Review of: Parade at the End of the World 

reviewed by iceeis on 05/27/2009
Credited Review
Parade review Credited Review
I don't want to get into too many mechanical aspects of screenwriting
(and this script has a lot of mechanics problems), but I feel I have to
mention something about all the camera directions. They don't belong in spec scripts for the following reasons:
1. It's common knowledge that you don't.
2. It's very annoying to the reader
3. The director will chose how they want to shoot the scenes.
This script would look very different behind the direction of Stephen
Spielberg, vs. Guy Ritchie.

I fall under number two, and it honestly made the script harder to read,
and interrupted the flow. Also, if you remove them, you'll save probably
10 pages, making the length more attractive.

Proofread your script (or get someone else to). Things like Pg6 "Two
woman" and Pg13 "Mam (Ma'am) wake up. Mam (Ma'am)?"

Final mechanics note, and this is just good general writing advice (and
a pet peeve), write actively. Don't write "the bum is crossing the
street", write "the bum crosses the street". It picks up the pace and
reads better.

Page 50 is a little late for the characters to tell their names to one
and another. Try to fit this in sooner.

You do a good job describing action. I think this is one of the
highlights of the script and a strength you should take advantage of in
future scripts.

I know this kind of screws up your entire script, but you should
consider a different location other than a hardware store. It's almost
too easy for the characters. They have access to too many tools, saws,
etc. I'd rather see them have to improvise more (like a sporting goods
store, Bed Bath and Beyond, or something).

There's not much to the story. Simply a survival horror almost entirely
located in the Ace Hardware store. There are some good scenes, but it
seems like they spend most of their time taking pot shots at the
zombies, and are relatively safe inside the store. You do a good job
trying to counter this with the Zombies "healing" themselves and
becoming progressively smarter and faster.

I understand the single location is intentional. When you decide to do
this, then the story becomes about the characters. Think "Clerks". The
whole movie was in the Quick Stop, but what made it interesting were all the characters. In Parade, I had a difficult time differentiating the
characters, or caring about them. Ben, Frank, Mikey and Dallas seemed
like the same person. Trying to show how tough they were by swearing
every other sentence. Natalie was the token nymphomaniac. We need to
find out more about these characters as the story progresses so we
actually care about them escaping. 15 pages from the end of the script
isn't the best time to let the audience know who they really are and
what they used to do.

I don't understand near the end of the script why they take their time
wandering around the store and preparing for their roadtrip, when they
finally have an open window in the zombie attack I'd figure at least
someone would want to get the hell out of there. They shouldn't need to
worry about reinforcing the car now, how many zombies are going to grab them at 55mph? The car was kind of a letdown. I was waiting to see them tear out of the store and do some zombie carnage.

What attracted me to this script was the "comedy" tag, thinking this was something like Sean of the Dead, but this was more traditional "Night of the Living Dead". I was waiting for some sort of either twist or payoff, but never got one.

If you haven't, I suggest you read "Cell" by Stephen King. A Great book
and very similar to this story.

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