I'll just go over my thoughts in chronological order as I read your script. (I enjoyed it by the way) 1ST PAGE - Good character intro and description, immediately paints a clear first impression of who Darius is - Intriguing situation to start off in, following a trail, searching for a phone… (his own maybe ?) - (OS), Offscreen or over the shoulder? It’s just a detail but the formatting is wrong, not very clear - The segment where Darius encounters someone is confusing. I don’t mind when screenwriters use lengthy and novelesque sentences (although many do) but you did overcomplicate this part. Also, give the other person a name (even if it is a temporary and simple one like MAN) and don’t use « he », since it makes it hard to tell who is whom 2ND PAGE - Interesting intro for Eve and nice confrontation that follows, intriguing… good, keep retaining information from the reader (the more the better) - This scenario seems to be evolving in a pretty cool direction, with what is happening with the man on the ground (is it his phone ? who is he ?) 3RD PAGE - Darius has seen too much, nice, very nice, I like how quickly your scene is evolving (although I would personally draw out some moments for maximum tension, just a possible choice not actual criticism) 4RD PAGE - I liked the choice Darius was left with, felt actual tension there (you even took your time to draw it out a bit ☺) 5TH PAGE - Very smart in how you finished your script. I hate it when shorts get all overindulgent with their character development and emotional stuff because usually, with such limited time, it just doesn’t work (usually). So you played it very smart here because in this case; less is more. It just leaves you thinking… Overall liked your script, enjoyed it very much. Of course, it’s some pretty simple stuff but I can tell you’ve got it in you. Oh, and just a little detail, sometimes the dialogue sounded a bit too cartoony (although maybe that was the intention, I don’t know). Anyway, good job.
I really liked Mad Talent. It's written very well and I only have a few minor complaints. Here are my overall thoughts: - First of all, you did a great job of introducing your main character. I feel that's something often overlooked but here you perfectly set him up. In under a page, we already know a whole lot about him. Plus all the information is delivered naturally and in a fun way. - The audition was very well set up. I knew the stakes and you had me wanting to know what would happen. - The Metal's appearances could be confusing to some, especially the first time he shows up. If a character has a voice in his or her head, like here for instance, write (V.O.) next to the character's name right before the dialogue. It's just a little detail but that's the way it's supposed to be formatted. - This is another little detail but I thought Vivian's comment after Jeff's audition felt a bit too mean. You might have pushed it a bit there. However, if you want to lean in on her rudeness, do so by all means. Maybe check out Terrence Flecther's dialogue from Whiplash (and J.K. Simmons' amazing performance as well of course) as that may be what you're going for. - There are a few times where you described inner feelings. - Some action lines could be slightly more condensed as some tended to be repetitive. Overall, this is a very simple story but I think you've handled it greatly. I hope this has helped. Good luck!
I think that, in spite of this script's many problems, the writer shows promise and great passion for his genre. I liked Shadow Vile Figure, even though it is deeply flawed. So, without further ado, here are my detailed thoughts. PAGES 1-3 - You should always have brief descriptions of your characters when you introduce them. Otherwise, initial scenes tend to be confusing. For example, I only noticed that Johnny was a teenager once you said that through dialogue. You should have said that in an action line. - I liked the opening and how it started immediately with something important. I liked all the confusion that took place when introduced to this crazy concept. However, I would lean in more on Johnny's confusion since his reaction was a bit too casual. - When you say he falls down to earth, what do you mean? You were too vague there. There are millions of ways that could be portrayed, so describe what is taking place with a bit more detail. PAGES 4-15 - I liked the conversation where the high schoolers are talking about Johnny. It would have been interesting to see if they had opposing and clashing ideas about him. However, in retrospect, Johnny's image or his way of being doesn't add much to the story and is never brought up again so maybe this scene isn't all that necessary. - The high school confrontation was fun. I've always been a fan of kids fighting monsters. I like the vibe you're going for. - When Johnny attacks the high schoolers, you repeated exposition. I suggest you never do that. You made Johnny tell Veronica about his mission and then made Veronica tell her friends about it too. That's too much and it slows the pace down very much. If a character needs to tell someone something that the audience already knows, I suggest you do it off-screen. - Also concerning this fight scene, make the kids' reactions more realistic. They're getting attacked by a demon, after all, it's not something that happens every day. Or, if this is something normal that happens in your story, make it clear early on (Scott Pilgrim vs the World is a good example of that). - I'm starting to get a Percy Jackson vibe here, especially after the scene that takes place in Satan's apartment. I liked it very much. PAGES 16-23 - I'm starting to get the sense that sometimes the characters don't really care about what's going on, especially with the number of times they say "whatever". I'm guessing you're aiming for quippy and funny dialogue but if your characters don't care about the story, why should the audience? - I like how you're planting the seeds for a good relationship. I liked the slower-paced scene you had between Veronica and Johnny. Things had been moving really fast so it's good that you took a little breath here. PAGES 24-26 - I liked it when both Veronica and Johnny were talking about one another. It was cute. - I think you’d better start giving concrete reasons for why Satan wants Christians killed. The villains’ motivations are pretty weak for the moment. You don't necessarily have to give him something we can relate to, just something that makes sense. - I’m starting to notice that some bits of dialogue seem very generic like “if you want her, you’re going through me”. Such dialogue is not necessarily bad, it’s just stuff that I’ve heard before. By no means should you feel pressured to change it, it’s just something I noticed. - The three demons are completely disposable. They are easy to fight and interchangeable. Make each one have more of a personality and make them more of a threat. - I think you missed a good opportunity to make Johnny and Victoria team up in this action scene. PAGES 27-33 - When Johnny is in the bathroom and Veronica is walking away from it, you describe how she leaves yet you don't change the scene heading. Either add a new one just for that or say something among the lines of "we hear Veronica walk away". - Anyways, that little scene was cute. - I like how Johnny is trying to be hopeful about his future by reading the Bible with Veronica. However, the image you are presenting of God and Christianity seems to be too good to be true. I’m not saying this because of the religion itself, I’m talking purely about its place in your narrative. It feels like a potential Deus Ex-Machina (and it ended up being one, I'll get into that later). PAGE 34-39 - I liked the build-up to Johnny's confrontation with Aaron. The dialogue leading up to the fight was great. Maybe draw it out a bit more to accumulate tension. - I liked the scene where Johnny and Veronica talk about sins, not only because of the fact that you started acknowledging the black and white aspects of Christianity but because I thought that a nice moment between the two was earned. PAGES 40-46 - I was feeling the moment when Satan showed up at the doorstep. However, he quickly leaves and nothing happens. He hadn't encountered Johnny personally since the very first scene so I think this important moment was wasted. - I think the scene where they go back to high school really interrupts the flow of the story. It’s unnecessary and the characters there are unimportant. I would have combined the previous Satan scene with XYLYD’s attack. - In fact, why did you include XYLYD in this story? His character and the fight scene he's in don't add much. You have Satan's fight right after this one, which made this one feel rather pointless. - Concerning the fight itself, it wasn't all that great. I appreciate that you made Johnny more vulnerable here but his eventual victory didn't feel earned. What made him win wasn't something specific to him. Instead, he just pulled a Thanos move. In fact, this goes for all fight scenes. You shouldn't make your story halt once you reach an action scene. Especially when you rely a lot on action scenes, which is great, you should be able to make them more compelling. Make each one have its own narrative beats were characters make decisions and where the story's direction is at stake. I recommend you look upon this, it could really enrich your work. PAGES 47-63 - Your characters are afraid of Satan. This would have felt more real if you had presented this villain as something more than a fool. Don't make him weak to begin with. - The verse reciting that was used to defeat Satan felt too much like a Deus Ex Machina. In fact, it fits the definition perfectly as it is literally God himself who is helping our protagonists. - I liked the creative way that Satan was killed. I liked the subversion of Johnny's death even more. It felt like something straight out of Deadpool. - I liked the post-credit scene but I would get rid of all dialogue there except for the final line. It ruins the tense atmosphere you had skillfully crafted. Overall, I enjoyed your script even though it still needs reworking. I believe you've got the spirit of a good writer. I hope this has helped. Good luck!
As a fan of good high school media such as "The Breakfast Club" or "Rebel Without a Cause", I enjoyed Tidal High despite its many flaws. Firstly, I found your way of telling this story to be very ambitious. It felt very realistic in the way that everyone is always sharing the same spaces whilst there being barriers between everyone. Scenes where many characters were present, moving and leaving were very dynamic. However, sometimes things changed so quickly within a scene that I lost track of what was going on. This made some parts seem very messy. Secondly, if I were you, I'd spend more time working on character introductions. Basically what I'm saying is this; you introduced all your characters in the first two or three pages and had their descriptions say something about their personalities or backstory. On the one hand, I'd recommend you space out your character introductions. I thought it was too much to swallow when all characters appeared right off the start. Have your characters enter the story when they are needed. For example, it would have been great to introduce Courtney Garcia when the kids first go to drama. This would have made her first impression have more of an impact on the audience instead of her being a passive character for a large portion of the runtime. Also, if you wish to make her presence felt from the beginning, maybe have characters talk about the new drama teacher only to later show her. On the other hand, only describe the characters in their introductions, don't state their motivations or backstories. If you want to show what type of person they are or what their personality is, show it through their actions, not the action lines. Thirdly, I just want to bring up some aspects that I thought were pretty clever. I liked the fun dialogue, even though it does feel expository at times and would be better if the characters had more casual conversations. I really liked how you had some mystery elements going on like what happened during summer or what's going on with Jacob's mother. Very intriguing. Finally, I appreciated some little nuances that you gave to your characters like Santia disrespectfully using her cellphone right after talking about Holly's late father. Actions like that speak for themselves. Overall, I enjoyed Tidal High and, from what I've seen, it is apparent that you will be able to go on and write more promising drafts. Good luck!