Blaise is a script analyst and reader for Shorescripts.com, as well as consulting privately with clients including writers, directors, producers, and actors. He also read scripts for a production company in London, TheFyzz.com. He’s also an optioned and commissioned writer currently working on two shorts with two different directors.
This is a great short that is funny, surprising and absurd, and equal measure. While I’ve offered a few ideas here, the scrip0t is already very very well developed and these are just alternatives that would change the direction of the script and give it a different emphasis but not necessarily improve it. It is all down to the intention of the writer, what he wants to communicate and whether he wants to use these other options. But the main issue was that it was tied up nicely – almost too nicely - with a science fiction trope that in some way took away from the absurdity of the premise and the blows it was landing on its target. There is an argument to say that John should remain in this universe and end his days in prison to underline the absurdity of the system we live under. Or it could be that fifty years later he is suddenly transported back to his own world as randomly as he was brought to ours – that would again underline the absurdity of flier more generally. The ending feels a bit neat at the moment and is resolved, whereas, with absurdity, the plot often leaves the audience guessing. It is a great read as it is now, but I would think about this absurdity/science fictional dichotomy you have here, which I do think undermines the purpose of the script.
It's a great concept and a good script but it is impossible to comment on this writer’s ability as I cannot judge what the new writer has added to or changed from the original film. Spec scripts serve two purposes. The first purpose is to write a script that can be sold to a producer and made into a film. Regardless of the quality of this script, a producer would not touch it as there are legal ramifications. The second purpose of a spec script is to demonstrate the skill of a writer so they can be hired for another job. Again this script does not fulfill that purpose as unless the reader has carefully studied the original film (which is very unlikely), they cannot know what the writer added or changed from the original. Furthermore, the premise is certainly not original as that was created for the previous film. But the validity and originality of a premise is a core way of judging the kind of ideas a writer can have, their original thinking, and what they can bring to a project. So while this exercise may have taught you something about writing it is not an approach I would advise any writer to take as I cannot see a use for the finished script.
Charm City Paranormal is a great read but does have some structural issues. In the next draft, I would advise bringing the story of the week to an end and using that to reveal new information that really pushes us into the serial story. While doing this I would also ensure that all the main structural beats - the inciting incident, the midpoint, the low point and the climax all relate to the case of the missing Eric. But it's a great world and we very interesting characters and a lovely sense of humor so if its structure is addressed then I think it has a good future.
The script delivers on the expectations of the genre in terms of action and spectacle, but to really create a good story is needs to focus on the characters, especially the protagonist, and their flaw and arc and what the script is saying through that arc. You’ve got all the ingredients for an exciting sci-fi espionage story here but the world and plot points need reordering, using the discipline of storytelling to give those moments emotional meaning.
The Script is more of a thought experiment or sketch than anything else but it's a wonderfully absurd short clinically designed to skewer the society we live in today. It illuminates many of our hypocrisies and problems and in some way links them to the future collapse of our society. It’s a fantastic original read and I hope to see it up on the screen sometime soon.
While an original premise I am concerned that this idea does not have the potential to power an entire TV series. Adding an external plot might help but the fact that his flaw can only be expressed in one way and does not naturally create any interpersonal conflict (as arrogance or control freaky does) does limit the potential story that can be generated from it.