Review of: Shannagh: The Prophesier 

reviewed by Dodgeball on 05/25/2005
Credited Review
An interesting premise made confusing by the execution and ponderous, preachy dialog. Credited Review
Of the scripts I've read so far on TS, this writer has the best grasp of creating exposition that moves the reader through the script. It reads well, and, to address a concern in the production notes, it does work as a stand alone story--except for the "Stepford Wives" ending which left too many answers, well, unanswered. I also think there's some unnecessary confusion in the beginning, especially with a dream sequence VO that seems incongruous with the action that's taking place. Her VO is very dreamy and ethereal while the action on the screen is very visceral and violent. I was also having a hard time keeping track of the various #'d personalities. 142, 146, 152..I found myself forgetting which one was which.

I also felt that the author was too reliant on dialog to explain the science at the crux of the story. It reminded me of what bogged down the two Matrix Sequels where long tracts of dialog were given to explaining what was going on rather than just letting us experience it through the course of the film ("Gattaca" is a great example of a movie that gets across the ethical dilemma of the science in question without bogging us down with too much expository dialog. The idea of a "precog" is cool, though a little remniscent of Phillip Dick's (?) "Minority Report" (as was the technology employed in the author's vision of a computer, circa 2063).

On a personal tangent, I took issue with the author's viewpoint on science and technology as it relates to evolution. I think science and technology are themselves the next tier of evolution. Cyberspace virtual reality, theater of the mind, collective consciousness, music, theories on the consciousness of light--there are many examples that, to me, demonstrate humanity is moving as a species towards an existence that is less about the physicality of the body, more about the power of the human mind. To relate that note (and you can disregard it entirely if you wish) in some meaningful form to the screenplay I would just say if you're going to posit an idea to the audience as broad or deep as the ones you are, then you should probably explore and examine them to the fullest within the construct of your story. It feels to me like you have a controlling idea and theme that don't really mesh with the mystery/suspense plot you've created

I do think this script has potential to be a commercial movie, but I would really cut down on the dialog that doesn't move things forward or bogs us down in details that would more compelling were they shown rather than told.

I only found one major typo, on page 24 you have Mitch saying a line I'm pretty sure is supposed to be Joshua's. Check it out to be sure.

You are a good writer--I never once didn't know what was going on (except for the #'d people, which is a cool way of showing the future of genetics so I don't know what to offer there, other than maybe to break them apart with some letters or dashes too?), and your exposition is really strong. The dialog needs to be snapped up a notch or two even in areas where you're just showing relationship stuff. You might want to have a couple actors read the script aloud, and tape it for playback later. I think you'd see where some of the exchanges have out-of-place beats in them---glib rejoinders and non-sequiturs that take us out of the flow.

Look forward to the next draft.

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