This was the most original script I've read on Triggerstreet so far -- a fantastic concept, an awesome piece of sci-fi, and most surprisingly of all, a moving story. Here are a few suggestions should you choose to make another draft, just some broad ideas that you can of course take or leave, but I think they would take the script to the next level, and maybe even give it a bit more commercial appeal:
First and foremost, I think KT-7 should be redesigned slightly to act as a stronger foil to Jon. Her language is somewhat looser, her knowledge of the world and of human beings seems to be broader, but I think you should really push her sense of individuality. If she had a singular name and was not an iteration, and you took almost all technical/military speak out of her dialogue and made her truly earthy and passionate, I think it would really help develop the emotional side of this story even further, and maybe open the script up more to people who aren't necessarily sci-fi fans. Since the level of violence already suggests an R-rating, I think it would be great if she used modern profanity, especially with Jon struggling to understand these 'colorful metaphors' a la Star Trek IV. Her character is already leaning in this direction, but the whole time I read, I wanted you to take it even further. The scene where she plugged into a fallen comrade's skull and retrieved his memories felt very de-humanizing and better suited to Jon. Seeing more of her grief over her fallen comrades, even if its just a small private moment, would be a nice alternative. Also, her talk of honor and glory is a very effective counterpoint to Jon's objective based thinking about warfare, I think you could stand to accentuate that, and maybe work it a bit more into a cultural context.
I think you mention the Neutral Zone far too late in the script, it would be better to introduce it at the midpoint (at the very latest) and have it become the objective that Jon and KT are working toward.
There are too many scenes with the Mother unit on her own, making repairs, arguing with her subordinate functions, etc. These drag somewhat on the page, but I feel like onscreen they would be especially dull and repetitive. Besides, we understand right away that Mother is searching for Jon, and if in act 2 we were given a little time to maybe forget about her, then her attack late in the script would be even more effective.
The first five pages, such a critical span in the eyes of a potential reader, need quite a bit of work. It's a challenging section, as you introduce a ton of stuff in very curt language. You tend to assign multiple names to the same piece of technology or character, which can be very confusing. Stick to one short designation. Also, you don't really give us a clear visual idea of what the earthshakers or the mini-tanks look like. Try and think of a pithy, single sentence, perhaps a simile, that will give us a mental image of these crucial characters. Also, you have a lot of typos on these pages -- remember, it's "sees" not "see's", for example.
My last suggestion would be to combine the fight with mother at the bridge with the final stand against the earthshaker. It seemed weird and convenient that she would pop up even more heavily armed right before the final battle, and the fact that Jon seemingly destroyed her with the Runner and felt no remorse about it at all seemed really out of character. I would have her corner them at that moment, perhaps by destroying the bridge, but then divert her attention to attacking the Bellerephon to ensure Jon's survivial. Definitely keep Jon's speech about finding a mate and being strong from their second encounter, that was a highlight of the script for me. Also, after the battle, it would be nice to see KT and Jon actually reach the Neutral Zone, and perhaps meet some other human characters.
Anyway, I hope some of these ideas help, or at least aren't too annoying or discouraging. Thanks for a terrific read.
Review of: EARTHSHAKERS
reviewed by alexsinesi on 07/07/2011
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