Concept The idea of a personality disorder that manifests itself as an understudy seems interesting enough, but it isn't explored that deeply, nor from what I can tell, has any relationship to the Hank. Is Hank an actor? Is Hank a playwright? What exactly is the relationship between it and Hank? This needs to be explored more clearly. Also, I hope that there is a more serious antagonist that gets introduced at a later point because the understudy doesn't seem to have any real effect on Hank's actual life. Story As this is the first 17 pages or so of a feature script, I can't comment on the whole story. But I can say that there are some interesting set-ups here, i.e. Hank's battle with his other personality and the effect that it has on his relationships. However, it doesn't seem like the conflict is that well-developed and the story so far doesn't make me want to keep reading. In other words, this script needs clearer stakes set up at the beginning. Ensure that the understudy can actually harm Hank's life outside of his dreams. Structure Given that almost 20 pages have gone by, there needs to be a inciting incident, a clear, concise through-line needs to be established for the rest of the script, and the protagonists need to decide to start making progress towards their goal. None of these things exist in the script thus far, and as a result the pacing/interest level suffers. An eccentric tone is established, but story momentum is not. Character Development Hank is given some development through the existence of his understudy, and does have a goal he wants to accomplish (getting rid of the understudy), but it isn't defined what exactly he will be doing in order to accomplish this. Once this is defined, which should've happened in the first 20 pages, the first part of the second act will essentially be him trying to achieve his goal with little to no success. Right now, he seems very passive. Also, the understudy has been pretty comical as of now. We need to see less of him and his existence should be implied. The best horror movies embody a "less is more" mentality. Showing the understudy, having him talk about his plans, and having him brutally attack Hank all in the first 20 pages deflates any tension that could exist with a character like this. It is probably best to remove that dream sequence entirely and just start out with Hank in therapy. Dialogue The dialog between the human characters is okay, but the understudy's dialogue drags down the script considerably. He sounds completely over the top and not menacing/scary at all. His dialogue feels like it is coming from a mustache twirling James Bond villain rather than a truly horrific entity that haunts the main protagonist. It would serve the script well if the understudy spoke as little as possible and demonstrated his grip over Hank's life through action alone.
Concept: This is a great concept that showcases the dangers countless women face around men they don’t fully trust. I don’t have much to say about the concept because frankly, it is a concise and powerful fable about sexual assault. Story: Not much *happens* so to speak in this script in terms of plot, but it still manages to encapsulate the theme of sexual assault well. There is a sizable amount of suspense generated because this young and beautiful woman is wandering off with men she just met and we as the audience understand what is at stake through the implications of that. What would aid this story more is a deeper exploration of the theme. Have more scenes that slowly escalate the conflict between the characters. For example, maybe Spencer starts off nice (but still a tad creepy) at first, luring her in with a promise of a pure romance. Alice may not be entirely attracted to him as much as she is to Peter, but she slowly warms up to Spencer and starts to trust him more. Spencer realizes this and slowly starts to show his true colors. Alice notices this, but still lets him continue out of respect/niceness even though she knows it’s wrong. You don’t have to do this exactly, but this plays into the idea that people would rather not upset someone than stand up for themselves even if they’re in danger and adds another layer of thematic heft. But overall, I think the story is well done. Structure: I think structurally, the script is good. One thing I would suggest is have the tension (as caused by Spencer and maybe even Peter) occur earlier in the script. Your theme should permeate the story from page 1 and I didn’t quite get that feeling. It was only until the very end of the script did I realize what it was actually about. If you include scenes at the beginning involving Alice, Spencer, and Peter that play into the theme a bit more through their interactions. Character: This is where, in my opinion, your script starts to falter a bit. Alice is a good character; ultimately she’s a vessel for the audience to experience trauma through, but she’s a bit too naive and trusting of complete strangers at first. It would be more powerful if the “villains” had to work to gain her trust a bit more. This would make their betrayal all the more impactful because we as the audience trusted them too through Alice. As for Peter, I think he was a bit too “perfect”. I think it would be a lot better if Peter himself was also an antagonist. If Spencer is the “nice guy”, slightly creepy though mostly unassuming, and Peter is the “hot guy”, attractive and confident, and if they *both* end up having lustful thoughts about Alice, it would play into the fact that appearances/the way people carry themselves can be very deceiving. You can have Alice confide in Peter about Spencer’s advances; the twist of course is that Peter is also a rapist and he is willing to go to dark places just to exercise his sexuality. This could add a lot more dimension to your script and make the characters more three dimensional. Finally, Benoit was a little heavy-handed. I think him killing Peter is fine, but there should have been a small but intense conversation before the actual killing happens. Have them argue. Have them fight. Drag out the tension a bit more in that scene and it can do wonders for the story. Dialog: The dialog was serviceable. It did its job fine, but what would enhance it is more personality shining through. Amplify certain traits and beliefs through what the characters are saying. Though, if you develop your characters a bit more, you may find that style of dialogue falling into place automatically. Not much to say here because I think the character and story issues should take precedence over crafting perfect dialog. Overall: I was pretty engaged with your script. I think it’s a very strong concept and the ending hit pretty hard. I think a few more tweaks could really make this script exceptional. Also, there were a handful of typos. I have put them in the additional notes section.
Concept Having a demonic presence in the script, i.e. “The Metal” influencing the main character to do despicable things is absolutely welcome. It is efficiently woven throughout the story culminating in Jeff doing some crazy things to the judges. But we could’ve definitely used some more conflict between Jeff and The Metal. Not only would it create some interesting banter but it would also provide Jeff with some much-needed internal struggle and thus, give him an emotional journey to go on (I’ll touch on this more in the character section). Nevertheless, I think the concept has good potential. Story The story is pretty standard in so far as we’ve seen the “I did really bad on my first audition, only to walk back in and amaze them” trope. The unique spin you put on it is the climax which definitely should be preserved (maybe have Jeff actually kill every judge and then realize how horrible The Metal has made him?). In all honesty however, not much *happens* in the script from a plot perspective. I think if you honed in the character dynamics a bit more, then it would tug the story into some new directions. The story also doesn’t contain any stakes, i.e. what happens if the protagonist fails? The stakes don’t have to be “world-ending” so to speak, but having something there is better than nothing. For example, if Jeff doesn’t nail the audition and get the part, he’ll have to go back to his crappy day job or he won’t be able to afford his mother’s healthcare bills (or whatever else). I think the script would be far more investing and suspenseful if there were genuine stakes to the whole ordeal. Structure The script follows a pretty simple three act structure, but if there was more escalation in terms of the conflict, it would enhance the structure quite significantly. The second act i.e. Jeff attends the audition only to be rejected, contains virtually no escalation in conflict. Have Jeff protest the judges more and have him slowly be consumed by his ego and after enough of a verbal fight, he starts scheming on how to get back at them i.e. it’s not about the music anymore; it’s about revenge. And then of course, the third act is him going berserk. Character This is, sorry to say, the weakest aspect of the script. If you fine-tune the Jeff-Metal dynamic, it could easily elevate the entire story. Have each character be separate entities with their own goals. This can not only lead to some funny banter between the two, but also some much-needed conflict/stakes. I understand the constraints of a short film, and that “developing” the characters may be quite hard, but ultimately, all you really require is to give each character a want and a need. Their want is an external goal they’ve set for themselves, and their need typically revolves around realizing how misguided their initial want actually was. They realize this need throughout the story, and thus, by the end, are a changed person. Given that this is a short, these wants and needs don’t have to be overly complicated, but nonetheless go a long way into making the characters more three dimensional. If you can figure out what Jeff wants/needs, as well as The Metal, and figure out how these clash with one another, you’ve got yourself the makings of a great script! Dialogue Much of the dialogue here is serviceable, i.e. works fine for what the script is. I can’t really comment too much on it however. This is because if you follow through on the Story/Structure/Character changes, the dialogue will naturally have to change as well. Truth be told, dialogue should be the last thing you try to fix because it really is icing on the cake. For example, Aaron Sorkin is known for his amazing dialogue, but nobody ever talks about his great structuring of scenes, deep character moments, and his knack for creating conflict. It’s most important to fix the foundations of your story first i.e. plot/structure/character than coming up with witty dialogue. Overall, I think you have a great concept here and if you flesh out your characters more, the script can get very interesting indeed. Best of luck!
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