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Overall, I think this script tells an amazing story with a crazy plot twist at the end that literally made me gasp when I read it. The events throughout the story flow nicely with the pace with which it is read, so that's really good too. However, the characters need a little more time on the page/screen with more description written in the script so the reader/viewer can relate to them more, making the story more engaging for whichever is the intended audience. This is why I marked "Character development" as "Poor"; not because I don't like the characters, they just need a little more detail and attention. There are also a few technical problems with the structure of the script, but these can be very easily fixed. I've written a list below with a few changes I would make to the script that might make it a little easier to read and may even extend the script to another page or two. - Add a title page. The title "The Photograph" should be on its separate page, followed by the name of the writer and maybe some contact details. You should look up some examples of screenplay title pages online to see what I'm referring to. Also, the title says "photograph" but the script always refers to it as "picture". I know these are very similar and this difference doesn't change much, but you should try to keep it consistent. - Remove the page number on the first page and sluglines (scene headings). Scripts don't usually have a page number on the first page after the title page. Whatever software was used to write this probably allows for the option to remove the page number on the first page. I know that WriterDuet and Celtx do. The same thing goes for the scene headings (called sluglines), they shouldn't have a number. These numbers (both first-page numbers and on sluglines) are only added to the final production screenplay and shouldn't be included in the script. - "FADE IN:" is not always used. Don't think of it as something mandatory. - Maybe change "SCHOOL CLASSROOM" to just "CLASSROOM". Sluglines are usually kept as short as possible. - The correct spelling for the main character's name is "Russell", not "Russel" (two Ls). This might have been a small thing that was overlooked, but you should still correct it. - The main issue in this script is the lack of character introductions. When a new character appears for the first time in the script, they should be introduced in capital letters, followed by their approximate age in parentheses and then a brief introduction/description (usually physical) so the reader gets a feel of what this character is like. For example, "Russell is in the middle of a math test" should be written as "RUSSELL (age), brief description, is in the middle of a math test." This greatly improves the script and adds more content to the story. You should consider introducing all characters this way, except for the teacher and maybe John, Wallace and Jenny as they are not as important and their looks and personality don't affect the story a lot. - In the beginning, you should write "Russell looks out the window and [...]" in a separate paragraph. This is a consistent issue in this script. Separating action/description blocks to form paragraphs of 3-4 lines is the correct way to structure a script. You should consider separating most of the action blocks in this script into smaller paragraphs, like starting a new paragraph at "He can't help but smile...", "They came from the window..." and "He looks at the picture..." - "CUT TO:" is very unusual in scripts. It's already implied that we're going to cut from one to the next so it's not needed. You should remove these from between scenes 1 and 2 and between scenes 2 and 3. - When two scenes happen one after the other or almost one after the other, "CONTINUOUS" is added at the end of the slugline instead of the time of day. You have written "IMMEDIATELY AFTER", which means the same thing, but is not accepted as the correct way to write sluglines. You should change this in scenes 2, 3, 4, 8 and 9 and just write "CONTINUOUS" instead of what's written. - You've written one of the dialogues to start with "(scoffs)". This should be a 'parenthetical', not actually part of the dialogue. You've done it correctly throughout the rest of the script, so I imagine it was just a mistake when writing it, so make sure to double-check the script next time. - When Wallace says his sarcastic comment about the math test, it is obvious that it is sarcastic so you don't need to write "(sarcastically)". However, you should specify that he says that to John. So you can just change "(sarcastically)" to "(to John)". - Maybe change "insinuatingly" to "smirking" or "smiling", as it reads better that way and is easier to understand. - When a character speaks and then there's an action line, if that character speaks again, their name should appear again and, this time, followed by "(CONT'D)". You should correct this at the end of scene 2, when his mother asks where he found the picture and also when Russell says "Ow!" after getting hit in the head. - Scene 3 should be separated into two different scenes: one that is EXT. when Russell gets home and another that is INT. when he's inside. An alternative way to do this is writing "INT./EXT." or "EXT./INT." but this is not as common. - When Russell asks his mother what all that food is, you have accidentally written his dialogue as an action line. - In scene 8, "BLACK." should be changed. This is never written in the middle of a script, only as the last line on the last scene, but not even then is it common to write. You could change this to an action line that says something like "Everything goes black." - Scene 9 should not exist as a separate scene, it should be part of scene 8 and then maybe remove the part where everything is black, as it's not necessary anyway. - The pool of blood is not needed. I know it gives a bigger effect of danger and death but a whole pool of blood is uncommon after getting hit by a car, unless it's something immensely deadly with blood and glass splattered everywhere, which it wasn't, so the blood is unnecessary. - Consider changing "Everyone is calling an ambulance" to "Someone calls an ambulance". - Lastly, you should not write "THE END." at the end of a script. If anything, you can write "FADE TO BLACK." aligned to the right of the page, but not even that is needed. Don't think of it as a mandatory thing in scripts. Again, the ending is amazing. I haven't read many scripts with a better plot twist than the one you've written. Didn't see it coming at all. However, you could write it a bit differently, without changing the story at all, like this: "The girl in the picture very slowly raises a third finger. She now holds up three." and end it like that, but that's just a minor suggestion. Everything about the ending is perfect. Very well done! I will now start rewriting your script, just out of pure interest, with my suggestions. If you want to have a look at it or simply want to contact me for any reason, feel free to use my email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
The story itself, as short as it is, is good. It is the typical "woman getting romantically ready for her date" scene. However, the character wasn't fully (or partially) developed. I would really love to know more about this woman, and even how she met this guy in the first place. The structure of the script is good enough for what it is, but since most of it is like a list of what the woman is doing to prepare for her date, I recommend you shorten the sentences a bit, therefore also making it seem like these are more natural and usual actions for the main character. Also, it would have been much better if the main character would have had a proper name, rather than simply "She". However, as she is portrayed somewhat as a mysterious woman, I would say it is fine to call her "She" for now; but if you ever intend to expand your script, make sure to give her a better name. I know that all scenes in the script, are indoors (in the main character's apartment), but you should really add the "INT:" to the beginning of every scene heading - just to follow the rules of screenplay formatting and structure. Furthermore, when introducing characters, you should capitalise their name. I know you have done this with MISTER but forgot to with the main character. One more thing I would like to add is something important to do with sounds in screenwriting. After the main character's shower, her phone buzzes for a message from her date. When an important sound is heard, make sure to capitalise the main SINGLE word of the sound. In this case, you should write: "Her phone BUZZES from a text", as it is a main sound of the story. If you want, I can rewrite this script with my suggestions as an adaptation (including a name for the main character) and pass it on to you by email. (My email is down below.) I can also add a little more to the story, like both its past and future, but of course only with your permission. Thank you for reading through this long comment; and sorry for having made it way too long. Please contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions. You can also contact me if you have any other (more general) questions and/or doubts about screenwriting. I will be more than pleased to help fellow screenwriters.
firstname.lastname@example.org This is not a screenplay! I have not read it, since it is not formatted as one. What I think could be going on is that the writer has accidentally uploaded his/her plan for the screenplay and not the actual screenplay. I prefer reading the script when the corrected version has been uploaded. Also, as a separate note to the writer, in case he/she is not aware of this, there is a blank page at the end of the submitted PDF file. Just letting them know, in case they want to send it to someone or print it out (does not affect the story itself). Thank you for reading through this review. Please contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions. You can also contact me if you have any other (more general) questions and/or doubts about screenwriting. I will be more than pleased to help fellow screenwriters.
I know this story is quite short so there isn't much to work with when reviewing it. This would work really well for some kind of notice or informative footage to be broadcast on TV from a medical point of view with the intention of raising awareness of the correct dosage of medicine (I don't know; this is just an idea for the writer, in case they wanted to take this script to another level). The descriptions and actions are very well written, concise and very illustrative. However, I did find the dialogue between Tyler and the creature a bit strange. I know that he's feeling sick and everything and probably wouldn't have the energy to give much of a reaction, but he seems way too cool and comfortable with a creature having just walked out into his room from a closet. The end is great and it concludes the story fairly well, so good job to the writer on that. There isn't much else to say, apart from tiny little details listed below: - The main character doesn't really need a name; he could just be referred to as "Man" since he has so few lines and actions. - Writing "unseen creature" doesn't sound right. If the creature is unseen, how do you know it's a creature. A possible improvement for this would be to just describe it as a shadow/silhouette or a black/dark figure (something that describes what Tyler (or Man) would see through the darkness of his room. - The "FADE IN:" and "FADE OUT." lines are not needed. Many screenwriters do this, but it is completely unnecessary to include these instructions as they are for a potential director when shooting this. Basically, it is pretty obvious that you would fade in when the story starts and then fade out when it ends. - Some parts of the script are in bold. Usually, any format changes like these are for later versions of the script when a production team goes through it. Again, these are minor notes, and shouldn't be taken too serious (the script is great the way it is; aside from the poor dialogue).