My ultimate goal is to write movies. I want to achieve my goal by getting better at writing movies. I want to get better at writing movies by writing movies.
Concept: First, I would describe your genre as pure drama. Don't call it a comedy, definitely don't call it family. Even though it's about a family, as a genre implies that it's being written for the whole family. A kid's movie like Toy Story or The Lion King are family movies. The logline paints a great picture for a story, incorporating where the conflict is going to come from. Story: The first 35 pages or so, up to the point where they have the hearing with Brian, dragged and were confusing. Conveyance was a big issue. I didn't know what was going on emotionally in a scene most of the time. Once David is in the story more, it really picks up. The characters seemed to come alive. The dynamics become clearer. Drama intensified. It's because I understood David as a character more than I did any other character in the story. Spend more time explaining the family's backstory in the beginning. Give each character a more unique voice. When all the characters speak the same way, it's hard to differentiate them on the page. You can give them verbal or physical ticks to help with that. Structure: The story is undersized, and I think that is because you're missing some key elements. The ending needs to be there. I didn't know how I was supposed to feel by the end. Most stories have a theme, and this is where the theme should pay off. We need to see how characters change (or don't change) and how that affects their lives from that point on. Also, as I've said before, backstory should come at the beginning of your story. Character Development: This is where the thrust of your story should come from. Make a portfolio on each of your characters. Make sure they have nothing in common. Give them completely different values. Maybe one has a speech impediment. Maybe one is sassy. Make them sound different on the page. Also, make sure it's clear what the arcs of your characters are. They don't all have to change by the end, but make sure the main ones do. My favorite characters of yours were David and Miles, followed by Izzy and Delilah, who need more of an arc in the story (Delilah came close by the end, but fell short), followed by the rest. Make them change. Make them grow. Dialogue: Too many characters talk the same way. They may act different, but they talk the same. David and Miles don't, but everyone else does. Maybe David could be a flat-arc character, where he doesn't change, but he changes the people around him. If that's the case, make sure it's clear how he's affecting everyone around him. I hope you take this script and retool it a little bit to get the most out of it. There's a lot of good things in here. Best of luck!
It's a fine start, but I feel like your story is missing a couple of key ingredients: 1) The concept is fine, but flawed in some key ways. Unless you're an established writer, no one is going to want to make a high-budget monster disaster movie. It'll be too expensive. These movies tend to be heavy on spectacle, light on substance, and there's nothing wrong with that, but in order to get your foot in the door, you'll need to write a story that can function with a much lower budget. Not to mention, these are usually only made when there are established IPs behind them. They are not often original stories. Godzilla is an established franchise, Jurassic Park was a book first. That being said, characters fleeing monsters and disaster works as a genre, there just needs to be A LOT more substance than there usually is in these types of movies, ESPECIALLY from an unknown writer with an original story without an established IP. My favorite reference for you would be something like "Jurassic Park". 2) It needs a theme. Some sort of expressed moral value that the audience can wrestle with. In Jurassic Park, the theme is "don't mess with nature." The characters have a scene where they take the time to talk over the philosophical ramifications of the theme. They discuss and debate the theme. You characters don't need to do this as directly as they do in Jurassic Park, but it will definitely give your movie legs if they do. 3) You characters should have a "need." So far, all they have is a "want" which is to survive the monsters. Which is good, but in order for your characters to come alive, they also need a "need." This is something that's internal, as opposed to external. A flaw that endangers their lives, getting in the way of their "want" and only by conquering and finding what they "need" do they get what they "want." This is a commonly discussed element of storytelling, so if you're confused, a quick google search should clarify. 4) Research story structure. I felt like your story lost its legs by the end. Almost like you didn't know where it was going. If you want this story to get better, you need to get a beat sheet in front of you and fill it in. In other words, outline. 5) You had some really great witty pieces of dialogue scattered throughout in here! Do a LOT more of that. Try to fit one on every page (use discretion). Also, make sure you are not sacrificing characterization. Make sure it's something the character would actually say. Theme and character needs are discussed regularly, so research these topics! I recommend the amazing series "The Anatomy of Chaos" on YouTube. PRIORITIES: 1) Get an outline together. Make sure your story isn't undersized. 2) Establish the theme. 3) Establish your character's arcs. What is their "need"? How do they change before the end? 4) Add a LOT more punchy dialogue. Thanks for sharing your story with me. Best of luck!
Needs a lot of work. Based off of the description you gave, I was expecting a more traditional story, with a beginning, middle, and end. I was expecting a character arc of some kind. First thing I would do is redo your concept and logline to give the reader more of a feel for what they're about to read. Let them know this is more of an experience than a traditional narrative. I get that you're going for a more artistic, avant garde, "telling the story through symbols" approach, but it didn't translate into the script very well. There were constant formatting errors that confused the scenes for me. Nevertheless, you seem to be writing with a very specific and clear vision. I have a few ideas on how you can use this script: 1) The plan that requires the least amount of work is to take the script as it is and use it as a personal guide to self-produce your vision. It doesn't have to be a live-action short film. You can make it animated or have it become a graphic novel. 2) Redo the script as a series of storyboards instead. They do this sometimes with highly visual movies, and if you can draw, I would highly recommend taking this option. 3) Go back into your script and properly format it so that you can share it with others properly. It's okay to have a specific, avant garde, artistic, highly symbolic vision, but you need to learn how to communicate that on the page. Learning how to format your ideas properly is essential and non-negotiable. 4) Throw this one out and start over. This may seem harsh, but don't think of it as a waste of time, think of it as a learning experience before your next venture. I get that you're going for a more psychedelic vibe, and that it should make the reader uncomfortable at times, but the goal is to make the reader feel disoriented WITHOUT being confused as to what they are reading. Thanks for sharing your vision with me. Best of luck.
Lois Lane, idealist turned cynic, finds hope in a man who can't get hurt.