Review of: The Humane Facade 

reviewed by mcbrainder on 02/17/2011
Credited Review
mcbrainder
My review of "The Humane Facade" Credited Review
First of all, how bad of a person am I if I found Samantha to be funny? The line "got a waterbowl for me?" had me laughing out loud. To your credit, Samantha was written so well that her obnoxious behavior was consistent and amusing, as well as sad.

I liked the concept. This was an easy script to get into and you combined two themes not used often, bringing two characters together, as if by fate, and showing their special connection which ultimately was what each other needed. This is definitely the kind of script I enjoy reading and your execution was well done. The story seemed to pace itself well and was an easy read. I would've liked to see more of an arc with Jason, because I felt his importance was somewhat watered down. Obviously, he's not the focus, but there was clearly a lot of conflict within and I felt it wasn't fully explored. I also thought there was a lot of Samantha for long periods of time, and maybe there could've been some equal time for Shen. I wasn't sure if you intended this to be Samantha's story, or Samantha and Shens. Either way, the scenes between the two of them were fun and were very much the highlights. I LOVED the story/dream about the boy and the bricks. I appreciated the heart and depth that went into this, and find it a rarity amongst scripts and even films these days.

The dialogue was great. Especially Samantha. I felt that would be a hard character to write but you wrote her well. I feel that you knew your subject well and stayed true to the characters and their dialogue throughout.

As it stands, I think your biggest obstacle is the structure. You have the important aspects down, but a few things I noticed:

Do some research on parantheticals. They should have their own line. There also shouldn't be spaced breaks in dialogue. Try to break it up with some action, or another paranthetical.

You missed a lot of question marks within dialogue. I've actually found a lot of scripts that do this and have discovered that apparantly, the easiest mistake people make is to leave out question marks. I started typing page numbers, but after so many, I stopped. Probably just a habit you either need to force yourself to learn to do, or something you might want to learn to catch on edits.

I was also distracted by your capitlization of all names in action lines, and you had a lot of unnecessary scene headings. I'm not positive that it's necessarily frowned upon to have names in caps, but I'm pretty sure it's not something you're supposed to do, and it's highly distracting. I kept feeling like I was reading a new character. I think some of your action could be condensed into a smoother read. The scene headings shouldn't switch as often as you do unless you're actually setting a new scene in a new place. I noticed sometimes you'd have two characters together and you'd define where each was by changing the heading. Also, you shouldn't have camera directions. That's for the director.

But in the end, of all the elements you need to make a script workable, you have the right ones in place. You're talented and have a good eye for dialogue and a strong heart-felt plot. The mechanics are nothing to get worked up over, because it's just something you'll get better at as you continue to write. The important thing is that the variables that aren't easily learned, are more natural in your writing.

Thanks for the enjoyable read and best of luck in the future.

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