoon-feeding, stating the obvious) Dialogue: https://screencraft.org/2018/12/30/how-to-avoid-writing-on-the-nose-dialogue/ ===== Punctuation You wrote: Page 1 SHARON Hey Thomas. You’re up early. Should be: SHARON Hey, Thomas. You’re up early. --Note: When a word or phrase occurs at the beginning of a sentence, a comma should usually separate it from the main clause. ===== (CONT’D) You wrote: Page 1 SHARON Sure, honey. Hey, I just realized that school starts in two weeks! Sharon tosses two pieces of toast into the toaster. She presses a button, but nothing happens. SHARON (CONT’D) ----ADD (CONT’D) here Uh oh... looks like our toaster’s broken. ===== “Natural-Sounding Conversation” You wrote: Page 1 – Dialogue Only SHARRON Hey Thomas. You’re up early. THOMAS Yeah. So... do we have anything important planned for today? SHARON (O.S.) (Shouting slightly) Not that I know of. THOMAS Okay. Can you make me an egg? SHARON Sure, honey. Hey, I just realized that school starts in two weeks! SHARON Uh oh... looks like our toaster’s broken. ------------------ Consider this (dialogue only): - one of many possible dialogues SHARRON Up early? THOMAS Yeah. SHARON Couldn’t sleep? THOMAS Naw. SHARON Something bothering-- THOMAS Anything important planned for today? SHARON (O.S.) (shouting slightly) Not that I know of. THOMAS What’s for breakfast? SHARON What’d you like? THOMAS Toast... Egg? SHARON Sure, honey. SHARON (CONT’D) Hey, I just realized. School starts in two weeks! THOMAS Don’t remind me. SHARON Uh, oh... Toaster’s broken. --Note: ----(parentheticals) begin with lower-case letters ------ https://www.movieoutline.com/articles/10-rules-for-using-parentheticals-in-your-screenplay.html ----Interrupted dialogue is noted with two dashes [--] ===== You wrote: Page 2 INT. KITCHEN -- DAY Thomas is sitting at his kitchen counter, watching something on a laptop. His mother walks in. SHARON I’m gonna go on a walk. THOMAS (Not fully paying attention) Okay. SHARON Do you wanna come with? It’s a beautiful day out.... THOMAS No. SHARON Okay. I should be back in about half an hour. Thomas says nothing, focused on the screen in front of him. ------------------ Consider this: - one of many possible dialogues INT. KITCHEN – DAY Thomas sits at the kitchen counter. Watches something on his laptop. Sharon walks in. SHARON I’m leaving on my walk. THOMAS (indifferent) Okay. SHARON Wanna come? It’s a beautiful day-- THOMAS (curt) No. SHARON Okay, hon. Be back in half an hour. Thomas says nothing. Focuses on his laptop screen. --Note: ----(parentheticals) begin with lower-case letters ------ https://www.movieoutline.com/articles/10-rules-for-using-parentheticals-in-your-screenplay.html ----Interrupted dialogue is noted with two dashes [--] ===== On-The-Nose You wrote: Page 10 INT. POLICE STATION -- NIGHT Many police officers are rushing around. POLICE OFFICER We found him! The killer! Let’s go people! ------------------ Consider this: - one of many possible dialogues INT. POLICE STATION - NIGHT Six police officers grab their gear. DUTY OFFICER Alpha, Baker, Charley teams. Hustle, ladies! We ain’t got all night. --Note: ----MANY is too vague, and RUSHING AROUND sounds like chaos. ----A Duty Officer usually assigns. ----Don’t tell the audience the “killer” has been found. They can determine that from the activity. That’s what ON-THE-NOSE dialogue is. ===== Punctuating Dialogue You wrote: Page 6 THOMAS NO! NO! YOU’RE JUST IN MY MIND!!! JUST IN MY MIND!!! NOOOOO!!!! –Italics ------------------ Should be: THOMAS No! No! You’re just in my mind! Just in my mind! Nooooo! --Note: ---Never double punctuate – [!?] or [!!] or [!!!!] – for emphasis. Use words for emphasis, not punctuation. Therefore, don’t overuse exclamation marks [!]. They will lose their effectiveness. Besides, the audience can’t read your script. The director and actors will decide how the dialogue will be delivered; punctuation be damned! ----Reference: https://www.dailywritingtips.com/punctuation-errors-multiple-punctuation-marks/ ----Never use ALL CAPS, bold, or italics in dialogue. Instead, underscore the word or phrase you wish to emphasize. However, you will see CAPS used in many well-known, acclaimed scripts. ----Reference: https://www.storysense.com/format/dialogue.htm ===== Repeating Word in Dialogue You wrote “shit” 11 times! It got old very quickly. I hope Thomas’s vocabulary is more extensive than that. ============================================= STORYLINE / PLOT: There are several things I don’t understand about the storyline; consequently, I couldn’t connect with your main character, Thomas. After reading it several times, I still can’t say I grasp the story you’re trying to tell—but that’s me. 1) Thomas’s V.O. suggests some scenes are FLASHBACKS. 2) End of Scene 3: Out of nowhere, Sharon is dead. 3) Scene 4: No TIME in SCENE HEADER 4) Scene 4: Thomas is on his laptop, and a man “explains something confidently.” a. What is he explaining? b. Ask yourself: “How would I film this?” 5) Scene 4: “Window-puller thing.” GOOGLE its name and use it. Never use vague terms for items. 6) Scene 4: This is weird – If it’s daytime, Thomas will see a person standing on a ladder. If it’s nighttime, light from the bedroom will illuminate some of the person’s upper shoulders and head. 7) FYI: It’s called a window SILL, not CILL. 8) Scene 4: Knowing the ending, how does Gavin pull off this trick – “The face shrivels up more and more until it collapses onto itself.” 9) Did Gavin murder Sharon? Why is Thomas’s father doing this? How can he control the weather?

D Ray Van just claimed a review for a script.
1 day ago
I Hate the Rain short
Genre: Horror
Logline: Strange things start happening in a rainy town after Thomas's mother dies
D Ray Van completed a review for
2 weeks ago
Mad Talent short
Genre: Comedy,Horror
Review Rating:

To say the horror genre has been overdone is an understatement. However, they are still quite popular. The trick is finding something “new under the sun.” Well, this story is bizarre, if not unique. I couldn’t help but think of AGT and BGT while I read this script, and I often wondered how contestants felt and might react when rejected. This script is a contestant's worst possible "HORROR"-ible reaction. The writer paints a vivid picture of a disturbed, no-talent young man who wants to be a rock-star singer. And chronicles his falling under the spell of an entity, THE METAL, which ultimately leads to his destruction. The ending, however, lacks the soul of the beginning and middle. I was expecting much more finesse, not an energy-blasting-guitar, grisly finale. I checked the script for obvious technical issues, as well – not punctuation: • SETTING – Described below • SCENE DESCRIPTIONS/ACTIONS – More prose than screenwriting – One example described below • DIALOGUE: On-the nose – One example described below ---------------- SETTING: As written: INT. STADIUM – AFTERNOON By definition, a stadium is an OUTDOOR venue. Reference: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stadium Therefore, the SCENE HEADER should be: EXT. STADIUM – AFTERNOON Which raises questions about the ending: • Vivian runs away, and Jeff sends a bolt of energy toward her. Why is the description of the hole solely about her front and nothing about her back? • Where did Sebastian get the chair he threw at Jeff if a stadium’s seats are bolted to the ground? • How did Sebastian get onto the stage so quickly? They are usually constructed pretty high to keep the audience off the stage. ------------------ SCENE DESCRIPTIONS/ACTIONS: Reference: https://thescriptlab.com/features/screenwriting-101/9394-5-ways-to-write-effective-scene-description/ • Screenplay writing is not prose writing. • Keep descriptions as short as possible. Use a word or a phrase instead of a long sentence. Here’s an example. INT. PRISON CELL BLOCK – NIGHT The dark hallway, made entirely of stone, stretches into a black void. The dripping of water is heard as condensation escapes from in between the stones and into muddy puddles on the wet floor. The only light source comes from the cellblock windows, the moonbeams sneaking in between the rusty bars that keep the prisoners from their dreams of freedom. Look at the difference. INT. PRISON CELL BLOCK – NIGHT Dark. Wet. Shadows overcome any source of light. Not only is this version shorter, how could you film “that keep prisoners from their dreams of freedom?” --------------------- >>YOUR SCRIPT: As written: INT. APARTMENT – AFTERNOON The room is littered with empty energy drink cans and potato chip bags. The twin sized bed against the wall by a small window has unorganized sheets and has a thick layer of crumbs covering it. The messiness doesn't bother JEFF, (mid 20s) the average built Caucasian with unruly hair and a line of acne crossing his face from cheek to cheek. Jeff has his favorite music playing on full blast: heavy metal. He screams and lip syncs to the current song damn near perfectly. He kicks over a garbage can, causing several slips of paper to fall onto the ground. Every slip reads: "NOISE COMPLAINT." And one paper with a paper with the heading: "FINAL NOTICE." Jeff doesn't even pay attention until his music stops playing abruptly. He quickly stops himself from singing more as he checks his phone to see a notification: "AUDITION in 30 MINUTES." JEFF Shit! The issue is: How would you film the following ACTIONS? • “The messiness doesn't bother JEFF” • “Jeff has his favorite music playing” ----------------------- >>Based on the reference – Maybe something like this: INT. APARTMENT – AFTERNOON BEDROOM Small window. Twin bed. Crumpled sheets. Thick layer of crumbs. LIVING ROOM Litter. Energy-drink cans. Potato chip bags. JEFF, (mid-20s). Average-built Caucasian. Unruly hair. Acne. Heavy metal music playing full-blast. Screams and lip-syncs in perfect tune with song. Dances. Knocks trashcan over. Contents spill out. Several papers read, "NOISE COMPLAINT." One with a heading, "FINAL NOTICE." Jeff lip-syncs until music stops. Checks phone: "AUDITION, 30 MINUTES." JEFF Shit! All the above ACTIONS are filmable. Also, • Jeff lip-syncs and dances to the music shows he’s unconcerned about the condition of his apartment without spelling it out. • When Jeff continues to lip-sync after knocking over the trashcan, it shows he “doesn't even pay attention” without spelling it out. -------------- DIALOGUE: On-the nose; spoon-feeding the audience Reference: https://mystorydoctor.com/eliminating-on-the-nose-dialogue/ In this dialogue-sequence, you set up (spoon-feed) the audience for what's coming next: As written: INT. STADIUM – NIGHT The last auditionee walks backstage and out of the building for the night. The judges, all obviously exhausted and tired of judging, begin grabbing any of their belongings they had with them. JUSTIN Well today has been very eventful, -On-the-nose; a setup hasn't it? VIVIAN Oh indeed. -On-the-nose; a setup I think this was the busiest we've ever been for auditions. ----------------- >>Based on the reference – Maybe something like this: INT. STADIUM – NIGHT Last auditionee leaves. Judges pack up. -See DESCRIPTIONS/ACTIONS section JUSTIN God... I need a drink. VIVIAN Usual place? Sebastian? SEBASTIAN Make mine a double. Note: None of the judges tell us it's been a tough day, but the fact they need a drink implies it's been a rough day, and there have been others just like this one. AND there’s NO hint that anything unusual is about to happen.

D Ray Van completed a review for
2 weeks ago
Mad Talent short
Genre: Comedy,Horror
Review Rating:

To say the horror genre has been overdone is an understatement. However, they are still quite popular. The trick is finding something “new under the sun.” Well, this story is bizarre, if not unique. I couldn’t help but think of AGT and BGT while I read this script, and I often wondered how contestants felt and might react when rejected. This script is a contestant's worst possible "HORROR"-ible reaction. The writer paints a vivid picture of a disturbed, no-talent young man who wants to be a rock-star singer. And chronicles his falling under the spell of an entity, THE METAL, which ultimately leads to his destruction. The ending, however, lacks the soul of the beginning and middle. I was expecting much more finesse, not an energy-blasting-guitar, grisly finale. I checked the script for obvious technical issues, as well – not punctuation: • SETTING – Described below • SCENE DESCRIPTIONS/ACTIONS – More prose than screenwriting – One example described below • DIALOGUE: On-the nose – One example described below ---------------- SETTING: As written: INT. STADIUM – AFTERNOON By definition, a stadium is an OUTDOOR venue. Reference: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/stadium Therefore, the SCENE HEADER should be: EXT. STADIUM – AFTERNOON Which raises questions about the ending: • Vivian runs away, and Jeff sends a bolt of energy toward her. Why is the description of the hole solely about her front and nothing about her back? • Where did Sebastian get the chair he threw at Jeff if a stadium’s seats are bolted to the ground? • How did Sebastian get onto the stage so quickly? They are usually constructed pretty high to keep the audience off the stage. ------------------ SCENE DESCRIPTIONS/ACTIONS: Reference: https://thescriptlab.com/features/screenwriting-101/9394-5-ways-to-write-effective-scene-description/ • Screenplay writing is not prose writing. • Keep descriptions as short as possible. Use a word or a phrase instead of a long sentence. Here’s an example. INT. PRISON CELL BLOCK – NIGHT The dark hallway, made entirely of stone, stretches into a black void. The dripping of water is heard as condensation escapes from in between the stones and into muddy puddles on the wet floor. The only light source comes from the cellblock windows, the moonbeams sneaking in between the rusty bars that keep the prisoners from their dreams of freedom. Look at the difference. INT. PRISON CELL BLOCK – NIGHT Dark. Wet. Shadows overcome any source of light. Not only is this version shorter, how could you film “that keep prisoners from their dreams of freedom?” --------------------- >>YOUR SCRIPT: As written: INT. APARTMENT – AFTERNOON The room is littered with empty energy drink cans and potato chip bags. The twin sized bed against the wall by a small window has unorganized sheets and has a thick layer of crumbs covering it. The messiness doesn't bother JEFF, (mid 20s) the average built Caucasian with unruly hair and a line of acne crossing his face from cheek to cheek. Jeff has his favorite music playing on full blast: heavy metal. He screams and lip syncs to the current song damn near perfectly. He kicks over a garbage can, causing several slips of paper to fall onto the ground. Every slip reads: "NOISE COMPLAINT." And one paper with a paper with the heading: "FINAL NOTICE." Jeff doesn't even pay attention until his music stops playing abruptly. He quickly stops himself from singing more as he checks his phone to see a notification: "AUDITION in 30 MINUTES." JEFF Shit! The issue is: How would you film the following ACTIONS? • “The messiness doesn't bother JEFF” • “Jeff has his favorite music playing” ----------------------- >>Based on the reference – Maybe something like this: INT. APARTMENT – AFTERNOON BEDROOM Small window. Twin bed. Crumpled sheets. Thick layer of crumbs. LIVING ROOM Litter. Energy-drink cans. Potato chip bags. JEFF, (mid-20s). Average-built Caucasian. Unruly hair. Acne. Heavy metal music playing full-blast. Screams and lip-syncs in perfect tune with song. Dances. Knocks trashcan over. Contents spill out. Several papers read, "NOISE COMPLAINT." One with a heading, "FINAL NOTICE." Jeff lip-syncs until music stops. Checks phone: "AUDITION, 30 MINUTES." JEFF Shit! All the above ACTIONS are filmable. Also, • Jeff lip-syncs and dances to the music shows he’s unconcerned about the condition of his apartment without spelling it out. • When Jeff continues to lip-sync after knocking over the trashcan, it shows he “doesn't even pay attention” without spelling it out. -------------- DIALOGUE: On-the nose; spoon-feeding the audience Reference: https://mystorydoctor.com/eliminating-on-the-nose-dialogue/ In this dialogue-sequence, you set up (spoon-feed) the audience for what's coming next: As written: INT. STADIUM – NIGHT The last auditionee walks backstage and out of the building for the night. The judges, all obviously exhausted and tired of judging, begin grabbing any of their belongings they had with them. JUSTIN Well today has been very eventful, -On-the-nose; a setup hasn't it? VIVIAN Oh indeed. -On-the-nose; a setup I think this was the busiest we've ever been for auditions. ----------------- >>Based on the reference – Maybe something like this: INT. STADIUM – NIGHT Last auditionee leaves. Judges pack up. -See DESCRIPTIONS/ACTIONS section JUSTIN God... I need a drink. VIVIAN Usual place? Sebastian? SEBASTIAN Make mine a double. Note: None of the judges tell us it's been a tough day, but the fact they need a drink implies it's been a rough day, and there have been others just like this one. AND there’s NO hint that anything unusual is about to happen.

D Ray Van just claimed a review for a script.
2 weeks ago
Mad Talent short
Genre: Comedy,Horror
Logline: A schizophrenic man loses his sanity after his singing audition for a talent show goes wrong.
D Ray Van completed a review for
2 weeks ago
Too Strong To Die short
Genre: Action/Adventure,Drama
Review Rating:

A delightful little script full of fantasy, quests, and spirits; however, the plotline is confusing in parts, and the script is riddled with formatting issues. I hope these references and examples will help, Jack (aka DRayVan) FORMATTING ISSUES: Details below • SCENE HEADERS • BEATS • CHARACTER INTRODUCTIONS/DESCRIPTIONS • DIALOGUE: On-the-nose; spoon-feeding the audience • DIALOGUE: Parentheticals – Several examples ---------------------- SCENE HEADERS: Industry-standard format is EXT. PLACE – TIME As written: EXT. FUNERAL PYRE. DAY. <<Drop periods [.], add dash [-] >>Should be: EXT. FUNERAL PYRE - DAY ----------------- CHARACTERS – Speaking characters are introduced/described in an ACTION before their first dialogue. Their NAME is in CAPS. Reference: https://www.studiobinder.com/blog/screenplay-character-descriptions-introductions/#how-to-intro -------------- As written: A wiry little girl is speaking to a gathering of mourners. >>Could be: LITTLE ESPERANZA, (age), a wiry little girl, speaks to a gathering of mourners. <<NOTE: Should use PRESENT (speaks) vs. PRESENT PROGRESSIVE (is speaking) verb forms. --------------- BEATS – Not needed in scene transitions. --------------- SCENE DESCRIPTIONS/ACTIONS: Reference: https://thescriptlab.com/features/screenwriting-101/9394-5-ways-to-write-effective-scene-description/ • Screenplay writing is not prose writing. • Keep descriptions as short as possible. Use a word or a phrase instead of a long sentence. Here's an example. INT. PRISON CELL BLOCK – NIGHT The dark hallway, made entirely of stone, stretches into a black void. The dripping of water is heard as condensation escapes from in between the stones and into muddy puddles on the wet floor. The only light source comes from the cell-block windows, the beams of the moon sneaking in between the rusty bars that keep the prisoners from their dreams of freedom. Look at the difference. INT. PRISON CELL BLOCK – NIGHT Dark. Wet. Shadows overcome any source of light. Not only is this version shorter, but how would you film "that keep prisoners from their dreams of freedom?" The writer was editorializing, and we all do it. ------------------ YOUR SCRIPT: As written: EXT. RAPIDS. DAY. The water is unforgiving. Esperanza is fighting hard against the current but she can't overpower nature. No one can. Her canoe capsizes and she is dragged underwater. She smacks into several rocks before she is thrown from the top of a waterfall. NOTE: "Unforgiving," "can't overpower nature," and "no one can." How would you film these ACTIONS? They are NOT ACTIONS. >>Could be: EXT. RAPIDS - DAY Raging river. Canoe. Esperanza paddles against the current. Capsizes. Current drags her under. Smacks rocks. Current sweeps her over the falls. NOTE: All these ACTIONS can be filmed. -------------- QUESTION: Following the waterfall scene, Esperanza awakens on the riverbank (at the foot of the falls, I assume). You cut to a village scene and back to the falls. Is the village scene a FLASHBACK or a VISION or something else? THEN, Esperanza is in a tent – How'd she get there? And where is THERE? ---------------------------------- DIALOGUE: On-the-nose; spoon-feeding the audience Reference: https://mystorydoctor.com/eliminating-on-the-nose-dialogue/ ------------------ YOUR SCRIPT: As written: EXT. FOREST. DAY Map in hand, Esperanza continues forward. She studies her surroundings, searching for landmarks to confirm her path. Along the way, she leaves carvings on giant trees. One tree in particular, has already been marked; a knife is buried inside its bark, several meters above her head. ESPERANZA Someone's been here. I have to be <<ON-THE-NOSE getting closer. >>Could be: EXT. FOREST - DAY Esperanza holds a map. Studies her surroundings, searches for landmarks, leaves carvings on {giant} trees. One tree is [already] marked. She finds a knife inside its bark, several meters above her head. << {giant?} What's this mean? ESPERANZA Soon... --------------- QUESTION: If the knife is "inside the bark of a tree several meters above her head," how did Esperanza find it? How tall is she? This isn't realistic. ----------------------------------- DIALOGUE: Parentheticals https://www.movieoutline.com/articles/10-rules-for-using-parentheticals-in-your-screenplay.html • Don't use them unless necessary. • Don't restate the obvious. • Don't use them for minor ACTIONS. • Don't use them at the end of a dialogue block. • Don't capitalize the first letter of parentheticals. • Don't use a pronoun to start the parenthetical. ------------------ YOUR SCRIPT: As written: PAPA (O.S.) (His voice seems to come <<This is ACTION from behind Esperanza) I'm right here. She spins around, but finds nothing. >>Could be: A voice behind Esperanza. PAPA (V.O.) <<Note V.O. vs. O.S. I'm right here. She spins around. No one's there. ------------------ YOUR SCRIPT: As written: PAPA (He appears before her) <<This is ACTION You selfish brat! How dare I? How dare I? While you gallivant through the forest the rest of us have had to move on! (He strikes her across <<This is ACTION the face and she falls to the ground.) She comes to. Her vision is foggy. She reaches for her face and braces for the pain but finds no wound there. A dream? >>Could be: Papa appears before Esperanza. <<Note ACTION PAPA You selfish brat! How dare I? How << No BOLD TEXT dare I? While you gallivant through the forest the rest of us have had to move on! Papa strikes Esperanza across her face. She falls to the ground. <<Note ACTION Esperanza comes to and touches her face. Puzzlement sweeps across her face. ------------------ YOUR SCRIPT: As written: ESPERANZA (She looks into the sky) <<This is ACTION If you've been trying to make me go <<ON-THE-NOSE back home Mama, then you have made your point. I'm done. >>Could be: Esperanza looks to the sky. <<Note ACTION ESPERANZA You made your point, Mama. I'm done.

D Ray Van just claimed a review for a script.
2 weeks ago
Too Strong To Die short
Genre: Action/Adventure,Drama
Logline: A determined young girl sets off to find her mother in a fabled place, but when that place makes her hallucinate her resolve wavers.
D Ray Van just purchased a review. Claim it here
4 weeks ago
Temptation of Billy Cooper short
Genre: Drama,Thriller,Western
Logline: An out-of-work cowboy rescues the daughter of a cattle baron from three would-be kidnappers. Maybe he would’ve been better off letting them recapture and ransom her.
D Ray Van just purchased a review. Claim it here
4 weeks ago
Temptation of Billy Cooper short
Genre: Drama,Thriller,Western
Logline: An out-of-work cowboy rescues the daughter of a cattle baron from three would-be kidnappers. Maybe he would’ve been better off letting them recapture and ransom her.
D Ray Van just purchased a review. Claim it here
4 weeks ago
Temptation of Billy Cooper short
Genre: Drama,Thriller,Western
Logline: An out-of-work cowboy rescues the daughter of a cattle baron from three would-be kidnappers. Maybe he would’ve been better off letting them recapture and ransom her.

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Vengeance Wore Black
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After cheating death several times, a gang of murderous outlaws is confident a holy relic will protect them from permanent harm, but when the Rider comes, seeking retribution, will death finally win this hand?

Temptation of Billy Cooper
Draft #5
Genre: Drama,Thriller,Western
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An out-of-work cowboy rescues the daughter of a cattle baron from three would-be kidnappers. Maybe he would’ve been better off letting them recapture and ransom her.

Last One
Draft #1
Genre: Drama,Crime,Mystery/Suspense
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Determined maid thwarts the plans of her grieving mistress to kill young men, sending their spirits to her beloved daughter who died four years ago.

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Flash Flood
Draft #2
Genre: Drama,Thriller,Western
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A flash flood wipes out a farmer. He tries to get his money back from the rancher who sold him the land, claiming fraud. When the rancher refuses, he takes justice into his own hands.

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