This is a high concept space odyssey. I was reminded of movies like Guardians of the Galaxy and Titan A.D. The quest for treasure is a classic tale. The writers put a unique twist on it with the space setting. The setting allows for a lot of opportunities to create stunning visuals. The script is a good length. The pace and the stakes really get punched up in the 2nd half of the 2nd act. The trip to the asteroid is a long one but the writers fill it with key scenes like Jill’s discovery of the raider's plot and the narrow escape from another group of raiders. The standoff at the cave seems to drag on a bit. But the addition of the ticking clock in the form of the pending asteroid explosion reinvigorates the plot and gives a sense of urgency. Also, Roggan and the other raiders seemed to put up with Morgan’s waning loyalty a little too long. The dialogue is good. Different voices for each character. The language style of some of the raiders was hard to get used to. A more subtle approach like in Wolfe's dialogue may be helpful. Jill as a protagonist doesn’t show much emotional involvement in the plot other than her relationship with Morgan. Her livelihood is at stake as well as her life. Roggan is your classic pirate captain and it works for this story. Greed is a great motivator and all the characters are in this situation because of their need or desire for money. This theme connects the characters. One small thing that troubled me. The transition from discovering the treasure map and going to Evans left me wondering where Jill's mom was. Emerson fended Morgan off the first time, but if the coordinator is that valuable they would have tried again relatively soon.
A setup of Jeff's greatest fear and goal would make the humiliation from the judges more powerful. The reader gets the sense that Jeff likes to listen to heavy metal at loud volumes but not that his lifelong dream is to be a heavy metal singer. A letter rejecting his demo tape or troll-like comments under a youtube video of him singing could help flush out his character. Jeff's sobbing is out of character from his setup as a metalhead. This sounds stereotypical, but it disconnects the reader from the character. Sticking with seething rage and indignation would be more in line with the character and set up for the Metal taking over. The judges are all caricatures of Simon Cowell. They all have a similar voice. Some variety would create more interest. One of them could be more apologetic in the delivery of their critique. The reason for their death would seem less justified and the Metal would come off more nefarious. The pace is good. The climax was not predictable. With a little more character setup, the payoff of the judges' deaths would be more satisfying. The story starts and ends where it needs to. The connection between the engineering class and the guitar is unclear. A class that sounds more scientific or experimental like laser science, etc would create more connections later on when Jeff uses the guitar as a blaster. Engineering brings to mind city works and not energy weapons. Overall, a unique concept with a relatable theme. With a little character work and set up, this short could invoke an emotional connection with a bittersweet payoff for anyone who's ever had or worries about their big dreams being shot down.
The premise is a familiar one in the unique setting of the flower shop and plant nursery. Reminiscent of Hitchcock thrillers. The 1950s setting may alienate a younger audience. The plot was predictable if the viewer is familiar with movies like Psycho. Although the writer did a good job of casting suspicion on McClain and even Alice, early on it was easy to guess that Charles was the murderer and Mother was dead. The obstacles in the story don’t add much to the tension. There’s no sense that business at the flower shop was booming so the drop in customers after his connection to the murders is not felt. The pressure from Holden and McClain isn’t enough to raise the stakes. Charles is still able to commit 5 murders within a short period of time. Charles as a character is a stereotypical Norman Bates. His hidden depths are hinted at during his outburst of rage. His motivation to clear his name or ultimately frame McClain is related too late in the story. His descent into madness is only alluded to by his vision of the young girl with her throat cut and the butterflies. Alice falls flat. Her personal interest in Charles is unclear. There is no suspicion that she got close to him just to find out he was the killer. As the story is told from Charles’ point of view, the characters of Holden and McClain are appropriate as he would view them with disinterest. But there is also no real sense that Charles holds Alice in any particular regard despite the revelation at the end that she reminded him of Mother. Dialogue is written well enough to keep the reader in the story. It’s appropriate to the 1950s setting. If Charles is to be a very controlled man than his uses of profanity outside of his few outbursts seem out of place. Alice’s dialogue acts as exposition to keep Charles informed of the murders rather than to create an emotional connection between the characters. The first act seems a little long. Charles doesn’t accept the call to action until page 43 when he decides to catch McClain as the killer. This is almost the midpoint. Until then, we can only assume Charles’ goal will be to clear his name. The pace, in the beginning, is a little slow and then builds up speed around the midpoint. This would work well if the suspense was also being built up around Charles's guilt. The script is very visually detailed. Elements like the butterflies, the rust-colored powder, the Alice in Wonderland tie-ins, and the stacks of newspapers are neatly tied up in the ending. Especially in the first act, there may be too much time spent on visual details that could be replaced with actions that move the plot forward. One issue with continuity. The white ribbon on the first body is referred to as tape in subsequent mentions and murders. Overall: I am a fan of Hitchcockian thrillers so I found this script interesting despite the similarities to Psycho. I was pleasantly surprised by the many visual elements that made complete sense once the ending was revealed. This script had my brain making connections well after I was done reading it which is great for murder mystery fans. Although the plot is somewhat predictable, the visual elements engage the reader and offer a unique twist on a familiar story. Subplots were neatly tied up like the blood on McClain's shirts coming from nosebleeds. The plot could move a little faster and the characters could use a deeper emotional connection to each other and the audience to increase conflict and suspense. Logline: A florist in the 1950s falls down the rabbit hole when his comfortable routine is disrupted by a dead body adorned with familiar flowers and several other clues that cast him as the main suspect in serial murder.
The first two acts of the story come across as a character piece with a few strange occurrences thrown in. The high concept part of the story doesn’t show up until the third act despite the openings earlier on like the suitcase. The character theme is strong. Casey tries to balance his desire for a better life with doing the right thing. It’s a relatable theme because we all want better for ourselves and are looking for opportunities to improve our circumstances. The plot is interesting but lacking obstacles. Casey gets into the Program immediately. He wins the first challenge without thinking. He faces a moral dilemma in the second challenge and then passes the third test with flying colors. His real challenges lie in his relationship with Siren. By participating in the program and keeping it from Siren he creates a large obstacle for his goal of marrying her. This is where the story loses direction. Is the plot centered around Casey’s relationship with Siren or the strange antagonist Jameson? The two plots are fighting for center stage. Based on the last act, the Jameson storyline needs to play a dominant role with Casey’s relationship as the subplot. Casey and Siren are simple characters but feel three dimensions. A good sense of their personalities and backgrounds come out in dialogue and actions. Jameson falls a little flat. He comes across as a typical eccentric, money-hungry billionaire with a god complex. Casey’s character arc would appear to be getting his morals straight and standing up for what’s right. But his challenges create more of a flat arc with a small payoff at the end. The dialogue is great. It's natural and flows nicely. Everyone has their own voice while maintaining a sense of connection between characters. The stakes don’t feel high enough to provide a satisfactory pay off at the climax. Jameson has cured cancer and created a flu-like disease. Cor’s infects many but the severity of the disease is not defined in any case other than Siren’s sister’s. What the angry newscaster scene says about the disease is not clear. It sounds like Casey and Siren have some money troubles but nothing severe enough to make Casey desperate enough to lie and cheat. As a high concept story, the pace in the first and second acts is slow. The action doesn’t start until the third act after Casey discovers the truth about Jameson. If that revelation were moved up to the midpoint, the story would have more conflict with Casey protecting himself, friends, and family while trying to find a way to take down Jameson and release the cure for Cor’s. The style of the story is reminiscent of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Videodrome. Surreal occurrences cause the reader to question what is really happening. This creates tension through a sense of uncertainty and a curiosity for what’s to come. More scenes like the ones with the suitcase of light, the secret building floor, and Jameson’s effect on Casey and lights incorporated into the second act would improve the pace and increase tension. Creating a more consistent style. These scenes could be meant to build the surreal style of the story but are confusing and don't feel intentional. pg 36 MALL - It's unclear who is arriving and who was there already. - Casey and Lila arrive together. They meet up with Casey and Camaro. Casey hugs Lila. pg 41 PLAZA - Copywright is not in the action but has the first line of dialogue and then enters halfway through the conversation. pg 77 - MANSION - Casey enters the front gate. Then he's in the mansion at Jameson's desk. In the previous scene, Casey is already in the mansion talking to Jameson. pg 81 - OFFICE - The gun which Casey refers to as a sword which Jameson says is a machete. Overall, it's a good concept with the potential to be a real mind-bender. It's well-written with clear dialogue. With a single dominant plotline, quicker pace, stronger character arc, and three-dimensional antagonist, it would make an entertaining movie.
This is a character-driven piece. The emotional rollercoaster of the characters is the focus of the story. The concept is original and needed in today’s world. The theme of mental health is universal in that many of us experience anxiety and depression. The strength of the theme and its originality is that it deals with mental health in black people. In black culture, talking about mental health and seeking help has a large stigma. The author addresses this in a relatable way. The structure is clear and the story flows nicely between scenes of tense conflict and comforting human connection. Reconnecting with her ex pushes Asure towards Ahmad. As bad as her relationship with her ex, Chris, is, she finds relief and support in her relationships with Knowledgia and now Ahmad. The stakes are relative to a character-driven story. Asure and Ahmad are working towards a chance at real connection and safe love. Knowledgia’s subplot reinforces the theme. The characters are three dimensional. Their backgrounds are revealed in a natural way through dialogue and actions. The audience gets to know Asure and Ahmad in the same way they get to know each other. Their flaws mirror each other. Asure is held because she clings to her disorders while Ahmad is held back because he doesn’t realize he could use help with his mental health. Both characters have a clear arc making their way toward a safe relationship and working with their mental health. Dialogue is great. Very natural. Conversations between Asure and Ahmad have just enough of that awkward tension common between people who want to connect but aren’t sure how. This is contrasted nicely by conversations with Asure and Chris which are full of toxic conflict. Ahmad’s joke about Asure’s suicide attempt is off-putting. He may be unaccustomed to mental health issues, but his joke belittles Asure’s struggle. The conversation between Asure and Shamanda falls a little flat emotionally. Asure comes across too calm and the suspicion or anger in Shamanda’s dialogue doesn’t seem strong enough to create a real sense of conflict. Asure’s revelation of her family history feels like an overshare that takes away from Ahmad’s pain. It conflicts with her reluctance to share personal issues later. If she were a bit more reluctant to share in that scene, it would demonstrate her taking a chance on opening up to Ahmad. The story is dialogue-driven meaning there are several pages without any real action. More physical cues like body language could be inserted to reinforce the tension or connections. There are several scenes that take place in cars. Using a variety of scenes like coffee shops, park benches, etc would give the scenes more visual appeal. The scenes that are used like the cliff and the waterfall are good for their contrast to inner-city life and their connection to peace and serenity. Taking the car scenes and putting them in areas that are common in the city would give the nature settings even more significance.