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HOW IT RATES
A congressional aide infiltrates the slave trade of the Northern Marianas to put an end to the sweatshops and to put an end to her guilt.
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Read this version at your own peril. Rough - and I do mean rough - first draft.
Reviews of Pulling Threads 14
by EJWalton on 07/24/2012You've got a great premise and a solid opening sequence (visually) though the script itself could use some finessing. An example is there is no title card or superimposition to tell us where we are, what city, year, etc. exactly, which helps the audience considerably and is relative to the locations within this tale... I do have to keep in mind that there is are MAJOR differences... You've got a great premise and a solid opening sequence (visually) though the script itself could use some finessing. An example is there is no title card or superimposition to tell us where we are, what city, year, etc. exactly, which helps the audience considerably and is relative to the locations within this tale... I do have to keep in mind that there is are MAJOR differences in spec scripts, for the most part, and studio-quality scripting -- having read many studio scripts. Funny thing is, though we SEE the end result being the on-screen narrative, studio reps are quite fickle about what perceivably jumps off each page during their read. It's also ironic how on sites like this that everyone preaches page count, structure, etc, when ultimately what truly matters in my opinion is, 3-dimensional characters, great dialogue and whether or not the darn story is any good (ie; original/marketable)!
Back to 'Puling Threads,' I am only 30 or so pages in but early on, particularly the golfing scene, was a little too lean for me and didn't come across as fluid because the conversation didn't really make sense -- all innuendo. Overall, based on what I have read thus far, there IS definitely something here that, with a good polish and minor tweaking, could be ready for the big screen...
Good job bthielke! read
by **DELETED ACCOUNT** on 03/21/2009Congrats another top ten! Yipee. Ok, since you are pulling this screenplay my review probably isn't going to cost you credits and won't effect any SOM aspirations. So, I won't feel too bad if it sucks. But seriously. I can't comment on a whole lot without offending someone, so I'm going to concentrate on the big picture. And answer that big question, 'Is this a movie I would... Congrats another top ten! Yipee. Ok, since you are pulling this screenplay my review probably isn't going to cost you credits and won't effect any SOM aspirations. So, I won't feel too bad if it sucks. But seriously.
I can't comment on a whole lot without offending someone, so I'm going to concentrate on the big picture. And answer that big question, 'Is this a movie I would put my money behind?'
I can see this is a story that needs to be told. I can't speak if people want to hear it (care), maybe with the current economic crises caused in part by this predatory labor practice you could have a hit on your hands. Wow, that was a long sentence. I do think your beginning drags and you need Nancy to get into her undercover role sooner. Also do insult the people (fat Walmart shoppers) that you are trying to influence with this piece. Make the shopper and average American WASP or Black family trying to save money and shop smart. Let them know what that $3 shirt is costing.
I am a fan of short and sweet endings. However, I think this could use some real back story and facts. Something to drive the point into the viewers solar plexus.
You have little typos throughout a thorough proof reading would fix, nothing terribly distracting. I've pointed out some in the notes.
Pg 4 - You name the reporter then call him 'male reporter?'
Pg 15 - Dialog on the bottom sounds odd?
Pg 20 - It's pretty slow up to this point. I'm getting a creepy depressing vibe.
Pg 23 - I spotted another dialog error. You would benefit from reading this outloud. It can really make these problems stand out.
Pg 26 - Like how you showed them ignore the vet.
Pg 40 - It takes way to long to get to this point. This should at a minimum start the second act.
Pg 63 - I think you got Charlotte and Lily confused?
Pg 77 - Now who is Elise? read
by Harf on 03/09/2009First off, I could probably enjoy anything you write. The first 30 pages I would excitedly write down a misspelled word for my notes so that I would have something for you, because everything else was pretty flawless. Whatever I write that comes off negative, isn't really negative- It's just what I would have liked. The way you write descriptions and how you established your... First off, I could probably enjoy anything you write. The first 30 pages I would excitedly write down a misspelled word for my notes so that I would have something for you, because everything else was pretty flawless.
Whatever I write that comes off negative, isn't really negative- It's just what I would have liked.
The way you write descriptions and how you established your characters is what really got me into the read... But then you held back about halfway through your script, or it could have been me just losing focus on it as your story started taking theatrical turns.- I felt this around page 60.
This subject has never really been a main focus. You see a lot of T.V. shows making goofs on it, or just giving it little serious attention- Which is sad because as you went through the story, none of it was really shocking. I mean, as sickening as everything was, I kind of already imagined that stuff like that was really happening- but for some reason never gave it serious consideration. And for this reason I think I have a small problem with Nancy.
-Why is Nancy so naive? I understand that this may be of the first serious attempts to get this subject matter on film, and that it's important to show slave labor for what it is without letting a domineering main character overshadow anything...but what was she thinking? That she was going to reveal the truth behind their long working hours? - --- You do cover those bases by having her try to find Lily which is really well done.
And I like that she is trying to find Lily until she starts getting subjected to some of the more harsh treatments. At that point you can make it even more about Nancy's survival.
I would have liked to see Nancy prepare a little more for going undercover, rather than simply speaking "peasant" to her co-worker. Although,I suppose it works because she was in no way prepared for what she was getting into.--
I was hoping for Nancy to show her American swagger in other, more clever ways, rather than just cursing in American, or giving the evil eye. Otherwise, I wouldn't mind if the entire thing was told by one of the other girls inside. nancy could come along and some of the girls know she is american and might help them, but then they see her crying on the first night and think all hope has gone- Nancy gets killed by sneaking around, and the U.S comes knocking and the girl can testify to everything that happened.- Don't have to change much and it could be a more honest approach.
-I liked how you portrayed the evil congressman, got a little crazy in the end though... I think you need Xui to describe the man that led her to cut herself up-- Describe him as the "white devil with green eyes" or something like that, and give some details as to what he did to her. Then after Xui gets shot, she can simply say "I had to tell you, the white devil with the green eyes is coming for you" Find a way for Nancy to realize that the Congressman is evil before he reveals it to her.
- Maybe the guard can take down xui with more than one shot?
- Congressman kills the constable in the police station? Maybe...
- It's good show how far of a reach corruption has, but I was starting to feel like you were looking for filler after the scene with Dayle in the Whorehouse- And Nancy was starting to look like John MCclane from Die Hard. And if that's what you're going for, I wouldn't ming if the Matron or Timo got a heel in the eye.
A few notes:
Congresswoman Marin- "I got a feeling, I'm going to want to sit down on this one" - Why? She was just eager to get away. Unless she knows that their story will hit a soft spot with Nancy, but you don't show this concern.
pg.15- "She would save money to MAKE keep"
pg.16- LILT - LILY
pg.17- Seems like they're brushing them off but Marin asks "Are you sure about this Nancy" - This scene doesn't read well. Maybe if the Congresswoman's phone was ringing or something distracting.
pg. 26 - Nancy: "In Washington..."
Nancy: "Thanks for qualifying that..."
*Kind of the same joke. I thought maybe it was written by accident.
*Rob is going to let her go so easily?
This would be the time for Nancy to let everyone know what her idea is of what really goes on in those factories. Like- nancy: "If I have to sit at a sewing machine for 15 hours and eat slop to shed some light on this, then so be it"
pg. 28- She only tell Rob that she is going to Saipan...Why does Rob assume she is going as a Peasant girl? How does he immediately know?
-"yes I talk and don't call me honey" Do peasants talk like this? Cuz she is doing a terrible job. And I wouldn't let this be her way of showing her American roots.
pg.50- "Mr. Walking Horse, Is it true that..."
Could say.."Mr. Walking Horse, access to world class healthcare would imply that you offer health insurance to you employees. Am I correct in making that assertion?
pg.63- Picture of Charlotte, Should be Lily.
Very well written script. I'm glad that you're shedding light on this subject, because you obviously have the ability to reach the masses.
by **DELETED ACCOUNT** on 02/26/2009Overall: This was a terrific read. I enjoyed the story, the diverse perspectives and voices of the characters created, and the balance of action really pulled the reader from scene to scene. Some minor notes and comments below. Opening: Compelling opening scene slows down a little bit with the golf course scene, but I appreciate the need to set-up and introduce Dayle and Lee... Overall: This was a terrific read. I enjoyed the story, the diverse perspectives and voices of the characters created, and the balance of action really pulled the reader from scene to scene. Some minor notes and comments below.
Opening: Compelling opening scene slows down a little bit with the golf course scene, but I appreciate the need to set-up and introduce Dayle and Lee.
Characters: Key characters were fully three dimensional and credible. Good job.
Dialog: You have a gift for dialog. There are a couple minor areas where I thought the dialog was awkward and I’ve pointed these out below.
Plot: Again, great job. There were a couple scenes that felt slow and may need to be pared down to keep pacing consistent.
Description: Great use of setting the scenes and action. It was well balanced with dialog and not too flowery.
Ending: Straightforward and by the book. Not sure if I needed any sort of twist, as I really was following Nancy’s story. So I think it worked.
Here’s a few suggestions for diction, grammar, and typos as well as running commentary. Use it. Don’t use it. It’s entirely up to you.
Pg / comment
1 / her hand releases it’s grip → her hand releases its grip
3 / who’s alice?
5 / it’s finest on display → its finest on display
6 / why is the sedan sensible? Does it matter?
9 / I’m stressed, do they sell Tylenol here? This reads/sounds unnatural. Suggest rewording.
10 / You want to know what I do stand for? → Do you want to know what I do stand for?
11 / great flashback
15 / keep her parent’s out of debt → keep her parents out of debt
16 / tone of Marin is schizophrenic. She’s impatient, and yet she offers to use her position to investigate the affair.
20, 32-34, 50-52 / Personally, this scene really felt slow, as were most of the congressional testimony scenes. I would consider editing them down.
21 / Dayle approaches Congresswoman Marin (period missing)
24 / INS – do they really track foreigners in foreign lands?
28 / I know Nancy is supposed to go undercover, but it won’t be credible. While it’s great that she knows Mandarin, she will appear to be an American to any local in China. I think it has to do with how people are raised in the US (better quality of life as a result to better nutrition, healthcare, dental work, whatever). American born Chinese will look healthier and stronger than local Chinese. It won’t be credible for her to fit in. Not sure you can do anything about that. Maybe have a scene where she is buying local clothes. That’s another thing that is a dead giveaway about American Chinese vs. local Chinese.
30 / audience that faces a long table → audience that face a long table
31, 38, 45 / Nancy is an idiot for not storing her American passport in a safe deposit box in a Shanghai bank. But okay if you want to set this up for drama.
34 / Description of Shanghai as sea of humanity – I would make this location be a lot more gritty, because it isn’t realistic for a business man to proposition her. I don’t think she’s dressed like a hooker, and the Chinese don’t behave this way generally. Kind of out of character.
36 / Realizing she’d blowing it → Realizing she’s blowing it
37 / All caps on “clerk”
43 / Xiu watches her admiringly – Made me think she might be gay.
54 / Marin asks do you think I’m doing a good job – this seems uncharacteristic. Why is she insecure?
58 / the golf scene slows down pacing of story
63 / From Charlotte’s relatives → don’t you mean Lily?
73 / It’ a big ocean → It’s a big ocean (missing “s”)
81 / mens room scene dialog is a little expository
82 / I like the irony of the voice over here
91 / I’m confused where this beach is. If on US soil, I get that a 9-1-1- call can be placed. But is it? If you’re mentioning constable, sounds like a foreign land.
by Fuasto Maldini on 02/21/2009Overall Comments Pulling Threads is a great title for a script and a film. The script addresses slave labour and prostitution in foreign countries and links it back to high-powered politicians in the USA. The themes addressed in this film are admirable and ones that have not been given enough attention in this particular setting. The script begins in the style of “Traffic”... Overall Comments
Pulling Threads is a great title for a script and a film. The script addresses slave labour and prostitution in foreign countries and links it back to high-powered politicians in the USA. The themes addressed in this film are admirable and ones that have not been given enough attention in this particular setting.
The script begins in the style of “Traffic” and “Syriana”, meeting these issues and themes head on through characters struggling in slavery. Such pieces are difficult because they require the writer not only to present what actually happens in these circumstances, but what causes these circumstances to happen, pulling back the curtain to give us a glimpse behind the scenes. That is where the focus of interest will lie. This script does some of the later, but mostly the former.
The model for this type of writing, apart from Traffic and Syriana, is “The West Wing”, which presents what happens, but then shows you why through conflict and character development.
These types of films also tend to be a bit heavy and make fairly slow reading, creating a tough challenge for writers.
As a general stylistic comment, the script tells and doesn’t show the action. There is some great imagery (see pages 2 and 68 for example), but when it’s told instead of shown it loses its effect.
The opening scenes really grab your attention straight away and were well written.
The characters were also generally well written, but the character introductions don’t tell us a great deal about the characters. It also takes quite a while to find out who the main character is and what she wants to achieve.
The dialogue is generally quite good. In some places, however, it gets a bit on the nose where it begins to address some of the issues a little too directly. In those instances it comes across as something that people just wouldn’t say out loud.
In general there is also a lot of action and conflict in each scene. Some scenes, however, do lack both and are purely expository, but this is nothing a re-write wouldn’t pick up. One big criticism, though, is that the action does tend to be melodramatic (see page 62 for example).
One excellent feature in this script is verb use. See for example page 2 on the Golf Course. This demonstrates a writer in control and made some scenes a real pleasure to read.
The script is a good length, but the pages are fairly compact and so it’s quite a slow read.
That’s a tough opening scene to stomach, but gripping and written well in the sense that the writer lets the scene speak for itself and doesn’t push any sort of agenda on the reader.
The Ocean scene creates good suspense and creates an excellent set-up.
The line “Dayle steps into the sand trap and addresses his ball” is great use of the verb to address.
The next action line falls short. “His shot is anaemic” is fine (with great use of the word “anaemic”), but the ball should do the rest of the work to fall short rather than be told it does.
The use of these words in these ways make the scenes a pleasure to read.
Pages 4 – 5
Great exchange between Dayle and the Male Reporter.
At this point, it almost seems like the opening scene should be saved for later. Obviously, this preference is very subjective. However, the opening scene is always in the back of your mind and it’s hard to see this place as a paradise. Holding the opening scene until later would have a different effect allowing the story to establish that this place is a paradise in the reader’s mind, before pulling back the curtain to show what happens behind the scenes.
It’s almost like the Ocean scene should open the film. Two men dumping something overboard in the middle of the night creates suspense, but it doesn’t give anything away too early either.
The description of Congresswoman Marin is not a shopping list like many character introductions, which is a great thing, but it doesn’t really show us anything about her either. It tells us she is energetic. Why not show it instead? Have her do something in the beginning of this scene to demonstrate she is energetic, if that is the most important trait you would like to reveal at this point.
The Congresswoman’s dress is described as “sensible” on page 5 and now the sedan is described with the same adjective. If this is an important trait of the senator, is there no way to show it? Or, if you wish to be brief, improve the description?
Is getting into the car important? It gets just as many lines as the description of the congresswoman.
The Garment Factory is a good scene.
The slogan on the t-shirt is excellent. I hope this is developed throughout.
Formatting: an “Insert” and “Return to Scene” are used. It’s personal preference, but these tend to take you out of the action. This isn’t a shooting script, so why have it in there to distract and pull the reader out of the story? Why not just show the bulletin board instead?
The flyer must have been up there for some years. If someone is missing, do the flyers stick around that long? Even if true, it appears unrealistic and may require some sort of set up earlier or a different means of communication.
Is the flashback to Nancy’s childhood absolutely necessary?
What does an “eclectically dressed woman” look like?
The scene turns a bit too quickly and is melodramatic. The Congresswoman doesn’t want to see them and then she gets a feeling she does want to see them?
It’s unclear how the Natural Resources Committee can help.
It’s all a bit too easy, everyone is in agreement and willing to help each other out so readily, where is the conflict?
What does a “very neat and fastidious living room” look like?
Why do we need to know this about Nancy’s parents?
The perfect room for a 12 year old is very odd for the aid to a congresswoman. It does say something about Nancy and taking things to an extreme is good in a script, but is this extreme in the right direction? Does it give Nancy traits that are the best choice for this script? This trait or characteristic also doesn’t come back anywhere else in the script later on.
If the congressman is from Massachusetts then there is already a good chance that he has a Boston accent, but is it pertinent to the story that we know this detail?
Finally some good conflict between Nancy and Amy. The scene is well paced and the dialogue engaging.
Good use of “A pregnant pause” instead of “(a beat)”.
If this is what the film is about, it’s taken a long time to get here.
Consider getting Nancy’s decision into the first 10 pages or so.
Instead of telling us he has a lusty scowl in his face, perhaps he could do something lusty.
Offices and Sleeping Room: This is interesting, we’re finally seeing a world we wouldn’t ordinarily see, but it took a lot to get here.
There is good conflict in this scene.
The Hallway scene is weak.
Lines like “It’s a fortunate break …” make the screenplay read like a novel. It’s OK to add narrator’s/writer’s commentary a la Shane Black, but you do so at the risk of pulling the reader out of the script.
“Do you think I’m doing the right thing standing up for my constituents?” is a strange question. That is who this character is, she fights for her constituents and it’s what her job is, so asking this question seems inane. Then when Rob says “Elise sweetheart” doesn’t work either. Does he have that sort of relationship with his boss?
Garment Factory is a good scene.
“Young girl who was taken away by the foreman” should probably have a name by now.
The contrast between the treatment in the factory and then the treatment given to Nancy with the make-up grooming her for prostitution gives the story some depth and perhaps shows us how these women are lured into prostitution. I.e. they’re treated so badly in the factory and then treated really well and thereby lured into prostitution?
Xiu’s actions to help Nancy escape becoming a prostitute are excellent in the sense that it creates a scene with some great conflict.
Instead of talking about what happened to Charlotte and instead of using flashback, is there some way to show what happens to these girls?
Is there some way to imply that the Foreman took the baby through action rather than having her say it so directly? It’s hard to believe that women who have been subjugated in this way would talk to him like that.
Great pay off from an earlier set up.
These scenes with the voice over from Dayle are quite good.
The scene with Xiu, Nancy and the security guard is cliché. And then followed with a flashback which doesn’t really work because she gives all this exposition as she dies in Nancy’s arms. Again very melodramatic. What occurs in the flashback scene could be put to great use elsewhere. It’s horrific, but full of conflict and would really drive home some of the themes the script is driving at. In a flashback at this point following a cliché moment they lose some of their effect.
Shouldn’t then the opening scene be Lily’s from page 86 without showing its ending? It creates an excellent set-up.
Would Dayle really do this? And then later on these two characters engage in another fight, which makes it all seem over the top.
Where did Nancy get the cell phone?
Nancy is not in the USA, why is she calling 9-1-1?
At this point the story has become unrealistic and even more melodramatic.
Where do federal marshals come from? They’re not in the USA are they?
Possible alternative ending: Instead of killing off the young girl on pages 65-66, why not kill off Nancy? How often do these people get caught for slave labour and prostitution? Would someone like Dayle risk killing her himself? Or would he want her dispensed with like others they have in the past? Would someone like Nancy really get away from people who run slavery and prostitution rings? The opening scene on the boat and the young girl’s predicament present the chance for a twist at the end of the story. Believing the young girl has been “dealt with” our minds racing back to the ocean scene in the beginning, the reader/audience wouldn’t think that Nancy on page 89 is being lead away to be thrown overboard instead of going back to the USA with Dayle. Following a scene where Dayle comes to “save” her (like page 89) in which he instructs a protesting Timo to lead her to his car, all that would be needed would be a scene where Timo and the Fat Simoan return the boat to the dock, and for the young girl to appear back in Nancy’s seat in the garment factory, possibly a picture of Dayle boarding a place alone. This ending has a completely different meaning to the one currently in the script, so it would all depend on what the story is trying to achieve.
Best of luck with this script.
by bha26 on 02/20/2009Bob, I was real glad to see you took on this issue with this script. Of all the recent scandals to come out of Washington I think this was the one that got me the most angry when I initially heard about it. And it was grossly under reported. Unfortunately Americans a lot of times need to ironically see something on the big screen to open their eyes to real world events so I... Bob, I was real glad to see you took on this issue with this script. Of all the recent scandals to come out of Washington I think this was the one that got me the most angry when I initially heard about it. And it was grossly under reported. Unfortunately Americans a lot of times need to ironically see something on the big screen to open their eyes to real world events so I really hope this finds a home. It's a story that deserves to be told. Glad to see that this is all coming to an end, but let's not let history repeat itself. This story could go along way to making sure that doesn't happen so a big congrats on taking this on.
Now onto the script itself. As expected, you did a very solid job on this one. Great description with your action lines, natural and believable dialogue, a heroic protagonist, and effective villain. And the story? Brutal for sure, but necessarily so. You definitely didn't go the route of sanitizing this and that's good. Would have been a disservice to do so. With the scenes of rape, self mutilation etc..this is going to be a tough one to watch(and I'm sure was difficult to write) but to hammer your points home you had to go there, and I don't think you went overboard with it. So overall, high marks across the board. I did have a few issues with it, but it's a good story with that is only a few tweaks away from being a great script.
It seems that you may be missing a scene in act one before she decides to go to Saipan. You set up her motivation well. Her sisters disappearance juxtaposed with Lilly's is a good setting off point but it just ended up reading a little rushed to me. Maybe just one short scene of self doubt. You kind of go there with the Rob scene but it still seems lacking. Maybe you just need her to have more of a blowout fight with Marin over Lilly and the whole issue of the Mariana's. When it becomes clear that her boss won't go to bat it makes her HALF to do this. Again your almost there as is, but just missing a little something. Plus this could lead to some more guilt on Marin's part once she realizes that Nancy has disappeared.
--Maybe give the audience a little more background on the loophole that allows these sweatshops to exist. I loved the Wal Mart cutaway and you subtly showed what's happening but I also have some background knowledge on the issue. Since this was so under reported by the media, a lot of the audience won't have that knowledge and may be a little bit at a loss as to the details of the loophole that allowed the "made in the USA" labels to be put on the clothes...Just a minor issue.
--Not to get too "inside baseball" but I was a bit confused about some of the congressional stuff. For one, wasn't Marin a congresswoman from San Francisco? Now it seems to me that if that is the case that she certainly wouldn't be a "democrat he could work with." Seems like she'd be one of the more liberal members of the house. Maybe make her upstate New York or something along those lines.
Also why was her vote on the casino issue such a big deal to Dayle and why was his vote on the 'amber alert" such a big deal to her? Now granted I know a little bit more how the Senate works than the house but would each bill be held up in committee if the other didn't play ball? It just seems that her bill would easily pass the full house if it made it the floor and seems that most Republicans would vote for it out of committee anyway. It didn't seem to be a controversial bill. Now the casino bill makes a little more sense but again why was her vote the deal breaker? This probably won't even matter to most people but it's just something I noticed.
--I was a little bit confused about how she gained access to the garment factory. Was it a case of mistaken identity or did she have false papers? You alluded to it with the Chinese passport but maybe give the name of her alias when we see the passport.
--Everything Nancy does makes perfect sense to me until the scene with Ed. I just didn't buy the fact that she'd offer up her body to him. Seemed out of character. I know he did a nice thing and was going to help her out, but that seemed overboard. When she asked him to hold her, that worked well, but I'd cut out the part where she makes the offer.
--I guess my biggest concern was with the end where Dayle turned into a murdering rapist. I just had a hard time wrapping my mind around a congressman doing it. I guess maybe it's because I pictured Tom Delay the whole script and then I just couldn't picture him(or would I want to) attempting to rape and murder people. And I think he's the Antichrist. It just almost seemed too typical movie villain for a script that was grounded in sobering reality. Now I know he's evil. And he obviously knew what was happening to the girls over there and certainly didn't care so why would he not get his own hands dirty? I guess it makes sense but just struck me as off. If I'm the only one making this point than feel free to ignore it but I just couldn't fully buy it.
--But I did think the end with her testimony was a very strong closing scene.
Other small notes/typos etc..
Bottom of page 15-eliminate "make"
Top 16- Lilt should be "Lily"
Page 32-Is Dayle from Louisiana. I thought Texas had been mentioned earlier.
Page 63-Charlotte should be Lily.
Overall though, I liked this one a lot. And I'm glad you've tackled it. Thanks for bringing this topic to the site and hopefully soon to the masses. Best of luck with it.
by Oliverjames on 02/06/2009Wow...just wow. Granted, I haven't gotten a whole lot of reviewed screenplays under my belt yet, but I have to say that this is absolutely the best one to date. Yeah, I'm gushing. The rhythm was strong, kept me on the edge of my seat. You have some really good thriller elements that pushed each page forward. The scene transitions always left me with a value that I took... Wow...just wow.
Granted, I haven't gotten a whole lot of reviewed screenplays under my belt yet, but I have to say that this is absolutely the best one to date.
Yeah, I'm gushing.
The rhythm was strong, kept me on the edge of my seat. You have some really good thriller elements that pushed each page forward.
The scene transitions always left me with a value that I took with me to the next scene and gave me insight or had me wanting to know what happens next, it really pushed the plot forward. (I'm still working on my transitions atm.)
I loved the sequence of Dayle's speech with Nancy's preparation for work to Xiu's escape. The contrast really nailed a value to me that went beyond the sweatshops and sex slavery. The value of freedom kept "ringing."
Okay, so here's a couple of things that I noticed.
p33- I can empathize with Hiu. But I couldn't understand why she would break down into tears. I wanted Dayle to earn them. But the evil undercurrent you created for him really hit like a truck when we realize what drives him. And when Nancy actually has to endure the sweatshop and brothel, that brought me back to Hiu's emotional response at the hearing. Nice touch.
p63- I'm not sure if it was a typo. But are you talking about Lily or Nancy's sister Charlotte?
p91- This was a hard one for me. We've all seen the mistakes of the protagonist seeking help from a wolf in sheep's clothing. I kept thinking to myself why would Nancy dial 9-1-1? Just the weight of the presence of Dayle and his actions didn't make sense to me. Nancy is a smart girl, maybe too smart? But smart nonetheless, which would lead me to believe that she would know the extent to the corruption. A phone call to Marin or Rob? I'm not sure how it could end with the rhythm you played out. But the scene does play out really well.
Keep up the great writing!
by zeron on 02/04/2009This is a story very well told. It had me hooked from the very first word to the very last I didn’t stop till I had read it all in one sitting. It had a vast amount of twist and turns. I must furnish on the author much praise for their knowledge of the subject and knowledge of facts and giving me much reading pleasure. I didn’t know anything about Saipan other that what I... This is a story very well told. It had me hooked from the very first word to the very last I didn’t stop till I had read it all in one sitting. It had a vast amount of twist and turns.
I must furnish on the author much praise for their knowledge of the subject and knowledge of facts and giving me much reading pleasure.
I didn’t know anything about Saipan other that what I had heard in old black and white or WW ll movies.
A quick check on google confirmed everything you wrote about the island. That was wonderfully refreshing.
Basically this is a wonderfully woven story that is captivating, light, to a point and informative.
That is all the upsides now for the down sides but please do not take the following as a negative. It is said with the intention of bringing your great screen play all the way to the big screen, where it definitely belongs. I will be the first in line for a ticket and telling all my friends I read it first.
You have a great ability to hit all the right buttons and making sure you crossed all the t’s and dot the i’s so to speak. Very hard to pick faults as no character said anything which later contradicted. That was the problem. Because you spent so much time tying up every loose end you forgot to give your characters real emotions.
Yes I felt their hurt but I did not feel their pain. I did not feel tension, passion or despair. In other words your story had very little human coloration. You made everything far too conveniently possible.
Let’s briefly examine Nancy’s relationship with her lost sister Charlotte. Could not have Nancy got into politics as her way of reconciling losing or a way finding her lost sister Charlotte? Okay, Congresswoman Marin was trying to introduce Charlotte’s law (which perfectly ticked the ‘I am doing something for my lost sister box’) however it didn’t show her real personal despair and loss.
Nancy was never given any strengths. I never knew what strengths or qualities she was taking with her to Saipan. She was just an political secretary who decided to go undercover without any training or obvious skills to do so. More because a random family asked her boss for help to find their granddaughter less for her own distraught family and sister's accord. There are people who wouldn’t think twice about traveling across the other side of the world to rescues a loved one. Equally there are people who would simply hire a Private Dick to investigate the case for them. You never established which one she was you simply sent her.
You gave absolutely no inclination of what Nancy was ever going to achieve. Put it another way; if she was a journalist, then going under cover we know she’d be coming back with a kick ass story to expose the bad guys and consequently expose the sweat boxes and possibly save the girls working there. As a (former) journalist she would have real believable strengths. We know she would have got the story out at all cost, even if it meant her life.
If she had a plan of how she intended to get out if and when things inevitably became life threatening would certainly have allowed me some tension. I should have been on the edge of my seat waiting for her to bail to safety. Nobody walks into a den of killers without an exit plan.
A: she is female
B: she is Chinese
C: the bad guys believed she was an authentic pheasant girl
A+B+C = she is just what they are looking for! Therefore why would they ever let her out once they have her? She needed a D: The part where she reveals who she really is, calls in the cavalry and all the bad guys go to Gail.
However when this exit plan fails or is foiled (as with all good movies and novels) She shows her real sense of survival as things spiral out of her control. Having a cell phone hidden in her bag (along with her give away American passport) is not an exit plan (it is just ticks another box of convenience). You never said how Rob going to help her (if she had kept the phone)? After all he was the other side of the world. And when a total stranger conveniently (another box ticked) accosted Rob on the streets bringing news of her terrible incarceration Rob was powerless to help anyway.
Re-look at your story and take out all the conveniences and give us suspense. For instance you establish the Constable was a crook. So when she met him it was obvious she was not going to be saved. An opportunity to shock the pant off us, lost!
Lovely story easily read but possibly easily forgotten (one box you don't want ticked).
You just might have a hit… read
by Dominic.Jenkinson on 01/27/2009Difficult read this, Bob. Not because of your skills as a writer, just the subject matter. Tough. You certainly send Nancy on a harrowing journey. And while your at it you manage to keep the potential budget pretty tight and the page count even tighter. Good job. If this gets picked up, I'd like to see a few more pages. There was a lack of feeling of movement to the script... Difficult read this, Bob. Not because of your skills as a writer, just the subject matter. Tough.
You certainly send Nancy on a harrowing journey. And while your at it you manage to keep the potential budget pretty tight and the page count even tighter. Good job.
If this gets picked up, I'd like to see a few more pages. There was a lack of feeling of movement to the script. Whether from factory to whorehouse, or country to country. Seemed a bit static. Maybe because you were eager to keep things moving and keep that page count low.
I was hooked from early on. When Nancy made the transition to China, I expected the cell phone to go missing. Maybe that scene needed playing up a bit more too. Such a major development, I'd like to see it actually taken.
The only real weakness I saw in the story was 2 minor issues that can be fixed easy -- should you concur.
1 - The matron speaking to Nancy in the personnel dept was a tad too convenient. Better ways to do that.
2 - Sticking it to Dayle. The nail file and then the letter opener. The first one is acceptable, the second smacks of quick fix.
I think for a more satisfying end, this is the point where some irony and foreshadowing need to be brought about. I know they're in a new location, so it maybe tough. Maybe something on Dayle -- a badge/medal... dunno. The knife was too convenient.
Very good script, important message. And about time somebody wrote a good script for a female Asian lead.
16 Lilt - Lily
For a few moments her eyes search the room for something
familiar, something that will convince her that she hasn’t
just made the biggest mistake of her life.
I read your comments on the MB about unfilmables... I agree, but maybe takes it too far!
47 - a tad convenient.
70 - No, your paid up till half past.
nail file and letter opener. hmmm.
96 - Nancy hold the phone to her ear
Lili = Lily (twice) read
by louistruong on 01/20/2009I really enjoy reading this story. Nancy is very determined and is full of courage. I was concern for her when she went over sea for the investigation. The things that were happening to these women made me speechless. I couldn't believe what i was reading. I felt like i was reading a true story of someone. Unfortunately, events in this story still occurs today. The structure... I really enjoy reading this story. Nancy is very determined and is full of courage. I was concern for her when she went over sea for the investigation. The things that were happening to these women made me speechless. I couldn't believe what i was reading. I felt like i was reading a true story of someone. Unfortunately, events in this story still occurs today. The structure of story was well written. I was able to follow through the script without boredom or getting lost. I was happy to see how the story ended and hope that our government can help those women. Hope this script could be develop onto the screen. read
- Writer: Robert Thielke
- Uploaded by: bthielke
- Length: 97 pages
- Genre: drama
- Thankfully, the last marianas garment factory is due to close in February of 2009. The garment industry in the marianas is a sad chapter in our history, especially knowing that "we the people" have let it happen. This story is not based on any one individual but hopefully sheds a light on a dark place. It's a very hard story, but hopefully it will make you feel. If you decide to read this, I hope you'll enjoy it and I look forward to your comments and suggestions (as always!!)
- Bio: I AM SOMEONE!! Writer of THE VIRGINIAN a 2013 adaptation of the 1905 Owen Wister novel of the same name. This version stars Ron Perlman, Trace Adkins, and Victoria Pratt. 2012, 2009 Nicholl's Quarterfinalist with Principles of Buoyancy and 2009-2010 Bluecat Quarterfinalist with Czechmate (co-written with the awesome David Muhlfelder).
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