Why is it called this?
A convenience store worker starts a relationship with his boss’ psychotic wife.
The premise struck me as THE GRADUATE meets FATAL ATTRACTION.
Sorry to say that I was bored to tears by the opening and I was ready to burn the script/send to the trash can by page 5. This has a noir/black comedy feel and contains relentless & lengthy voice-overs.
There are multiple issues with the story. There are only 3 scenes of any relevance in the whole script and these are: 1) Ellen seduces Thom. 2) Ellen kills the stripper. 3) Pavel attacks Thom/Ellen kills him. The rest of the script is boring and mundane and the scenes do little to move the story forward.
The story is only 91 pages long. If the formatting/style and extra V.O. were edited, this would end up being around 50 pages. In other words, there is very little story.
The main character is Thom, yet nothing happens to him until he is seduced by Ellen (on page 32). The rest of the time, he is working in the store, visiting strip clubs and having pointless conversations with Nathan/police/store clerks, etc.
P.S. If the tape shows Pavel & Ellen, how do we arrive at the conclusion that Ellen wants Natahan or Thom?
We know so much about Thom, because he tells us everything he is thinking via his V.O. Despite this, there is little empathy built up, because he is a loser with no ambition. How on Earth Ellen managed to fall for this guy (so much so to kill off a love rival) is beyond me. Thom also learns nothing from the whole experience and so demonstrates no characters growth.
Clearly Ellen is deranged and the most interesting character in the story. Unfortunately, after she does her evil deed, she disappears for over 20 pages. Where did she go?
The dialogue itself is okay. The issue is what everybody talks about. It’s all boring and mundane stuff, and so is of little interest. I saw no need for any of the V.O. -- yet if it is to be kept, then it should kept to a minimum.
• The narrative is overlong and includes a lot of author’s intrusions. Text is blocked together and 8 lines are used to explain what should only tale 2 or 3 lines. There needs to be more white space on the page.
• I would not use the progressive tense in the narrative.
• I would avoid the use of adverbs in the narrative.
• I would put sound effects in CAPS
• FADE IN to what? You have a V.O. What are we looking at?
• “INT. THOM'S HOME - RAINY DAY – MORNING”. This is a poor scene heading. Scene headings are supposed to tell the set designer what to build and so “rainy day” is not appropriate. You also need to be more specific. Which room are we in? The bedroom? The kitchen? The hallway? I would also change MORNING for DAY (and EVENING for NIGHT).
• On the subject of scene headings, it seems that the characters walk all over the house with no change in scene heading. You need to indicate when we move from one room to another (even if just a sub heading). The same applies to BARGAIN BELLIES.
• “The house grows closer and closer.” & “Slow pull back from the receiver of a telephone which Thom is speaking into”. Avoid using camera directions. This is a spec script, not a shooting script.
• “THOM (29)” No description?
• I would stick parenthesis ABOVE the dialogue, not under it!
• “Your a...” You mean “You’re a...”
• Transitions should go against right-hand, margin (and you don’t need so many CUT TOs anyway).
• The dialogue of DISPATCH should be (V.O.)
This script has such a long way to go. I hope the writer can take on board some of the above and produce a revised version for TS.
Review of: The Clean Glass
reviewed by CJ Knight on 12/04/2009
Other Reviews by CJ Knight 201
A review of IRON MAIDENSby CJ Knight on 04/04/2010Great title! The first thing you notice is the lack of white space. This is an immediate flag of an amateur writer. Screenplays are not novels. They are meant to have short, punchy sentences that describe the characters/action with minimum effort. Just show us what we can see on the screen. Do not go into long descriptions or write your comments or anything that is an opinion,... read
A review of One Night in Amsterdamby CJ Knight on 04/03/2010The premise reads like LEAVING LAS VEGAS meets THE HANGOVER... and it looks as though we will be watching a man’s deterioration through drink and drugs, etc. However, the script contains little more than an endless batch of scenes that include three men going into bars, getting drunk and trying to get laid. The pattern repeats over and over and is only interrupted by Peter’s... read
A review of Scabby CJ Knight on 03/23/2010Good to see a script from a fellow Brit on TS. This is a gritty drama based set against the backdrop of the miner’s strike. Perhaps too gritty? It’s so sad that it makes EASTENDERS look like Mary Poppins! There are brief moments of comedy, yet the overall theme and setting is utterly depressing. I think this might be a hard sell. People do not want to go and see films that... read