Some funny stuff in this short. The actor who played Dai did a fine job.
The biggest problem was that the version I watched was pretty small and suffered som sound and vision problems.
The music was good, added a proffesional feel. Some of the camera work was a bit shaky.
Not a bad effort overall, would like to have seen a better quality version.
Good luck in the festival,
Review ID: 1162223
Other Reviews by Dominic.Jenkinson 237
A review of MIRROR, MIRRORby Dominic.Jenkinson on 09/07/2010Great title by the way. Whatever kind of movie this would make, this was certainly a fun and engaging read. Aside from the expertly formatted pages, the decriptions and dialogue were concise, characters consistent, and dialogue speech distinctive. As a native Brit, I wondered if you'd let yourself down with Emma's dialogue -- I don't think you did. Maybe a few too many 'loves'... Great title by the way. Whatever kind of movie this would make, this was certainly a fun and engaging read.
Aside from the expertly formatted pages, the decriptions and dialogue were concise, characters consistent, and dialogue speech distinctive.
As a native Brit, I wondered if you'd let yourself down with Emma's dialogue -- I don't think you did. Maybe a few too many 'loves' for me, but I suppose there are people like that, and it's good to give people quirks occasionally. If I were to be REALLY pedantic I'd question the use of Avebury as he place of birth and where she grew up. Have you been? (It's a popular tourist destination, famous for its circle of stones.) I'm not sure there's many working class people who could afford to live in its pretty cottages. As I said -- pedantic.
It's difficult to know what tone you were aiming for. I did detect a shift occasionally, I wasn't sure how intentional that was. It could be quite campy and fun at times, scary, unbelievable, and chilling. You were certainly having fun as you wrote it, it certainly paid off in the read. Good stuff.
If you were going to aim for a more consistent tone, I'm not sure I could advise which direction to go in. I thought the one mis-step may have been in the imagined visuals of Lauren's home and neighbour. My personal choice would have been something more grounded in reality, but still revealing. IE it's not really her house and she is sharing it with the dead bodies of the real owners... Just off the top of my head.
I preffered the brooding, uncomfortable feeling that I got as Lauren descended into madness. Personally I felt a tad more subtlety would be better up until page 50 where she makes her speech -- I laughed out loud on the bus at that OTT performance. Excellent.
What I'm reffering to is maybe the elevator stoppage and brakes cutting were a tad OTT. I'm not sure the tension maybe better maintained if we don't quite know how Mr. Producer died... accident or something more sinister. The scenes of the elevator and crash seemed a tad rushed, and might be reconsidered to keep us guessing on Lauren.
I'd also suggest foreshadowing Lauren and Emma's relationship. Easily done when you show us the TV piece on Emma. Try and disguise it a bit, but maybe (again off the top of my head) something like "This British orphan who shot to notoriety playing the sexy orphan in the Oscar..."
Sort of hiding the orphan bit with a something else, but still feeding the audience a clue. Imho.
I think you're just a draft or two from having a solid popcorn thriller here. Great fun.
"JOHN VINCENT, early forties, Impossibly handsome. Intense good looks under messy pepper
"EMMA MARSHALL, early thirties,
has curves in all the right places."
Bit more detail for our protag?
Maybe remove the "Jessica" Not confusing on the screen, but maybe for the reader. No real need for a name to be used in dialogue.
Emma's British accent seems genuine.
Born and raised in Avebury,
John holds up Spock’s Vulcan salute.
(rolls his eyes)
Jesus Fuck-me Christ.
17 Goddammit = Fuck me!
Brits swear a lot. We rarely use damn/goddamn.
24 – wait, did lauren break a lift. This whole scene seemed a bit rushed and would work better if 1. We cared about the producer a bit more. (give him a mini 'save the cat moment?' 2. It was just the car, not the elevator. Better still, have him bludeoned to death on the staiwell? (by who...?)
29 – realistic sounding TV dialogue.
Character's speak with individual voices. Good stuff.
Lauren's descent into madness should be more brooding... slower.
I’d say you look gorgeous, but I
don’t want to come off like a
50 -speech, lol. This would be an ideal point for the game to be up and we know Lauren to be nuts. Real nuts. Show us uncomfortable looks in the audience... "Why is Emma so keen to thank a double" kinda vibe/reaction.
Lose the producer's death, subtle up the madness. Make pg 50 where she really goes loopy. Make Emma more sick... seems like she could have attended.
59 – Give Emma more of a clue to why it was Lauren who spiked the drink. Like a 'BINGO!' moment.
It takes us a moment to realize we’ve only seen the house
through Lauren’s eyes... in reality it looks like hell.
Mistep in my opinion.
Mr Stumpy... seems out of place. Some dead resients in part hats, and rotting flesh would be more believable.
As she speeds past, she glances up. A dozen tourists lean
over the side and give her the middle finger.
Unlikely that they would see 'her' twice. Maybe construction workers who were gonna be in the same place... But like:
Lady really wants to see some
The gags probably not needed.
Was adoption foreshadowed? I may of missed it. If not, maybe hide in:
ANNOUNCER (FROM TV) (cont’d)
Born and raised in Romford,
England, Emma Neilson conquered the
British box office by the age of
eighteen. Her break-out American
role was in “Little Lies” for which
she earned her first Oscar
nomination. More hits followed, an
eclectic mix of period pieces,
action blockbusters, and hardhitting
Not sure about Chloe's stunt...
Final scenes good, but maybe just need a tidyup. read
A review of The Humane Facadeby Dominic.Jenkinson on 09/04/2010I'd noticed the logline of 'The Humane Facade' in the daily favourites, and hoped it would fall into my assignment pile. I also noticed this comment, regarding PabloSecca's review, pop up on the TS homepage: "Thanks for the 'review' of The Humane Facade. You just didn't get it - but that can happen. Thanks anyway." This added further to my interest. Having now read the piece,... I'd noticed the logline of 'The Humane Facade' in the daily favourites, and hoped it would fall into my assignment pile. I also noticed this comment, regarding PabloSecca's review, pop up on the TS homepage:
"Thanks for the 'review' of The Humane Facade. You just didn't get it - but that can happen. Thanks anyway."
This added further to my interest. Having now read the piece, and Pablo's generous review, you may want to skip reading my review, as I fear I may also be guilty of 'not getting it.' Either way, I don't intend to be unduly harsh, but occasionally you gotta tell it like you see it.
What I did like -- the premise of two worlds colliding. How will these two distant lives possibly come together? I was intrigued.
The idea of innocents abroad -- How will the Monks adapt to the City of San Francisco and the ways of the USA?
Learning something of the culture and ways of the monks. The meaning behind their lives and the details of the Mandala.
I presumed there was to be some clever, artful way in bringing these characters together -- for that is what is promised in the logline. I'm thinking something along the lines of Inarritu's 'Babel,' or 'Amorres Perros.' You took a different path and just put the monks on a plane to San Francisco. Oh. All of a sudden their meeting doesn't sound so impossible.
There was some interesting imagery -- monks running around with super soakers, and I thought that this would be an area you could of developed further. I think the problem that you encounter here is that the Monks are in turn quite well schooled in the ways of the west (internet, videocameras, driving themselves from San Francisco airport to Mildred's without a welcoming committee...) yet naive to the ways of bubble bath and marshmallows. I think you need to decide which it is (the naive option is surely the more cinematic and fun?)
There are a number of problems with the presentation and formatting, again, I know you're not happy with criticism, but it would be dishonest of me not to point out that this is the poorest formatting I've ever come across. The purchase of 'The Screenwriting Bible' should be your next step in your writing future. I've included notes below of some of the biggest errors that slow down the read and are painful on the eye.
The standard of writing fails in two areas -- Dialogue (see below) and business lines, or 'action.' The descriptions of both characters and action is unclear and muddled. It's written in the incorrect tense, is passive and regularly describes impossible actions for the screen.
There seems to be no adherance to 1 page = 1 minute, with people able to do many things in a single sentence, that on screen would be unrealistic.
Despite finding this a struggle to comprehend, and wonder whether I'm missing some deeper truth, as you suggested, I think that this is by far the strongest aspect of your travails. You have had an idea, now it needs focusing and putting into a presentable idea. Monks from Tibet in America -- Interesting to a degree. Two people with damage in their history help each other despite not sharing a common tongue -- again, interesting to a degree. Can these two concepts be brought together to make an interesting story? Can Cicero's quote you use (which is kinda obvious) be presented in an intersting way?
Monks on a tour of the USA interact with a host family, bringing their damaged daughter back into the fold.
It just wasn't enough. There was never enough conflict or drama to keep me interested. There wasn't enough depth... Unless I'm really missing something.
Samantha is always going to be annoying. That may seem a little un-pc, but hey, it's my coins buying the cinema ticket. She's too deranged and the constant babbling of her childish, unpunctuated spiel just grates. She needs to be more interesting and consistent.
Jason and Mildred were cardboard cutouts with no distinguishing features or development arc. The Master and the monks were similar cliches. All would need building from the bottom up.
There wasn't really a discernable 'B' story that tied in well. Nobody seemed to change or develop. Acts just rolled into one long series of episodes.
Easily the poorest aspect of the script. Just unreal and on the nose. Full of mundane niceties and chit chat that revealed little and failed to move the story on. The Doctor's and Policeman's dialogue was inconsistant with their proffesions.
Not a fan of this one at all. Despite a few redeeming features there were just too many lazy shortcuts, errors, and a lack of respect for the reader, as well as a lack of research into screenwriting mechanics. With all these problems it's no wonder readers can't get to the heart of the story. You're doing yourself a disservice with this sloppy draft.
All the best with this version and future drafts.
Lack of title page is unprofessional.
A loud commotion is heard as SAMANTHA SHEPHARD, early 20s, is
being held down on a gurney. She is violent; her eyes are
wild, her bottom lip is bleeding.
In all this wild thrashing, we can focus on her bottom lip bleeding? Why not just a bleeding mouth?
We don't need 'is heard' that is apparent.
MILDRED SHEPHARD, SAMANTHA’S mother, late 40’s,
Poor description. Make your intros livlier.
INT. - HOSPITAL EXAMINATION ROOM – NIGHT
That's the same scene heading -- repeated throughout the script.
Camera pans away from SAMANTHA to the window of the room.
Just describe the scene. The camera angles just destract from your story.
MILDRED leans her head against the window and closes her
even your short action lines could be more brief to remove the extra word taking us to a new line...
Officer and Mildred's dialogue. Doesn't seem real.
3 – death by exhaust fumes is usually a smoke free death?
The window shatters; SHEN’s arm is bleeding badly as he
reaches in and tries to unlock the door.
You make it sound like it is already bleeding. Describe exactly what happens on screen.
Why the capitalised names? Just on the first mention.
“There is no grief which time does not lessen and
soften” - Cicero
Seems obvious -- is this what the film will set out to prove?
INT. - OUR WORLD MUSEUM – MORNING
incorrect -- use DAY or NIGHT.
A 10’ by 10’ wooden table, very thick and painted dark blue,
holds two bouquets of flowers, a pitcher with water, seven
pieces of apples and oranges, one pound of uncooked rice and
several pillows. Little jars of brightly colored sand and
several chak-purs are within easy reach of the table.
Now too much detail.
Page 6 is incorrectly formatted.
SAMANTHA is at a washing machine, angrily throwing her
clothes in. She is wearing a filthy overcoat and nothing
else. She slams the lid of the washer down and starts the
SAMANTHA goes into the ladies room and locks the door. She
leans against it a moment.
You need new slugs or minislugs when you change a location.
7/8 dialogue is exposition.
SUPER: Clip of MILDRED watching SAMANTHA being taken away
fades into MILDRED, now late 60’s, standing next to her son
JASON, late 30’s, as CHIN YUEN finishes talking to reporters.
The scars on her cheek are visible.
Incredibly cheesey. Like an 80's MOW.
10 – another scene of telling not showing.
A van is traveling on the freeway, with a small Tibetan flag
on the radio antenna.
11- Would the monks not be met at the airport?
Just tell me where to go. Where do I go?
Do I keep driving? What exit do I take?
Where are we?
Americanised phrases. "What exit."
MILDRED runs from room to room checking on everything. There
is the sound of a vehicle pulling into her driveway. The horn
Jason, they’re here! Oh my God!
Calm down already. You’ll scare them
There is a knocking at the door.
Describe what we see. The monks get from the car to the door in a second.
EXT. - BACKYARD - MORNING
SHEN and WANG are shown squatting, their hands behind their
heads. The exchange looks.
I don't understand what they are doing.
So they have internet and video cameras but are impressed by marshmallows?
JASON, LOK, TERING and MINGYUR are sitting on a picnic table,
watching WANG chasing SHEN, who is running behind anything he
Like what? Too long, yet undescriptive.
We were playing with the water. I tripped
over the bike.
Repitition. We already saw this.
Oh. I am sorry. (to SAMANTHA) My brother
was not trying to steal your bike. We are
very sorry if you thought so. He tripped
over it and was trying to pick it up for
Repetitive and dull.
I am so sorry. I really, really am sorry.
Sometimes if a gate doesn’t lock...who
knows who will walk in! Well. I
was..um..oh yes..tea. Would anyone like
Nobody interesting or likable yet.
A car is seen pulling up to a light.
A car pulls up at a light.
SHEN’s hand is seen picking up the photo.
Shen picks up the photo.
Various scenes from the “Mr. Bean” tape.
All the MONKS laugh heartily and comment on the various
situations Mr. Bean gets into.
Lazy. Give us the scene, what is said. Unless this is a blueprint for something you will film yourself.
We visit the museum this afternoon and
start building the mandala. Then we will
help out at the Mission.
My brothers will also let you know places
they would like to see. Do you think it
will be possible to visit some sites
before we go to the Mission tonight?
Could be rewritten in less than half the words.
EXT. - PARKING LOT - EVENING
A parking lot next to an abandoned building is filled with
tents and makeshift sleeping areas.
Garbage is along the side walk.
SHEN, LOK, MASTER and JASON are in the serving line. The rest
of the MONKS wait to hand out plates. All are joking with
SAMANTHA puts a little note under JACOB’s chin. She makes
sure it is secure. She stands, puts on JACOB’s hat, then
Camera pans down to show the sign: “This is Jacob. He woke up
dead”. The rain starts to wash away the writing.
Note or sign?
Why? She needs the cleaning, not the
People seem to talk in broken English.
The beads are shown in slow motion, dropping to the ground,
bouncing and scattering everywhere.
Cheesey 80's pop video again.
SAMANTHA starts looking everywhere at once.
SHEN remembers finding LING’s body.
How do I see this? Is it a flashback?
66/67 – what is happening on screen as we hear Shen telling this story?
For crying out loud, calm down. We’re
talking about his trip.
Doesn't talk like a doctor.
80 – just really dull dialogue.
Got a report there was an attack or
something. So what happened?
Doesn't sound like a policeman.
Just told you. You listen?
What is the point of the scene with the policeman.
I am so tired of being disrespected.
What is the point of that line?
91 You gotta wonder why nobody ever thought to take the knife of her...
Shen is with her. He will watch over her.
How is she?
Her nose has been broken.
MILDRED grips the handrail.
Does she need anything?
I do not believe so. The hospital took
good care of her. She is in some pain,
but seems to be handling it quite well.
In a few days, she’ll need to see a
doctor. Right now she just needs to have
The sand is shown in slow motion, billowing for a moment on
the air, and then casting down into the sea.
80's pop video again.
SHEN smiles and olds the beads to his heart.
A review of The Touch (r.2)by Dominic.Jenkinson on 08/29/2010It's apparent from your Triggerstreet previous uploads that your work has proved popular in the past, so I was pleased this fell into my assignment pile. I'm also something of an Australiaphile, so was doubly pleased to have something to read today. You obviously know your way around a screenplay. The writing mechanics were excellent. Short and punchy descriptions and dialogue... It's apparent from your Triggerstreet previous uploads that your work has proved popular in the past, so I was pleased this fell into my assignment pile. I'm also something of an Australiaphile, so was doubly pleased to have something to read today.
You obviously know your way around a screenplay. The writing mechanics were excellent. Short and punchy descriptions and dialogue. No big ugly blocks of text, and clear/concise headings. The overall package looks like a script.
With the odd reservation I enjoyed the story. It was a bit like 'The Green Mile' meets 'All creatures great and small.' Although I realise I may be in the minority of viewers of that show... certainly on this site.
I like to let the story float around my head for a while after reading. Admittedly I haven't given yours as much as I would have liked, so there may be more to follow later as it occurs to me.
One occurence that I picked up when I just read the logline again was the 'risks his life' line. I never really considered that on the read. The reason he shut himself away so much, the reason his mother hid him from friends. This was in an effort to avoid trying to heal beyond his limits, right? I believe you tried to demonstrate this with the heart attack that he avoids in the street, right?
Maybe my bad on picking this up so late. But I never really felt for his safety. Quite the opposite, he's fairly indestructible. Maybe the heart attack scene could be a flashback of a different nature. Show us eary on an attempt of him as a child, taking on too big a healing, and ending up near death... Hence mother's concerns and her mollycoddling of him.
See if others agree. Might be just me.
One aspect that I thought you really nailed (and I struggle with) was the effortless way you jumped from flashback to modern day. The pacing and equality you gave to this was excellent. It also fitted well with the typical screenplay structure. Good stuff.
I make fairly careful notes on some reads, but fear you may lose a few readers with your character introductions.
LUCAS DANIEL, 10, pale skin, blond shaggy hair in his eyes,
leans out and looks down the alley to the street beyond.
DARCY WELLS, 10, her beauty already obvious on her downcast
SHANE WELLS, 35, a white collar
worker in a cheap suit.
LISA WELLS, 35,
haggard and aged beyond her years
EMILY DANIEL, 28, an attractive but
MRS. WINSTON, 65 and well-to-do
JO, 17, an attractive clerk,
BRYCE HARGRAVES, 65, a tough, sun-wrinkled farmer,
GEORGIA, 17, in old farm
clothes, gumboots and a long blonde ponytail poking through
the back of her baseball cap, is a picture of a tom-boy
through and through.
That's 10 people in 9 pages. I don't have a problem with that many characters (including the minor ones that we don't know are minor) but the names and Descriptions could be a tad more stand-outish.
I tend to take an Amisian hand to my names if I can, and although I don't think you should call Bryce 'Mr. Farmer' you could certainly have better names.
The descriptions themselves are a bit sparse. I always find a punchy couple of lines works better than a purely physical description. After a bit of telling dialogue, you can always throw in a few more lines that will make the character feel a bit rounder. Of course their actions and dialogue should then do the rest...
http://johnaugust.com/archives/2007/how-to-introduce-character is an article that I enjoyed on the subject.
I was watching 'In Bruges' (again) last night, and I got to thinking about the Hotel manager. She is a minor character, with a lot of character. Maybe some of your smaller people could be ramped up a bit to add some colour?
The main characters were good. I did feel Lucas seemed inconsistent, but maybe that was your intention, showing that way as he went through his arc.
One side story that I was unsure about was Georgina and her want-away fashion dreams. This felt a tad tacked on, and I wonder if making her want-awayness more related to the farm itself would not be more interesting? If the death of her bull and the herd were more the reason for her going, then more reason for Bryce to be angry toward Lucas. I really questioned his motivation at shooting Lucas. Seemed an overreaction to say the least.
I did enjoy the brevity of dialogue. There are occasions where it lacked subtlety. That might be fine if you're going for a MOW type script (I don't mean to be insulting, but it did read like one) but I would of enjoyed a bit more subtlety. Whether in song lyrics, or conversation, it's always startlingly obvious what everybody means.
You haven’t seen those walking
boots I wore in Japan, have you? I
know I had them the first few days
after I got home, but they’ve
I'd lose that kind of heavy exposition.
When pointing out the horses scarred face "You can’t see past that?"
So you're using an example of an animal with a scarred face to refer back to... Yup, the same thing. The contrast could of been an old falling down barn or anything, something to make the point, as opposed to hammer it home.
I was expecting the final death scene. Not really happy with it. It's a lot to go through for the downer ending, even with the promise of new life. I was hoping he'd smash his way out of the coffin at the end... J/K. Seriously, I would have liked more of a twist. It was 'satisfying' in a 'tied it all up' way, I was just left wanting more.
When reading a script of this quality, a lot of my thoughts and internal debates are the same as when I leave the cinema. So remember, what I wanted to happen at the end of Toy Story 3 or Inception are just what I wanted, and not what should happen. Same with a lot of my criticisms of this script. I enjoyed it, hence the level of negatives... If you look at them as negatives!
Overall good work, and a great framework constructed, that just needs upholstering.
6 – litters. First poor word choice.
Character descriptions too light.
24 – intension
You wanna burn alive? Go ahead
So forget the pitiful excuses. What
I care about, is what you want.
This dialogue would benefit from a table read for the dialogue.
Quick read. Enjoyable story.
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