I've been writing screenplays for many years. My micro-budget feature US SINNERS has been hailed as "all micro-budget cinema can and should be" and also the "worst piece of shit ever made." It can be rented at Netflix DVD, and it's not in HD or even 24fps. It's a MiniDV classic. If you're a horror fan, you can hate the entire film, but the climax is well worth it.
Excellent work. Peer review sites are filled with non-screenplays. This is a definitive screenplay. It could be taken "as is" and it would make a TV pilot that makes perfect sense. There's a lot of exposition that could come to light in upcoming episodes. All around good work. My favorite part of this is Ciara addressing the camera. It's not new. But her change in attitude was extremely well done. The dialogue in those instances is excellent. Christie's work is copyrighted. Some is public domain. That could cause a problem. Which you're probably aware of. Just thought I'd mention it. You seem to have a strong grasp on what you're doing. So, everything I'm going to mention are my thoughts and suggestions. Take them with a grain of salt. If you agree, make changes. If not. This isn't my script. If this were ever picked up, it would change drastically from anyone coming on board. Since this is for television, I know there are page limits, commercial breaks... It's not a medium I'm interested in. I can only judge by my reaction. My biggest problem is the long passages of dialogue. They end up dragging the scenes down. Even on shows I watch, scenes are longer than they need to be, to eat up time. However, eating time should be thoroughly entertaining. TEASER My take on the teaser "story wise" is, Victor and Larissa have not been in touch for a while. Victor has come to try to talk Larissa into being the woman the fortune teller says the Colonel will marry. She has other plans. She's going to blackmail the Colonel. If I'm mistaken on this. Then some of what I'm about to say is wrong. If I'm correct. Then you should reconsider this scene as is. Everything up to "we won't be speaking Russian", "considering neither of us" is perfect. Those lines are an inappropriate joke. I've heard it used in many films. But, at the right time. They're alone. They can drop the pretense. For me, it didn't work. "They spy on me" is excellent. It's followed by "No charges so far?" That line allows her to introduce the Colonel. The problem is, she's a dancer with an audience. If she were charged with anything, it'd be in the news. It's a poor forced transition. "Colonel lays his plans too carefully for that." Bad line "Would you believe he wants to retire? Just like a doctor, or a plumber, or--" Very good line "He organized crime as others might organize a boot factory." Bad line You have a good piece of exposition. To get to it, you add poor dialogue/exposition around it. Don't worry, I'm not going through the entire script. But, you do this every scene that's over a page long. "absolutely in his power... we have nothing on him" is weird. Why are they in his power? It reads like they've all gone their separate ways. Can the Colonel call them and force them to work for him? Yes. But, from what they're saying, he hasn't. If he's there to get her to be "that" woman. Then this dialogue is completely unnecessary (even for eating time). At this point, it's one minute of thick exposition. There's still three more pages. Their talk from "I heard he went to a fortune teller" to "profit, eh" is great. I know the audience needs to know about the diamonds. But you haven't set up a close enough relationship for her to spill her guts about blackmail. In my mind, they haven't seen each other for a while. When he mentioned the woman, she immediately thought of herself. So, he's still on the grift. Now she's going to tell him about her blackmail scheme. What's in it for her? I usually only take mental notes as I read a script. If it's written well, I can usually take from the scene the necessary info. From the moment "they spy on me" till "He's my husband" it was exposition overload. I had to reread to understand what I'd just read. It doesn't need to be like that. This would be my suggestion for the teaser: Victor wants something from her. She wants nothing from him. Let her be lighter. If she has more throw away lines, and only a few important pieces of exposition, it will open up the scene,make it flow, not drag, and be easily understandable. CIARA & FATHER My take: Ciara cares for her brilliant father who is obsessed with Neanderthal Man. He wants to get ahead of others on a quest. But, dies. Ciana is propositioned for marriage, and ends up going to London with Solicitor Sharp. Ciara's opening to Peril of Pauline is great. Everything after the dinner scene is also great. Though I don't understand the entirety of the Emily scene. I guess it has to do with Ciara being a virgin type. The line "It's just to keep my hand in" makes no sense to me. Dad's old men friends are no one she'd want to touch makes perfect sense. It's so short, it's inconsequential. My only problem with this story line is the dinner scene. His excitement at the found skull. It works. I'm guessing this is your attempt to show Ciana's attention to detail and her knowledge. It's just weak on all levels. Because the father needs looking after. She already told us "My only adventure is taking care of my father". This doesn't really enhance her character. My only suggestion on this piece of the script is: We should see pre-London her aptitude for clues and how she sees things other don't. The dinner scene doesn't cut it. Once she's in London, it works fairly well throughout. There are little pieces of exposition that seemed forced, and Christie old-fashioned. That they might have come from her mystery. The shiny chin and Dr's hand not being on the heart. If they are Christie's, I know she presented them better. If you want to truly tighten this up. It's scenes that run over a page long that bring this down. I think one of the things with these scenes is, they're conversing. Someone asks a question, the other person answers it. With a little quip in between. Not every question has to be answered. That will open up immense possibilities within the dialogue. Even with all these notes. Great job. Best of Luck!
First: EXCELLENT work. I debated whether to take this assignment. I've read "supposed" scripts from Guyana before, and they wouldn't even be classified as scripts. All cap actions. Sentences written in English that didn't resemble English. This is the exact opposite. This is a really good screenplay. It would make an interesting show. The school you're attending must be excellent. But, they just help release the talent, you've had it since childhood. I've been told by a few filmmakers and a teacher, "There comes a point where you can shop a script. Because if someone is interested, it's all going to change. Once Producers, a Director and even some actors get involved, they all have their opinions. So, the script will change." If I were you, I wouldn't be embarrassed to send this out. I would attempt one final draft (possibly two) before doing that, or while doing it. Now the bad stuff. Two little notes on the story. This is a strange world. But there's no action/description of the world. While it seems from this script, Beatrice and her company end up being the good guys (angels), after we thought them to be the bad guys throughout. This doesn't seem like any world we live in today. Because of the magic involved. For instance, does the Bazaar Vendor know about the magic that's around her? What is she (the normal citizen) privy to? If she's not privy to angels and demons, and people like Beatrice with powers. What's her understanding of the Company? Is the Company just a new name for the police? The world could use a tiny bit of expanding. This festival. It's mentioned. While there's no problem mentioning it. Couldn't, when we first see the market, there be banners for the upcoming festival? This way when it mentioned about people being arrested, because of it. We'd already know about it. I'm sure you've been taught this. Anything that can be shown should be shown. That's the only two story notes I had throughout the read. That's pretty amazing. The biggest problem with this is the dialogue. There are numerous problems within the dialogue. Your English is excellent. I don't know what you plan on doing with this, or where you're from. But, it doesn't read like you're from the US. I am. I have the conceit that the entertainment world is situated in the US. So, I figure, everyone wants to make it here. But, even if the US market doesn't interest you. The following points should. 1) Almost all the characters have the same voice. Simply put, they all speak very good English exactly the same. You tried with the Deacon to give him slang. It didn't work on an American English level. Maybe it would work on a Guyanese English level. You should try to give each character a separate voice. 2) Most of the dialogue is natural. It's a step above on-the-nose. With this script, combining the same voice and natural dialogue makes some scenes drag. I first noticed it in the Dream/Bazaar Vendor scene. The general rule of thumb is, one page equals one minute on screen. This scene is almost 4 pages, which equals close to 4 minutes. It breaks down into separate parts. a) The banter between Dream and the BV regarding the fruit. b) The instrument and exposition about the Festival. c) The arrest and exposition about the Radicals. d) Finishes with his exit. As a viewer, what do we learn from this scene? Dream seems to be a nice person, who won't take advantage of a middle-aged vendor. He plays a flute. There's a Festival coming up, and the cops are arresting people believed to be radicals. Whom Dream might sympathize with. This could be condensed to under two minutes. If you get in and get out. Two important things about dialogue. 1) Don't add dialogue to do the actor's job. MR HANDSOME was written, so the actress knows why she's giving him 5 for the price of four. Actors and the Director should understand the dialogue without assistance from the writer. 2) Not every question needs to be answered. This is most important. Because once you grasp this concept, you'll find your scenes flowing much smoother, and the natural dialogue will be even more natural. Keeping those in mind. This is ONLY an EXAMPLE. a) Dream holds up the apple type fruit. Dream: How much for five? The Middle-Aged fat BV, gawks at him enamored. BV: One Kortrel each... For you, four. BV watches Dream search for the money. BV: I'll give you ten for a kiss. She shuts her eyes and puckers up. Dream quickly gets four kortrel and puts them in her hand. She opens her eyes, disappointed. She checks the money, notices his flute. b) BV: Such a shame. I play the flute very well. He tries to hide his flute. She licks her lips. c) They turn to a disturbance. Watch as the man is arrested. BV: They'll never stop. DREAM: Who? BV: The company. They're rounding up Pro-Unionist Radicals to protect the festival. After the festival, another excuse. More misery. DREAM: Did the Radicals threaten the festival? BV: These people? They're sympathizers. The Radicals are gone. These are... sheep... tired of living in a cage. They both BAH simultaneously. d) Dream turns to exit. BV: Come back again, I'll play you a song. He walks away a little faster. I, of course, added a US edge. But, it's still natural dialogue. If you kept your action lines and just replaced the dialogue, it'd be at least a page shorter, possibly more. The one line "I play the flute very well" is, of course, a sexual reference. Them both Bahhing like a sheep, makes us know that they're sympathizers and feel like they're caught in a cage. When you use natural dialogue, you need to spice up the action and characters. Let them interrupt each other. One person can be talking about fruit, the other sex. It makes it more interesting. The actors and director will be able to interpret the script. In all the longer exposition driven scenes, you should consider this. Overall, this is excellent. The only reason I didn't rate Concept and Story excellent is because I've seen all these elements before in different films. There's almost nothing totally original. But, give yourself a pat on the back. You did real good on this. One last thing. Because you don't really have any level 3 metaphorical dialogue. Which if you could incorporate some, and learn how to do it well, you'll be set. It's extremely hard, and 99% of modern screenwriters don't even attempt it. Theatrical plays are all written in metaphors. Below is the opening of AUGUST: Osage County. Listen to his monologue. That's level 3 mixed with natural dialogue. I recommend watching the clip before reading what I wrote below it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2jt6Wrs66c&t=141s The first thing he says is "Life is very long", and then he goes on to explain and complain. But, he fixates the beginning on the TS Elliott quote. It seems out of place, and if you were an inexperienced reader, it would be useless. But, it's his way of saying he's lived too long. He goes missing. Later on, we find out he committed suicide. So, that beginning is actually perfect. I've lived too long... Bang, I'm dead. When you really know your characters (which you seem to), 3rd level dialogue would really up the script. BEST OF LUCK! Excellent work.
A newly transformed vampire band's last chance at happiness and freedom comes when they enter the battle of the bands. But, will they survive to get to the last round?