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HOW IT RATES
SHARK BAIT -Two women have opposing visions from the Virgin Mary to either save or murder a Palestinian politician. A Vatican priests' decision on which woman to believe will save mankind or cause the end of the world. SHARK BAIT
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Reviews of Double Vision (The Next Revision) 98
by arunsivadasan on 05/27/2010Hi This is my first review. First off, I think you have great great story. The script is also fast-paced. The idea of two conflicting visions is a real gem! Page 14 - was specially good. I think the problem is that the whole thing reminds me of 'Devils Advocate'. Around 70 pages into the script, I started thinking 'Will it be something like that movie - will Satan show... Hi
This is my first review.
First off, I think you have great great story. The script is also fast-paced. The idea of two conflicting visions is a real gem! Page 14 - was specially good.
I think the problem is that the whole thing reminds me of 'Devils Advocate'. Around 70 pages into the script, I started thinking 'Will it be something like that movie - will Satan show up?' That's a huge problem. I think, it was because Vincenze asking Tom to kill seemed unbelievable to me; the scene in page 77 again got me thinking if this fellow would be the devil. So, the climax was not satisfying.
A few suggestions/ opinions:
1. I think that you should reconsider the whole idea of having the Devil as an actual character. To me, it did not lead to a satisfying climax. And, it reminds you of Devil's Advocate
2. Joyce's transformation and conviction was not satisfying. May be there should be some more screentime between the apparition and Joyce.
3. Joyce's scene with that tourist guide - I would have liked her to get the stuff without the seduction thing.
4. Summit announcement - why not have it announced before Tom hears it from the guards. It seems quite unbelievable that Israeli and Palestinian leaders would allow mediation by Vatican. I think this was not explained in a believable way.
5. And Mario - do u really need that scene and the character? Could Lisa get the gun through some other means?
6. Instead of showing Joyce's vision in first person, why not have that too explained as a flashback?
But congrats - I think you have a winner theme here. And you certainly have it fast paced. I feel that you just need to fine-tune it a little bit.
by Blue Jester on 05/16/2010This is a very interesting and ambitious concept. For the most part, I think it was handled well. I think Lisa’s characterization got a little short changed. We have a brief instant when her mother, a subplot that never really got resolved. It felt clear that he wanted us to journey with Joyce instead of Lisa. Not quite sure how you could wrap this up. Maybe make a scene... This is a very interesting and ambitious concept. For the most part, I think it was handled well. I think Lisa’s characterization got a little short changed. We have a brief instant when her mother, a subplot that never really got resolved. It felt clear that he wanted us to journey with Joyce instead of Lisa. Not quite sure how you could wrap this up. Maybe make a scene later in the script where her mother is watching the events on TV and mothers a comment about her daughter’s safety?
One of the main suggestions that could get you right away is that the script can be cut down, pared. The prose overhaul could use some trimming. Ex. “He grimly nods” “he nods” and the complete sentence “Smokin Joe's is a working class dive that's not so smoking on this particular Tuesday night.” Besides, is this also in Jordan or not? Also, The beginning took me a little to get adjusted. I’d have the Slugline read something like SLUMS – JORDAN and simplify/clarify the prose like “Angry Arab civilians confront Israeli Troops a at protest.
Go through your script and see how many adverbs and adjectives you can really eliminate. A lot of what you’re trying to convey should be said through context. Example, pg 33, “rises angrily.” Do the same for character actions example pg. 9 – “Cardinal Vicenze chuckles over the comment” I feel there’s quite a lot of this in the script and cleaning it up will make it read much better.
Joyce’s vision right away didn’t have me convinced right away. She’s a substance abuser and a holy vision is calling for her to kill someone. As an audience member, I’d see this first as a hallucination.
I have mixed feelings about the confrontation between the Cardinal and Father Tom at the end. Up to this point the religious interventions have been surreal, dreamy. Putting something as concrete as this I think helps dilute the theme of religious ambiguity that you’ve set up until this point. I think the very end it does keep that consistency. At the very least I would trim down that confrontation scene.
Have Wihad and Talib speak in Arabic when together for a touch of realism.
Bible is capitalized when referring to “the Bible” and not “ a bible.”
Be consistent with “Tom” vs” Father Tom”
I’m an English major and there are a few things grammatically I suggest you check on, namely “dangling modifier” and “comma splice.” Find out what these are if you don’t know and fix them. Fortunately, they don’t appear too often.
Pg.4 A character seen another if “they are crazy” before we even get to know that character
Pg . 9 ”Satan is a wiley foe.” A bit cartoonish for a drama. I imagine Father Tom already
Pg. 15. Aren’t the priests assuming too quickly? Should they first check to see if the women
know each other? See if there’s a new cult? Do some more investigating at least? The
polygraph tests aren’t mentioned until much later in the script.
Pg. 18 “ Fools.” Again cartoonish.
Pg. 27. Unless the kids were brought up religiously or been exposed to Catholicism, would they
know what a rosary is and how to do it? Maybe they can ask their mother what is? Give
Joyce a chance to show some character by the words she chooses.
Pg. 43. A prime example of trimming. “Cardinal Vicenze feels the upper hand in the
conversation and takes a more aggressive pose in his chair” - “Cardinal Vicenze
leans forward.” This is also a good, tense filled scene with strong dialogue and
Pg. 61 I don’t like the wording of “as you know” when explaining the Islamic position on Mary,
but I’m glad that you mentioned it as it seems necessary when dealing these two
religions. Maybe you can get the point across by having Lisa ask Wahid what Islam’s
position is regarding Mary.
Pg. 80 “filthy gypsy children” Take out “filthy” so no one misconstrues a political statement.
Pg. 84 – This scene seems it can really be trimmed.
Pg. 86 . Why can Lisa pick Joyce out so easily when others can’t?
Pg. 89. This action should read a lot faster with less words. Use single lines, em dashes,
whatever. Make it flow fast.
Pg. 97” “I’m not dying without a fight…!” Again cartoonish.
Overall with a few rewrites and polishing this would be a very solid script and shows strong potential. Best wishes! read
by Loewenthal on 05/06/2010I found Double Vision quite enthralling. The fundamentals of the story are given to us very early in the script between the two opposing visions shown to both women thus establishing conflict. This kept me hooked straight away and wanting to turn the page all the more. I like the fact that the appearance of the Virgin Mary was very soon in the script and was set in a very... I found Double Vision quite enthralling. The fundamentals of the story are given to us very early in the script between the two opposing visions shown to both women thus establishing conflict. This kept me hooked straight away and wanting to turn the page all the more.
I like the fact that the appearance of the Virgin Mary was very soon in the script and was set in a very unusual place (page 3). I think this initial, important event gets the story into gear early on eliminating the possibility of a slow start. You would normally expect the appearance of such a figure to be seen in a much more holy place instead of the back of a bar toilet in contrast to Lisa's vision which was shown to her near some bushes. The bushes make the appearance of the vision slightly more conventional as they can be related to nature, peacefulness etc. and a more appropriate place for someone to experience a holy sighting. This specific choice of location for both characters consequently aids development of their character. This being, Joyce who seems to be a down and out 'biker chick' has her vision in a toilet and becomes the hero in the end whereas Lisa who is the devout Catholic has her vision in a more applicable place is the one who ends up being tricked by the devil.
The introduction of the Vatican so soon into the story (page 9) is odd however, as it's not totally believable that the Vatican investigates every vision of a Holy figure. Although, I understand that this could be explained somewhat as Cardinal Vincenze on page 96 reveals himself as Satan in the end and so could have swayed the decision for Father Tom and Jean to investigate into those visions. We see Joyce's vision before we see Lisa's and the Vatican are shown to us before Lisa's vision too. I think if both vision's were described to us one after the other and then the Vatican become involved, it would make the opening structure of the story slightly better.
Cardinal Vincenze's character became more predictable as the story developed. After a Cardinal anoints another member of the Clergy to assassinate a woman, you know that he is not so reverent and devout. The twist at the end where reveals himself as Satan was very well set up. Through his perverted actions, you would have just thought he was just an old, sleazy man, especially with the recent scandals on Catholic priests going on recently. So the twist of him being the devil was quite a surprise to me. Moreover, right at the end when Cardinal Vincenze/Satan is seen again speaking to a group of young teenage boys, is a sort of clichéd ending but works well as it could well set up for a sequel and/or keeps the conclusion open ended and leaving us wondering what the devil will do next.
Joyce is a really believable character and is developed well. I like the idea of the 'non-believer' becoming the sort of hero or “Chosen-one”. I felt much closer to Joyce while reading the script. I think this was partly due to much more concentration on Joyce's personality and character. She seems to be the character everyone comes to love and ends up supporting her. Her attack on Father Jean is comical and is one of the very few humorous parts of the script allowing us to like her a bit more because of this. We find out her relationship with Billy and that she has two little children who are in foster care making us feel more sympathy towards her whereas with Lisa, I didn't seem to care for her as much. I think the writer tried to create a kind of sympathy from the readers for Lisa by showing her mother and the poor relationship Lisa has with her mother. If anything, if we were supposed to get closer to Lisa, which I felt we needed to be to keep the structure of the story and keep our thoughts of the two impartial (in order not to give too much of the nature of the story away), we should have been allowed to see more of Lisa's life and become more personal with her as we were with Joyce.
Additionally, Lisa's character is strange at some points. On page 13, there is a voice over of Lisa in a flashback speaking about being the last teacher to leave on that day. She only speaks once through voice over. I think it would have been better if she had continued to describe her story through the voice over rather than just using it once. Furthermore, when Lisa speaks to her vision of The Virgin Mary on page 14, she acts too histrionic for me when she says “What wonderful news my Queen!” and throughout the conversation.
In the scene where Joyce kills Wahid from page 85 to 91, I pictured the whole event in Via della Conciliazione and the podium very much like the mise-en-scene in the film Vantage Point. The script was written competently and so making me able to picture the scene.
Finally, another thing that I found did not work for me in the script was the amount of time it took for Father Tom and Father Jean to travel to and from Italy and the US. For example, on pages 9 and 10 in one scene, they are in Rome speaking with Cardinal Vincenze and the next scene is outside the St. Michael's Church in the USA. It seems as if the priests travel round the corner to get from one country to the next. Although, this method does not break the flow from scene to scene. To improve this, maybe showing them travel a bit might have been a bit better as one there travels, it could be used as an opportunity for us to learn a bit more about the characters giving more space for their development. Moreover, the priests and Cardinal Vincenze's facial features are never described with enough detail for me to imagine them properly. This could be useful in a way, leaving it up to my own imagination as the character's personalities are quite conventional, so it's not too hard to imagine this but a little guidance would have been good.
All in all, Double Vision was really well written and did not fail to keep me entertained. I would definitely pay for this if it were to be made into a movie. read
by tinnins on 05/05/2010I thought the story was fantastic, It read very well. The characters were more than easy to follow, you allowed the audience to doubt themselves in which the turn of events weren't discovered until the end of the story which I loved. I felt the characters had real depth to them and were a great fit for the climax at hand. The Cardinal character I felt that you could have hidden... I thought the story was fantastic, It read very well. The characters were more than easy to follow, you allowed the audience to doubt themselves in which the turn of events weren't discovered until the end of the story which I loved. I felt the characters had real depth to them and were a great fit for the climax at hand. The Cardinal character I felt that you could have hidden his motive more and making the story become about individual beliefs that the different Fathers possess, more about self-faith then the story could have peaked to a new depth. And most of all you allowed the story an opening for a part II. read
by WDohle on 04/23/2010This review is written for the screenwriter addressed to the screenwriter. As such, I subdivided my comments into plot, dialogue, description, and general comments. I wrote these comments as I read through the screenplay. General impression I loved Double Vision once I got into it. The plot itself was a bit slow at first, but once you got through the first 20 pages or... This review is written for the screenwriter addressed to the screenwriter. As such, I subdivided my comments into plot, dialogue, description, and general comments. I wrote these comments as I read through the screenplay.
I loved Double Vision once I got into it. The plot itself was a bit slow at first, but once you got through the first 20 pages or so, I didn’t want to put it down. I read through the last 50 in one sitting, anxious to read more!
You will note my comments below. I am employed in the religious field and have a little experience with what you are talking about. Even so... I think with a little polish this script would make an excellent movie! I would definately go and see it!
• Well... you certainly hooked me into the story. Way to go there. I don’t know how the rest will turn out, but I don’t want to stop after pg. 10...which is a good thing!
• I don’t know why Father Tom winks at Joyce on pg. 10. What was he trying to say?
• Does the Catholic church REALLY take EVERY vision of Mary seriously?? Really?? Even if a woman with bi-polar disorder has a vision of Mary? Aren’t they a little more selective than you suggest?
• Catholics really don’t believe in the Tribulations... That’s an evangelical protestant notion and not out of the catholic church’s dogma.
• You’re definately well versed in the language of the Tribulation folks...rebuilding the temple, etc. That’s good... Except that catholics don’t believe that, I don’t think...
• I’m not sure what is so outrageous about the story the priest told?? So what? There are so many other stories like that?? What makes that so special??(P. 20)
• I think Father Tom would show a little more shock at being told to kill Joyce. (P. 47). He tells the Cardinal he isn’t an assassin...but I think he should say something like : “What? Are you crazy?”. He kinda assumes that this request is sane.
• Am I suppose to wonder who’s telling the truth on Pg. 52?? I thought Wahid was a bad guy? Now he’s counseling AGAINST revenge? Doesn’t make sense.
• Okay... Father Tom tells Lisa that he has to tell her some things about her visions...and then you move to LATER?? That doesn’t fly for me. (P. 58)
• I didn’t get WHY Joyce was seducing the Tour Guide until after. Maybe tell of Joyce before looking at the tour guide, noticing the key ring, and then pondering. That would give me the idea that she was after the keys...and not on some silly tangent.
• Don’t think you need Lisa seeing the woman giving a man oral sex. Maybe people in a drugged state...but I think that’s a little much.
• I don’t think your ending is at all realistic. (Pg. 94). To rebuild the temple would be to destroy the Mosque that sits on that site. That will NEVER happen since Muslims do not trace their liniage through Solomon(who built the first temple) but through Ishmael. Nice idea...but I don’t even think an assassination attempt would fix that problem.
• I knew that Cardinal Vincenze was evil...but I didn’t expect him to transform into the devil himself. Maybe a little over the top here. I always think that the scariest “evil” people are the ones who look beautiful. After all, Lucifer was said to have been the most beautiful angel before he was cast out of heaven. Do you think he turned ugly now?
• I love that whole dialogue that the Cardinal has with Father Tom...LOVE it...but there was no real closure there. Did he leave the Vatican?? Or not?? By the last scene I thought that he did, but I wasn’t really sure.
• I do think that the whole ending could be MUCH scarier if you didn’t transform the Cardinal. I love how Father Tom does, what I consider the Star Wars choice. That is, choosing mercy over anger. I love that. But I think it would have been even scarier if the cardinal had stayed human but had actually been Satan.
• Don’t know if a priest would be quite as candid as Father Jean and Father Tom are...especially with a parishoner.
• Not sure what the “agreement” was? What was the demon talking about? (p. 18)
• Talib’s closing words on pg. 21 don’t fit with what Muslims tell each other as they part. They usually say: “Peace be upon you, brother” or something like that. They don’t say “May Allah be with us” as Christians say “The Lord be with us...”
• When talking to Billy(p. 24), Joyce all of a sudden becomes this bad ass! Her language doesn’t fit her personality from the beginning. Is that how she would talk? It seems to me that one or the other needs to change in order to make it more realistic.
• Not sure if Muslims say “Allah” as many times as you had them say it on pg. 32-33 or on pgs. 52-53. It sounds like a Christian conversation put into a Muslim’s mouth. Especially the line that says: “Allay surely gave us our minds and our free will for a purpose.” THAT is an Evangelical Christian point of view...NOT a Muslim one.
• Just an idea... but... pg. 54 when you introduce the flashback, wouldn’t it be better to have him start the Hail Mary’s?? “Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee...” It would certainly be ironic given what has happened in these two conflicting visions.
• I don’t think Lisa would put it together like she did on pg. 58. “I guess I always just wanted to know what it was like to be loved.” Most people, especially religious people, don’t have that much insight into themselves...(speaking from experience here. :) )
• I KNOW that Barak would NEVER say “Let Yahweh speak for you” since the name of God is considered sacred and not even written in the Bible. Let the Lord speak for you would be better. NOT Yahweh. Jews never use the sacred name of God in ANYTHING. (P. 65)
• I think that Joyce would call Father Tom “Father”... that’s the proper way to address a priest at least. Even if she isn’t catholic.(p. 74)
• IDEA: I think it would be ironic if, instead of Father Tom singing “Let it Be” that he would say his Hail Mary with the rifle in his hand. (P. 88). Remember they ARE catholic and they can do catholic things.
• I DO like that Father Tom does the Anointing for the Sick on Lisa. (Pg. 90).
• I don’t understand the line: “So much for thou shall not bear false witness.” (P.99). What did he mean by that?? Nor do I understand the line “We had a deal. This was my kingdom.”(p.100). What is he talking about??
• You could describe the West Bank a little more, the actual location of the first scene, instead of just “the slums.”
• Good description of the bar! I really like all the details you inserted in it. Likewise with most of the characters too. I can visualize them pretty well.
• You could have a little more description of the priests and the cardinal. Can’t quite picture them from what you’ve written of them. (Pgs. 7-9). When you do describe people(like Lisa on pg. 12) you do it very well!
• You seldom answer the “how” questions. Like you will say: “Joyce is dressed and looks better than she has in a long time” (p. 44) but you don’t tell us HOW she looks better or HOW she looked before and HOW she looks now.
• You might want to read through a Scriptwriting book too. There are some scenes that can be really enhanced if you use the P.O.V. tool or Montage them a little more. These additions would only enhance your already good script.
• I think when you introduce the Reporter(p. 2) you need to specify that he’s speaking over the television IN the dialogue itself(I think you use a paranthetical to do that).
• Introducing characters is tricky. Make sure BILLY has a proper introduction before he speaks. He seems to come out of no where.
• It is very unrealistic to expect that a priest would allow someone to smoke in his church! (P. 10). Cut out the cigarette and you’ve got something more realistic. Also...churches don’t have ash trays.(p. 10)
• Can’t describe what people are thinking, as on pg. 28, when you say that the children “don’t understand the ramifications of this news.” You can say what they should be looking like. “Children look confused.” but you can’t say what they understand or don’t understand, not in a screenplay.
• Pg. 32... Talib says that Allah has “granted you with the gift of persuasion.” I don’t think “granted” is the right word here. Perhaps graced would be better.
• How do women “take each other in”?? (p. 37). I don’t understand what you want them to do.
• Would be nice to have a little timeline inserted between scenes, especially when you jump around so much. Even a “LATER” or a “IN THE MEANTIME” or something to let us know when all of this is taking place. You say these things IN the scenes, but never between scenes.
• I like your piece on Judas and Peter(p. 41-42). Very insightful theologically too!
• Ha! I love the name of Mario’s woman “Lillith!” Yeah. I caught that one. (P. 82)
• I don’t think you need to cuss when describing the Intercut scenes on pg. 89. You say : “He’s already pulled the Goddamn trigger”
by zltinsf on 04/18/2010When Joyce cold cocks Father Jean, steals his wallet, and says to herself, "I'm definitely going to hell", I found myself laughing out loud. Funny because it's such a typical Hollywood moment. I could see Eddie Murphy or James Bond or Sandra Bullock or just about anyone punching out a priest, delivering that line and forcing a spontaneous laugh out of me. Double Vision is... When Joyce cold cocks Father Jean, steals his wallet, and says to herself, "I'm definitely going to hell", I found myself laughing out loud. Funny because it's such a typical Hollywood moment. I could see Eddie Murphy or James Bond or Sandra Bullock or just about anyone punching out a priest, delivering that line and forcing a spontaneous laugh out of me.
Double Vision is not one I would have chosen to read based on it's synopsis, but it does a good job covering familiar ground, and the reason we have genres, I suppose, is so we, as screenwriters and moviegoers, don't have to waist a bunch of time establishing/comprehending a unique world, but can immediately know where we are and what direction we are headed in.
I enjoyed walking this path, and for the most part every setup and reveal was well paced. None of the characters were stand outs for me as far as jumping off the page, but again, the story's probably better for it. We already know these people. They are each completely defined within their respective introductory scenes.
There's no real tension as far as guessing whodunit. The 'surprises' are slowly dealt out, and it's of some comfort knowing we had already figured them all out. The real mystery comes in how exactly Joyce's un-Marylike quest could inspire peace, and I think you dealt with that in a very clever way. All in all I feel like you know exactly what you wanted to do, and you did it.
I was not blown out of the water by the end of this, but I did enjoy the trip. I think this is one of those that will sink or swim upon the choices of the director. If Polanski shot this in the seventies or some young hotshot out of South Korea today, the foundation is definitely there for a stylish, rollicking ride.
There were a couple distractions for me:
-Billy. I wasn't sure if he was Joyce's boyfriend or not. By the time I was wondering why their relationship wasn't being made crystal clear, Joyce was asking him to move in. It doesn't serve your story well, if my brain is wasting energy on unimportant questions.
-From Rome to the US and back. I didn't really feel this trip. It seemed as though Fathers Tom and Jean just walked around the block to interview Lisa. Perhaps you're just leaving room for the director here, but couldn't one of the Fathers' conversations be on a plane or something?
-Upon first reading the secret scripts, Father Tom dreams their contents. Why doesn't he just read in voiceover? Not hugely important, but it was a question that I asked.
-Finally this genre seems to always have 2 1/2 endings. It's always a half too many for me. Of course that's just personal preference, but couldn't we end on a slam bam high point, and not slowly check off the boxes until the bad guy lurks his head again for impending mischief? Like I said I enjoy the ritual of genre, but I don't see why you can't use short hand on some of the more cliched story elements.
This is the first review I've written for this site, so I hope it offers at least the slimmest bit of helpful feedback. I've come to Trigger Street primarily to read as many screenplays as I can, and get a firm hold on what the industry deems professional and marketable. Reading your work has helped me tremendously. Thanks for the opportunity .
by CyFLY on 04/17/2010FADE IN: goes all the way to the left He takes a few agonizing steps before he falls over dead. = "agonizing" try to describe your scenes without using "ING" words... has a rugged face that bears the reminders of his violent youth. = GOOD what do BILLY & MITCH look like.. how old are they?? FORMAT for ON TV: Sometimes the last dialogue said in a scene can be removed; makes... FADE IN: goes all the way to the left
He takes a few agonizing steps before he falls over dead. = "agonizing" try to describe your scenes without using "ING" words...
has a rugged face that bears the reminders of his violent youth. = GOOD
what do BILLY & MITCH look like.. how old are they??
FORMAT for ON TV:
Sometimes the last dialogue said in a scene can be removed; makes things alot better...see if it works for you..
Joyce shakes her head and tries unsuccessfully to stifle a smile at Billy's persistence. = too WORDY
You are a good descriptive write but also overdescriptive. There should be more white on your pages but it's filled with heavy dialogue and descriptions..
She sees a photograph on the counter and picks it up. stay away from the word "SEES" "IT's" say.. "She picks up a photo off the counter"
ctrl + F to search for words like "HE" "SHE" "SEES""FINALLY" "VERY" " AND" "SO""TWO" "LIKE" try not to use them so much..
It's a picture of her and her two kids, MARCIE, 12, and SOPHIE, 10, from a happier time. She gazes at them and
cradles the picture to her chest before she puts it back. = A picture of her and her two kids, MARCIE, 12, and
SOPHIE, 10, from a happier time. She gazes at them; cradles the picture to her chest.
She returns and frantically runs into the = She frantically runs into the...
Joyce calms down, teary eyed but not hysterical. = ??? why say what she is not..waste of space
Don't tell us she leaves without her purse..we will find out later she did..
Billy rings the doorbell = "RINGS" all CAPS for sound effects
Joyce finally answers the door. Billy sees the blotchy patches on her face and her horribly smeared mascara. no need to say door...we can assume that..
= Joyce answers. Blotchy patches invade her face with horribly smeared mascara.
Why would Joyce get rid of weed and alcohol but still smoke her cigarettes??
I figured there's only two types of people that like working on their knees, and I didn't want anything to do with either one of 'em. = GOOD
The story starts quick = GOOD JOB
The two priests get in the car. = "The priests get in the car."
LISA Finley. = LISA FINLEY
The secretary nods and leaves the three alone. = The secretary nods and leaves. Do you see my point of telling too much info?
The dialogue seems so cut out..needs to be more natural..
the two priests need to be different as much as possible..especially becasue they have many scenes together..
Joyces vision should be given a better character name..
Remember, we are responsible for what we do, as well as for what we fail to do. = GOOD
door in the kitchen slam shut. = "SLAM" all CAPS
We've bargained with evil before
and what has it gained us? NOTHING! = GOOD
Joyce has trouble with the zipper and loses her temper. = GOOD
You have a good story you just need to heighten the pace and get rid of the dead wood or excess fat..trim this screenplay up and you will notice a difference in the flow..
GOOD LUCK!!! read
by **DELETED ACCOUNT** on 04/08/2010Double Vision has a great premise that grabs the attention immediately. It’s also topical and a little controversial; amidst violence in Palestine and a burgeoning peace process, a vision of the Blessed Virgin demands the killing of a Palestinian politician. Another vision pleads for his safety. Straightaway we have conflict and the promise of an exciting climax. There... Double Vision has a great premise that grabs the attention immediately.
It’s also topical and a little controversial; amidst violence in Palestine and a burgeoning peace process, a vision of the Blessed Virgin demands the killing of a Palestinian politician. Another vision pleads for his safety.
Straightaway we have conflict and the promise of an exciting climax.
There are some nice reversals in the story:
The first vision: Instead of Mary appearing to poor Joyce (earmarked as a ‘sinner’ from the minute we meet her) and preaching a redemptive message of love, what we get is an order to assassinate. Excellent. As inciting incidents go, this is very good.
Lisa’s vision sets her up as the antagonist; the perfect schoolteacher gets a vision preaching peace. Our second reversal. Great stuff.
The inability of Lisa’s Mary to say ‘Holy’ is clever and creates tension and mystery as we head for Act 3 – Tom and Lisa go on a two thousand mile wild goose chase only for Tom to realise that the vision could not say Holy See. We then race back to the Vatican for the finale. Tom should be on the right track by now but appears to waver until almost the very end, when he recalls Joyce’s message.
The story held my interest right until the end.
It seems very apparent that Joyce is the main character and protagonist. We seem to spend more time with her; she is the more conflicted character with more to lose (by virtue of what is asked of her). This made me lean more towards anticipating that Joyce’s vision was the correct one. Nothing wrong with this of course; even knowing who’s who by the climax creates tension - there are two shooters in the scene and a rucksack bomb – anything could happen.
Lisa did not feel as well developed for me, despite the backstory of the conflict with her mother. She is a little too perfect and therefore harder to empathise with. Again, this had me leaning toward Lisa’s as the false vision. I would like to see her more conflicted. Give her a secretly slutty side and have her and Tom end up in bed together. Could create some interesting doubts within Tom at the end. Only a suggestion.
Talib and Wahid as character names are too similar and I became very confused at some points in the story. On Page 20 Talib suggests Wahid become his deputy. By Page 32 Wahid is the PM and Talib the deputy. On page 50, the Israelis mull over killing ‘this deputy of Talib.’ Is Cardinal Vincenze referring to Wahid when he says ‘Make sure this butcher has no claim to the Holy Land?’ Isn’t he the man of peace? If Wahid is more the man of peace, why does Mary want him dead and Satan want him alive? Would Talib have corrupted him, turned him towards confrontation and violence? We need more of an explanation of how Wahid’s death helps bring about peace. The meeting of minds of Talib, the Israeli PM and his son afterwards is a little coincidental.
Structure is good and solid although I felt Act 1 was a little long. I thought the ending with Cardinal Vincenze turning out to be Satan was a little too long also (although I note from your production notes you have reduced the length here from earlier drafts). It felt a little clichéd to be honest after what has been up to this point quite original and stimulating and it reminded me of something like The Devil’s Advocate. Satan has clearly been at work here, do we need to see him in the flesh? I thought a nice finish could be something like a congregation in church and a shot of a statue of the Blessed Virgin. Perhaps this statue resembles Lisa’s vision a bit more, just to leave us with a little doubt or to highlight some duality. Or another vision from Mary, beginning with ‘Be not afraid…’ The visions are the standout images in this screenplay. The coda seems to make what has gone before more about the Cardinal. He could be just left as a lecherous old monster that chose the wrong vision rattling round the Vatican. Still an effective and disturbing idea.
Overall, Double Vision has a highly original concept and very memorable imagery. Action description is sound; some dialogue could be trimmed as it is a little unnecessary. This is very nearly there and some small snips would lift this from good to absolutely great. I certainly enjoyed it. read
by Asu03 on 04/02/2010Bill, I have read several of your other scripts and while I may not always like the concept, you are one hell of a writer. This is going to be a short review. The visuals and pacing in your action made this a smooth read, especially the assassination scene. For some reason I kept thinking of the movie Vantage Point during this scene. Unlike a lot of stories on this site,... Bill, I have read several of your other scripts and while I may not always like the concept, you are one hell of a writer. This is going to be a short review.
The visuals and pacing in your action made this a smooth read, especially the assassination scene. For some reason I kept thinking of the movie Vantage Point during this scene. Unlike a lot of stories on this site, the action didn’t feel forced. I could visualize the location of the characters quite easily and was never lost during the action.
You handled the execution of this story perfectly. The only thing I would advise you to improve on is developing Lisa’s character a bit more. In my opinion, she came off a little flat. As for the other characters, you did a great job. Tom and Joyce were your best three dimensional characters. I liked the interaction between David and Talib in the hospital. I only wish it could be that easy to reach a peaceful agreement in the Middle East.
Nice twist with the Cardinal as Satan. You established some nice set-ups with dialogue and actions in the Cardinal it paid off when he revealed his true colors.
Thank you for the read, Bil! read
by BoinTN on 03/31/2010It's always more difficult to read a script that has clearly been attended to for the basic format and spelling problems, so now you're at a place where structure and story are preeminently important. First, I like the story. The idea of two women from wildly different backgrounds and wildly different visions of Mary giving them opposing goals is fine. The relationship... It's always more difficult to read a script that has clearly been attended to for the basic format and spelling problems, so now you're at a place where structure and story are preeminently important.
First, I like the story. The idea of two women from wildly different backgrounds and wildly different visions of Mary giving them opposing goals is fine. The relationship to the Mideast issues and a corruptible Vatican works for me, too. However, I couldn't go all the way with the story. When discussing story, this is more subjective, so please take this with a grain of salt.
I didn't buy Joyce's quick conversion from drug-addled to clean and her quick acceptance of her task. I felt like she should be more skeptical and more reluctant. Her counterpart made more sense, until she gets a visit from the Cardinal. For the Cardinal's plans to hinge on Jill accepting this random dream as part of her vision, then actually carrying it out once she's visited the awful home of Mario - it didn't feel authentic. I could accept it more if she displayed such blind reverence earlier that the prodding to commit murder was an extension of that... just didn't feel fully baked in this version.
I also felt Wahid was inconsistent as a character. It's one thing to make him complex, but I couldn't tell you his motivations for his actions. Is he more secular? If so, why has Talib embraced him so? I get that political and religious organizations are complex by nature, and Fathers Tom and Jean certainly come forward as heroic, but I never felt like I knew Wahid enough to care if he died or not.
I was also not crazy about the Cardinal's reveal. There have been so many treatments of Satan on Earth done, with varying degrees of success, but I thought Satan's speechifying here was completely predictable. Not only did it seem clear that he was a villain early on, when he makes his "man's inhumanity to man" speech, you can't help but compare it to great Satanic monologues like Devil's Advocate (not a great movie, but Pacino nails that scene)so you have to knock that moment out of the park or underplay it considerably.
At the end of the day, this is a competent script that got mired, for me, in unbelievable character behaviors and some clumsy moments that are central to the overall effect. That being said, the smaller issues are over - format, etc. Shave off five or six pages, tighten it up, really focus on character motivations and your key beats and I think you have a winner!
Couple of quick spelling issues, nothing major:
Page 51 - you use a possessive for Israeli's where none should be
Page 65 - need a question mark to finish "Can you." read
- Writer: Robert Thielke, Miriam Paschal
- Uploaded by: bthielke
- Length: 102 pages
- Genre: horror, sci-fi/fantasy
- Different ending than before, about 8 pages cleaner. Thanks to the marvelous mim (miriam paschal) for her contributions on this.
- Bio: I AM SOMEONE!! Writer of THE VIRGINIAN a 2013 adaptation of the 1905 Owen Wister novel of the same name. This version stars Ron Perlman, Trace Adkins, and Victoria Pratt. 2012, 2009 Nicholl's Quarterfinalist with Principles of Buoyancy and 2009-2010 Bluecat Quarterfinalist with Czechmate (co-written with the awesome David Muhlfelder).
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