FEEDBACK for @PianolasonMars
DOTV: Jaime’s back with a vengeance, and I’m really enjoying the direction everything is taking right now. Just - generally - you’ve found your voice with this story, and I really hope you find the time and energy to give this a good, honest re-write some day. There’s an audience for these apocalyptic settings, and you never know what someone might be looking for.
Just a sequencing suggestion: Maybe intercut the Shaman sequence with the Dale, Jaime, Tucker sequence…these two scenes seem to be happening at the same time, so it makes chronological sense not to split them up.
The only sort of negative note I want to give for now is that you’re at the point in a screenplay when the story should be SHRINKING rather than GROWING. You’ve set out a lot of plot threads that need to be resolved, so be careful of making the rabbit-hole too deep.
IT BEGINS: I’ve read about half of it now (pg. 32), and I’m really enjoying the whole concept…it’s feels like a more macabre Fish Called Wanda…I’m contractually obligated to enjoy that kind of thing. First a film suggestion: Among Friends (2012) - it’s a low-budget pitch-black comedy in which a woman invites her ‘friends’ to a party, tapes them to their chairs, and confronts them with their misdeeds. It’s hard to describe because it’s very strange, but it feels similar to this script in tone and presentation, so I’m pretty sure you’ll find it useful.
First suggestion: You can begin with everyone seated around the table introducing themselves. Only a few important things happen in those first few pages…you establish some of the social dynamics, and that’s important, but all of the most important parts of that can be included later in some condensed form. The character intros were the part that got everything to click into place.
Only serious problem: You have a little more exposition than you need…there are some “tell don’t show” moments, Jasper’s speeches are too long at points, and numerical information: “Three months, four years, fifteen thousand” - it tangles together and gets confusing (the same problem you pointed out to me with the date counter in Yeshiva Gangster’s outline)