Thoughts (while reading) Good opening Your characters do not have descriptions. You need more visuals. The way you describe Casey on page 9 works. Page 2 – the karaoke scene comes into play later on. Why not have them guess Hailey Rodgers? That could be a callback to an earlier scene. Also, a talking point for when Eric meets her. Page 14 - the characters find out what happened to the singer from the opening but the audience already knew what was going on. Work on your slug lines. A lot of times, you can’t tell where you are because you are putting everything under the same umbrella. For example, page 30, when they are on the street but get into the car and there’s dialogue. You can just have CAR as a separate action line then proceed with dialogue. ==== I like the concept of your script. If I saw it as a teaser, I would sample the episode. I think your action lines are well-written. Someone may tell you sometimes you are telling rather than showing but that is a style choice. It is not on the nose. Not too often. You have good characters but what stands out IMHO is that you write good dialogue. There are times that I do believe though that they need to stick to revealing more information and reveal more plot to push the story forward. The biggest problem that I see with the script, IMHO is the structure. The pilot is 37 pages. If this is a half-hour drama pilot like something you would see on Netflix or Amazon then that page count is fine. But if you were shooting for an hour-long drama then you missed the mark by at least 8-12 pages. So, if we take a look at your structure: At the 13 page mark… okay, we go to the 14-page mark and that is when we find out the singer is dead. Like I mentioned earlier, the viewer already knows this so this is not a shock to us. It will be for the characters. Something else needs to happen here. I think by this point in the pilot someone should have mentioned some bullshit theory relating to your secret society. Probably someone like Heather. That seems right up her alley. Second act – at 26 pages…okay at 24 pages, we find out that Hailey is a member. That works. Now, IMHO, I believe Eric should have at least in passing seen this tattoo and think nothing of it. This probably should happen before the end of the first act when they are mourning the singer. Then, the 3rd act, in the end, we find out that Casey has the mark. Eric realizes this and it ends. IMHO, I think you should end the pilot with Eric going back to the rock and investigating the drawings to make sure what happened the previous night was real. It leads to a clue and he doesn’t know what the hell it means. Eric is a good character but right now, he’s too passive. I say this because Hailey shows him the tattoo and is willing to discuss it with him. He probably should be the one who notices it and brings it up at first then Hailey could spill it. Then he will remember, where did I see this before and start to question it. At least the viewers will think so. As for the secret society, well, you are willing to show the audience so it is not a big secret. We know a few people involved but we don’t quite know their purpose. I’m guessing to push you to the top. I sort of wanted to see them again because I wanted to know what Carnelia did that was a major no no and got her killed. As for the title, keep it simple. Breads and Circus is good enough. I hope this helps.
How old is Mason? How old is Mr. Cure? Do you want people to know that Mr. Cure is a history buff? Mr. Cure uses Mason’s birthday as his code? How does Mr. Cure know anything about this? Maybe some dialogue. There is a flaw in the story. We are told Mason can’t go into the east wing and then Mr. Cure wanted him to see his future. That needs to be clear. Also, how does this work anyway? How did the image turn back from Mr. Cure to Mason? It can’t be based on each person’s birthday. The story has logic issues. I had to reread the ending twice because I didn’t get it at first and then I realized, oh, I see, Mason will be turning 30 in 12 mins. The problem with this is that Mason told us that he was 27. Why would he lie about his age? So now that you know that he is going to turn 30 in 12 mins then where is the woman? If you want to go with that ending then there needs to be a woman unless Mr. Cure is the one who dies??? That leads to another problem? Why is Mason going to kill someone in 12 mins there is no catalyst? He hasn’t shown us that he hates someone or has that type of personality to do so. Look over the dialogue, try to use that to tell us the story but do not try to be on the nose. Right now, the dialogue feels that way.
A down- on- her luck novice mystery writer impersonates a reclusive world-renowned mystery writer in order to claim a two million dollar reward for solving a case. In over her head, she realizes she must find the real mystery writer.