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HOW IT RATES
Abigail's journey to find her sister's killer takes her to other side of the world.
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Reviews of Epiphany V2 16
by olufemi on 11/07/2010There’s a great story buried somewhere within “Epiphany’s” 100 pages. The fact that the story is so difficult to find is what makes the screenplay so disappointing. “Epiphany”, frankly, is a mess. It tries to do too much, to tell too many tenuously connected stories, and as a result ends up telling no one of them well. If the writer could do a better job of focusing on... There’s a great story buried somewhere within “Epiphany’s” 100 pages. The fact that the story is so difficult to find is what makes the screenplay so disappointing.
“Epiphany”, frankly, is a mess. It tries to do too much, to tell too many tenuously connected stories, and as a result ends up telling no one of them well. If the writer could do a better job of focusing on one story to tell, the script could become something more satisfying.
The writer could do more to provide descriptions of the scene locations. Considering that much of the story takes place in Thailand, there is much opportunity for unique imagery. Similarly, a multitude of characters are introduced with no physical description, making them indistinct.
NEIL is introduced as “Hippy”. Introduce him by his name.
Typos/misspellings are infrequent. Here are the few I noticed:
p. 39: “The fish I’ll be cooked by now.”
p. 30: dross = gross. “She is the spit of Sarah” should be “She is the spitting image of Sarah.”
p. 58: “Bored as.”
Not to be flippant, but it is exceedingly difficult to tell what the concept for this screenplay is. The logline claims that “Abigail’s journey to find her sister’s killer takes her to the other side of the world”, but this is untrue: Abigail does not go to Thailand to find her sister’s killer. In fact, she never does anything regarding finding her sister’s killer until the final pages, when the killer randomly attacks her.
Instead, Abigail seems to venture across the world on a journey of self-discovery, to do some soul-searching and face hard questions about who she is, and the way she looks at life. This is a fine story to tell, but it has nothing to do with a tortured/murdered sister.
So what is this story about? What’s the genre, even? There are elements of thriller, romantic comedy, theological drama, supernatural drama, all tossed into one confusing mélange. This reviewer suggests staying true to the self-discovery, and excising the others.
As it stands, conceptually, this script is too all over the place to be properly explained or pitched. It’s in serious need of re-working.
Again, which one?
There are multiple stories battling to be told, here. The script drags us through each of them without an anchor, so that our interest is lost before we even know what’s happening.
For evidence of this, one need look no further than the opening ten pages.
The first image is that of a woman being tortured and murdered. While this is a gripping opening image, it loses impact because we have NO means of connecting to Sarah; we don’t even know her name. Something as simple as her saying “No, please!” would function to make her feel like more than just naked flesh being stuck.
Instead, it comes off as cheap, tawdry, and irrelevant.
This image is the first impression the reader is given of the script. It tells the reader what kind of story to expect: namely, a taut thriller murder mystery.
Yet instead, we’re immediately we’re whisked away to a funeral for someone we don’t know and don’t care about. This informs the reader that perhaps the story will be a drama about a family dealing with loss.
Then we’re in a gynecologist’s office, where an old couple is being told they’ll have a baby.
Next, we’re at the day of birth for the new child.
This barrage of imagery and scenes does nothing but confuse the reader. It feels like we’re being assaulted with information, rather than being eased into the story.
Case in point: in the first THREE pages, there are SIX different scenes, taking place in SIX distinct time periods.
After these three pages, we’re led to believe it’s a supernatural drama about a girl who looks like her dead sister, then NO, it’s a story about a girl exploring Thailand, then NO, it’s a horror movie about ghosts, NO it’s a romance…it all becomes way too confusing to care.
Congratulations are in order for the characterization of protagonist ABIGAIL. She shows true emotional complexity as a character, and her internal conflict over being presented with such new and challenging opportunities feels real. The scene where Abigail tries (and fails) to save a drowning woman does a great deal to tell the reader who she is, while simultaneously endearing him to her (I’d recommend making this scene come earlier, in fact, and losing a lot of the unimportant filler that precedes it). Her warring sense of adventure and moral fiber are plainly obvious.
Abigail’s biggest problem is that she doesn’t have any problem. She has no EXTERNAL goal, no conflict. While we are meant to see that she is struggling between choices, the choices are incredibly simple, and she loses nothing for making them. Who cares if Horace rescinds his proposal? He’s awful, and it’s obvious she doesn’t love him. Abigail has no tough choices to make, nothing to strive towards, nothing hindering her obtaining a goal. There is NOTHING AT STAKE.
The other characters, sadly, lack Abigail’s kind of complexity. Quite honestly, no other character within the screenplay feels like a human being. Characters say or do what is needed of them for the story to move forward, but they never feel like they have any true goals or motivations.
NEIL is a joke, which gets old, quickly. HORACE is a stereotype, to the degree that it makes no sense for him and Abigail to have ever been together. KAN’s attraction to Abigail is unwarranted and unbelievable.
There are numerous other characters who show up long enough to open their mouths and spout something insipid, but they’re not even worth mentioning.
No human being exists only to move someone else’s story forward. As a writer, I suggest you go through this script, considering every scene from every character’s perspective. Ask yourself “what does this character want in this scene? WHY does he or she want it?” If you cannot provide reasonable answers, either the scene or the character needs to be entirely reworked.
As indicated above in “story”, there are major structural issues with the story.
Scenes come and go so quickly, nothing feels at all permanent. Time slips forward so haphazardly (we go through about 20 years in three pages), that one has no idea what to consider the present, what to lend any importance to.
The overabundant use of montages further exacerbates this problem. It gets to the point that the entire script feels like an extended montage. Major character changes are glossed over using montages (p. 9), which is inexcusable.
Scenes should occur in a natural progression, allowing a reader to simply be sucked in by the story. This script made that impossible, as there were several times the reader was surprised or confused by the abrupt placement of scenes.
In the hands of a skilled and accomplished writer, montages can be an invaluable tool. This writer is not yet to that level. I’d advise he refrain from using them at all until he is more comfortable with the fundamentals of storytelling.
The script’s biggest downfall.
The dialogue is forced, unnatural, and expository. Human beings simply do not speak like this.
p. 2: “But that’s impossible! I went through menopause two years ago!”
p. 30: “Thai boxing?”
p. 45: “…what’s it been six months? That’s how long you were away right?”
p. 46: “The one where the blinding light knocks him off his horse and God talks to him?”
p. 91: “We don’t have to fuck.”
It goes on.
It would take too long to enumerate all the things that are wrong with the dialogue in the script (though most of the time, the problem is obvious exposition). Having read another script from this writer, I can tell it’s an ongoing problem. I seriously suggest the writer either read a book on perfecting dialogue, or stage a reading of his works to hear the dialogue out loud, or something.
As I said, there’s a good story in here somewhere. While it may not seem it from the review, there are sparks of greatness in the script. Abigail is a strong and well-drawn character. The idea of a woman having a crisis of faith serves as a foundation rich with dramatic potential. There’s a scene with Abigail and Kan physically and verbally sparring that is particularly enjoyable (though, again, the dialogue in this scene is on-the nose).
But with numerous issues making it a chore to begin, let alone finish, this script has a long way to go. read
by CyFLY on 10/19/2010She struggles but it is useless. = She struggles; but it’s useless. Her struggles lessen and stop. = Her struggles lessen; then stop. He sees the body of a naked blond girl. = don’t use “HE/SHE SEES” or “WE SEE” it takes out out of the story.. just describe it and we will imagine it… hearts and memories...When = use a space after (…) DOCTOR SMYTHE ENTERS = ENTERS should just... She struggles but it is useless. = She struggles; but it’s useless.
Her struggles lessen and stop. = Her struggles lessen; then stop.
He sees the body of a naked blond girl. = don’t use “HE/SHE SEES” or “WE SEE” it takes out out of the story.. just describe it and we will imagine it…
hearts and memories...When = use a space after (…)
DOCTOR SMYTHE ENTERS = ENTERS should just be enters?
Abigail would you do me the honor of being my wife? = cliché dialogue??
She clasps his hands and hugs him(.)
Suddenly her PHONE rings once. = Suddenly her phone RINGS once.
(VO) = (V.O.)
don’t overuse the montage??
Its page 20 and you still have yet to establish your story or an inciting incident… you have a little too much dialogue after dialogue… we need more drama and action… the woman drowning was a start…
It’s OK Ice. = when you use peoples names in dialogue it sounds very unnatural; find more clever ways to introduce names to your audience…
You can cut out the small talk and only have conversations dealing with the plot and advancing it??
Suddenly, the heavens open and a thunderstorm starts. They
get up quickly laughing(.) = GOOD
I was raised to believe in one life, then Heaven or Hell. = you have stated this fact before; try not to say or do the same thing twice…
Kan starts digging in the sand next to the fire. = Kan digs in the sand next to the fire.
Ctrl + F to search for how many times you use words ending in “ING” along with words like “HE” “SHE” “THEN” “AND” “ALMOST””SEEMS” “STILL”“FEELS” “NOTICES” “FINALLY” “IS” ”SEE” “THE” “STARTS” “BEGINS” “SO” “LIKE” and try to cut some out.
Think of body language that can send the same message as a 10 word sentence.
PG. 40.. still no tension or drama or confrontations.. this story needs to be more engaging… is this story just about a girl soul searching in Thailand..? that’s not enough for a story??
Abigail looks on(?)jealous.
They trade punches. Kan restrained. Abigail full on. = GOOD
Pg. 60 Abigail’s phone rings once. = Abigail’s phone RINGS once.
CHLOE I think I might have made the biggest mistake of my life! = CHLOE or ABIGAIL??
Try to get good at SUBTEXT… don’t have your dialogue explain things so clearly… people are more complicated than that…
Maggie’s phone rings and she picks it up. = RINGS (all CAPS for sound effects)
Your format is good and there are very few errors… I’m now wondering if this story is about ghosts? Love or Abigail’s sisters death? Seems to bounce around and not fully engage in one of the plots…
She looks though the spy hole. = peep hole
Abi I want us to go back to how things were before...you know
before you trip. = EDIT
use a thesaurus… what can you say instead of SOB???
She looks through the spy hole and sees the Saul. = EDIT
The both ENTER the = EDIT
That’s it? Was Jade his fuck buddy? = stating something we already know… say something better..
The ending seemed a bit rushed and predictable… maybe create some alternate endings and play with them… but you have above average talent and it was an easy read.. KEEP GOING!!! read
by JSANHUEZA on 10/13/2010Epiphany First off, I have to say you do a great job of creating memorable characters, and your prose is quick and easy to read so well done there! I don’t have much experience with born again Christians and their habits, so it seemed a little off when Horace wanted to just sit and read from the bible with his girlfriend, and his holier than thou attitude, but I’ll take your... Epiphany
First off, I have to say you do a great job of creating memorable characters, and your prose is quick and easy to read so well done there!
I don’t have much experience with born again Christians and their habits, so it seemed a little off when Horace wanted to just sit and read from the bible with his girlfriend, and his holier than thou attitude, but I’ll take your word for it. Just at times, he seemed a little too over the top and robotic to be a real person.
I liked the story of the girl born into a Christian world, doing some world traveling and coming back a changed person, but it felt to me the whole murder mystery was something so forced that it didn’t even play much in the meat of the script, only as bookends to add some action/terror elements. You could have had the traveling/life-changing story without it and be fine, so why have it at all?
Also, the manner in which she “stumbles” into the fray felt too coincidental. I got the idea that she was reincarnated, and so her sister/past life played a part in directing her toward the danger and discovery… but still, after 18 years it is just TOO convenient. Why hasn’t the staff at the hospital changed in all that time? How come the police never caught the two, especially after the sister was making formal complaints against the head nurse? I guessed, moments after meeting the Dr., that he’d be the killer, because there were so few potential characters it could have been… law of limited possibilities.
Also, your title and logline are very misleading. There is no DRIVE for Abigail to discover her sister’s murderer’s, it just kind of happens through Karma/Reincarnation subconscious/Convenience. The journey Abigail is on is really to decide whom she wants to end up with: her old flame Horace, the Thai heart throb Kan, or the rich Doctor Psycho Mc. Date Rape. Not once does she imply that she’s following her sister’s footsteps to find the murderer(s), and by your logline, that’s what I was waiting for the whole time.
The title “Epiphany” makes me think of someone inventing fire, or the wheel, or a web-based social network, or a longer lasting light bulb. When does any character in your story actually have an epiphany? How about “Past-Lives”, or “Karma hurts”, or “Down with God”…
In the end, I’d say keep the character, coming-of-age story of Abigail, and lose the murder mystery. That would give you more room to unearth Horace and Kan and make the decision to change her beliefs a little tougher/ more dramatic for Abigail…
In the end, not a bad read! Hope you find something useful here.
Below are some notes/thoughts I took while reading.
Too many traveling montages… should move on with the story at this point… why is she in Thailand? There’s a lot of info you need to convey by 10 minutes into the story, and the sight seeing becomes redundant… just need one.
I don’t think Abigail would just come out and say that her sister was murdered… you have an opportunity to create subtext here.
Kan is at fault if he kills a guy in the ring. It’s not like a car crash… if two guys are boxing and one dies, it’s because the other one killed him.
I thought it was okay to have a fuck buddy anywhere.
In the states that’s normal if no one is home, the manager can let themselves in for an emergency… not sure what she’s so upset about other than just having a bad day maybe
If Gail is choking, how can she speak?
Why cut her restraints?
I think Abigail would be more emotionally distraught since these two who killed her sister just attacked her as well… Not prone to witticisms. read
by **DELETED ACCOUNT** on 10/13/2010Just read Epip. The devil made me do it! Not really sure what to think. Concept: Needs work. I think it's because there's no depth to the characters. Story: Very nice flow. STRUCTURE: My main problem here is the you start your scenes too early and leave too late. Start late and leave early. CHARACTERS: IMHO this is where the piece has most of the problems. Kan believes... Just read Epip. The devil made me do it! Not really sure what to think.
Concept: Needs work. I think it's because there's no depth to the characters.
Story: Very nice flow.
STRUCTURE: My main problem here is the you start your scenes too early and leave too late.
Start late and leave early.
CHARACTERS: IMHO this is where the piece has most of the problems. Kan believes in reincarnation then in the next scene he talks about ghosts?!? Hippy reminded me of shaggy-doo cartoonish. No depth from Horace/Ace Dr. Price was intro'd I knew right off the bat that he was the killer. I did like "the saul" though.
Dialogue: I think the dialogue struggles because of your scene structure. You start so early in a scene that there is a lot of expository dialogue not to mention "hi how are you" it really distracts from a scene.
OVERALL: I'd really go back to each scene and really try to rework the structure. I'd also work on character depth. It's a cool story but if there was more depth to Abi it would bring out more of a revenge type feeling. As it is now her sisters murder finds her. Thanks for the read! read
by DeeJay77 on 09/29/2010Congratulations on completing this SP. I found the CONCEPT interesting and I enjoyed the read. Opening with Sarah’s murder serves as a strong hook for the audience. You really grabbed my attention and sparked my interest quickly which is exactly what you want to do, so good job. STORY As I said, I really enjoyed your story; however, I think there is still room for improvement... Congratulations on completing this SP. I found the CONCEPT interesting and I enjoyed the read. Opening with Sarah’s murder serves as a strong hook for the audience. You really grabbed my attention and sparked my interest quickly which is exactly what you want to do, so good job.
As I said, I really enjoyed your story; however, I think there is still room for improvement. I made the following notes and suggestions as I read:
Abigail declines Horace’s marriage proposal then spends the next few months in Thailand. As the reader, I needed to know why she was going to Thailand. According to your synopsis, I thought the trip had something to do with searching for her sister's killer, but I didn't get that from the reading. Maybe I missed something. From what I gathered, she basically went on the trip to sort through some personal feelings, to find herself so to speak. But, was that really the purpose? And, why did she choose Thailand?
The only thing accomplished during all of the time spent in Thailand was the development of Abigail’s and Kan’s relationship, which is nice. But, during this period of time, I didn’t really know where the story was going. You really need some sub-story taking place during this time. Otherwise, you run the risk of your audience becoming bored. Suggestion: Why not have Abigail be about 12 yrs old when Sarah’s murder takes place? She loved her older sister dearly and is now determined to see her killer(s) brought to justice. Perhaps, she learns of a lead which was never thoroughly addressed by law enforcement officials. This lead ends up taking her to Thailand. While there, she carries out her own personal investigation and falls in love with Kan in the process. This is simply a place holder, but you get my point.
Your dialogue is pretty good. There were only a few blocks in which I found a real problem. On p. 43, Abi’s dialogue, during her argument with Kan, didn’t work for me. This woman was raised as a Christian and has never sworn a day in her life. I found it hard to believe that she all of the sudden started letting the “F” word fly. Hell or Damn, yes. But the “F” word, no.
On p. 41, Kan apologizes to Abi for kissing her. Abigail’s response didn’t work for me. I wanted to sense and feel more emotion from her. There needs to be a subtle hint of her true feelings here.
You’ve done a good job of creating interesting and likable characters. Abigail and Kan were very appealing. I really liked Hippy too. He was hilarious with the fire twirlers. Chloe was funny as well. And let’s not forget Gladys, nice addition of comedy there.
Overall, your formatting is good. I would suggest shortening your montages a bit. Also, on P. 88, I think you could probably use a series of shots instead of another montage here.
One other thing you may wish to clarify is Abigail’s voice over during the montages. Does she speak prior to the montage, or speak throughout the montage?
For your convenience, I made a list of page numbers which contain typos: 3, 8, 12, 13, 39 and 50. I also believed there is a block of dialogue assigned to the wrong character on p. 57.
I hope you will find my notes helpful in some way. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. You are a talented writer and I look forward to reading more of your work in the future. Keep up the good work! read
by ItalianIce on 09/28/2010Page 3 She is the spit of Sarah. You meant spitting image. No one is really standing out at this point and Ive been introduced to several characters. Is their a reason that Hippie (Neil) has hair extensions. Perhaps this will be revealed. Page 8 begins an extremely long monologue which ends and then starts another one. Im a little confused by the format of them. I think... Page 3
She is the spit of Sarah. You meant spitting image.
No one is really standing out at this point and Ive been introduced to several characters.
Is their a reason that Hippie (Neil) has hair extensions. Perhaps this will be revealed.
Page 8 begins an extremely long monologue which ends and then starts another one. Im a little confused by the format of them. I think that this action can be written in a more simple narrative with her voice-over sprinkled in from the beginning. Then at the end it can be revealed that she has been writing a note.
Then you can keep the flow of steady narrative and time progression and end with her entering the Blue Kettle.
page 12 "girl" should be capitalized or call her Bun.
pg 44 coming back to america - thank God. Thailand was getting boring.
pg 47 fish and chip should be fish and chips.
pg 47-58 Horace is insane and I dont like him. Hopefully thats the point. he doesnt sound like a real christian to me, or maybe Im just frustrated with seeing the same rudamentary portrayal of the christian "idiot". and "bloody" is not a swear, not in the US anyway....and if this is for an american audience then I would have the outburst be meaningful and with real foul language. -- just read the her telling him to stick the ring up his arse. I take back what I said!
pg 58 "bored as." -- huh?
pg 60 chloe should be abigail
pg 79 we went from boring Thailand to boring hospital sequences.
pg 82 are we ever going to revisit the murder from the beginning? Obviously something from the Buhdist belief of reincarnation is going to come into play.
pint of bitter? i would americanize this script. and if i see one more scene with a glass/bottle of wine, im going to scream. theres more wine consumption than the movie "sideways". it seems to be a cop-out instead of giving your characters more depth.
pg 94 - hahahaha! dr price is evil, I like him! NOW the story has my attention!
pg 98 girl fight - yummy!
Okay the script has this great opening and great closing which totals about 4 pages. act 2 needs to be tightened and their has to be a strong enough subplot that pertains to the story!!
I look forward to further drafts. read
by naomilamont on 09/23/2010Hi Tim. I was happy when I received another of your scripts to review since I liked The Marsh End Experiment so much. I made notes as I read of anything that stood out to me, so here goes:- Great start on pg 1, that’s for sure. You immediately establish Sarah’s horrifying death, then the devastation her family faces. By pg 2 you’ve given that same family hope again with... Hi Tim. I was happy when I received another of your scripts to review since I liked The Marsh End Experiment so much.
I made notes as I read of anything that stood out to me, so here goes:-
Great start on pg 1, that’s for sure. You immediately establish Sarah’s horrifying death, then the devastation her family faces.
By pg 2 you’ve given that same family hope again with a new baby on the way. I had no problem at all with the age gap between Sarah and Abigail (my sister is 21 years younger than me, so I found that perfectly believable).
I was glad Abigail turned down Horace’s proposal. This instantly told me she’s a sensible girl since she realises she’s too young. But I did want to know why she was going to Bangkok. She’s a young, innocent girl and she chooses to travel to Thailand all on her own? That’s not the safest place in the world for someone like her to go, so I expected a pretty strong reason. But that’s just me.
Pg 10-17: This section dragged a little as nothing really happens. It’s great to see the sights etc, but I think you could really shorten this up. Where’s Abigail’s inciting incident? What problem occurs that she can’t ignore? I couldn’t find it and since it doesn’t seem to be there, I have no idea what her goal is for the story. Your logline indicated that Abigail’s journey to find her sister’s killer takes her to the other side of the world, but this section didn’t seem to have anything to do with that.
Also, you need to decide if you’re going to call Neil ‘Hippy’ or ‘Neil’.
Great scene on pg 18 when Abigail tries to rescue the drowning woman.
Okay, so on pg 30 Abigail reveals that she’s taking a year off before deciding what to do with her life, but why choose Thailand? There must be some reason a young woman on her own would want to go there.
By pg 38, I’m starting to believe that Abigail is the reincarnation of Sarah, since she’s learnt what the Thai’s believe about death, mentioned that she’s drawn to nursing just like her sister, and has now asked if someone can be reincarnated into the same family. Now you have my undivided attention.
Pg 42: Nice sparing match between Abigail and Kan. She’s jealous and he has to defend himself. Nicely done.
I love Abigail’s outburst on pg 51. Good on her! It’s great to see that she matured while away and has opened her mind to other possibilities.
Pg 54-55: I really liked this flashback scene. It was touching and I could feel Abigail’s parents’ pain when she described Sarah not being about to breathe and the pain in her stomach. This once again reinforces the idea that Sarah may very well be back in Abigail’s body. How else would Abigail know those things if that’s not the case? I really like this stuff.
When Abigail’s parents get the text showing her new apartment, there was no doubt in my mind that this was Sarah’s old apartment – and their reaction to the video confirmed it, so I don’t think you need Sarah’s voice over at all.
Pg 64: Nicely done with Saul spying on Abigail. I actually didn’t realise it was the same person who was at Sarah’s funeral when Abigail first met him. It wasn’t until Chloe saw him in the park that it clicked, which was really good. I imagine he’s Sarah’s killer, and being the caretaker would make it easy for him to have had access to her.
I really enjoyed the scene on pg 66-69. I really wanted to throttle Horace and his narrow mindedness, which just goes to show you’ve done a great job with his character.
Ahhh, now on pg 83 I’m starting to suspect that Dr. Price is also a prime suspect in Sarah’s murder. He would have known her, just as he now knows Abigail, through the hospital. And who wouldn’t trust a doctor? I’m very eager to see what happens next. Is it Saul or Dr. Price?
When Abigail reveals she’s going to see Dr. Price again, this is a great way to show her naivety. The last time she saw him when he groped her should have been a warning, but the fact that she’s completely inexperienced in such things makes her decision to see him again ring true.
Pg 90: This is just a question, because I’m not sure, but doesn’t the driver sit on the right hand side in England (as we do here in Oz)? It’s just that it would make it difficult for Dr. Price to press down on her thigh like that. Just being nit-picky here and maybe I’m wrong.
Nice tense scene with Abigail in the lift with Saul on pg 93.
Pg 94: I’m glad Sarah’s killer was Dr. Price and not Saul.
Pg 96: Wow, wasn’t expecting Gail had anything to do with it.
Pg 98: Very exciting scene and believable that Abigail can fight so well since you set it up earlier when Kan taught her how to kick box.
Also, nice reversal when Abigail defeats Gail, then Dr. Price punches her and gets the upper hand. Nicely done to keep the tension mounting.
Pg 99: Yay! Saul comes to the rescue.
Pg 100: Great ending. Well done.
Overall, I felt the Thailand section of the story lacked direction and action on Abigail’s part, but once she got back to England the story really took off. I think you could make the Thailand section more interesting if you give Abigail a clear goal, something to strive for. Could it be feasible for her to go on a Christian Mission over there, then break away from that group and join Neil & Kan? That’s just my 2 cents worth.
Apart from that, good job and I wish you all the best with it.
Pg 2: The family follows then the well wishe(r)s.
Dr Smythe: ...after (the) menopause...
Pg 8: ...girl selling lingerie(.) (At) first she is relieved...
Pg 10: Abigail (waves) back.
Pg 12: Hippy: ... what’s your name(?)
Pg 26: Abigail: ...round the back of reception(?)
Pg 32: Abigail: Jesus forgave his murder(ers).
Pg 36: ...monks conduct a marriage (u)ceremony.
Pg 39: Kan: I recon the fish (will) be cooked by now.
Pg 41: ...walks up to their table and (wais) them all.
Pg 42: Kan: Jade(?) What about her?
Pg 53: HOUSE should just be on the end of the sentence beforehand.
Pg 54: Just put ‘flashback’ in the slugline – eg: INT. DAD’S CAR – FLASHBACK
Pg 61: An elderly (Saul) SAUL 50’S --- hey, since when is being in your 50’s elderly? :-)
Pg 71: Celia: ...church a few times and I started sort(ing) of believing it...
Pg 75: ...spy hold and sees (the) Saul.
...into the room and (the) Saul shuffles in.
Pg 76: (The) Saul heads for the door.
Pg 79: ...into the kitchen and sees Saul(, the Saul,) laying under...
Pg 80: (The) Saul pushes himself out...
(The) Saul walks with his tools...
Pg 85: Dr. Price: ...that I was (a) virgin on the day I got married to my first wife(?)
Pg 90: She hardly notices (in) the adrenaline rush.
Pg 92: Abigail: Yeah. (The) Saul.
(The) Saul watches her as she makes...
Pg 93: ...and (the) Saul is standing there looking...
He gets in (and) presses the button...
The life stops and (the) Abigail exits.
Pg 97: Suddenly, (A)bigail swings her legs over...
by Michael Merrell on 09/23/2010Epiphany starts strong and fast and finishes strong and fast. The problem is that the big middle section lacks punch. After a break-up with a stifling suitor, Abigail heads for what is basically a vacation to a tropical paradise to figure out what to do with the rest of her life. This puts her in a position to become a passive protagonist, which she does. Part of the reason... Epiphany starts strong and fast and finishes strong and fast. The problem is that the big middle section lacks punch.
After a break-up with a stifling suitor, Abigail heads for what is basically a vacation to a tropical paradise to figure out what to do with the rest of her life. This puts her in a position to become a passive protagonist, which she does. Part of the reason here is that her antagonist is only present at the beginning and then again at the end.
Most of the scenes in the middle section of the story lack dramatic punch, which is to say that they lack conflict. The potential for conflict is there in the form of a challenge to her religious, cultural and moral beliefs and it is dealt with occasionally, but there are too many scenes where the characters do not have conflicting goals, which leads to a series of "talking heads" dialogues ("How are you? I am fine." kind of stuff) where the scene does little to advance the story or reveal character.
Dramatic punch can be added to each scene in a number of ways. First, make sure that each character in each scene has a goal for that scene - and make sure that it conflicts with the goals of the others in the scene.
Develop the conflict in each scene: tension, suspense, dispute, something lurking in the shadows. This - not fun and good news - creates interest.
Also, work on emotional change within each scene - either a move from positive to negative, vice versa, or a heightening of positive or negative.
For these reasons, I would like to see the characters in the middle section be less agreeable. They are all way too nice with each other to create dramatic effect.
Comments on specific ratings -
The concept has potential for great drama as evidenced by the strong beginning and finish.
I rate the story as average because of the low level of conflict in the middle. The drama needs to keep going and we need to feel the presence of the antagonist throughout, even if he is just haunting from a distance.
Characters I rate as below average because the characters in paradise are too nice with each other. People being nice doesn't create a lot of drama.
For structure, the writing essentials are fine, but again, the low level of drama in the middle is a structural flaw.
Dialogue I rate as below average because of the "talking heads" described above. If you give the characters conflicting goals in every scene and keep the drama going, the dialogue could easily become a strong point. read
by me_metoo72 on 09/20/2010I've finally had a chance to review all of your posts and I have to say that this is the best of them all. If I had to pick, I'd definitely say that this is the one you should pitch to production company. CHARACTERS Your characters seem so real. My only problem is close to the end. For some reason, I was expecting the hippy to come in and save her. You had already established... I've finally had a chance to review all of your posts and I have to say that this is the best of them all. If I had to pick, I'd definitely say that this is the one you should pitch to production company.
Your characters seem so real.
My only problem is close to the end. For some reason, I was expecting the hippy to come in and save her. You had already established the fact that he was back in Manchester and he was staying with her, but we never actually see him depart, which led to me believe that he was still there. I figured he would walk in stoned and throw the whole murder plot off balance.
Your dialogue is very natural. Being American, I can normally distinguish between British dialogue and that of someone in the US, but in this case it is well versed to accommodate both dialects. Also it's very clean and doesn't ramble.
I'm still trying to figure out how the scene of Abigail questioning her parents about Lisa ties in to the whole story. For a second, I thought that it would drastically sway her religious upbringing, ultimately causing her to believe in reincarnation. However, as I draw closer to the end, it seemed to just be coincidence that she inexplicably knew so much about her.
Your structure is solid. I only wish that we were introduced to the Dr. Price and Gail much earlier on so they could gain more strength as culprits. By the time we meet them Act III is well underway.
There weren't many typographical errors within the text, but I have taken the opportunity to list them below.
Page 13 – “walks” should only have one L
Page 49 – the N in “never” should be capitalized.
Page 53 – No need for house to be on a line by itself if it's not followed by action or dialogue
Page 60 – Abi is the one who says “I think I might have made the biggest mistake of my life.”
Page 62 - “prise” should be “pry”
Page 70 – you need spacing after LATER
Page 81 – should say “Abigail checks her mail”
I really liked this story and best of luck with having it made.
--J. O. read
by Continuity on 09/20/2010On paper this script couldn’t have been better suited to me. I’m English, I work in a hospital, I spent 2 months working in Thailand last year and one of my best friends is a NSBM Christian (That’s a no sex before marriage – if you were wondering!). However, although this script is well formatted and easy to read it suffers from 2 major problems. Firstly there is a distinct... On paper this script couldn’t have been better suited to me. I’m English, I work in a hospital, I spent 2 months working in Thailand last year and one of my best friends is a NSBM Christian (That’s a no sex before marriage – if you were wondering!). However, although this script is well formatted and easy to read it suffers from 2 major problems. Firstly there is a distinct lack of story structure and secondly the tone of the piece felt confused – what genre is this meant to be?
Let’s start with tone. The opening shot should always set the tone for a film and let the audience immediately know what genre their watching. In your case you begin with a graphic murder. Instantly I’m thinking horror or detective thriller - I can’t really think of a film which starts with this sort of tone that doesn’t fall into either of those catagories. It changes tone with a brief bit of bible bashing/thumping and then goes 180 again - going all eat, pray, love in Thailand. Just as it starts to settle in the far east Abi suddenly comes back to the UK and it becomes a story of working in the hospital and going to university. Then out of the blue, in the last five minutes, you get this sado-masachist horror vibe and it left me feeling very confused about what this story is trying to say.
This problem of tone is inextricably linked to the lack of structure of ‘beats’ (emotional highs and lows) that are needed in every successful script. The solution is ‘Save the Cat’ by Blake Snyder or ‘Story’ by Robert Mckee. Both illustrate the importance of genre and structure – the 2 weakest points of your script. Now, granted this is your script and you should follow your own gut but if it were me I would cut out Thailand completely. Have her opening up during fresher’s week, getting to know a guy there who she likes but then falls out with (it can still be Kan – you could finish the script the same way), and this pushes her into the arms of Dr. Bastard. All the while having her investigating the death of her sister so that you have the A storyline of her investigating her sister’s death and the B storyline of her coming out of her shell and discovering herself at university or vice versa.
The script is easy to read because you have a talent for action and flowing dialogue and the formatting is perfect but these major issues must be addressed. A couple of other things that I noticed were the following.
I feel you have no sympathy with the Christian characters. This is a problem as Abi begins as one of them and I only really feel sympathy for her as she begins to question her faith, which is far too late. An example is how she describes herself as born again on p25 “Yep, born again, singing in tongues, the works.” Would a British teenager describe themselves as ‘born again’ – I know quite a few ‘hardcore’ NSBM Christians but I doubt any of them would describe themselves in that way. It feels derogatory and/or American. It’s how I would describe my Christian friends if I was poking fun at them but they would probably describe themselves as Baptists or Methodists...etc. That and the fact that you make Ace - the main Christian character - a narrow-minded zealot bellend.
Another problem is there is a tendency to spell things out or echo unessesary dialogue. E.g. “She looks...she’s Sarah” I think she looks (so much) like Sarah would be better. “Did they forgive you? Have you forgiven yourself?” – pick one the other is an echo. ) “Is it possible to be reborn into the same family” – too obvious. These are just examples but there are quite a few more. But I think the line that grated me the most was when Abi said “I’ll try almost anything once” – that is of course except booze or drugs or premarital sex or swimming when the red flags are up or pretty much anything exciting!
Anyway I hate to sound negative because I did enjoy reading your script – I’m just better at criticism than praise. It was a really easy read (trust me that says a lot about your writing – I struggle to get through most assignments). It just really needs a structure/tone overhaul. Keep writing! read
- Writer: Tim Parkes
- Uploaded by: timparkes
- Length: 101 pages
- Genre: drama
- This is version 2 and hopefully makes things a little more clearer but hopefully not too obvious. Any comments, particularly on the subtext, particularly welcome. Cheers
- Bio: Always pottered around writing short stories, novels. Now I've Found a new obsession in script writing ...
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