A troubled man is hunted by several killers for a device he unwillingly carries.
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When two detectives investigate the murder of a billionairess, they quickly discover that their prime suspect is a diagnosed schizophrenic prone to episodes of amnesia. But the more they probe, the more they become convinced they are simply pawns being manipulated in some greater game.
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Reviews of PAWN 30
by 77kart on 05/25/2010Pros: - The final twist, the present for Dominic was interesting. Character: - Whose story is this? Who's the main character? Luke is quite passive so I guess the protag would be Emmet & Paul. - Bondability: I didn't find either Emmett or Paul to be sympathetic. I didn't care if they were successful in their quest. Ditto for Luke. - Arc: Emmett and Paul had no arc... Pros:
- The final twist, the present for Dominic was interesting.
- Whose story is this? Who's the main character? Luke is quite passive so I guess the protag would be Emmet & Paul.
- Bondability: I didn't find either Emmett or Paul to be sympathetic. I didn't care if they were successful in their quest. Ditto for Luke.
- Arc: Emmett and Paul had no arc. Nor did Luke. They were the same characters at the end as at the beginning. Contrast this to great films like LA Confidential.
- I found the main characters to be shallow, Paul and Emmett particularly. They aren't well-rounded. They don't manifest internal and external goals. Consider if you could show us something about them, make them three dimensional. For example: Clarice Starling, Marshall Gerard (the Fugitive), Richie Roberts (American Gangster), the cops in LA Confidential, John Anderton ( Minority Report).
- There are no compelling relationships. Consider if you could provide same, for example between Luke & girlfriend or between Paul and Emmett.
- Antagonist force was weak, should be stronger. Doesn't need to be Dominic: could be like Dr. Chilton in Silence of the Lambs or Trupo in American Gangster or Danny Witwer in Minority Report.
- The story takes a long time to get interesting.
- The stakes were low. They were trying to solve a previously committed murder. Consider if you could make the scheme ongoing. e.g., the villain wants to kill multiple people to get his money and Emmett & Paul solve the mystery just before villain kills his last and most important victim.
- You could add a couple of set pieces, chases or action sequences.
- The opening two scenes are wasted. You reveal that Emmett is recently divorced and moving into a new apartment and a crack shot. But you don't use these details ever again in the story. Instead, why not do exposition, reveal details, about Paul and Emmett that are critical to the story. This could be at the level of character, such as the early scene of LA Confidential where Bud White is revealed to be a protector of women. Or it could be at the level of theme, such as in American Gangster, where the themes of 'no one is in charge' and 'cutting out the middle man' are introduced. First impressions are lasting and should explore the key characteristics of the character.
Good luck with it.
by ceratonia on 05/20/2010Overall, I thought it was well-paced, interesting, and most importantly, entertaining. People always like a good thriller/suspense and I thought it a job well done on the plot twists. I was actually wondering myself a good number of times if Kate had actually killed Lefroy and was framing Luke because he was an easy target. A few thoughts about Jenny: 1) When Jenny first... Overall, I thought it was well-paced, interesting, and most importantly, entertaining.
People always like a good thriller/suspense and I thought it a job well done on the plot twists. I was actually wondering myself a good number of times if Kate had actually killed Lefroy and was framing Luke because he was an easy target.
A few thoughts about Jenny: 1) When Jenny first spoke to Luke, my first thought was that she was too dismissive of his claim that he had killed somebody. A psych wouldn’t just dismiss Luke’s reactions to a new anti- psychotic drug in that manner, and they certainly wouldn’t simply write up a new prescription, even for an old prescription. Those types of prescriptions, reactions, side effects, etc. are highly monitored so that wasn’t quite believable. 2) When Jenny spoke to the detectives, she was too forthcoming about information concerning Luke and his mental condition. I’m pretty sure that violates the doctor/patient confidentiality rule.
In terms of plot, I thought a number of times that Luke could have been outsmarting everyone, and would have eventually planted evidence to frame someone else (say, he was just leading the detectives down the wrong path in a game?) Just a thought.
I thought the detective bit was a teeny bit cliché. Two kinda dead beat cops are assigned the biggest case of the decade?! Hmm. They may seem a bit aloof but maybe you should establish why they’re assigned the case so easily.
By the way, who hit Emmett and why? Nothing ever became of that…?
Most of the characters sound/speak in pretty much the same way except the occasional sarcasm from Paul or Emmett.
Did I miss something? On page 100, the detectives storm into the psych ward and arrest Jenny based on a picture and a sneaking suspicion that she was Dominic’s accomplice?
There is a lot of ‘distance’ from the characters, as in, the reader/audience is not sure who (protag) they are following or rooting for (or not). Let’s say, if Emmett has a brother who was so troubled with schizophrenia that he took his own life, maybe Emmett’s emotional connection to the case can be brought forth through that.
I thought the murder scene was repeated word for word too many times, it was overdone. Try showing clips of the murder scene in a continuum across the screenplay- let the audience piece it together from start to finish.
I thought the end scene where Emmett and Paul see Dominic talking to the lawyer was a bit too coincidental- maybe you could just somehow ‘show’ that he came into Lefroy’s fortune (a meeting with the lawyer?) and then cut to the detectives opening the books at their desks- the audience will get it.
Overall, I thought it was a nice crack at a first draft. Fair play to you. read
by koolkav on 05/16/2010Pawn follows two police detectives investigating the murder of a billionairess. The plot takes cues from the manchurian candidate, and provides an interesting and suspenseful take on a classic. That being said, pawn does have it's drawbacks that limit it's potential to be a great screenplay. Firstly, what I found to be pretty annoying was the rather crude and somewhat cliched... Pawn follows two police detectives investigating the murder of a billionairess. The plot takes cues from the manchurian candidate, and provides an interesting and suspenseful take on a classic.
That being said, pawn does have it's drawbacks that limit it's potential to be a great screenplay. Firstly, what I found to be pretty annoying was the rather crude and somewhat cliched dialogue that really distracted from the story. Secondly, the ending was kind of all over the place. I understood most of the story, but I think that the main antagonist should have been Dominic santana as he had much more of a motive than Jenny. It's still unclear at the end whether or not he was involved. Also, I think the entire story told from lukes point of view would make this much more interesting as he is the character that develops the most, but maybe I'm just biased.
What I did enjoy though was the pacing of the story and the fact that it flowed from scene to scene really well. This made pawn an enjoyable read, however, those drawbacks detracted from the whole experience. read
by waltersor on 04/18/2010To be honest, I was not captivated by the first 10 pages. I was bored because the story wasn't interesting. I have a problem with the scene headings and the time of day. Too much details was put into it when it was not needed. Additionally, in the actions, I find that the author tells us what is going to happen... this is not good writing. And most importantly, the dialogue... To be honest, I was not captivated by the first 10 pages. I was bored because the story wasn't interesting.
I have a problem with the scene headings and the time of day. Too much details was put into it when it was not needed.
Additionally, in the actions, I find that the author tells us what is going to happen... this is not good writing.
And most importantly, the dialogue was too wordy. There was too much dialogue... Not a good balance between the dialogue and the action.
Also, I did not under who was the protagonist. That was way confusing. Is the protagonist the two detectives or the patient?
by bthielke on 04/12/2010Pretty interesting story, it certainly deserves it's spot in the daily faves. Concept- These kinds of stories will always have a market, so long as they are well done. this is pretty well done. Story- clever twist at the end, but how did Jenny know that Dom was going to double cross her? Also, a couple facts need to be cleared up in my mind: how did the gun get in Luke's... Pretty interesting story, it certainly deserves it's spot in the daily faves.
Concept- These kinds of stories will always have a market, so long as they are well done. this is pretty well done.
Story- clever twist at the end, but how did Jenny know that Dom was going to double cross her? Also, a couple facts need to be cleared up in my mind: how did the gun get in Luke's possession? How did they preserve the body long enough to really frame luke?
Characters- I think I'd like a little more fight in Luke, he needs to do some stuff to prove his innocence, he's otherwise very passive. In a way the two detectives are the protags because they move the action, I think I 'd prefer they move the action at Lukes behest.
Format/STructure/Mechanics. Your narrative tended to be a little too dense at times. I think you could cut down on some of the details to thin this out a few pages. You need a good spellcheck/grammar/word usage review just to up the professionalism of this script.
Dialogue- pretty decent. A little long at times (shouldn't be > 3-4 lines. May want to look at consolidating thoughts and cutting down on the longer blocks of dialog.
Overall- an enjoyable read and I think with a little bit of cleanup and touch up, could be a very succesful spec script.
pg 5- pretty in a homely way? those are antonyms and don't make sense when put together.
pg 8- having the exact same vision twice in 3 pages is too repetitive. What if you had a continuation of the same vision instead?
pg 16- I'd personally be leery of dating a person who had serious mental issues. Why is kate so willing to work with him on his issues?
pg 20 -solved not solve'ed
pg 27- a hollow point will expand and blow apart on impact, which is what causes the small entrance wound and the huge diffuse exit wound. The by product of that is that the velocity of the slug that's left wouldn't go into the wall with a greater force, it'll actually have less force because all the energy's been dissipated in fragments.
pg 28 you never said why they thought luke was a suspect, Did Dr call it in? She can't do that due to dr./patient confidentiality can she? What if there was a clue in Lefoy's house? Unless Kate did it?
pg 48 - either call her Jenny or call her doctor Villeurs, but don't switch back and forth.
pg 77- wouldn't the police try to not reveal Luke to Dominic just incase he'd seen him somewhere before, now that angle is contaminated.
pg 104- if jenny killed lefroy then regressed Luke into thinking he did it, wouldn't the body be overly decayed in that time frame? Did she refrigerate her or something? read
by priyasdipu on 04/10/2010This one is a good script which I have read since long time. Its well crafted and includes all the necessary elements of a thriller. A good setup and well developing theme. But I am a bit disappointed for the ending, was it deliberately left incomplete for a sequel? Or was it hinting at otherwise which I was unable to capture? Was Jenny the main culprit or was it Dominic?... This one is a good script which I have read since long time. Its well crafted and includes all the necessary elements of a thriller. A good setup and well developing theme.
But I am a bit disappointed for the ending, was it deliberately left incomplete for a sequel? Or was it hinting at otherwise which I was unable to capture? Was Jenny the main culprit or was it Dominic?
The dialogues are too well written, It seems the writer has quite good experience in writing thrillers.
I have a silly confusion,
If Luke observes the blood stains on his foot, then why he never made efforts to remove them, thus giving further scope for the detectives to suspect him as the murderer? Or was it intentional to expose the naiveness and gullible of Luke's character.
Well, on the flip side, the plot read like a bit overused for the silver screen. Because, I have seen quite a number of thriller with similar type of plot but not exactly similar to your script. But, then again, its quite a good script and well presented. I am sure it can be a good thriller if represented properly on screen. read
by k1leu on 03/30/2010Your bio says you were a script editor & 1st AD, & placed in several contests, whereas I’ve never worked in Hollywood, so it would appear you have a lot more experience than I do, but this script goes against a lot of what I’ve been taught. Examples: -2p in and it already strikes me as wordy. Examples: Well, maybe that’ll teach you to keep your dick inside your pants next... Your bio says you were a script editor & 1st AD, & placed in several contests, whereas I’ve never worked in Hollywood, so it would appear you have a lot more experience than I do, but this script goes against a lot of what I’ve been taught. Examples:
-2p in and it already strikes me as wordy. Examples: Well, maybe that’ll teach you to keep your dick inside your pants next time. Could be: Maybe that’ll teach you to keep your dick inside your pants.
And: Yeah, but don’t worry. He rarely brings his work home with him. Could be: Don’t worry. He rarely brings his work home.
-p 8: Quite a lot of ‘telling;’ example: She sounds traumatised. Like some frightened animal that’s being hunted. Better if you can show this with her words.
I'm also given to understand that dialogue should not go on for more than 4 lines; yours regularly goes over 4, up to a dozen or more.
Other things that occurred to me as I read:
-p 2: PUAL should be PAUL (occurs several times).
-p 4: Margaret/gunshot
-p 7: same thing
-p 12: I need more reason to believe that, if Luke has told Dr. Villiers he’d killed someone, she’d blow him off with a prescription.
-p 14: Don’t know how it works in England, but in America, doctor-patient confidentiality is the rule (you mention this yourself on p 37, where she suggests the detectives talk to Luke’s girlfriend, which also seems unethical). Also, she didn’t appear too worried earlier when she merely changed his prescription.
-p 18: Doesn’t seem like it would take the help 2 days to find the body of their employer, if they lived in a mansion (which you call MARGARET LEFROY’S HOUSE on p 19).
p 20: They’ve been there before?
p 20: Oh, man, what a dump. I can (or can’t?)
p 22: Should JERYY be JERRY? Felps led them out of the wrong room; now he’s following?
p 24: I suggest you lets (let?)
p 26: Why does Kate pick lunchtime rush to call Luke?
p 27: If she’s already been dead for 2 days, would it be possible to: rolls Margaret’s head to one side? Need to ID Don, the Pathologist sooner.
p 32: Why would there be a broken window (p 18) if Luke has a key?
p 45: the dog had an inoperable brain tour (tumor?)
p 46: And as for the blood on his shoes, how do you know it’s not his own? Wouldn’t the police have checked this out? (They do, but not until p 59)
p 48: Touché. This is usually used in response to a retort.
p 50: And there was you, (and there you were?)
p 55: Somebody steps out and SMASHES him across the back of his skull with the ceramic lid to the water cistern. Again, this might be different where you live, but over here, that would be a heavy object to sneak up behind someone and bash them with. If you can do it, you’re fine, but I just tried with mine, and it’s unwieldy.
p 57: I’ve been coming in and out of that apartment (if they’re still in the apartment, wouldn’t it be this apartment?)
p 77: It doesn’t seem plausible to me that a) they would discuss a will in front of Luke, b) not have checked for it by now, & c) not know whether they had or not.
This Professor Santana is beginning to prick my curiosity. They get an anonymous call suggesting they check out Luke, but this doesn’t happen until p 82?
p 87: Felps moves up to his cars (car?)
p 88: A young hip bohemian looking PSYCHIATRIST with long black sits (long black hair?)
p 96: If Luke is in the room with Margaret, him speaking wouldn’t be V.O.
p 105: but you then sort (sought?) to lay the blame
p 106: Yes, congratulation (congratulations?)
Nice twist at the end.
CONCEPT: Whodunit; fits well in the Mystery/Suspense genre. Your logline reminded me of Shutter Island. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but plan to; I read the book a few years ago & enjoyed it.
STORY: I believe the bones of a good story are here, but there were places (mentioned above) where I thought credulity was stretched. The detectives didn’t seem to know what they were doing, and if Dr. Villiers suspected Dominic would frame her for the Lefroy murder strongly enough to engineer his murder, why wouldn’t she share her suspicions with the detectives?
STRUCTURE: Seems to me like the murder, what I’d call the Inciting Incident, or the end of Act I, should happen before p 18, and the wedding at the beginning of Act III needs to be shortened to get to the end quicker.
DIALOG: I found it way too wordy (as described above). This isn’t how people I listen to talk, either in movies or IRL.
CHARACTERS: As noted above, I didn’t find the detectives or the doctors credible.
GENERAL: You redeemed yourself to some degree at the end, but the rest of the story didn’t reach that level. Best of luck. Hope this helps, and that the above didn't sound overly harsh. read
by Cavan11 on 03/29/2010The Pawn An interesting premise gutted by a poor script. Too bad. There’s a story here and I think a lot of people would like to hear it told well. This script isn’t up to it. Plot: A confused young man, plagued by nightmares that he’s responsible for the murder of a wealthy woman, although he didn’t know the woman, had no friends or colleagues in common with her, and... The Pawn
An interesting premise gutted by a poor script. Too bad. There’s a story here and I think a lot of people would like to hear it told well. This script isn’t up to it.
Plot: A confused young man, plagued by nightmares that he’s responsible for the murder of a wealthy woman, although he didn’t know the woman, had no friends or colleagues in common with her, and didn’t benefit by her death, is the initial and sole suspect targeted by the two NYPD detectives charged with solving her murder. This, indeed, is fertile ground. Regrettably, the script slowly destroys the premise and the fertile ground yields only weeds. The script’s really rather pathetic, made sadder in that the story’s premise is a damn fine premise that, in the hands of someone who has the ability, time, and patience to get it right, would produce a script that would be very, very interesting to a producer.
Police procedure is utterly ignored and thrown out the window. The murder investigation proceeds illogically and frequently along rather silly and useless paths. There’s a touch of preposterous interference by one of the Mayor’s gophers that would never, ever occur. The detectives are mostly well meaning, but rather stupid, clumsy, and confused. Searches are made without warrants. Arrests are made without probable cause. Property is taken without subpoenas. It’s as if Laurel and Hardy are the detectives and that they report to the Mad Hatter.
Luke is the schizophrenic young man so riddled with psychoses that he doesn’t know up from down much of the time. Luckily, Luke has a girlfriend, Kate, who knows that she lives on Earth and knows in her heart that Luke is innocent—although a woman in love with a delusional schizophrenic probably has issues that challenge her own sense of reality. The two detectives, Emmett and Paul, plod along dutifully, but they really don’t know how to go about investigating this murder, although they are long-time NYPD detectives.
Luke’s psychiatrist, Jenny, defends him, but that doesn’t sway either Detective Tweedledum or Detective Tweedledee. Whatever progress the investigation makes is made despite the detectives, not really because of them. I won’t tell you the ending, but it’s really, really stupid. It’s not just unbelievable or preposterous or incomprehensible or beyond belief. It’s stupid.
Characters. They’re all as flat as can be. Not a scintilla of personality in anyone. No conflicts. No odd interests. No obscure knowledge. Nothing. They’re more like cartoon characters than flesh-and-blood individuals. No depth. They’re almost robots.
Dialog. The dialog is stilted and often pretentious. Questions which needn’t be asked are asked. Questions which ought to have been asked aren’t asked. Gratuitous statements are made. Ambiguous statements are often received as if they are the oral equivalent of the Rosetta Stone. There are no subtleties in any of the characters’s speeches—or in any of the characters, for that matter.
Action. The detectives make trips with the accused to get him to trip himself up. They never afford him his right to remain silent, much less his right to an attorney. There is not even the appearance of objectivity in any of the detectives’ actions. Although they have the formidable resources of the NYPD to help them in their investigation, they buy three books at a book store to research an unclear point. When Luke becomes sick in their car, do they rush to a hospital? No, they rush to Luke’s apartment to get his medication and then go to the hospital. Absolutely preposterous, but par for this writer’s course. The detectives repeatedly reïnvent the wheel and then spend a lot of time spinning it pointlessly. The script is clearly written by someone who is utterly unfamiliar not only with proper police procedure in the U. S., but, possibly, in the U.K. as well. It’s really sad to think that anyone writing about the NYPD—or any large law enforcement organization—would think that these detectives are representative of New York’s finest. The writer’s unfamiliarity with the New York Police Force is clear when he uses “to protect and serve” as the Department’s de facto motto, although “to protect and serve” has, in fact, been the motto of the Los Angeles Police Force for more than fifty years and appears on every LAPD patrol car.
Writing. It’s a mess. Poor grammar. Poor diction. Poor punctuation. Very, very sloppy.
1. There are numerous misuses of commas and there are numerous places where commas are needed but aren’t provided. Grammar, diction, and punctuation is a problem throughout the script.
2. I highly doubt that a NYPD homicide detective could afford the apartment Emmett’s looking at, especially if he’s also paying alimony. This guy’s got to be on the take. If not, then the apartment’s got to go.
3. Neither Emmett nor Paul would use such blue language around a stranger, not even a Realtor. That should be cleaned up.
4. Luke’s in an empty train carriage (too British!). There’s no such thing as an empty train carriage in New York City. They’re always packed and, when then go into tunnels, the lights come on.
5. The chronic problem of alright. There’s no such word. It’s not all right to use alright. Educated readers and producers will balk when they see such an error. Clean it up.
6. Run spell check on the script. There aren’t a lot of errors, but there are errors, e.g., page 6 ENTRACE HALL rather than ENTRANCE HALL.
7. Check your punctuation, e.g., page eight Jenny’s dialog: “I didn’t think I was due to see you again until next month?” is not a question, so why the question mark?; page eight, Luke’s dialog “Maybe somebody did call on me?” is not a question, so why the question mark?
8. If this is for U. S. producers, then Jenny doesn’t have a surgery, she has an office.
9. Page eleven, Luke’s dialog, “I’ve only ever seen it once before.”—A New Yorker would never, ever say only ever. He’s say “I’ve seen it only once before.”
10. I’m only on page twelve, but it seems to me that Jenny and Kate are trying to gaslight Luke. We’ll see.
11. Page twelve, Luke’s dialog: not “No, there’s something’s not right here,” but “No, something’s not right.”
12. Page twelve, Jenny’s dialog” not “I’m going to write you a prescription and put you back on your old meds, okay,” but “I’m going . . . old meds, okay?”
13. Page twelve, Jenny’s dialog. One does not cash a prescription in the U. S. Americans get their prescriptions filled.
14. No physician, especially a psychiatrist, would ever call a patient’s friends or relatives to alert them to a patient’s condition. It simply would never, ever happen. Preposterous.
15. Page 14, Luke’s dialog: “I may have?” is not a question, so why the question mark?
16. It’s not doctor Villiers, it’s Doctor Villiers, just as it’s Queen Elizabeth rather than queen Elizabeth. The latter title is much more impressive, but, then, Villiers probably studied longer and harder to get her title, so accord her the courtesy of an uppercase D.
17. Page eighteen, News Reporter’s dialog: not “her body discovered”, but “her body was discovered”; also not “Misses Lefroy”, but Missus, or, preferably, Mrs. “Misses” is the plural of “Miss.” This seems to be a chronic problem that needs to be fixed throughout the script.
18. Page nineteen, Paul’s dialog: not “Well, maybe her and the maid were actually secret lovers?”, but “Well, may she and . . . lovers.” It’s not a question, so no question mark. What’s with all the unnecessary question marks? Also, not “Maybe after all the other staff went home, the two of them were discreetly chewing on each other’s rugs?” This isn’t a question, it’s a statement of a theory, so get rid of the question mark. In addition, NYPD detectives, hard-boiled as they are, wouldn’t say each other’s rugs. That’s a junior-high-school term. These guys aren’t particularly sophisticated, but they’re not boors either.
19. Page 20, Emmett’s dialog: not “that Clouseau, and you’ll have the case wrapped up and solveʹed?”, but “that, Clouseau, . . . and solved,” unless you want solved to be a two-syllable word à la Clouseau.
20. Page twenty, Paul’s dialog, not “her window’s weeds,” but widow’s weeds.
21. Page twenty, action; “dozens of doors”. No home in New York—I don’t care who built it or who owned it, will have dozens of doors leading off a hallway. Preposterous.
22. Page twenty, slug line. Is there really a ballroom on an upper floor of this home? No.
23. Page twenty, action: not, “A set of oak panelled doors swing open,” but “A set . . . swings open.” The subject is set, singular, not doors, plural, and it calls for a singular verb.
24. Page twenty-one, Paul’s dialog: “Is that a genuine Matisse?” I don’t think either of these guys are boors, but I don’t think either would know Matisse from mantissa. They would both be awed by the art, but they wouldn’t be able to name any of the artists. They’re cops, not critics!
25. Page twenty-one, action: “slightly over weight” should be “slightly overweight.” It’s one word, not two.
26. Page twenty-one, Emmett’s dialog: “So come on, Captain, give us the low-down?” is not a question. It’s an imperative. Get rid of the question mark.
27. Page twenty-two, action: not “wooden parquet floor”, but parquet floor. All parquet is wood, so using wooden is superfluous. It’s like writing dead corpse.
28. Page twenty-two, action. Do you really mean “full sized snooker table”? First, it’s full-sized, not full sized. Second, since the action takes place in the U. S., it’s more likely a pool table rather than a snooker table. They’re certainly similar, but they are different sizes and of different designs.
29. Page twenty-three; Carcetti’s dialog: “complete carte blanche” should be simply carte blanche. There are no degrees of carte blanche. It’s an absolute. Just as one corpse can’t be deader than another, carte blanche can’t be limited and still be carte blanche.
30. Page twenty-three, Carcetti’s dialog: “. . . if you need any assistance with warrants or subpoenas, all you gotta do is ask.” Only judges issue warrants and subpoenas and then only at the request of the district attorney. A self-aggrandizing schlub—who carries water for the mayor—is certainly in no position to make such extravagant promises. There’s a pecking order.
31. Page twenty-three, Carcetti’s dialog: “By the way . . . I hope you’re not planning to give this case to Garland and Lazio?” This isn’t a question. Get rid of the question mark.
32. Carcetti is a gopher—nothing more. He’s got no juice and Felps knows it and, surprise, Carcetti knows it. He would never, ever overstep his bounds. He would never, ever make disparaging comments about detectives unless he had a particularly close personal relationship with the person to whom he made such statements. His comment in re Garland and Lazio simply would never have been uttered. Also, Felps would never, ever explain anything to Carcetti and would rip Carcetti a new one if lectured by Carcetti. Utterly implausible.
33. You’ve stood the Mayor’s gopher/Captain of Detectives relationship on its head. It’s preposterous.
34. Page twenty-six; Paul’s dialog: “Did you check her ass?” Utterly inappropriate. A professional cop, a detective, would never, ever, ever say that in his dealings with another professional. If the pathologist says there’s no evidence of sexual assault, then that includes all orifices: vaginal, oral, and rectal. If you want to titillate, you need to be much subtler and much funnier.
35. There is no need to capitalize common nouns like pathologist, forensic officer, etc. They’re not titles as such.
36. Page twenty-eight. Action. When introducing a new character, the full name is in uppercase. So, rather than “Four Uniformed Police Officers,” it should be “FOUR UNIFORMED POLICE OFFICERS”. If you aren’t familiar with the convention, you need to be. This incorrect formatting is a problem throughout the script. When readers come across unprofessional formatting, they tend to discard such scripts unread. Also “all of which” should be “all of whom.”
37. Page twenty-eight. Police may not arrest or handcuff someone when they’re executing a search warrant unless that someone uses violence or threatens to prevent the search. Get the handcuffs off Luke and take out the rough stuff.
38. Throughout the script: There should be only two (2) hard returns preceding a slug line. You’ve got more. Fix it.
39. Page twenty-nine. Action. Rather than “the 4th Uniformed”, it should be “the fourth uniformed.” Don’t use digits for anything.
40. Page twenty-nine. Emmett’s dialog. “I take it you do have a licence for this?” This is not a question. It’s an ironic statement of fact. Get rid of the question mark.
41. Why do your detectives not advise Luke of his rights before questioning?
42. Page thirty. Luke’s dialog. “I don’t even know if I did kill her?” This isn’t a question. It’s a statement of fact. Get rid of the question mark.
43. Page thirty and thirty-one. Why would Emmett imply that Luke might have tried to extort money from Mrs. Lefroy? There’s been no foundation for such a question. Detectives don’t go fishing like that, particularly with suspects. It tips their hand and lets the suspect know that they don’t have a clue about why the crime was committed—valuable information for a guilty suspect and a stupid mistake for a detective to make. Burglary’s just as bad. Burglary’s not a spontaneous crime. It’s carefully planned by professionals. Emmett seems to have his head up his ass.
44. Page thirty-one. Emmett’s dialog. “Only when you broke in, she caught you red handed?” This isn’t a question. It’s an ironic statement of fact. Remove the question mark.
45. Page thirty-one. Emmett’s claim. The bullet was smashed into a metal lump. In such situations, the rifling is destroyed by the damage to the bullet, so there’s no way to determine which weapon fired it. How can Emmett claim that “We got the murder weapon”? He can’t. Is he lying to Luke (allowed) or has he got his head up his ass (probable)?
46. Page thirty-one. Emmett’s dialog. “banged to rights”, should be dead to rights.
47. Page thirty-two. Emmett’s dialog. “3-month” should be three-month and “but they finally released into the custody” should be but they finally released him into the custody.”
48. Page thirty-three. Felps’s dialog. “open and close” should be open-and-shut.
49. Page thirty-three. Felps’s dialog. Not “back story,” but backstory.
50. Page thirty-five. Jenny’s dialog. Not “but I have session scheduled with a patient,” but “but I have a session schedule with a patient.”
51. Page thirty-five. Jenny’s dialog. Not “from blackouts every since he was a child,” but “from blackouts ever since he was a child.”
52. Page thirty-five. Jenny’s dialog. Not “he can often say things or doing things,” but “he can often say things or do things.”
53. Pages thirty-three through thirty-eight. Jenny would never, ever, ever have shared any privileged information about Luke with the police. Never. In other words, she would never say “All I can do is tell you about his history.” She’d lose her license. The institute would be sued for umpty-millions and would lose any state or federal civil suit. Dr. Villiers’ statements to the contrary are utterly preposterous
54. Page thirty-six. Emmett’s dialog. “We received an anonymous tip off.” First, the word is tip-off, not“tip off.” Second, that’s the wrong word. The word you probably wanted was just plain tip, not tip-off; however, it’s all moot. No judge would have issued a search warrant based on an anonymous tip to the police. It simply would never, ever have happened.
55. Page thirty-seven. Jenny’s dialog. “Maybe you should have a word with Luke’s girlfriend?” This is not a question. Get rid of the question mark.
56. Page thirty-eight. Action. Not “MACHINEGUN FIRE,” bit “MACHINE-GUN FIRE.”
57. Page thirty-nine. Action. It’s highly unlikely that trained police officers would ever fire indiscriminately in such a situation. They don’t know if there are hostages present. This would never, ever happen.
58. Page thirty-nine. Action. “attached to his skull.” It’s not his skull. It’s his head. The skull is the bony structure beneath all the hair, flesh, and skin.
59. Page thirty-nine. Action. “Kalashnikov AK-47machinegun.” The AK-47 is an assault rifle, not a machine gun. Kalashnikov does make machine guns, but the naming convention is different.
60. Page thirty-nine. That’s one amazing projection screen! Pepper it with two clips from detectives’ pistols and it continues to display its image—an image that’s seen when the lights are on, but isn’t seen when the lights are off. Amazing.
61. Page forty-one. Slug line. “PRISON CELL”. Luke’s in jail, not prison. He’s in a “JAIL CELL.” Also, there’s no prison guard nor a prison uniform. There’s a Rikers guard and a Rikers jump suit. There’s the Rikers visitors’ room. You’re in New York City.
62. Page forty-one. Scene. It’s improbable that Luke would have a contact visit. There’s too much concern in re contraband to permit it at Rikers. Prisoners and visitors are separated by thick glass and speak over a telephone link. You can’t rewrite reality when your script relies on reality.
63. Page forty-two. Kate’s dialog. “I know. They told me. But, Luke . . . you probably just picked up that gun at the same place you found that key?” This is not a question. It’s a statement of theory. Get rid of the question mark.
64. Page forty-three. Emmett’s dialog. “I was gonna ask you if wouldn’t mind swinging by here tomorrow to answer a few questions?” This isn’t a question. Get rid of the question mark.
65. Page forty-four. Kate’s dialog. “almost 7 years” should be “almost seven years.” No digits—ever!
66. Page forty-five. Kate’s dialog. “an inoperable brain tour,” should be “an inoperable brain tumor.”
67. Page forty-six. Kate’s dialog. “What evidence?! All you’ve got is a gun and a key, and Luke could have picked those up almost anywhere.” This is implausible. Luke certainly could not have picked up the gun anywhere—New York, remember? The gun and the key are very, very powerful evidence. That’s why Dr. Villiers (I suspect) planted them in Luke’s apartment. Anyone reading this would laugh out loud—as I just did—at Kate’s naïveté. Such an argument would not be given a moment’s credence by a detective.
68. Page forty-six. Has no one identified the blood on Luke’s shoes? If you provide that clue, you’re honor bound to confirm or deny it. You can’t let it hover out there this long.
69. Page forty-seven. Jenny’s dialog. “But I already spotted you in my rear view” should be “But I already spotted you in my rear-view mirror.”
70. Page forty-nine. Jenny’s dialog. “to been seen fraternizing” should be “to be seen fraternizing.” BTW, fraternizing is not the right word unless you want both Jenny and Emmett to agree implicitly that they’re essentially hostile to each other’s interests. Is that what you want? I think the point you want to make is that they should not socialize lest they give the impression that the murder investigation is not objective. The tenor of the balance of the conversation implies that they are hostile to one another’s interests; however, think about what that says about Jenny. It says that she’s more interested in Luke’s remaining free than she is in finding out whether or not he’s a murderer. That’s rather unprofessional of her.
71. Page forty-nine. Emmett’s dialog. “Now, see, that’s just exactly the kind of issue that I was hoping we might discuss?” It’s not a question. Get rid of the question mark.
72. Page fifty. Action. “Emmett sits on a wall supping on a bottle of beer” It’s not a wall. It’s a masonry fence. Also, in the U. S., it’s sipping, not supping.
73. Page fifty. Action. Do you really want Paul’s wife to be named for a magic spirit? Do you mean Jean/Jeanie/Jeany?
74. Page fifty. Cut. It’s Paul, not Pual. Also, it’s not blew you out, but blew you off.
75. Page fifty. Paul’s dialog. “And there was you, hoping and praying that she was just gonna blow you.” Not there was you, but there you were. Also, while Paul and Emmett are buddies, their crude dialog serves no purpose other than to degrade them in the eyes of their audience. I don’t object to sex, violence, crudeness, etc., as long as it’s not gratuitous. This is gratuitous. It’s not funny and it’s not necessary.
76. Page fifty-one. Paul’s dialog. Is Paul an idiot? Motivation is an essential part of every murder investigation: it’s known as MOM—Means/Opportunity/Motivation. The lethal triumvirate. That these two guys give the fundamentals such short shrift indicates that they’re not as professional as everyone has a right to expect.
77. Page fifty-two. Paul’s dialog. “Yeah, but maybe Torin’s just not that type?” This isn’t a question. Get rid of the question mark. Also, in re the relationship between psychosis and schizophrenia, Emmett should also point out that schizophrenia is a cause of psychosis, but is also the cause of many other mental conditions and that psychoses are caused not only by schizophrenia, but by all sorts of factors, including tumors, drugs, injuries, sleep deprivation. In other words, whatever links there may be between schizophrenia and psychosis, they’re convoluted, vague, and uncertain.
78. Page fifty-three. Action. “gently leavers it out” It’s levers, not leavers. Regardless, it’s probably the wrong word unless the book is so tightly jammed in the row of books that brute force and a tool are needed to pull it out. If that’s the case, then gently doesn’t apply.
79. Page fifty-four. Action. “Emmett quickly drawn out his pistol” Not drawn out, but draws.
80. Page fifty-five. Action. “the water cistern.” In the U. S., it’s the top of the flush box. For this to have happened, Emmett has to be one inept cop.
81. Page fifty-five. Paul’s dialog. “Actually, we were hoping that you might be able to tell us that?” This isn’t a question. Get rid of the question mark.
82. Page fifty-six. Paul’s dialog. “Maybe you interrupted a burglar?” This isn’t a question. It’s a suggested theory. Get rid of the question mark.
83. Page fifty-seven. Paul’s dialog. “Well maybe that’s because Luke didn’t want you to see it?” This isn’t a question. It’s a suggested theory. Get rid of the question mark.
84. Page fifty-seven. Kate’s dialog. “I think somebody is trying to frame Luke or set him up.” What’s the difference between someone’s trying to frame Luke and someone’s setting him up? None. Fix it.
85. Page fifty-nine. Felps’s dialog. “We just got the analysis results back for that blood on Torin’s shoes” Why did this take so long? They can type blood in an hour. Do you mean DNA? If so, that does take longer; however, the police would still have typed the blood just to get preliminary information. This is rather sloppy police work. The NYPD is a lot of things, but it’s not sloppy. If you want sloppy, think FBI.
86. Page sixty. Paul’s dialog. “Don’t tell me that you guys are actually starting to buy into Woolrich’s story, and you think that Torin’s being framed?” This is not a question. It’s an imperative. Get rid of the question mark.
87. Page sixty-one. Felps’s dialog. “because all we’ve got is circumstantial evidence.” That’s not true. They have physical evidence. They’ve got a gun that fires the same type of bullets as the one that killed Mrs. Lefroy. Also, Luke had a key to her home. That’s all rather strong physical evidence; however, they don’t have motive and they have yet to prove opportunity. They might have method, but, unless they can link the gun to the fatal bullet (unlikely), they don’t absolutely have that.
88. Page sixty-one. Emmett’s dialog. There’s no necessity to bring in double jeopardy at this point. No one in this situation would ever say that.
89. Page sixty-one. Action. “buzzing with off duty cops”. Cops don’t buzz. It’s “jammed with off-duty cops.”
90. Page sixty-two. Paul’s dialog. “How about we drive Torin back to Lefroy’s place.” This is a question. Put a question mark at the end of the sentence.
91. Page sixty-three. Action. “grand ambassadorial type houses.” There’s no such thing. Grand houses would have been okay. Beyond that, it’s pretentious. What you probably mean is that it’s a street filled with villas.
92. Page sixty-three. This trip would never be made without Luke’s attorney along and even then it would probably require a court order over Luke’s attorney’s very, very strenuous objection. Utterly implausible.
93. Page sixty-three. Action. “giving Emmett and Paul a nod of recognition” Gives, not giving.
94. Page sixty-four. Action. “Luke scans his eyes around, taking in the lavish.” Lots of unnecessary words. “Luke scans the lavish . . . .” would be enough.
95. Page sixty-four. Emmett’s dialog. “Why don’t you just have a wander around.” This is a question. Put a question mark at the end of the sentence.
96. Page sixty-five. Action. “Which way will he go?” This has no place in the script. It’s not direction. It’s not action. It’s possibly a character’s thought. It can’t be acted. It needs to disappear.
97. Page sixty-six. Action. “He’s playing right into their hands.” Another pointless, unactable, unusable, unnecessary and useless bit of prose. Get rid of it.
98. Page sixty-seven. Paul’s dialog. “he’s having a fucking aneurysm.” People don’t have aneurysms as such. They have strokes, heart attacks, cerebral hemorrhages. You need to work on this.
99. Page sixty-eight. Action. “randomly overtaking other vehicles” One expects they use their siren. Why haven’t you turned on their siren?
100. Page sixty-eight. Emmett’s dialog. “No, you know what.” This is a question. Put a question mark at the end of the sentence.
101. Page sixty-nine. Emmett’s dialog. “We’re just gonna have to take you to a regular hospital, okay.” This is a question. Put a questions mark at the end of the sentence.
102. Page sixty-nine. Action. The police would never, never, ever have gone to Luke’s house. They would not even have considered going to Dr. Villiers. They would have immediately headed to the closest hospital and then they would have called Villiers to meet them there. Any other scenario is preposterous.
103. Page sixty-nine. Paul’s dialog. “Take a few deep breathes” It’s the wrong word. It should be “Take a few deep breaths.”
104. Page seventy. Action. “checking his pupils with a small torch” should be “checking his pupils with a penlight.” In the U. S., a torch—large or small—is usually connected with fire.
105. Page seventy. Paul’s dialog. “Well thanks fuck for that. For a moment there I really thought the guy was gonna croke on us.” First, thanks fuck makes absolutely no sense. Drop it. Also, it’s not croke, but croak.
106. Page seventy. Emmett’s dialog. “A seizure, a fit, I don’t know what the hell it was?” This is not a question. Get rid of the question mark.
107. Page seventy-one. Asian doctor’s dialog. “This stuff is practically an elephant tranquilliser.” First, Emmett would have been asked what meds Luke was on when they admitted him. Second, it’s unlikely the doctor would have treated the drug as cavalierly as he seems to have done. This is a surreal exchange of information. Utterly unreälistic.
108. Page seventy-one. Asian doctor’s dialog. “liquid cosh”. It’s unlikely that an Asian doctor, working in a NYC emergency room, would use the phrase “liquid cosh.”
109. Page seventy-two. Felps’s dialog. “we can charge him officially”. Luke is in police custody. He’s in jail. We now find out that he hasn’t been “charged officially.” This is preposterous. It’s New York City, not Beijing. Utterly preposterous.
110. Page seventy-two. Emmett’s dialog. “You do realise that she’s probably gonna advise Torin to plead temporary insanity?” Why would a psychiatrist have any say in how Luke might plead to a charge of murder? Did we fall down a rabbit hole along the way? If so, I missed it.
111. Page seventy-three. Dominic’s dialog. “found your message” Change to “heard your message.”
112. Page seventy-six. Dominic’s dialog. “And if there’s anything else I can do to help? Anything at all?” These aren’t questions. In fact, the first is a clause and the second is a phrase. Grammatically, it’s a mess. Fix it.
113. Page seventy-nine. Emmett’s dialog. “I think I’d like to find out who the main beneficiaries to her estate are?” This isn’t a question. Get rid of the question mark.
114. Page eighty-one. Lawyer’s dialog. “Well, I’m sure I don’t need to remind you gentlemen about just how wealthy Margaret was?” This isn’t a question, so get rid of the question mark.
115. Page eighty-two. Paul’s dialog. “inheriting a two hundred and fifty thousand dollars annuity” should be “inheriting a two-hundred-fifty-thousand-dollar annuity.”
116. Page eighty-two. Emmett’s dialog. “It could do if”. Drop do.
117. Page eighty-two. Paul’s dialog. “to prick my curiosity”. Not prick, but pique.
118. Page eighty-two. Action. “Emmett’s car pulls into the kerb”. Change to “Emmett parks outside a book store.” This is ridiculous. They would have gone to the library and they would have consulted with a NYPD psychiatrist for info on Dr. Santana. They certainly would not have gone to a book store to research a possible suspect.
119. Page eighty-three. Emmett’s dialog. “Ok.” You’ve got Ok in some places, OK in some places, and Okay in some places. It’s okay. Fix it.
120. Page eighty-three. Paul’s dialog. “What, you mean like one of those guy’s” Change guy’s to guys. It’s a plural, not a possessive.
121. Page eighty-four. Action. “He passes Emmett a hotdogs” Make it a single hot dog.
122. Page eighty-four. Emmett’s dialog. “You know, I think it’s about time we had another little chat with Professor Santana and found out exactly what his connection with Luke Torin is?” This is not a question. Get rid of the question mark.
123. Page eighty-four. Paul’s dialog. “Or at least with Torin’s apartment block?” This is not a question. Get rid of the question mark.
124. Page eighty-four. Dominic’s dialog. “Well, it’s really a very simple” Drop a.
125. Page eighty-five. Action. “Paul stops bedside a grand piano.” Change bedside to beside.
126. Page eighty-five. Action. “his face tempering with suspicion ” This makes no sense. How does a face temper?
127. Page eighty-six. Felps’s dialog. “Let me see if I understand this?” This is not a question. Get rid of the question mark.
128. Page eighty-six. Felps’s dialog. “can try and hypnotise Torin and see if you can regress him.” Change to “can try to hypnotize Torin to see if you can regress him.”
129. Page eighty-six. Action. “This was never going to be an easy sell.” This has no place in direction. Drop it.
130. Page eighty-six. Emmett’s dialog. “We think there’s a small possibility that Luke might be innocent?” This is not a question. Get rid of the question mark.
131. Page eighty-six. Felps’s dialog. “You know it’s two days since you two were practically slipping a noose around this guy’s neck yourselves?” This is not a question. Get rid of the question mark.
132. Page eighty-seven. Emmett’s dialog. “We just confiscated this photo from Dominic Santana’s living room.” Neither of the detectives have the authority to “confiscate” anything from Santana’s apartment. This is ludicrous. The police can’t just take property. There are laws, rules, and regulations, not to mention that pesky old Constitution.
133. Page eighty-seven. Felps’s dialog. “After that, Torin is getting arraigned whether you like it or not.” Preposterous. It’s simply not Felps’s call whether Luke will be arraigned, much less when. This is altogether wrong.
134. Page eighty-eight. Action. “A young hip bohemian looking PSYCHIATRIST with long black sits behind.” Long black . . . what? Fix this.
135. Page eighty-nine. Psychiatrist’s dialog. “I want you to try and relax.” Change to “I want you to try to relax.” Change “try and clear” to “try to clear.” Change “your very tired” to “you’re very tired.”
136. Page ninety. Action. “in somnambulistic state” Change to “in a somnambulistic state.”
137. Page ninety-one. Emmett’s dialog. “Can you here me” Change to “Can you hear me?”
138. Page ninety-two. Emmett’s dialog. “The key to front door?” First, change to “The key to the front door.” Second, it’s not a question, so get rid of the question mark.
139. Page ninety-three. Action. “distress and agitation is palpable.” Change is to are. It’s a compound subject and requires a plural predicate.
140. Page ninety-five. Action. “FROM LUKE’S POV, we see the barrel of the gun (and only the barrel of the gun) rise up towards her.” If we see the barrel from Luke’s POV pointed toward Margaret, wouldn’t we perforce see Margaret too? How could we not see her?
141. Page ninety-five. Action. “poring with sweat” Change poring to pouring.
142. Page ninety-six. Margaret’s dialog. “I’ll give you anything you want?” This is not a question. Get rid of the question mark.
143. Page ninety-seven. Action. “He drenched in sweat.” Make it “He’s drenched in sweat.”
144. Page ninety-nine. Paul’s dialog. “we were hoping that was something you might like to share with us?” This is not a question. Get rid of the question mark.
145. Page one hundred two. Emmett’s dialog. “Phoning him every few hour.” Change hour to hours; also “Asking him who he was with, and what he was doing?” This isn’t a question, so get rid of the question mark.
146. Page one hundred two. Jenny’s dialog. “guy only married me for my money.” Change only married me to married me only; also “Dominic’s playing you both like a fiddle?” This is not a question. Get rid of the question mark. And “who would’ve eventually work out.” Change work out to worked out.
147. Page one hundred three. Technician’s dialog. “Clean the off hard-drive” What’s an off hard drive? That’s a term you need to explain fully. Do you mean “Clean off the hard drive”? If so, fix it. Don’t say “clean”; say “erase.” That’s the term. When one erases a hard drive, it frees the space for storage of new files. When one wipes a hard drive, it changes all the data to Xs and Os.
148. Page one hundred five. Action. “Television New vans.” Change New to News.
149. Page one hundred five. Action. “stands in the dock.” Neither state nor federal courts have docks for defendants. They sit at tables with their attorneys, facing the judge and usually to his right.
150. Page one hundred five. Judge’s dialog. “but you then sort to lay the blame.” Change sort to sought.
151. Page one hundred five. Action. “crowd of WEDDING GUESTS are gathered.” The subject is crowd, not wedding guests. Change are to is.
152. Page one hundred five. Action. “dressed in a smart suite.” Change suite to suit. Also, “parked in the kerb.” Change to “parked in front of the church.”
153. Page one hundred six. Action. “parked in the kerb.” Change to “parked in front of the church.”
154. Page one hundred six. Luke’s dialog. “it wasn’t for”. Contrary to fact calls for subjunctive mood. Change wasn’t to weren’t.
155. Page one hundred seven. Paul’s dialog. “Yeah, I hear that you’re training to become a vet?” This isn’t a question. Get rid of the question mark. read
by Paul Iacono on 03/17/2010I think you have the bones of a pretty good -- if well-traveled -- Hitchcockian noir thriller here. And there's nothing wrong with revisiting ground that's been well-trod before. Hell, "Avatar" owes its existence to "Pocahontas", right? Problem is, all you have is the bones. In filling them out you've left holes big enough to drive a freight train through. And that's just... I think you have the bones of a pretty good -- if well-traveled -- Hitchcockian noir thriller here. And there's nothing wrong with revisiting ground that's been well-trod before. Hell, "Avatar" owes its existence to "Pocahontas", right?
Problem is, all you have is the bones. In filling them out you've left holes big enough to drive a freight train through. And that's just speaking to the plot. Character development is a whole nother problem.
There is way too much clumsy exposition. “You mean another blackout…” “That new medication I gave you…” Such points need to be worked into the dialogue more naturally. Your characters speak not as people actually speak, but as CHARACTERS speak when they're trying to make a point that the writer needs to make.
Even worse, your characters all speak with the same voice: “I spoke to you only this morning”… “Nobody amasses that kind of wealth”… Try “I just talked to you this morning,” and “Nobody gets that freakin’ rich…”
I'll address some of these concerns further in my specific points (with page #'s) below:
1 – Not sure how cool it is these days to have a pool table. Probably a bit retro, unless you’re of the “Entourage” age.
2 – They're her clients, and her colleagues tell her they’re cops? Why doesn’t SHE know they’re cops? And even the most socially clumsy would never come out like that and ask them to fix a ticket. I don't know if this is supposed to be NYC… but here you’d get your ass handed to you by any cop on the job.
3 – Don’t use transitions like “Smash Cut”. I know, I know… I want to do it myself sometimes. And I know exactly what you mean by it. But there are just too many assholes out there who’ll say “HA! Amateur!” (Plus, if you WERE going to use “Smash Cut” as your transition, then your NEXT line should be “BAM BAM BAM! He fires off a succession of shots…” etc. That’s the point of a “smash cut” – shock.)
6-7 – Nice using the transitions to black into the psycho scenes. Not sure how a reader will react to that, but fuck ‘em, it’s cool with ME! Lol
7 – But you’ve already used the “traumatized like a frightened animal that’s been hunted” line once. Mix it up.
9 – Unless this is going somewhere else, there is NO WAY a real shrink would put her hand on her client’s knee to comfort him.
11 – What is her “surgery”? An examination room?
12 – “cash this” should be “have this filled”
14 – No way a Psych would share this information with someone OTHER than her patient. It’s against the law.
22 – Why would latex gloves indicate “kink”? That’s a stretch. Occam’s Razor – the most obvious answer is most likely the correct one: The killer didn’t want to leave prints.
23 – “Haven’t you?” See, this is what I mean by all your characters talking in the same voice. A real cop would probably just say “Ya gotta admire the architecture, huh?
32 – How does Felps know that Villiers is a “she”?
35 – Again, no way a real Psych would share such information with the police.
40 – Paul and Emmet haven’t shown me anything so far that would warrant their NOT being fired for such a stupid and clumsy move. I assume you want to establish them as a sort of renegade team, like Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, but as far as I can tell – and your audience can tell – they’re just a couple of fuck-ups. You need something MUCH earlier to establish that they’re top of the line, best on the force, something that allows us to understand why the boss would put up with them.
41 – “…if that’s what you mean?” LOTS of places where you end a sentence in a ? when it’s not a question. Go back through, do a search for every ? and ask yourself, “Is this a question?” If not, use a period!
54 – Doubtful a cop would ask “Is somebody there?” More like “POLICE! Come out with your hands up!”
57 – Another stretch: Odd that he would have read “Catcher in the Rye”?!!? It’s one of the most popular books in the history of post-war American literature! Jesus, half the homes in the country have a copy on their shelves!
72 – “That’s all the proof we need”. REALLY stretching believability here.
84 – This far in and they’re just now getting around to investigating other suspects? These aren’t detectives, they’re imbeciles.
86 – Pretty sure any evidence obtained through hypnosis would not be admissible in court. And where in the hell is Luke’s lawyer through all this? The tour of the house, hypnosis, etc??!?!
96 – Again with the ?... “I’ll give you anything you want” is not a question.
98 – Ok, now… HOW in HELL does the Psych know the he didn’t do it based on what we’ve seen?
100 – This comes totally out of the blue. Not believable.
Nice that you give it a happy ending though, with the marriage and all. And the bad guys get theirs.
I wish I could be more positive, but you have a lot of work to do on this to make it even remotely believable.
by blacksmith22 on 03/17/2010PAWN started out on a promising note and right out of the starting gate, I was impressed with the quality of the writing. Descriptions were well done and dialogue was different enough in style to distinguish the characters. These strengths made PAWN a good read and mysteries are extremely hard to put together so kudos for that. But there were two big issues that kept PAWN... PAWN started out on a promising note and right out of the starting gate, I was impressed with the quality of the writing. Descriptions were well done and dialogue was different enough in style to distinguish the characters. These strengths made PAWN a good read and mysteries are extremely hard to put together so kudos for that. But there were two big issues that kept PAWN from being all it could be.
The most glaring problem I had was that I never got a sense of who the main character was. At first I thought it was Luke and we were going to follow his journey to try and prove his innocence, but once he's arrested and imprisoned, that doesn't happen. Then the story seemed to shift to Emmett being the main character, but there was no emotional connection to him. One of the critical things in any movie is for the audience to connect to the main character and then watch him/her change over the course of the story. If Luke is the main character, then he needs to do the investigating himself which might make things more tense if he's dodging the cops. If Emmett is the main character then we need some sort of emotional reason of why he NEEDS to solve this case correctly because it will change the person he is.
The other issue is the selection of suspects isn't broad enough to sustain suspense. There aren't enough red herrings to lead the audience in different directions which makes the mystery easier to solve early on. Once Jenny introduces the military aspects of her work, I immediately knew there was brainwashing and mind control going on.
These are the two things that stood out as something to think about if a rewrite is deemed necessary in your opinion. In my opinion, there's a good suspenseful story at work here, but it may need the right point of view to tell it the way it needs to be told. But this was good solid work. read
- Writer: Eli Joel Standing
- Uploaded by: elijoel
- Length: 110 pages
- Genre: mystery/suspense
- This is a rough 1st draft, so expect a few holes and typos. My first drafts are usually about just exploring my story/premise to see if I have anything worth developing further. I’m a great believer in the old adage that “great screenplays are not written, they're re-written” so this is still very much a project in development.
- Bio: I live in northwest London in the United Kingdom. I originally trained as furniture designer, but I’ve always had a passion for film because as a child both of my parents were actors, so I got to spend a lot of time on film sets. When I was in my 20s I decided I wanted to do something in film too, so I moved to Los Angeles where I worked as a script editor for Bonaire Films and The Overseas Film Group. I was also a UPM and a 1st AD on a few low budget Hollywood features. I guess I’ve been writing screenplays myself for about 7 years now, and my scripts have placed in the finals of quite a few international competitions, although I’m still waiting for that elusive first production deal.
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