Hi Christopher. I took you up on the invitation to read your script - one word: Impressive. I’m a fan of the Hero’s Journey/Monomyth story structure, and you did a great job of hitting all the beats and put a new spin on the post-apocalyptic movie genre. The SP is filled with vibrant characters and the story itself is compelling enough to draw the reader in and keep him/her turning pages.
Regarding formatting, one thing you will want to fix is your top page margin – it’s squeezed and needs to be changed to one inch.
Page 1: “ISABELLA MANNER, 40, Hispanic, pretty and...” – It’s not necessary to point out she’s pretty; it’s a given that every character is attractive unless otherwise stated.
Page 1: “She stops chopping and turns her head to the side, listening to the bell chime.” – Using progressive present tense is fine (chopping) to signify continuous action, however only use it if present tense won’t work “…listens to the bell chime (listening).
Page 1: “INT. LIVING ROOM – CONTINUOUS” – Instead of creating a separate scene heading, simply use a LIVING ROOM slug.
Page 1: “Joshua nonchalantly meanders over to the door...” – Use your adverbs sparingly (nonchalantly).
Page 2: “The man known as NIC NAC stands with his head down...” – You can drop “The man known as...”; Conciseness is the key in a spec script.
Page 2: “ISABELLA (to Joshua)” – Keep your wrylies under the character slug.
Page 4: Your opening scene is very dynamic, graphic – catches the reader’s interest right away – what the hell is going on? We want to find out.
Page 5: “CHARLIE: 3,051 steps already today.” – Good use of imagery via the pedometer to show us Charlie’s character.
Page 8: “LISA: I should just tell him. He has no idea. What a bitch.” – and “LISA (CONT'D) I can't take this anymore. I've got to say something to him.” – First, this dialogue is right on the nose and second, never have a character talk to themselves. Express her dismay over Gabe’s infatuation with Allie visually.
Page 8: “INT. OFFICE BUILDING-CUBICLE AREA – LATER” – Only use later if there is a break in a character’s action when they move from one scene to the next. Gabe is last seen two scenes previous to this, so of course it’s later.
Page 8: (RE: Lisa) “She now goes by the name of IVY.” – If viewed on the big screen, we wouldn’t know she has a new name. This scene would have more impact if you dropped the reference to Ivy – make us wonder about her schizophrenic makeover – and then revealed it later (Page 9: “IVY: Call me Ivy” – pretty clear here she’s switched identities).
Page 9: “IVY (in a threatening tone)” – Only use wrylies when you need to clarify the tone: In this case, when she says “Fuck...off” it’s pretty clear.
Page 9: “IVY: Listen, you should dump the tramp. She's screwing the boss.” – Avoid this kind of on the nose dialogue. Ivy would be much more effective acting the part of the vamp, totally disregarding her competition – plant the seed and let Gabe make up his mind who he wants.
Page 9: “INT. GABE'S BEDROOM – MORNING” – Stick to DAY or NIGHT unless absolutely imperative we know specifically what time of day it is. He slaps the snooze button in the description, so it is obvious it's morning.
Page 12: “GABE (CONT'D): What the fuck is wrong with you?” – At this point your audience is asking themselves the same question. You need an inciting incident at this point, something to clarify what exactly is going on with these characters’ identity switches and the relevance of the mirrors/alternate universes.
Page 18: Your character/scene descriptions of this alternate reality that Gabe has been plunged into are excellent. Compels the reader to keep going.
Page 22: Sergio’s explanation of the mirror world: “Your image took over and pulled you through the mirror into his world, this one.” - We run into a logic issue here, as this identity switching is apparently a widespread phenomenon, part of the human experience. You can fix this by demonstrating why Gabe is special, why he is able to cross over to the other side, rather than any Tom, Dick and Harry that blows a fuse.
Page 28: “GABE: Are they poisonous?” – Drop Sergio’s following exposition: Have him simply give Gabe a look that says it all.
Page 30: “GABE: I want to go back. I need to go back.” – Gabe states his goal, which is good. However, at this juncture we need a turning point setting the story in a new direction. Much of the previous fight sequence can be condensed and this pushed up a few pages (around page twenty-five).
Page 36: “Gabe glances towards the door to the tent and sees Lisa...” – Nice twist.
Page 44: This would be a much easier read if you condensed much of the action descriptions – this page is a good example – avoid big blocks of text.
Page 60: “CONDUCTOR: Them other Shivets.” – Good line.
Page 84: Ivy and Lisa pass through the mirror once more – Good turning point.
An excellent read, and with some further tweaking this would make a great movie.
Other Reviews by RJWIII 103
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