I was born in Italy and arrived in the United States at the age of three. My family settled in Chicago for a couple years, then moved to the southwest suburb of Hickory Hills where I lived until I joined the Air Force. My parents enrolled me in Catholic School for the entire eight years of elementary school. It had the opposite effect they intended. I was uncomfortable with the apparent androgyny of the abusive nuns. I was mortified by the graphic descriptions of the suffering of the one they call Jesus. I was put off by the incessant indoctrination of the religion through almost every subject. However, I am not an atheist. After graduating public high school, I was admitted to the University of Illinois, Chicago for architecture. I earned a professional degree in 1981. With a twenty-seven percent unemployment rate among architects with degrees, I applied and was accepted to United States Air Force Officer Training School where graduation resulted in a commission as a second lieutenant. I stayed in the Air Force until I was granted an honorable discharge as part of a reduction in force in 1995. After sixteen years of working my way up to principal level in a major global firm, I applied to the United States Army Corps of Engineers in 2012. I am a design manager responsible for the quality and completeness of design projects for construction valued at just under one billion dollars for bases in the Middle East. I have the pleasure of living in rural West Virginia where my wife, our adopted grandson, and our two older rescue mutts work and play on six acres of woods, high grass, and wild flowers. My first novel, The Disclosure Paradox was published late October 2019. It continues to receive high ratings and excellent reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. There are approximately four hundred copies in circulation – mostly as e-books. This second novel is actually a prequel to the first novel.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this screenplay. It had me scrolling through the pages in suspense very early. It is a fascinating story linking the autism phenomenon to savants and then adding layers of betrayal, human interest and high technology. This is a brilliant work that crafts multiple storylines into a cohesive tale. Early on, the doctor’s conflict the Lt Col. was strong and present er both sides of ethic quickly. There was no question who was the good person, and who was the bad one. The relationship between the doctor and her assistant adds to the drama and is believable. I liked the date with the dolphin. It is unique and adds to the character of the screenplay. The various patients were attractive and added to the screenplay. The use of the ‘watchers’ as a key element in the plot is handled skillfully in measured exposure. Green is an amazing character and is presented well with a lot of tension and suspense. The various episodes involving the patients and the use of the dayroom are highlights to the story, adding amazement and presenting something to make everyone think. The science of the brain scans provides a vehicle for the audience to see what the doctors see. The villains are successfully depicted and will have the audience focused on how the screenplay develops. The subplot concerning the doctor, Benjamin and Davis was a strength in the story line. The ending – Number One’s demise, and the act by Davis, saving her daughter from a maniacal father is also a huge plus and will attract an audience. I have nothing negative to write about this screenplay. There are parts in the dialogue that need correction for grammar or typographic errors, but nothing is critical. I cannot say enough praise about this screenplay. It is outstanding story with suspense and surprises.
Personally, I get turned off by gratuitous cussing. Seems like every character cusses, even the FBI agents. Most FBI agents are professional. Currently, cussing in the government is reported as a sign of sexual harassment. The old days are gone. Page 3 – The VO repeats what BM says earlier. This an infraction that critics recognize quickly. Page 4 – should be ‘none other than’ Page 5 – There is no ‘?’ after ANGIE DONATO’s lines. I there a reason you have cussing in the scene description? Page 7 – continued repetition of scenes and dialogue. Page 9 – How would the FBI know all the details of the murder so quickly? Page 11 – ‘hillbilly’? Do you know your potential audience? So far up to page 11, I sensed no comedy. Page 12 – That is a rather abrupt change of attitude about going undercover. Page 15 – The description of Bentley’s autism is weak up to this point. Autism has a spectrum. It affects millions in one way or another. It is not funny. Page 28 – Some of the dialogue seems too proper for the mobsters. May I suggest some ideas to differentiate this story from others like it: Try to have the mobsters use malaprops. Look up the comedian, Norm Crosby from the 60s and 70s for an example. ‘Deliberately concealed’ is a phrase that is not a match for the mobster type. Either dumb down the language for these ignorant slobs, or make it funny by having them use erudite vocabulary without a hint of cussing. You can even have these goons discuss high social events and art. This borrows from a sketch by Monty Python where there were two old working-class women discussing philosophers. The scene is also played out in The Holy Grail as Arthur tries to get the peasants’ attention and respect. Page 32 – lots of pages devoted to the card game. Page 34 – ‘mandatory’ Page 35 – ‘retained’ Page 48 - ‘vehemently’ Page 49 – ‘incomprehensible’ Page 58 – ‘intellect’ Page 74 – The FBI agent uses ‘whacked’ just like the mobsters did. The dialogue text is separated. Page 77 – The DA repeats his introduction. That’s all I have. Other people may read it and like it because they enjoy such films. I made suggestions to give you thought about distinguishing this from other films of the genre.
I could write three different reviews on this screenplay. I’ll start with describing my first impressions from reading the beginning of the story. The concept is engaging. The story has a surreal spiritual quality. At first, I imagined it could be made into a unique animated film. The White Space and the creatures are presented well, being a strength in the screenplay. The whole white space scene with creatures is only limited by the writer’s imagination. Introducing the main character’s depression is also a strong theme. As a film, I recognize a lot of potential, using metaphor and juxtaposition, going beyond telling a story, and making it a work that will cause people to think deeply. The mask, for example, can be a symbol for something – is it beneficial for the humans, or does it hinder some sort of necessary personal challenge? I strongly recommend removing any cuss words. These people are well educated, well mannered, and the story rises above the casual everyday life. Emphasizing the character’s individuality from common people will further strengthen what is presented. The fact that most of the screenplay is about two characters can be rich. The conflicts between Hua and Kay are positive pieces to this story. The way Hua is told about and introduced to Eve is also a strong part of the screenplay. When Kay first begins drawing, it could be an inspiring and emotional scene. Show him with an outpouring of emotion – dancing perhaps as he draws. His creations physically affecting him, so much possibility to give this scene expression and feel. The pirate ship scenario was also a plus in the script. The ending was well done. Somewhere near the end, the screenplay weakens where Hua explains to Kay how to use social media to promote his work. There are two concepts here that should be edited or removed. The first, is the use of a trapping of materialism, the antithesis of spirituality. I find the whole segment of Hua teaching her father the ins and outs of using social media out of place and worse, using a stereotype in story that is beyond the typical. He’s a doctor. He’s intelligent. At least the writer should consider toning down the tutorial. It took me some time to figure out was going on in the end. I think there is mention earlier about the puppeteers. Perhaps a bit more information and a visual would allow the audience to retain that existence which shows up at the end. Some details: A scalpel would not be used to take out a magnet unless the magnet attaches to it. There is an explanation to Hua about Kay’s depression. It is a repetition of a series of voice overs. Someone told me to avoid such repetition. Pg 26 Pg 32 ‘Hua is starting at the CAMERA’ – what camera? Pg 39 and pg 40 ‘advise’ should be ‘advice’ If Andrej speaks Russian, there is a technique to have the person speak in Russian with subtitles. Indicate the foreign language in another color of text. Pg 49 typographic error – WHTIE Pg 62 ‘too’ should be ‘to’ Pg 80 ‘of’ should be ‘had’ this also appears on pg 49. Kay is a doctor. He should speak the language perfectly. Pg 82 What is a warm picture?
It is unfair for me to review this script because gratuitous violence, gore, and constant profanity never appealed to me, so there is a bias here, I will try to be as objective as possible. The script begins at a tolerable level of violence, feeling campy at some points. Then it seems with every new scene, the writer tries to outdo the previous scene with gore and profanity. Every character cusses the most vile phrases - even the women. I feel this weakens the impact of the profanity and weakens the individuality of the character. It appears the writer strives for a bit of dark humor as well. On page 21 - there is a reference to Forever 21. The store will be closing soon. This dates the script. There is a giant that terrorizes the city - Gargantuo. I question using any name for the creature. page 33 - The character introduced himself in a previous scene. It appears that the writer was using the bad-ass mobster cliche to model the demons. I think something more imaginative would draw more interest. Satan has a cell phone? I found that out of place. Page 40 - there are grammatical errors in Satan's lines. There is a reference to 'millennials' . I think using something related to a trait would be more effective. The flashback in page 45 is gruesome - stretching the envelope of acceptable. After a while I found the violence mentally exhausting, and disliked it more with every page. My suggestion is that this could be a cult classic if you made it an animated feature film using a technique similar to that used in the masterpiece, Loving Vincent. Perhaps mixing live action backgrounds with animated characters and props. As I mentioned, this kind of story would not appeal to me in the first place, but the comments I make should give you pause to think. I hope reviewers that enjoy this kind of story get to review and give this script feedback from another perspective.
A UFO researcher accompanies a psychic Native American woman on a cross-country trip that evolves into a rescue from a malevolent race of aliens.