Once separated by distance, two lovers are brought back together, then tragedy strikes.
HOW IT RATES
Frank Kent, a man unhappy with his life, tormented by past memories, is at the end of his rope and contemplating suicide. He comes across a dream catcher which transports him to another world, led by a man named Cid, who gives Frank a chance to face his inner demons and make a new life for himself.
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Reviews of Lucidity 13
by AlCielo on 02/05/2012Lucidity is an engaging fantasy with great potential. To succeed as a fantasy, a script has to be translated from the author's private world to the audience's. Too many fantasy / sci-fi screenplays I've read here create vast, overblown worlds that never draw the reader in. Fortunately, your story uses the theme of bravery overcoming personal fears as a means... Lucidity is an engaging fantasy with great potential.
To succeed as a fantasy, a script has to be translated from the author's private world to the audience's. Too many fantasy / sci-fi screenplays I've read here create vast, overblown worlds that never draw the reader in. Fortunately, your story uses the theme of bravery overcoming personal fears as a means of making the protagonist's struggle universal and appealing--a rare achievement.
Now there are some weaknesses, and I'm going to focus on them, in the order I believe you should work on them in the next draft.
The first flaw is, in my opinion, fatal--as far as audience involvement goes. When Cid tells Frank at the end of Act 1 that if he fails he will simply return to his previous world, you lose your audience for the rest of the movie. No one wants to get caught up in a story that can return to square one at any moment (even in Groundhog Day, each return is incremental, and it's NEVER to square one).
Think about Back to the Future. If Marty fails, he doesn't return to the present, he annihilates his existence. Immediately, create a disaster scenario if Frank fails (the worst of all possibilities). Then when Frank accepts the challenge, we'll be on his side till the end. Every now and then, remind the audience (and Frank if necessary) of the potential for doom. (Behind all the fun and games in the Harry Potter series, Valdemort is always lurking.)
Flaw 2: I appreciate what you do with the Audrey private demon, but Isabel is too undeveloped, both as a symbolic alternative and as a character. It's nice that she's sarcastic, but why is she? And (most importantly), why is Frank attracted to her?
Flaw 3: The break from Act 2 to 3 (and from the second demon to the third) is too abrupt. You did introduce the giant earlier, but there's no THEMATIC reason for his sudden appearance. Here's a pushy suggestion: you could make the third challenge a renunciation. In order for Frank to save Madison, he (apparently) must sacrifice his challenge and suffer the dire consequences, though it turns out saving Madison WAS the third challenge. That will really put the audience on his side and when it matters most.
Flaw 4: The epilogue is 10 pages long--audiences expect a much briefer final scene--a minute or two at most. I understand what you're doing, but starting the epilogue with Frank and Isabel at his parents' house waiting for Madison would accomplish the same thing (be careful not to overload the dialogue with expo).
Flaw 5: Speaking of dialog, most of the speeches are wordy (even though they're under 4 lines in most cases), and many are unnecessary. Sluggish dialog with no subtext and no omissions makes reading a script a chore--it's the most noticeable weakness. But don't trim / polish dialog until you've fixed the above structural flaws. That conversation may not show up in the revised draft.
Miscellaneous flaws: The "medieval" English is inconsistent among medieval speakers (I understand that Billy and others from Urth will sound more modern). The dialog can't sound like Middle English (Chaucer) or even Early Modern English (Shakespeare, the King James Bible), so why not adopt a plain style with no contractions or modern slang)? Also, the medieval setting never captivated me as much as it could have (and the cost of this setting could make your spec a difficult sell unless there's a really compelling payoff). You might watch some time travel films to see what works. Finally, the nanobot stuff put me in a tech mode, but there was never any explanation for why technology was necessary.
Although I've focused on the problems, your script has many strengths: a sympathetic protag with a mission, a credible set-up / premise, an appropriate use of the 3 act structure, an audience-pleasing ending that is earned by the protagonist. You've done the heavy lifting, and if you continue in this direction you will accomplish your own mission. Not as a fantasy but a proud reality.
Although I've focused on the problems, your script has many strengths: a sympathetic protag with a mission, a credible set-up / premise, an appropriate use of the 3 act structure, an audience-pleasing ending that is earned by the protagonist. You've done the heavy lifting, and if you continue in this direction you will accomplish your own mission. Not as a fantasy but a proud reality. read
by Karl Gorman on 02/02/2012Starting with FRANK’S POV did not quite make it strong enough. Even though you stated it, it still needs to be more vivid in the scene’s descriptions. Probably because the heading FRANK’S POV goes over the reader’s head after the first two times it’s mentioned. With Frank’s continuos use of the snooze button, instead of stating “five minutes later”… SHOW us on the clock that... Starting with FRANK’S POV did not quite make it strong enough. Even though you stated it, it still needs to be more vivid in the scene’s descriptions. Probably because the heading FRANK’S POV goes over the reader’s head after the first two times it’s mentioned.
With Frank’s continuos use of the snooze button, instead of stating “five minutes later”… SHOW us on the clock that five minutes have passed.
Page 5 – “You’re probably gonna here it from the boss-man.” The word “here” it is meant to be “hear.” (Picky?... The first ten pages need to be squeaky clean.)
After the two failed attempts at suicide plans, part of me thinks this is attempting to be a black comedy.
The arrival of the parcel, sent from the witch woman, spark intrigue.
You put his father’s appearance in all-caps, but not his mother’s.
When he is in the tunnel that spits him out onto the beach, the scene heading should BE in the tunnel… and THEN have the scene heading of the beach when he is really on it.
Once I read “What can I get for you darlin?” then “Sure thing honey.” I realized that the dialogue in this script is very on-the-nose and plain, and there is a lot of it too. (Plain dialogue can be a good thing, in cinema, if there isn’t much dialogue anyway.)
(Other parts of the dialogue is corny or cliche. Such as “Stay clear of her chariot if you know what’s good for you.” “Together we will find a way for you to win.” “Your funeral.” “Have you thought about getting your head checked.” “As ready as I’ll ever be.” There are many other lines like this. For a family movie, maybe it is acceptable. And just maybe even for a comedy. But since it’s not classified as either, a lot of the dialogue does come across as corny.)
Greg and Stephen were not capitalized, or even described briefly, when they appeared. They were not seen before he goes into this fantastic realm. (If they were, it was not clear.)
The twist with Cid being someone new at being King, under contract, and the Queen is the one who seems to have set the rules out for him… is intriguing.
Okay, I got to the end. The most fascinating thing in this, to me, was the subplot about Cid as the man who Frank is initially going to replace in this fantastic world… but he refuses to let it be so because: 1, Frank would be happier back in the modern world and 2, Cid wants to stay in Lucidity.
I would like to see a short quick scene depicting what Cid's life is like now that Frank has gone. read
by guggy on 01/30/2012Please take all comments as constructive. 1 - Confusing opening. Might be better showing Frank tossing and turning in bed then cut to the school scene. Give the audience a sense of flashback/dream. 2 - Repetitive scenes of alarm clock. Work it into a series of shots, maybe just Frank's hand hitting the snooze button twice. 3 - Pg. 5 INT. CUBICLE - MORNING. A healthy SIGH... Please take all comments as constructive.
1 - Confusing opening. Might be better showing Frank tossing and turning in bed then cut to the school scene. Give the audience a sense of flashback/dream.
2 - Repetitive scenes of alarm clock. Work it into a series of shots, maybe just Frank's hand hitting the snooze button twice.
3 - Pg. 5 INT. CUBICLE - MORNING. A healthy SIGH. ? Over use of words, cut healthy.
4 - Using action in wrylies, write as action.
5 - Pg. 6 I found the scene with the knife confusing and adds nothing to the story.
6 - Supervisor Pg. 7 "... I'm well known for my humorous jokes as well." Would he really say that?
7 - Pg. 10 News announcer. Would the news report on a man in a coma for fourteen months? More like a documentary, or human interest program.
8 - Having Frank say unnecessary dialog. "Wow that was a vivid dream. Maybe this think does work." "My old bedroom." "What's that, a caravan." These things are on the screen and we don't need to be told. "My old bedroom." Show a child's drawing with Frank's room written on it instead.
Overall you have the bones of a good screenplay but you need to tighten it considerably. The story's a bit ... jaded. Crank up the suspense, sharpen the dialog.
I hope you find this review useful. If you give this screenplay a polish, let me know, I'll gladly read through again.
Thanks guggy. read
by JarrettWright on 01/29/2012To start off, I liked the concept of the magical dream-catcher as a means to actually literally fighting off his inner demons in a dreamscape. I felt that adding the sci-fi aspect after that actually hurt the story more than enhance it. Although I understand why you put the sci-fi rules in that Cid explains to make the story work, i.e. his brain not being able to handle the... To start off, I liked the concept of the magical dream-catcher as a means to actually literally fighting off his inner demons in a dreamscape. I felt that adding the sci-fi aspect after that actually hurt the story more than enhance it. Although I understand why you put the sci-fi rules in that Cid explains to make the story work, i.e. his brain not being able to handle the other universe yet and what not, they all just seemed forced for the purpose of the story, so that at the end the whole world could be changed. Perhaps you may want to consider just making the magic from the dream-catcher change the world at the end, or if you really wanted to change the ending up, consider just having him return to the world from the beginning just with a different perspective. Just be advised that, at least in my opinion, having both the sci-fi aspect and the magic dream-catcher just muddled things up too much, and detracted from the story.
Secondly, there were not many plot twist in this story. it seemed to go, for the most part, straight from point A to point B, besides the standard structural turning points. This made the middle drag on a bit and was a bit predictable. He trains up, Billy makes fun of him, they compete, Frank doesn't lose, rinse, repeat. The story would be more interesting if there were some set-backs along the way, the whole time it seems like Frank is just progressing forward. Although Cid resembles the archetypal mentor, bestowing magical gifts upon Frank, you have a couple of scenes where Cid talks about wanting to stay king. Perhaps to meet this end, he might actually try to sabotage Frank so that Frank fails so he can stay king? Something to consider. (Otherwise I wasn't really sure what these scenes were for).
Also, during the training sections, Frank's arc would be greatly enhanced if you focused not only on the physical training of beating Billy, but also on the mental weaknesses of Frank that have made Billy such an important projection in his life.
Other small things to consider:
Possibly making Isabel someone unimportant from the beginning who ignores him, like the secretary.
A big deal is made about the present for Madison at the end, but there is no pay off.
Possibly have one flashback at the beginning be about Medieval(?) Times.
Dialogue to on the head, i.e. when Frederick offers to help them, Frank knows it's in both their best interest, Fred knows this, and so does the audience, and they all know that everyone knows it, so don't just blatantly say it.
Finally reread it once for grammar- lots of typos.
Other than that I did like the initial concept and feel that you've got the beginnings of a good story here. Good Luck! read
by brookline on 01/13/2012CRITIQUE OF LUCIDITY I Frances Beckham volunteered to critique the script LUCIDTY by Alex Herrin. When you finish reading this critique please send me your feedback. INTRODUCTION The first 10 pages must do the following 1. Hook the reader 2. Introduce the main characters 3. Introduce the plot The following list of questions should be answered after reading the first 10 pages... CRITIQUE OF LUCIDITY
I Frances Beckham volunteered to critique the script LUCIDTY by Alex Herrin. When you finish reading this critique please send me your feedback.
The first 10 pages must do the following
1. Hook the reader
2. Introduce the main characters
3. Introduce the plot
The following list of questions should be answered after reading the first 10 pages.
1. Has the stage and environment been clearly set?
Yes. An exact location is not stated, but that is okay. It is not needed for this story. The plot does not require a specific location. The time period is modern.
2. Does the script open with a gripping event?
Well, yes. The readers see the severity the incident had on the protagonist mind all the way to his adulthood to the point he considers killing himself. On his way to work he buys a dream catcher from a mysterious native American woman. When the protagonist is thinking about killing himself he gets a delivered note from the old woman telling him to use the dream catcher. The reader gets the impression something is going to happen.
4. Is the story in progress?
Yes. It is.
5. Is there an event about to occur or that just occurred provocative enough for the reader to ask: What’s going to happen next?
Yes. When Frank gets the note from the old woman.
6. Is it clear who the protagonist ?
Yes. Frank is the protagonist.
7.Has what is at stake been set up for the protagonist?
Yes. A peace of mind is at stake for Frank.
8. Has an antagonist and or major conflict been presented or foreshadowed?
Well. It appears there will not be a separate actual antagonist. For this kind of story the protagonist is also the antagonist or rather it is Frank’s emotional problems. There will most likely be a coming conflict. There usually is when someone tries to use supernatural means to improve their life.
9. Is the genre clear?
Yes. The reader sees the story is sifi.
Now I will continue reading. I am interested in reading more.
1. Does the script have a unique twist?
After careful consideration I determined that the plot twist is Frank is from some other parallel world. Because he’s in the wrong world everything goes wrong for him. After he buys a dream catcher he gets sent to a medieval land where he has to win 3 battles to be sent to his right world.
After reading the script’s introduction, first 10 to 15 pages, I was expecting a more psychological sifi like story. Because of the dream catcher I was expecting something supernatura- like to occur. But it turned out to be something I did not expect.
2. Is the story compelling?
Well, it was not hooking. Not catching. It was hard to connect with Frank and any of the other characters. A reader should be able to connect and empathize with the protagonist and other characters even if the reader has absolutely nothing on common with them. This is accomplished by developing a compelling story and plot. This can be established early and clearly. Then as the story develops, form scene’s events and situations to support them and develop a resolution, answer to the problem get Frank to overcome his problem.
3. Are the stakes clear?
Well. What is at stake is at first it seems to be Franks piece of mind. Then later it’s Frank trying to get to his right dimensional world. If he loses the battles he’s stuck in his wrong dimension.
4. Is the dramatic clock ticking?
Well, not really. The reader does not feel a sense of urgency or expectation in the scenes. This is primarily do to the way the story is presented and do to its tone. The scenes in the script are long and mostly dialog. Since this is a sifi story there should be action. Too much time is spent on preparing for battle. Plus Frank is told what his battles are and prepares for them. This takes fun out of the challenge and the feeling of suspense and surprise. When a hero goes on his journey he does not know what’s going to happen ahead of time. This just suddenly happens. Another thing is everything occurs in one place there isn’t a real journey.
5. Is the subtext clear?
I think your ability to write dialog is good. The characters have their own voice and personality. More work just needs to be done on the plot it needs to be more compelling.
7. Are there unexpected occurrences and conflicts that the protagonist must overcome?
No, well, there is that time when the giant takes Madison.
8. Is there over-explaining in the story?
Well I guess this could not be considered over explaining, but I think too much attention was given to preparing and training Frank to fight. It’s more interesting seeing a person fight using his own weaknesses. For some stories training the hero for battle is fine, like in ROCKY or KARATE KID. But in the instance of your story its best to start the hero off weak and let him grow stranger physically and mentally. In the instance of your story it is best to start the hero off weak and let him grow stronger as the journey progresses and gets harder like in the movie NEVER ENDING STORY. I suggest watching this moving. I think it would be a good reference for you and your story. Take notes especially on the hero’s journey. You do something similar for your story, but on an adult level, but keep it at PG or PG-13.
9. Does the story continue to build to the climax?
Well, only when the giant takes Madison, but the scenes and events don’t really build up to climax. The reader just doesn’t get that feeling. This needs to be worked on.
Hear are all the notes randomly I made when reading the script:
In my opinion the story should take a more psychological theme. Change to a journey through his fear. This can appeal to everyone. We all have something we are afraid of. That is why horror movies are so popular. Give him three or four battles, each one greater than the other and harder then the other. Accomplishing each one unlocks a mystery and leads to his goal, something to resolve the cause of his emotional problem.
The main characters in the dream should be introduced early before the dream start, like in the WIZARD OF OZ. The Wizard was the man from the circus. The Witch of the West was the fussy woman. The lion, scarecrow, and tin woodsman were hired hands on Dorothy’s farm.
Computer program candy. Not compelling. Stick to the magic dream catcher. People like magic. It makes more of an impact on people.
There’s too much wait time “a fortnight” three days”. The action has to get going now. No time to train. No time for feast and banquets. No time to sleep. No time to train.
Too much time is spent on training. The story is stuck in training. Here’s page 45 and they’re still training.
Throughout the story Frank needs struggles that he only can over. There should be a single source. Some fear, a fright, some adult he was afraid of when he was a kid, a childhood bully, his little sisters kidnaping, the feeling guilt. Tie all this together.
Going from modern conscious to medieval setting just does not seem fitting. Need to work on a new setting. Something to fit Franks psychology. Something fantasy-like that will have a visual appeal.
There is not enough action. The dialog does not move the story. You feel stuck in one place.
The jousting is boring. It is too controlled.
Greg and Stephen and Frank are a good comedy trio but not quite right for the movie.
In the first 15 pages do the following:
Cut out the scenes of Frank just sitting and thinking. I get that you want the reader to see his emotional and mental state, but nothing is really happening. The only action is when he buys the dream catcher. There needs to be more engaging, hooking action as well as introducing main characters.
You should present Frank’s emotional and mental state through action. For example, begin the script with a dream of Frank and Madison walking home together at night. They walk pass Billy the bully’s big rich house. Frank sees Billy and big imposing scary looking father watching them from his porch. Billy sees Frank. He calls him names and throws rocks at him. It is clear Frank is scared the man and Billy.
Next scene, Frank notices a strange car following them. He and Madison run. They run through the park. They hear someone following them. They see a big dark figure a distance away. They run. Frank loses Madison’s hand and slides knocking his head on a rock. We hear Madison’s screams. Black out.
Next scene, frank wakes up. Its dark. He frantically calls for his sister and can’t find her. Then he wakes up in the present. It is a bad dream. He takes some pills. You don’t have to state what kind of pills. Just say pills. The reader would immediately know he has a problem from bad childhood experience.
Next scene, at work place big shoot Billy, the boss asks why isn’t Frank at work it’s past nine o’clock. Greg, Frank’s friend and co worker covers for him. He says he saw him. He’s just away from his desk. Frank comes running in with his bicycle helmet. Billy gets on him in front of everyone, shaming him. Then walks away smirking. Frank and Greg talk. Frank mentions his car is in the shop. Greg calls Billy an “asshole”. Frank sees Billy’s Father a distance away the older man glares at him as he walks into an office with the title “President”.
Next scene at work. Frank is on the elevator. Isabel enters she greets Frank. It shows he is attractive to her but he’s shy and does not want to show it
Next scene. Frank is in Stephens office a therapist friend. Frank tells he’s still having a hard time sleeping without pills. When he does sleep he’s still having nightmares about his sister. Stephen asks about his love life Frank says he hasn’t talked to Audrey. Stephen–“it’s over with her for 3 years. I’m talking about your love life now. Are you dating?” Frank “no”. Stephen-“”you need to let go of Audrey. As your friend and therapist you need to listen to me. Your problem is you’re too impressionable. When bad things happen you can’t go pass them. You fold up and run. You need to face your fears. You’re scared to start new relationships because you don’t want to get hurt. You feel guilty about your sister’s disappearance you still haven’t gotten over your fear of Billy and his dad.” This is the basic theme of the plot: Frank is not able to over come things that bother him. This can be established early using the examples. This need to be established as soon as possible in a catchy creative way. Then after the therapy session, have the scene where Frank buys the dream catcher.
Keep the giant in the story. He can be the villain constantly pursuing Frank through his dream. The giant should be someone in real life, someone related to the bully. He could be Billy’s father. Let him be a big man, in real life, and give him a distinctive physical trait like a scar on the back of his hand. In real life Frank works for Billy and his father’s company. Frank has always been afraid of Billy’s father, and Billy bullied him when they were kids. Billy’s father is a big man, and he and his son live in a huge older mansion surrounded by a tall gate.
In the story it eventually turns out that Billy’s father is the one who kidnaped Madison. Frank can discover this in his nightmarish dream. It is reveal through clues in the dream and Frank has to figure it out. In the dream at a critical point the Indian Woman appears to give Frank some words of wisdom and encouragement to Frank when he’s feeling weak and dejected hiding from the giant. Then in his dream, after gaining courage, Frank goes to face the giant. He fights the giant, but the audience does not see the giant’s face and never sees it through the movie. When Frank is having the fight with the giant he sees the scare on the back of the giant’s hand. It is identical to the scare on Billy’s Dad’s hand. Then Frank wakes up.
New scene. Frank wakes up in a hospital. He knows where to find his sister. Stephen and Greg are there in the room. Frank wonders where is he. They say he’s been unconscious for several days. They found him in his apartment on the floor unconscious. Frank tells them he saw Madison. He knows where she is. He says the giant has her. He has her in his house. He’s got to go save her. His friends hold him down and say he’s delirious, but he keeps insisting he has to go to the “Giant’s House”. He grows exited. A nurse puts him out with a sedative.
Next Scene: Stephen enters the room and finds Greg bound and gagged on the floor. Greg tells Stephen Frank went to get his sister from the giant’s house. Stephen recalls Frank referring to Billy’s dad as a giant.
Next scene: Frank busts into Billy’s house brandishing a gun. Billy’s father is home. Frank-“Where’s Madison.” Billy’s dad pretends not to know. Frank makes him go to the basement. They go to a secret compartment there. Like a room. Frank kicks away a rug exposing a door (he knew about this whole place from his dream) He tells Billy’s dad to open it. The man pulls out the keys and open it. Frank calls Madison’s name. A pitiful woman, pale, and thin and resembling Madison as a child, comes out. She recognizes and runs to Frank.
She sees billy with a bat behind Frank and shouts out. Billy and Frank fight. Frank pushes him down on his father.
Frank and Madison run out the basement. The lights go out in the house. Billy and his father chase Frank and Madison through the house. Every door and window is locked. The glass can’t break. They are chased upstairs.
Frank and Madison hide in the house. Madison tells Frank she’s been lonely and scared all those years. She always hoped he would come to get her. She’d dream he’d come to get her and all she had was a little dream catcher he gave her a long time ago the night they were going home and she was kidnaped. Back then he had bought it from the same old Indian woman who sold him the dream catcher after he left Stephan’s office. Madison takes out the dream catcher and shows it to Frank. It is the same one Frank had at home.
Frank is attacked by Billy’s dad who suddenly appears. They fight. Frank pushes him over the stair banister. He falls to his death.
Billy has a gun on Madison. Frank surrenders. Billy pushes Madison at Frank. Billy insults Frank. Calls him names. Says he always hated him. He cocks the gun to shoot them. Then He is shot dead by the police. Police men are downstairs with Greg and Stephan. Greg and Stephan run upstairs to hug Frank and Madison.
Next scene: Frank is out shopping with Madison at the store. They meet Isobel. (Isobel does not appear in the dream. This is her second appearance in the movie. But Ashley appears in the dream. Frank has to over come her) Isobel is nice to Madison. Madison is a bit shy but happy to see her. Madison looks at Frank and can tell he likes Isobel. Madison invites Isobel to have dinner with them. Madison gives Frank an encouraging smile. Frank insists and invites Isobel to dinner. Isobel accepts. The end.
This was just some notes and suggestions I made while reading the script and after I finished it. You can use them to help come up with ideas. The basic concept for the story is good. It just needs more work. I encourage you to work on it some more. You will have to do several rewrites. I had to rewrite a script I recently completed 7 times before I got it right.
After you finish your critique please send me your feed back
by DebraSwan on 01/07/2012An excellent start here, but the piece needs a significant revamp to bring it to the next level. With more clarity to the story 'points', and some technical improvements I think you will definitely improve the script. There are many spelling and grammar errors, so an edit is necessary. I've included more specific notes below: CONCEPT: Excellent I love the idea of somehow... An excellent start here, but the piece needs a significant revamp to bring it to the next level.
With more clarity to the story 'points', and some technical improvements I think you will definitely improve the script. There are many spelling and grammar errors, so an edit is necessary.
I've included more specific notes below:
I love the idea of somehow falling into a parallel universe that you are not destined to be in. The whole idea of getting a second chance to leap into where you should be is intriguing.
You could likely cut a few characters out. That way you can focus on developing the ones that are critical to the story. You need to introduce your characters better. In most cases you start with "_______'s voice". Introduce them with better description. It should be short and succinct, but give us something to hang our hat on and identify with them.
It seemed forced in many places, like you were trying to tell the story through the dialogue, rather than action - too on the nose, so to speak. This caused some convoluted scenes that created confusion.
There are a few gaps in your story. The beginning needs to be strengthened, and the missing sister angle needs to be better told. It wasn't always easy for me to connect the dots between the two universes. You might want to consider introducing Isabel in the beginning act along with Audrey. If you did, I'm sorry, but I missed it.
I think if you can improve on the points above, this will fall into place.
Pg. 1 I understand what you are trying to accomplish with the opening sequence, but it falls a bit short. The camera directions get in the way. I would also change how you introduce the missing sister. A poster would not say "last seen with Frank Kent" it might say "last seen wearing..., or last seen with a male, 5'10"; dark hair; between 15 and 20.."
Pg. 3 "FRANK KENT shoots up in bed."
Why? Was he having a nightmare? What makes him wake up and look at a picture of his family. Right now it seems random. There are a few places like this where a character's actions don't make sense.
It isn't clear that this Frank and the younger Frank are the same person. I was assuming for quite a few scenes that this was the father.
"we see" should never be used, and it appears frequently in this piece. Don't tell us what we see, show us what we see.
"con't" should only be used if dialogue breaks over pages.
Pg. 9 "INT. FRANK’S LIVING ROOM/KITCHEN - EVENING"
"INT. FRANK'S APARTMENT - EVENING" would work better.
Pg. 10 "OLDER WOMAN’S VOICE (JUDITH KENT)"
"VOICE OF JUDITH KENT, FRANK'S MOTHER" might make this clearer.
Pg. 13 – how does Frank know Makawee is the woman who sold him the dream catcher? I checked back to the scene where the dream catcher was bought and neither of them disclose their names.
"Baffled, he stares at the note, hoping for an answer."
"He stares at the note, confused"... might work better. It's hard to show that he is hoping for an answer.
You use a lot of 'close up'. I had to re-read these sequences a few times as they are a bit disjointed. Page 14 is an example of this.
Pg. 14 - 15 It’s not “Frank’s voice” if he is actually interacting with another character – it’s Frank, and if he is off camera it should be FRANK (O.S.)
Dream sequences need some major re-writing to make sense.
Pg. 19 "A deep, ominous voice echoes around him, it is the voice of
This is where you should introduce CID, not on page 20
Pg. 21 (Cid gets up and starts walking toward Frank)
This should be broken out of the dialogue and written as an action sequence. When you use parenthesis it takes us out of the story. Take a look at where you have used parenthesis throughout the piece and make sure it is actually necessary.
Pg. 29 Why would the man assume that Frank is interested?
You use (beat) more than is necessary.
"Pg. 30 FRANK
It’s getting dark, better find
someplace to spend the night.
Pg. 31 FRANK
What the--I feel like I just went
But I feel...refreshed."
This is an example of dialogue that is to 'on the nose'.
Pg. 32 "Just then two figures appear in the barn doorway.
Frank, you in there? Frank!
Frank? I thought I heard him.
(beat, then even louder)"
It's not 'Greg's voice' or 'Stephen's voice', it is Greg and Stephen. Describe them, help us get to know the characters right away.
Pg. 36 "Frank trots Madison out of the barn and into a grassy field.
Slowly he brings her to a canter." - a great example of where you've done a good job with writing action.
Pg. 37 – interchanging Princess/Audrey is confusing
Pg. 38 Isabel remains silent – yet the next line she speaks?
Pg. 39 “Greg’s gonna kick your ass” s/b “Frank’s gonna kick your ass”
Pg.52 "whom he recognizes as being with Audrey." This is an example of where you have written an 'unfilmable'.
Pg. 55 Try breaking the dialogue up with some action. There are a few places this happens.
Pg. 74 "The messenger starts handing out the armor, which resembles
fencing outfits, but made of an incredibly strong and lightweight metal, foreign to this time period. They are woven using carbon nanofibers." ... another unfilmable moment. Too much information about the material etc.
Pg. 77 CUE MUSIC: “LITTLE LION MAN” BY MUMFORD & SONS You may need to think about this from a legal perspective, getting the rights etc.
Pg. 86 The scene begins with Frank running out of the ballroom. Then at the end of the scene, Frank runs out of the ballroom.. He either runs out at the beginning, or the end, not both.
Pg. 91 Some good action sequences here, but needs to be written a bit clearer and with more white space.
Pg. 93 – "Kressara standing in front of him, pacing." She is either standing or pacing, not both.
Hope this is helpful,
by BrianSkiles on 01/05/2012I take notes as I read along with your script. I'm a novice as well though, so take my comments and opinions with a grain of salt. I am thankful though to have an opportunity to review one of yours, after you had reviewed my submission, "Courier 12". I've had this in my queue for a little while, but I wanted to give your script my full attention, hence the wait for a review... I take notes as I read along with your script. I'm a novice as well though, so take my comments and opinions with a grain of salt. I am thankful though to have an
opportunity to review one of yours, after you had reviewed my submission,
"Courier 12". I've had this in my queue for a little while, but I wanted to give your script my full attention, hence the wait for a review.
-- For some reason, the first page of your script is labeled page 2.
-- Slugline... "INT. HIGH SCHOOL HALLWAY - DAY" It may be beneficial to have
an Ext. establishing shot of the High School first. Maybe a line or two of
description, then "INT. HALLWAY".
-- "We open to the inside..." I don't think you need this. Simplistic descriptions will serve you well on the first page. So if we're going to open on the inside of a locker, shouldn't that be in the slugline? So it would be "INT. LOCKER". Describe the contents briefly, then "boy's hand reaches for binder, then shuts door." Then a new slugline "INT. HALLWAY".
-- The Missing Persons flyer could be relagated to the action line, saving you some
-- "RETURN TO SCENE" is unnecessary, as we are still in the FIRST scene.
-- Right off we're introduced to Frank and Billy, though there are no descriptions for these characters other than Billy being the school bully.
-- If Billy is not in the frame but we hear his voice, then in parenthesis next to his name should read (O.S.) for Off Screen.
-- Is Frank's dialogue supposed to be voice over? If so it needs to be indicated as
such. So it would read FRANK (V.O.).
-- A lot of space is eaten up with the alarm clock snoozing and the "CUT TO:"s (half
of the page) I've read that when writing these things it's best to arrive in a scene late, and leave early.
-- I'm liking your sluglines so far. Very concise.
-- Seems like too much prose in the "DIRTY BATHROOM" scene. Meager glory?
Apathetic and disheveled state? Show, don't tell. How is he disheveled?
-- Frank's work. This works pretty well, but is disjointed from the opening. I'm
assuming at this point that the opening scene was a "dream sequence", and if that's
the case, it needs to be delineated as such.
-- I like the scene with Makawee and the dream-catcher.
-- On page 9 you have "takes out his wallet and hands her the money" in
-- Fell through a wormhole when he was 15 months old? Hmm.... okay....
-- Interesting premise of the parallel universe theory.
-- Nanobots in candy? The old native woman gave him nanobots to hack his brain?
And my own "magical man" character and story were too much to work through?
Let's see where else you take us with this mystical adventure in dreamland
-- Page 26.... parenthtical "shrugs his shoulders" should be relagated to an action
-- Page 27... again with the parentheticals.... those are also called "wrylies" to
indicate to an actor how to speak that line of dialogue. "Slowly looks up, then very
disgruntled" belongs in the action line.
-- So the Ragged Man speaks in an appropriate way for the "times", but the femal
bartender uses contemporary phrases like darlin' and honey?
-- Page 31... "Jeffrey stares at him"? Who is Jeffrey? The young boy? Not specified considering the dialogue for the character is designated YOUNG BOY.
-- Greg and Stephen? Who are these guys? Also, upon new character introductions
you should capitalize their name.
-- Page 39 and we have Billy (the bully) ride up and comment on Frank's
coordination, or lack thereof, as remembered from... grade school? Was there grade
school in Medieval times?
-- A reference to Capt. America? So... Greg and Stephen are in Frank's extended
dream sequence, but not as Medieval characters, but as themselves from reality? So
they are sharing Frank's hallucination, or Frank is just hallucinating his friends to be there with him? Interesting, if not a bit confusing.
-- So, at least Frank asks the question...
-- I really like your dialogue. Each character seems to have their own voice, so that's fantastic. I also enjoy your spelling!!! Can't tell you how many times you go to read these things and some idiot has spelled the word "scene" S-C-E-A-N. No joke.
-- So Audrey is there from the real world, but she's unaware of the real world,
unlike Greg and Stephen? So she's unaware of who Frank is, but they all know her?
Something's just not right about that. At least the character's are aware of the
contradiction and ask about it.
-- So Billy IS aware of the real world? This is getting confusing.
-- Apparently Billy is also aware of the circumstances surrounding Frank's presence
in Lucidity, as he mentions "Time to wake up Frankie boy, your time is up here."
-- Two parentheticals on page 67 that should be action descriptions.
-- By 72 it's revealed that even Audrey is in on it. I was beginning to wonder about
that one, Alex. Nice subterfuge. I'm still confused why all the supporting
characters are aware of what's going on too. Did Cid and Kressara just magically
transport them to Lucidity and brief them on what they're going to do to Frank?
Did they make promises to Audrey that she and Frank would be king and queen of
Lucidity? We'll see...
-- I'm beginning to suspect this will turn out to be like a holo-deck program on the
starship Enterprise and Cid is Q, just fuckin' with Picard, er... I mean Frank.
-- The note from Cid about the first demon. Which was the first demon? Rejecting
Audrey, or the tournament with Billy? I would suspect it would be rejecting
Audrey. A good bit of characterization for Frank's arc, but very predictable. As
soon as Cid mentioned the "demons" Frank would have to face in Lucidity, I knew
that the foreshadowing from before with the exposition of Audrey being his
cheating ex, would present itself in the form of her coming on to him, and him
rejecting her. It was revealed they had a 3 year relationship... but was that in high school? Afterward? There doesn't seem to be enough about their previous
relationship that leaves the audience suspecting Frank could make the wrong
choice again. Maybe amp up the connection the two had somehow. The audience
already sees Audrey as a cheating tart, so it's not as heavy as it should be for Frank to make the right choice. Not sure if that made any sense, but I hope it helps.
-- Page 74... "...but made of an incredibly strong and
lightweight metal, foreign to this time period. They are
woven using carbon nanofibers."
I doubt if this were made, the costume deptartment would be using "carbon
nonfibers", so this bit is unnecessary. The first part, "The messenger starts handing out the armor, which resembles fencing outfits.", should suffice to get your point across. If the construction materials of the armor are relevant to the story, then put the explanation in the mouth of one of your characters through dialogue, or show a brief, flashback like montage of the armor's construction. Just an opinion.
-- Page 78... parenthetical that belongs as an action description.
-- Page 79... typo, Billy's dialogue "No, but it's about to me".
-- Seems a little out of character for the bully to "like a fair fight".
-- Page 80 is assaulting my eyes with the action descriptions. Maybe try to condense this portion, shorten it, I don't know what, but that's a lot of text.
-- Page 86... Billy has taken Madison? Is this going to be reflected in the real world when Frank wakes up too I wonder? Did the school bully kidknap Frank's little sister in real life?
-- Now the giant has Madison? And there's no explanation from Billy as to what happened, nor is there any questions from Frank about it. You'd think he would at least ask Billy why he took Madison.
-- I like the visual of the giant's house.
-- They get to the giant and he's ASLEEP? He kidknaps a little girl and then goes to sleep?
-- Conveniently the giant begins to stir as they are trying to free Madison. Seems a little cliche.
-- 93... I feel like there must be some signifigance here with Cid being King of Lucidity for 14 months... only one month less than the age in which they told Frank he was sucked into a wormhole.
-- I thought if Frank died in Lucidity he would wake up to his old life. I guess that only applied before completing his tasks and defeating his demons?
-- 104... Why would Madison be 13 years older than when he last saw her?
-- Do any of the other characters have recollection of the Medieval fantasy world of Lucidity? If so they don't mention it.
I think you have a decent story here that has some kinks to work out. However, the dream catcher thing, the nanobot candies, the native American woman, and Cid and Kressara are never explained at the end. We just get Frank's "new life" where he is unaware of the previous 13 years? Don't quite know what to think of that. I thought that the dream catcher idea was going to take us into multiple dreamscapes, but it only ever dwealt in the Medieval story. Plus the kidknapping of Madison from the beginning when she is, what 6? Never explained any further other than the fantasy parallel of Billy and the Giant taking her.
Encouraging Words -
You can certainly write, so that's a plus. You also show good language skills, which is another plus. I liked your dialogue a lot, but your characters felt a little flat to me. That's something I have to work on too though. You are clearly an intelligent individual though and with some further thought and effort you could turn this script into something really good. I hope my review is helpful. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, etc. Best of luck with your writing. read
by Wil Borne on 12/31/2011This was a rather interesting screenplay I read. It's original and has a good story to it, but there are a few things I like to point out. One, there were a few typos I spotted while reading. I know how typos can be trust me I've had my fair share of them on my screenplay. So be sure to look it over before you submit it. Also, when you were trying to use a character's voice... This was a rather interesting screenplay I read. It's original and has a good story to it, but there are a few things I like to point out. One, there were a few typos I spotted while reading. I know how typos can be trust me I've had my fair share of them on my screenplay. So be sure to look it over before you submit it. Also, when you were trying to use a character's voice you could have use O.S or V.O. IE AUDREY'S VOICE. Some of the sentences were at times either past or present. Most people would say you should always use present tense but it's alright with me. Some of the character felt 2d to me a bit. I'll be honest I didn't really get the purpose of Audrey. At first she seemed like one of those girls who'll try to stop the protagonist(Frank in this case) from reaching his goal. She just seem so necessary to me.
So, yeah you have a good story and concept here. My only advice is make characters more broaden and 3d, watch out for those typos and misspelled words. Otherwise good job.
by justahappykid on 12/28/2011First off, I’ve gotta say that this is a great concept. I actually got a similar concept for a film recently (so that must be steaming from the Collective Unconscious), but I never developed it. Normally when I write review, I write my running thoughts so the writer’s knows what a reader feels thinks when they read your script. Off the bat, you have POV and Close-Up and you... First off, I’ve gotta say that this is a great concept. I actually got a similar concept for a film recently (so that must be steaming from the Collective Unconscious), but I never developed it. Normally when I write review, I write my running thoughts so the writer’s knows what a reader feels thinks when they read your script. Off the bat, you have POV and Close-Up and you use the word “We”. Those kind of technical notes should not be in a spec script. Don’t ever have “we” in description lines. It takes the reader out of the story. What does “we” even mean anyway, when only one person in the audience is watching your film, there is no we. Also, you start with Frank’s POV, but then we “cut” to him and the reader has no idea what age he is or what he looks like. The only sign is that he’s in high school. Also, here’s some info that I think should help that I end up giving almost everybody: Keep your writing in the present tense. Here’s a made up example of keeping things in the present tense: “he is driving a blue car...” should be “he drives a blue car.” Make sure to keep your screenwriting in present tense, meaning eliminating words like “is” and “are” as much as possible. Also, symbols or numbers shouldn’t be in dialogue -- turn it into what it would sound like for an actor were to say it (for example Ms. -- becomes Misses) the way it would sound if an actor spoke it. Like $1,000 would be One-thousand-dollars and so on. Mr. would be Mister. Also, avoid words that end in “ly.” For example, "answers quietly" could be (whispers) and "runs quickly" (races). Also, avoid using these words to make it flow better: BEGIN, START, BACK, ANOTHER, ALSO, STILL, CONTINUES, AGAIN, FINALLY – Does that make sense? Most of the time those words don’t need to be there and are just taking up space. – I just saw that the first page of your script has the number (2.) on it. Two things: The first page shouldn’t have a number at all. Then, the second page is where the number (2.) should be. On 3, do you mean Frank shoots up heroin? Also, I would suggest that the only information you put in all caps is when you first introduce a character and not on words like, “give a healthy SIGH.” Go structure choice of having the dream catcher introduced so soon. Also, I like your dialogue. I think a good sign of dialogue is when the reader imagines good acting. It should be spelled “dammit” on 12. Also, again, don’t have technical stuff like Close-Up in your spec screenplay. What you need to do is write in a vivid way so the reader imagines a close-up. When Frank talks to himself throughout, it feels strange. I would say either cut it or think of a new way of getting that information in there (like as a thought/VO). This kind reminds me of Little Nemo (not finding nemo). 23-basically 25 is too much just Talking Heads. Also, having the choice to wake up reminds me of The Matrix. So far,, great structure. Also, the idea of being transported to medieval times reminds me Army of Darkness. I’m on 53 and it’s been reading smoothly for a while (content and format wise). I’m now on 63 and let me note that all of the info above still apllies across the board, but I thought it would be silly for me to keep repeating myself (slow-motion, etc.). Talking heads on 71 and on 100. In the end, a great concept delivered with a pretty good story and great dialogue. I hope my technical notes make for a cleaner second draft. Good luck and keep writing! read
by Unknownwriter9 on 12/26/2011I was assigned your screen play "Lucidity." I liked it as an overall work. I have a suggestion, that you go with the spiritual medicine, and spiritual journey, with the twist of the dark ages thrown in due to the tourtue he's put himself through. You never finished with the "Computer Program," scenerio so to change it would be easy, some of your dialogue is simplistic, (I just... I was assigned your screen play "Lucidity." I liked it as an overall work. I have a suggestion, that you go with the spiritual medicine, and spiritual journey, with the twist of the dark ages thrown in due to the tourtue he's put himself through. You never finished with the "Computer Program," scenerio so to change it would be easy, some of your dialogue is simplistic, (I just got the same thing on my sp as well as don't use (con't) it's not needed). You needed more fighting, it's a team. Your points system did not jive, most of it was in scene discription, but it didn't add up. I would like to see a rewite of this work, with a worked over storyline, more serious, less "after school special," I guess is what I mean to say. I liked the work overall and did enjoy the story and the happy, christmas(y) knida of ending, especially because it was a christmas story. You could maybe rewrite it as a "Christmas story," begining, He's going home soon for christmas, and he's having nightmares and feelings about his past, and push it that way, just a thought, good luck-Unknownwriter9 read
- Writer: Alex Herrin
- Uploaded by: alexherrin
- Length: 105 pages
- Genre: adventure, sci-fi/fantasy
- Bio: I write SPs and SSs. They are mediocre to good. I hope to write one that is excellent. You may give me constructive criticism and I may use it. I use a lot of punctuation. I see things in black and white, with a hint of gray. I recently moved to LA and I fucking hated the place, so I moved to OC. "Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy" - F. Scott Fitzgerald
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