An alien force comes to take Earth
HOW IT RATES
Sarah Carrier has refused to use her blood talent as a witch to solve her unique ghostly cases and instead uses the skills of new age detective work. Unfortunately she has been pulled into a case by a persistent 10-year-old ghost that needs her to make her way through a time where witch craft is abundant. She must learn to use the magic she has avoided, find a murderer and stop her best friend from being hung before she gets burned at the stake herself.
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Reviews of The Ghost Detective 10
by SpesExMachina on 04/02/2011I was excited to read this story, because I'm a huge fan of Buffy, and I can definitely see the affect Joss Whedon's work has had on your own. But this script has a long way to go in terms of its execution. You have some nice plot twists that come together in the end, and your basic concept for the theme of the script and Sarah's character growth has a strong core. (I wonder,... I was excited to read this story, because I'm a huge fan of Buffy, and I can definitely see the affect Joss Whedon's work has had on your own.
But this script has a long way to go in terms of its execution. You have some nice plot twists that come together in the end, and your basic concept for the theme of the script and Sarah's character growth has a strong core. (I wonder, was the choice of Sarah as your protagonist's name a reference to Sarah Michelle Gellar?)
However, you need to follow 3 Act Screenplay structure more closely. Right now, your script meanders a lot throughout Act Two. Act Two is always, ALWAYS the most problematic part of a script, you will find.
In my experience, the most common pitfall that writer's fall into when trying to cross Act Two is scenes in which your story is just treading water. Scenes that only vaguely propel the action and thematic tension of the story. This is your largest problem with Act Two. Your two heroes have arrived in the past with only the most vague idea of why they're there and what they're going to do about it. The result of this is that Sarah is only reacting for well over 2/3rds of the script. She doesn't make any choices, and when she does, it's because outside forces have persuaded her to do so. This makes her a very passive protagonist, which is the exact opposite of what you want. What I think you should do with her is elaborate on her inner conflict, that being her accepting her witch heritage.
Your subplot about the Necromancer is also underdeveloped. Because you mention it so early in the script, I assumed that the Necromancer would be your primary antagonist. But you basically ignored him all through Act Two until Act Three, by which time we've already forgotten about him.
Unless it's entirely necessary for the story, don't describe what clothing the characters are wearing. True, these details will often provide a lot of insight into the character, but there's a better way to do it. I bring this up because of your description of Jared.
When inserting something like a text message, don't put it in the dialog line, because it isn't dialog. The dialog line is only used for spoken words. Use a super instead, like INSERT TEXT: BLAH BLAH BLAH, etc.
You shouldn't be giving directions so often, such as FADE OUT and FADE IN:, especially the latter, which is usually reserved for the beginning of a script only.
Overall, I think you have a better, more fleshed out concept of what you want your story to be, but you have failed to execute it. The mythology between the Necromancer and the witches is actually very interesting, but you didn't cash in on it enough.
As far as your script's appearance, you need to do a major overhaul. Your script is rife with spelling and grammatical errors. You need to keep an eye on your apostrophes, as you often use them when you don't need them, and fail to use them when you do. A common example of this is in the word "sees", which you always misspell as "see's". That apostrophe is unnecessary; "see's" is not a word. On page 8 you use the word "non-sense", which is also incorrect. You don't need to use a hyphen, as "nonsense" is the correct compound word. You always spell the word "rifle" as "riffle" and you mix up the word "apart" and "a part", which have two different meanings. You also often mistake which "there", "their", or "they're" you want. These mistakes are especially distracting for a reader.
Anyway, I would advice you to highly rethink the structuring of your script. I think that, with a lot of work, this idea could be fleshed out to be something more successful.
Good luck in your rewrites and future projects.
by Wil Borne on 03/26/2011I gotta say this was a interesting unique story.However,I did get a little confused and puzzled while reading it(definitely towards the end of it)but it was still great.This was a very cool concept and the way you wrote it was excellent.The characters was also written wonderful.The action and scene setting was great too.Just a question,could you explain what was Robert's status... I gotta say this was a interesting unique story.However,I did get a little confused and puzzled while reading it(definitely towards the end of it)but it was still great.This was a very cool concept and the way you wrote it was excellent.The characters was also written wonderful.The action and scene setting was great too.Just a question,could you explain what was Robert's status in the town.I know it's set in the 1700s and all but I just wanted to know what was he to the town? Was he like a mayor or some sort of authority leader? I have to say this was a creative story with a nice mix of scfi and crime genre.Great work keep it up. read
by reborn777 on 08/26/2010This was an interesting concept. I don't think the title was really appropriate. Sarah really didn't do a lot of detecting. I will tell you what I would do to improve the script if it were me. First, I would clarify what the central theme is. After reading it I'm not sure what theme we were exploring, was it love, witchcraft, or ghosts. I think I would try and make a simple... This was an interesting concept. I don't think the title was really appropriate. Sarah really didn't do a lot of detecting. I will tell you what I would do to improve the script if it were me.
First, I would clarify what the central theme is. After reading it I'm not sure what theme we were exploring, was it love, witchcraft, or ghosts. I think I would try and make a simple statement as to what this movie is really about early on.
Second, I get how you wanted to have Jared, Samuel and the necromancer share a soul history, but I would make sure Jared was more useful and necessary to the events of the story. I wouldn't let him get lost or locked away. I certainly wouldn't make my comic relief unable to talk.
Third, I would do a little more research to make sure I am using accurate names, descriptions of surroundings, terms, dialogue, etc for the chosen time period and then I would stick to it religiously. Which would also help in making Jared stand out more. Lastly, I would make it more of a detective story, meaning I would have her actually do some work with Jared serving as her Watson of sorts. Oh, and this isn't a necessity this is just a personal opinion; I was cool with her running around with the skirt and the daggers and being sort of a tough ghost hunter. But I felt that when she went back in time she was like Clark Kent. And she stayed that way for the entire screenplay. At any rate, good luck with the rewrite. read
by David Muhlfelder on 08/19/2010I'm going to start by talking about something I rarely mention, spelling and grammar. Normally I let the occasional typo or misused word slide. Even the most careful proofreader misses something. But when they permeate the script, as they do here, it ruins the read for me, because I have to stop and try to figure out what you really meant. It's Manor not Manner when referring... I'm going to start by talking about something I rarely mention, spelling and grammar. Normally I let the occasional typo or misused word slide. Even the most careful proofreader misses something. But when they permeate the script, as they do here, it ruins the read for me, because I have to stop and try to figure out what you really meant.
It's Manor not Manner when referring to a house. Nonsense is not a hyphenated word. I have never seen names spelled Carry or Bow. I've seen these names spelled Carrie or Carey and Bo or Beau. The way you spell them are more common to the verb to carry and the noun bow as in bow and arrow. Unless you have a specific reason for using those spellings, I would change it because it becomes distracting. In a scene between Sarah and Jared you say Jared is about to rebuke. Rebuke what? Do you mean he is about to answer or respond to her? Just say that. Magistratical is a very obscure adjective. I didn't think it was a real word until I looked it up. You don't want someone to stop reading to look up words. You're just describing Robert's judical robes. Keep it simple. Rifle is spelled with one F. Women is plural. Woman is singular. Someone is oblivious to, not oblivious of. A person rises to their feet, not raises. A person sits up, not sets up. I could go on, but you get the idea.
The other big problem with this script is a random and haphazard structure. You start off with a nice action sequence, then follow it up with a talking head scene with Carry and Sarah that provides a lot of clunky exposition. You should find ways to hide your exposition throughout the narrative so that the reader doesn't have to backtrack later. I'd forgotten the whole Necromancer backstory by the time he was revealed in the story. Everything in the story felt like an underdeveloped idea. It seemed like it was going to focus on Jared and Sarah's budding romance as he gets accidentally transported back in time with her, then it turned into a supernatural detective story centered around Dustin's death, then it was about this corrupt Magistrate with designs on Sarah, then it was about Samuel being the Necromancer. None of it felt fleshed out. Your denouement went on for nearly 10 pages after the gallows sequence, which also felt like it went on forever. Your story essentially ends at the gallows, but you just kept laying on the clunky explanations.
On a similar note, your supporting characters felt very one dimensional. Robert was a very cartoonish villain. The relationship between Sarah and Jared wasn't very compelling, and he seemed to disappear for a large chunk of the story in the middle. We need to see something between them that makes us want them to get together, and right now it's not there. Maybe he could be more in Sarah's way as she tries to investigate. The deaf-mute thing doesn't give him a lot to do.
One more thing. I was under the impression that the story took place in New England, but you make reference to Robert's plantation and slaves. Plantations and slaves evoke images of the South. I think you need to clear that up. Sorry to sound so harsh, but this really didn't feel ready for primetime. There were just too many loose threads. Good luck. read
by wanderingmbhorn on 08/06/2010On the overall, I thought this was a solid story. You definitely hit the tone right, as characters and situations played spot on like stuff from Buffy or Charmed. Furthermore, your sense of character is fantastic, as that was definitely a strong suit of the piece. That said, this is not without problems. On the overall, your dialogue was very expository. Often, we discovered... On the overall, I thought this was a solid story. You definitely hit the tone right, as characters and situations played spot on like stuff from Buffy or Charmed. Furthermore, your sense of character is fantastic, as that was definitely a strong suit of the piece.
That said, this is not without problems. On the overall, your dialogue was very expository. Often, we discovered things about characters through their words, not actions. Characters would blatantly say their intentions. However, the dialogue didn't really ruin this for me. Still a relatively quick read. Maybe because everyone speaks in Old English? Who knows?
Also, I felt you used a litany of cliché’ lines, especially in the beginning, where you literally has five a page. For example, on page six Sarah gets a text and goes "This can't be good." That's been uttered far too often, instead of TELLING us how she feels, SHOW us, it will make the story more exciting. As the story moves onward, the cliche lines cut down dramatically, but its still something I'd look into.
Quick note about your action writing: you can definitely tighten it up. You often used words like "resentfully" or "angrily." However, how does a director show that a person does something "resentfully. You're essentially just telling us how they feel. Doing this once or twice is fine, but this is a common occurrence in the screenplay. Also, don't use the present tense in you action. Often, you used terms like "He begins to" or "He starts to." They're unnecessary and bog down your writing, making it more difficult to read. Do away with it and you'll have a much quicker story.
Now to story, there were a few things that made me scratch my head. First, Sarah's a student, yet she can afford to live in her own house? I know these ghosts pay her handsomely, but a house is expensive! And wouldn't that draw attention to her from her classmates who are all squeezed into small apartments?
After Sarah and Jared teleport, they are both supposed to be in a great deal of pain, yet they talk as if they're fine. If they're really hurting, either don't have them talk at all, or give them just short, curt responses.
After Jared teleports with Sarah, he questions a lot, but I don't understand why he wouldn't be flipping out. I think most people would absolutely lose it, at least for an hour.
Sarah supposedly goes back in time for he clients and catches their murderers. However, by her doing that, doesn't she change the course of history? Her presence (she gets pretty involved in town-goings ons) would have the same effect, wouldn't it?
The attention is always on Sarah. She’s a drifter, why would the townsfolk pay so much attention? Even a beloved drifter shouldn’t be getting invited to dinners, called up in courthouses. I know there can be extraneous circumstances for why she’s the center of attention in each of these scenes, but I feel it just puts her in the limelight too much. Sometimes its good just to let your protagonist take something in, or observe, or let the audience see something about them in their normal, daily routine that can reveal personality traits. Just a thought ...
Also, Jared just sort of disappears for about 20 odd pages in your story. Like it or not, he's established enough in the beginning that he is a major character here. The rule is that no major character should be gone for more than 15 pages. Thus, I suggest just tossing a scene of him in jail into the story. It'll keep him relevant.
At the end, we discover that Robert killed Dustin. Great, but he did it out in the open. Everyone saw him. Thus, why did Dustin need Sarah to solve his murder? Looks to me like it was solved the first time around.
A major issue with this is that your characters do far too much explaining. A movie like Inception can get away with a ton of explanation because its fast paced and has a cast that would make Meryl Streep jealous, however you don't have that luxury. This story is a mystery above everything else and, due to lots of character explanation, it can plod on from time to time. I would definitely try and cut back on that.
Speaking of action, I don't think there is enough. A lot of the story is just character's sitting around talking but, in a story like this, its action that drives the plot, not dialogue. You likened this to Charmed and Buffy and you're right, they're very similar. However, those shows were both thirty minute periodicals. They always had to over-explain key concepts for people who may had missed previous episodes so they weren’t lost (this was before DVR, haha) much like a soap opera. This, however, is a film script, no one's missing episodes. So you need to cut back on the explanation and repeating of information and up the action to keep your audience's attention.
Okay, last criticism. I feel that, somewhere down the line, your story loses it's place. Sarah is supposed to be there to solve Dustin's murder but, instead, we get sidetracked into a subplot about Magistrate Robert keeping people in prison and wanting Sarah, etc. The stuff with Robert is supposed to be a subplot and needs to stay that way, it distracts from the main story so much that, for a while, we completely forget why Sarah's there.
All that said, I do want to commend you on creating some brilliant characters. You seem like you have a REALLY good feel for these people as they jump off the page. Jared and Robert are three dimensional, however it is Sarah who stands out above the rest. Fantastic job, these people all have unique voices, great.
Below are just some grammar catches and stuff I thought while reading:
Pg. 1 – Death’s, not deaths
Pg. 1 – Girl’s, not girls
Pg. 3 – iPhone, not I-phone
Pg. 10 – Man’s, not mans
Pg. 16 – Jewelers should be jeweler’s
Pg. 16 – Let’s, not lets
Pg. 20 – They’re, not their
Pg. 24 – won’t, not wont
Pg. 28 – Would Molly say “kids.” I think a more appropriate term for the 1700’s would be children
Pg. 31 – cannot, not can not
Pg. 32 – Anywhere, not any where
Pg. 37 – Want, not wont
Pg. 41 – Whatever, not what ever
Pg. 43 – They’re, not their
Pg. 43 – Won’t, not wont
Pg. 43 – Satin caught Jared’s tongue? I think you mean Satan, lol
Pg. 44 – Man’s
Pg. 47 – morning’s, not mornings
Pg. 48 - won’t, not wont
Pg. 54 – Anna says Sarah was at the magistrate’s for a week? Seemed like a few days … max
Pg. 54 – Steal, not steel
Pg. 57 – Harm’s, not harms
Pg. 63 - So Allia talks to the Necromancer while slowly plunging a knife into him? Doesn’t really work for me, I feel that would hurt a bit
Pg. 86 – won’t, not wont
So overall, you've got a nice start here. I think if you work on your story and dialogue a bit, this can be a real nice script, a throwback to Joss Whedon. You've already got some wonderful characters.
Great job and keep writing!
by Brengunner on 08/02/2010Page 1, “She looks up to see the girls ghost…” should be girl’s Not sure about Boarman’s “Haha!” Feels cliché. Page 2 “The ghost looks relieved then goes to Boarman with a look of hate.” It struck me that perhaps the ghost would be beyond hate, I think it might be more poignant if there was a look of sadness and compassion, a look that evokes the idea that the murderer is... Page 1, “She looks up to see the girls ghost…” should be girl’s
Not sure about Boarman’s “Haha!” Feels cliché.
Page 2 “The ghost looks relieved then goes to Boarman with a look of hate.” It struck me that perhaps the ghost would be beyond hate, I think it might be more poignant if there was a look of sadness and compassion, a look that evokes the idea that the murderer is going to a place very different from the victim. Just a thought…
“The bloody dagger in his shield will…” did you mean sheath?
I would suggest you omit the transition calls, i.e. “CUT TO:” they aren’t necessary in a spec. screenplay and they disrupt the smooth read of the story.
Page 3, Looking inside it are gold coins that reach to the brim.
Sarah sighs, takes the pouch over to a dresser drawer and throws it in with countless other antiques and treasures.
Bejeweled daggers, rubies, necklaces and old currency to name a few.
She goes over to her bed-stand and picks up her I-phone. She pushes the button and see’s the current time and date, Monday, 7am.
There are a couple of things you might want to considering changing here.
Since action blocks are silent camera calls, you don’t need “Looking inside” Since your describing what the camera is showing us. So consider: Inside several gold coins gleam against blood stained leather. Or something like that, you want us to see it in our minds, without being conscious that someone is point it out to us.
Consider omitting “to name a few” its redundant since we see what the drawer contains.
She goes over to her bed-stand and picks up her I-phone. She pushes the button and see’s the current time and date, Monday, 7am.
She walks to her nightstand and picks up her I-phone.
She pushes a button, the display reads: Monday August 1 7:00 AM 2010
If you agree with my observation consider applying these principles when doing your next rewrite.
Careful with passive tense, considering doing an “ing” and “ is” searches through your action lines and change where appropriate. Example:
Sarah washes along her shoulder, fore arm, legs, all showing evidence of the fight.
Sarah washes along her shoulder, fore arm, legs, all show evidence of the fight.
By the way this is a nice way of revealing that she suffers physical consequences that follower her back in time.
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
Sarah is dressed in jeans and a nice shirt.
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
Sarah dressed in jeans and a nice shirt…
“Sarah walks to her ford pick-up and” Ford should be capitalized.
Page 8, why are you hyphenating nonsense? “Non-sense”
“A mans body on fire with a hole in his chest.” Man’s body should have apostrophe. (I’ve noticed this problem throughout the screenplay, check for this and I won’t continue to track it.)
Page 16 is all dialog with no action. Even if the action is little things, like Molly fussing over Sarah, bring her food or drink – actions that tell us about these two – not just filler, you want to continue the visual narrative through these long blocks of talking. Also Tavern should be tavern, unless that is the name of the inn?
Bottom of 18, “Bare with me” should be “bear with me.” “Bear with me,” the standard expression, is a request for forbearance or patience. “Bare with me” would be an invitation to undress.
Page 20 first Jared title misspelled.
Page 36, DUSTIN - Yes papa but he can hear you. He just pretends not to until your are close enough to hit. Should be “you are” delete the r.
Page 41 ”A couple of men with riffles stand” rifles.
Page 50 “I can take you to a water pale and…” pail.
Bottom of page 55, “Can I steel you away at the moment? Should be steal not steel.
Take a look at bottom of 58, you need to insert a line between the dialog and the action block.
Not sure I buy Sarah having sex with Samuel like that. The build up wasn’t enough, especially given the mores of the time they are in. The sexual tension needs to be ramped up and built up to make this believable.
Top of 62, “The covenant says…” did you mean coven?
Page 65, “Sarah sets up.” Did you mean “sits”?
Page 66, “ANNA - This is apart of you.” Should be “a part”
SARAH – “It’s in greek.” Capitalize Greek - this applies to all occurrences of the word Greek.
Bottom of 68 “Save two lives with the lose of one.” Loss
Bottom of 77 you’ve got riffle again. And at bottom of 79.
78 third action block rifle shouldn’t be capitalized.
Ok, overall it was a fun read. I still think the story needs more refining. I would like to see Sarah embrace her magic earlier and then spend time taming it.
Obviously you want to proof read it thoroughly and smooth out the errors.
The dialog was decent but I think there is still room for improvements. I would suggest things like Jared using lots of modern slang, making it more obvious that he can’t pass himself off in the past.
The characters were interesting; Sarah is a strong female protagonist. But her succumbing to Samuel/Necromancer felt like she was seduced by magic rather than love. I think you can make this clearer; especially, if Jared is the newest albeit clueless incarnation of the Necromancer. In doing this and in allowing her to embrace her witch nature sooner you will achieve a greater character arc for her.
Looking forward to seeing you develop this to its full potential.
by jayelveejr on 07/29/2010Traci, I really thought I wasn't going to like this but, surprise, I rather enjoyed it. I usually read my scripts in blocks of fifteen pages. Why? Because, for me, I feel that something needs to happen every fifteen minutes of screen time to keep a story flowing, moving and anything much longer just hurts it. If something doesn't happen, for example like twenty or so pages,... Traci, I really thought I wasn't going to like this but, surprise, I rather enjoyed it. I usually read my scripts in blocks of fifteen pages. Why? Because, for me, I feel that something needs to happen every fifteen minutes of screen time to keep a story flowing, moving and anything much longer just hurts it. If something doesn't happen, for example like twenty or so pages, it starts to border on a bit much. Yes, we need the usual plot points in their right place but something better happen in fifteen or so minutes or else I might snooze off, turn the channel or stop reading. I really thought this would happen with your script because I'm not the right demographic for this. Based on your production notes, which I seldom read, but happened to on this script ... I have never seen one single episode of Buffy, Quantum Leap nor Charmed. Although I don't mind a romance now and then, mixing up a genre like magic, witches and romance are not a mix I usually like. So, it was interesting for me that for the first sixty or so pages of your script, I kept reading. I kept thinking, okay, the next fifteen minutes this is going to fall apart but, alas, I kept on reading because you had me hooked. Now, on those merits, your script works because it was a page turner for me but ... I did have some problems with certain things in it, and although I think this is still far from being done ... dog gone it, I liked it for the most part and that surprised even me. I may have to turn in my "man" card me thinks.
I think part of the charm here is that I like the main character of Sarah, you did a nice job of rounding her out and she was very likeable. I think that, at least for me, this kind of feels like the Twilight series in a way. A ghost story for women and one which is light on the scares or the gore but is really a story well told for the most part. What's funny is that it kind of reminds me of some of Janette Oke's Love series films that deal with Pioneer life and are very religious. Now I know that this deals with the undead and ghosts and hers are religious stories with strong female characters but for some reason I got that kind of ambience here. Especially since this is kind of a PG type of tale that hits just the right notes, keeps the story flowing without harsh language, gore or scenes that are so scary we'd be under the seats. For this reason, this does feel like it's something one might see on Lifetime or especially the Hallmark Channel ... it does have a female sensibility about it so it might work for those venues. I found your style to be pretty smooth and the action lines were easy to read, you certainly gave us a good visual sense of the time period and your good crisp lines filled in the details. Because of this, and your short page count, this was a very easy read and it kept me moving which is a compliment.
Now ... as much as I liked most of what's here, I still can't quite give it the thumbs up yet because I think it needs some tweaks. For the genre you're going for and for your intent, you're almost there but I still think there are some items to work out so this doesn't feel like a TV film. Maybe you're ok with TV but I think you are on a good start here and this could certainly work on the big screen.
Things I would work on ... and this is only my opinion of course, see what the other reviewers have to say ... I think since you're going for a strong female character, and you have one, you need to ratchet up the romance. It's not romantic enough for a woman I think and not suspenseful enough or more scary for a man. It's kind of an in betweener for both. I think you need to play up the romantic angle here. Sarah is attractive and there are three men in this story who long for her. Jared, Samuel and of course Booth. The problem is, she really doesn't seem to like Jared that much and he only ends up with her because of a fluke happenstance. She is attracted to Samuel but you don't really play that up and later on when we find out he is the necromancer, then he kind of takes a back seat. At least Booth lusted after her. One thing too, I didn't like how Jared kind of disappears in the second act. The main plot which drives the back half of the story is that he gets arrested by Booth but then you kind of get rid of him for a long time. I know it's her story but I kept thinking, where's Jared? Then he is brought back at the end because, after all, he's the only one who can really end up being the one she chooses. Also, I even think you can play up the Samuel/Sarah attraction and why not make it more like Edward Cullen and Bella's relationship from Twilight? Some may accuse you of borrowing it but why not have them be so attracted to each other but they both know they can't have each other for their respective reasons? Just an idea.
Also, there needs to be a bit more suspense here. Although you do have several good scenes like the lynching and the last fight where folks are suspended, you almost missed out on some good opportunities for more suspense. I call to attention the scene where Sarah heads for Anna's house and she meets up with Booth. He blocks her way but then Samuel shows up and tells him that there's trouble back at the tavern. Now this is good because the tavern fight is what sets up Jared's capture but ... why not have someone else run up and tell Booth about the tavern at the same time that it's happening? That way you can actually cut back to the tavern and show us the scene with Jared? This would add much needed suspense. Imagine she walks down the road..cut to the tavern where the guy fights with his wife..cut back to her and Booth stops her..cut back to tavern where Jared fights, and have a guy watch and leave ... then cut back to her and Booth and Samuel shows up to save her ... then cut back to Jared being grabbed by some patrons when he speaks ... then cut back to her with Booth and Samuel as the guy shows up and summons Booth away. Then later on when she realizes she has to get back with John, we don't have to be told what happened but rather ... we've already seen it. This would give this another dynamic that it's missing now ... some suspense. I know what you were going for here and it's not bad but it could be better.
Also, I wasn't quite sure why Carry is in the film? He kind of shows up and goes away and I kept wondering why? Is he just so we get some exposition? I wondered what would happen if you cut him out completely? Sometimes it's even better to leave a little mystery than to spell it out for us.
I really think if you add some much needed suspense, and you can still do this without getting gory and keep your female sensibility, then it would really help. Plus expanding the romantic conflict between each guy would really strengthen this. Why not make Jared be a smarter guy? He comes across as kind of the comedic relief and some of his actions are questionable ... like cracking one liners as his life is in danger which I believe you have Sarah tell him herself? Why not make him smarter and make him have a more of a wtf moment when she transports him. I kind of had a problem with his reaction. If I was transported back in time like that, I would probably be going out of my mind and he kind of shrugs it off and accepts it without so much as a what the heck is this? Remember, even escapist stories that don't deal with real life have to be believable in their own terms and by his reaction, it really seems false. Why not have him go crazy for a couple hours and then finally Sarah can calm him down? Plus, since he ends up being the one who is going to stay with her, why make him a bit of a nerd? I would play him up to be more gallant and this would add a bit of conflict between him and Samuel. Right now there is no romantic conflict and both men kind of deferr to one another. I think it you show both Jared and Samuel be a bit more jealous of each other, you have, whammo, romantic conflict and drama is conflict, no?
SO again, this is very close to me and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Predictable in a way, yes but it still kind of worked for me. So good job.
On another topic, I don't dwell on formatting and errors as much because that can always be worked on and fixed. It's the story that concerns me most but ... in this case, you have several typos throughout and you could use a good spell check. Plus you sometimes do something strange. I believe it is Alia's character where you introducer her but then capitalize her name on the second line. You need to capitalize when she first appears. You also have a character or two who you don't capitallize when you first introduce them. Sorry, I didn't take notes but you should go back through this page by page and make it as clean as possible. I think Jonathan was one I noticed was misspelled the first time his name comes up if I remember correctly? Also, do a find and look up any "ing" words. You have lots here in action lines like:
There is knocking at the door. Sarah is sitting straight up in the bed. It takes her a moment to hear the knocking.
Usually this is frowned upon and only a few of these should be used. Always stay in the present tense. A knock at the door. Sarah sits straight up in bed. It takes her a moment to hear the knocks.
Not a big thing here but you should give this another pass and fix up some of these items because your script is good enough that it merits a good presentation.
Well, that's all I got for you. It's not bad and really, besides some of my negatives, I really enjoyed this and that surprised me. I suppose that means you're a good writer because you made me like something that I would have thought no way in the world I would have enjoyed as much as I did. Bravo.
Keep at it and best of luck. read
by spiraliscomingforyou on 07/29/2010"Written with intent to be of interest to an audience that would like a mix of Buffy, Quantum Leap, and a splash of Charmed" is how the author describes this screenplay and for once, I find myself agreeing with the description given by the writer. In a lighthearted and mysterious way, The Ghost Detective would be the perfect film for anybody who has watched Sabrina the Teenage... "Written with intent to be of interest to an audience that would like a mix of Buffy, Quantum Leap, and a splash of Charmed" is how the author describes this screenplay and for once, I find myself agreeing with the description given by the writer.
In a lighthearted and mysterious way, The Ghost Detective would be the perfect film for anybody who has watched Sabrina the Teenage Witch and loved it. I hope I'm not offending the author by making the suggestion!
Although this is not the sort of film I would personally ever watch, I can see an audience for it, albeit a limited fem/teen one (although saying that look how well Twilight has done!).
I'll try to start off with what I didn't like and progress to what I did, to end on a high!
I can only comment on my personal feelings on the script but I did find it somewhat predictable and cliched. I don't think there was a single moment where I thought "I didn't see that coming". For people who haven't watched many films then this doesn't matter, but for a regular film watcher, the plot was pretty transparent, I think I had figured out who the goodies and baddies actually were within about one page of reading how they acted. I also felt the film was a bit short and that not enough mystery was created within its pages. Perhaps both issues could be resolved by making it more difficult for the viewers to guess which character was which, or not giving as many subtle hints. I think I can see what was trying to be done, give the audience hints so that later they say "oooh how did I not realise that!", but the hints are a little TOO obvious because of how the characters act. I think the viewer would like a little more introduction as well, I felt thrown in to the 'old world' a little too quickly and suddenly before I had grown to like the characters.
That's really all I have to say on the downsides. On the middle ground I thought the characters were ok. Again they are the stereotype of characters that already exist, but for this type of film, I think that's the right thing. If done very well then it could still work for the audience that the story was targeted for.
What I really enjoyed was the concept of the story and the structure. I thought that everything followed a logical pattern and that each part of the script was in the right place and flowed like a real adventure. My only gripe with this is that each scene left me feeling like I wanted it to be longer and to explain more. For example, there wasn't really any major baddie, just a bit of a brawl at the end and an anticlimatic 'boss' as it were. Whilst this could work in a 30 minute series, were this to be the film I think it needs to end on more of a struggle.
There we go, I said I'd finish on a high but didn't! Ha! Overall I think this is a good piece, but does need development to perhaps make it a little darker and a little more confusing. But other than that a nice genre piece which wouldn't be out of place in any Buffy / Charmed episode.
Thanks for the read!
by nohaybanda on 07/28/2010I like the idea of a Nancy-Drew-type witch character going back in time and solving murders, and with a little work this could be something really good. The first issue I had with it was, for a Buffy-styled story, a lack of supernatural occurrences or images, apart from the time-travel conceit or the ghosts. In the beginning we're promised a showdown with a necromancer and... I like the idea of a Nancy-Drew-type witch character going back in time and solving murders, and with a little work this could be something really good. The first issue I had with it was, for a Buffy-styled story, a lack of supernatural occurrences or images, apart from the time-travel conceit or the ghosts. In the beginning we're promised a showdown with a necromancer and instead the majority of the script is devoted to this jerk magistrate character. The suspense element with his friend and the magistrate about to hang him is good, but let's see some more cool, spooky stuff!
The fact that the magistrate is the obvious choice for the villain, but then turns out to not be the necromancer, is a nice idea. But the problem is the necromancer thread is a let-down at the end. That whole point is resolved with little more than "sorry about that, I won't do it again." Make this necromancer guy BAD. Make us believe that the magistrate is the one responsible, then turn the tables and have it be the guy she's in love with. It seems like more of an interesting ending to me, seeing as how, lack of supernatural stuff aside, the penultimate hanging scene was well-done.
I also didn't really like how useless Jared is all throughout. While it's good to have a normal person in a story where supernatural things are happening to help lead the audience along, usually when this character asks a question, the character in the know answers it. The first ten pages or so of the story involved Jared saying "what's going on" and Sarah telling him to shut up. It got a little grating after a while, and it was apparent that he wasn't going to figure into the story very much, other than as a point of tension when he's about to get hanged. I think it would make the story stronger if, despite his apparent uselessness, he has a purpose that neither of them realize or he does something accidentally to help Sarah. read
by AxisTheMovieFan on 07/26/2010Even though i usually don't like this kind of stories, i think your was pretty interesting and relaxing. You knew what you wanted out of it and that's why, i believe, it turned out to be what it is. You didn't take it way too seriously and you didn't try to make an academy award winner from it but simply a script that would, if turned into a movie, be a relaxing and at the... Even though i usually don't like this kind of stories, i think your was pretty interesting and relaxing. You knew what you wanted out of it and that's why, i believe, it turned out to be what it is. You didn't take it way too seriously and you didn't try to make an academy award winner from it but simply a script that would, if turned into a movie, be a relaxing and at the same time interesting, hour and a half for a person that's watching it.
I thought the characters were well done considering that you weren't exactly trying to make them a whole bunch of complexed people not knowing what they wanna do with their lives. The dialogue was also good. At times a bit too hard/core but that was expected.
The structure, which i usually give a lot of attention to, is well done. It fits this kind of screenplay. You don't sniff around too much and the action is well packed into the storyline.
I guess the thing i liked the most with your writing, is how well you describe what's going on. I already said this to one guy in my other review and now i'm saying it to you too beacuse you are, as he is, writing with such ease that really makes the script enjoyable to read. You don't write in short phrases but you describe the action in full sentences. And that's something i really liked. You wont write SMASH for instance and than let me think of what was that supposed to mean. You will describe it with one or two sentences if it takes but beacuse of it i, as a reader, will have much more pleasure reading what you wrote.
It's obvious you were influenced by such series as Buffy, Angel or whatever and it shows in your writing. Not that you're copying anything but it's obviously the same style of writing. That's why i think that this would work a lot better if you'd make a television series out of it or something. Something like Buffy. Once again, these kind of stories really don't belong to my taste, so maybe i'm wrong. But still, i think it would work good as a television series. Not that it wouldn't work good as a movie too but...
All in all, i had a good time reading your script. Good luck, keep writing. Cheers. :) read
- Writer: Traci Chappell
- Uploaded by: charn008
- Length: 91 pages
- Genre: adventure, mystery/suspense, sci-fi/fantasy
- This is written with intent to be of interest to an audience that would like a mix of Buffy, Quantum Leap, and a splash of Charmed. If you like magic, strong female characters, bits of romance and mystery with a time travel kick then I would hope you would enjoy this script.
- Bio: Local 600 member. Educated at University of Vermont (Masters Degree), and Full Sail (Associates) in that order. Living in LA. I enjoy reading scripts. I proof, edit, and help develop friends and co-workers scripts. Thanks for letting me read yours and provide my opinions, and thanks for the feedback on the scripts I present.
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