RJFS Writer's group!


#21

My first 20 pages are linked HERE https://www.docdroid.net/BIgX5Cy/script-paladin-untitled.pdf.html

Vulgarity, violence, and nudity contained herein - you have been warned

The only thing to really note is that my ‘V/O’ and ‘O.C.’ parentheticals are misplaced; that’s because the software I use will add an entire character to the roster named “John (V/O)”, so I basically just fix this problem in the second draft in order to preserve my sanity during the initial writing.

Docdroid is a superpower I didn’t know about when I told everyone to email their work to me, so feel free to docdroid it (as I did) or email…either way, it ends up here.

Happy writing <3


#22

I only managed to write five pages instead of 10, as I’ve been away for a couple of days. My first script - Death’s Party (5 pages)

In case you hadn’t already seen my post.


#23

I read both of your work so if you’re looking for outsider feedback, I’m willing to share my thoughts on them, just let me know and I’ll gather those thoughts to write something up :smiley:


#24

I’ll read and give feedback during the week-end, looking forward to it.

I’ve been really busy this week (high-school and stuff) so I didn’t had a lot of time for writing. And more than that, each writing session I planned was interrupted. It sounds a bit like stupid apologies for sending nothing, but…

I still got something, one of my rare script I wrote in english (I mostly write in french).
I don’t know what it’s worth, it’s not 10 pages long but it’s still something.


I would love to read your feedback!

I hope I’ll be able to write something for week 2, it’ll be hard because of Christmas etc but I’m motivated.


#25

I could definitely use some gathered thoughts - particularly from someone who enjoys the old spaghetti western stuff since I take a lot more inspiration from Sergio Corbucci than J.R.R. Tolkien in the way I think of fantasy.

@Spica I like that you’re doing a totally naturalistic setting - it’s normal people in normal places with normal problems. While Corbucci was making silly horse and gun movies, Goddard was making naturalistic, human film. I also like that the characters’ desires are right out in the open - we know what they want, and it’s always out of reach. The whole premise of this is really simple but effective, and I think the decision your character is facing is so difficult to make that it will divide the audience.

My main critique is based around the fact that the world you create is pretty empty…you don’t really describe the scenes or the characters. It doesn’t have to be big and flashy (the shorter the better usually), but it would be good to know if their rooms are in big country houses or tiny city apartments. In general, you rely almost entirely on dialog to tell the story, and that’s perfectly acceptable (particularly in something like this where conversations are most of the movie), but you should experiment with showing some of the emotion through action - slamming a fist, throwing a pillow…whatever it is, get your characters to do a little more and say a little less.

Another problem you have is just that English isn’t your first language, so the words can come out awkwardly…and that’s not something I can critique since (1) My French consists of about 15 words and the first verse of Alouette and (2) The best way to improve is just to practice.

All in all, this is a really good start - keep going.


#26

Ok, here’s mine. It might not make sense at the moment why I put so much emphasis on Arden and Anselm’s relationship, but it will make sense later in the story. Also if you are not familiar with north korean history, a lot of the things that are mentioned might not make sense, but i think ive explained enough for someone to still follow. http://docdro.id/c0mO3Y1


#27

Damn, this thread is cookin’. Keep it going, everybody!


#28

@SzPeti42 I would love any feedback you have!


#29

Ok, let’s see. I don’t mind violence, nudity, vulgarity, these are given with the genre I think and they can be used smartly and efficiently just like any other device. I think we Europeans are more relaxed with these stuff, especially nudity, I always find it weird how much aggression and violence gets tolerated, but even if one female nipple or man-butt is shown, that alone warrants a different rating :smiley:

The funny thing is, Bud Spencer and Terence Hill are our adopted national heroes, so I’ve been unknowingly a fan of Corbucci since I was a child, those later movies were huge in Hungary in the 90s, but I had read all Lord of the Rings books before the movies, so I like all kinds of western and fantasy, lately I’ve been enjoying Sapkowski’s dark, or grey fantasy Witcher universe.

I found your style easy to read even as English is my second language, it conveyed information well. What I got from it is that you use modern language, not some archaic mode like in some fantasies. (I will bring out the Witcher a lot if you don’t mind :D) In the Witcher for example, the poor people or the royalty speak in this archaic manner, the dwarves with a thick accent, so the Witcher characters’, especially Geralt’s grounded, modern accent stands out as they are the most grounded, technological, and modern characters in that universe (Ciri, Geralt’s daughter can even shift between universes and hints that she was living in a quite modern world for half a year).

When the character named Fritz was collecting the tax I was reminded of a scene from the Walking Dead when one of the Saviors’ groups were collecting their “tax” from a settlement, and the leader of this collecting unit was a POS character just like this Fritz. So it definitely has that modern feel for me, I don’t mean it as a critique, it can be a really good stylistic choice.

The logline was great to get my attention, so if I’m not mistaken this Fritz will be that spirit that will haunt Myrin, so it will be a kind of opposites attract story where they challenge, test, and change each other for the better during their adventure? It screams great comedy for me, so I hope it will be more of an adventure comedy with great character drama. But that’s just what I got from the logline alone, it’s completely your choice and I’m interested to see where you’re going with it :slight_smile: Myrin seems determinant but a bit stuck up, I think that was intentional, and Fritz seems like a complete sexist dick, so I’m double intrigued how will you expand their characters along the way.

If I can recommend to you something, then watch or play through the Witcher 3 - Hears of Stone expansion’s Vlodimir von Everec storyline called Dead Man’s Party. Geralt has to entertain the deceased Vlod’s spirit for a night so he summons him and they go to a wedding together. It has maybe the franchise’s funniest but still thoughtful and fulfilling story. Geralt is this stuck up loner fighter but Vlod is this arrogant, big-talking bandit, and he can take control of Geralt when he pleases, and in the game you get the freedom to take place in the wedding with lots of funny situations with even an added love interest story done absolutely well. And with that you get to know Vlod better, you eventually learn about his tragedy, his demons, and stuff like that. I enjoyed that kind of character dynamic, you should check it out, even if you’re doing something completely different, it can give you insights.

Here it is, I set the time to where it starts:

One more feeling I got from this is I want to know more of this ritual that she had to go through, why she needed to dance around naked with the broken sword, who are these gods, what are these Paladins, etc. So basically it got me interested in the lore, that’s a good thing.

These are my initial thoughts, keep up the good work! :slight_smile:


#30

Hey Hatti! (sorry :frowning: :smiley: )

Firstly, I’m really intrigued by the chocolate chip pancakes :smiley:

If this was meant to be a dark comedy, kudos to you, because it genuinely made me laugh in a slightly evil way, like it was a dark Monty Python sketch. The banal way the mother gets depressed and then the banal way the kid dies because of his dick brother, and then Death casually welcoming him with a cake (everything is better with CAKE), it was a rollercoaster ride in just a few pages :smiley:

I had my fair share of tragedy and depression in the last few years mostly related to my family, I have relatives who can be just like that, they tell you a story, you think it will be a nice story and then BUMM, they drop a bomb like this on you :smiley: So these life experiences had made me appreciate the humour in these situations, I don’t think I could have survived without my sense of humour.

I have one question, how do you pronounce Stewert? Is it like Stewart?


#31

My critique and comments for everyone:
@Heyhatti I loved the incredibly sudden and dark turn the story takes and the unrealistic, but effective, dark humour. The story works very well for five pages and I wouldn’t make it any longer. My only real critique is to see if it is possible to emphasise the light-heartedness of the story before it takes a turn.

@Exquisite_Corpse Your use of vulgar language was really effective and despite this type of profanity not existing during the time it is based, for one it is fantasy, and for two you used it in a style that very well matches the informal and vulgar attitude of your characters. Also I loved what you did with the intro and the log line is intriguing. I genuinely can’t think of any criticisms.

@Spica I loved how the setting is just the normal modern day world and the plot is focused around highly relatable decisions that we’ve all had to go through. You achieved this through some very effective conflicts in the dialogue which work really well in developing and implying these two characters. I agree with @Exquisite_Corpse in that you should rely more on the characters actions, rather than solely the dialogue.


#32

This. This this this this.


#33

I am a little embarrassed, but i just realised i forgot to spell check my screenplay, so everyone could see my horrid spelling, but i’ve updated it on docdroid, so it should be fine now, as well as an extra page that i wrote before discovering this. http://docdro.id/c0mO3Y1


#34

@MartehW sorry it took me a couple of days to reply, but I read your script, and I have thoughts.

I like the setup in the sense that it’s very simple (childhood friends reunited in the flames of war) but also has a potential to be big and multi-layered…Casablanca is a classic example of this kind of storytelling where the ‘actual’ plot is about the fate of the world but the story we’re interested in is about two people and their relationship. I also like the way you set up the pages - enough technical information to give us a sense of what’s happening without imposing your will too aggressively.

My main critique is going to be concerned with research and realism: This is an action story, so it doesn’t need to be 100% accurate, but it’s pretty hard to believe that North Korea could actually take on the United States…you’re going to have to convince us. One way is just to change it - either move it to a fictional universe or move the evil empire to China. The other method is good old fashioned RESEARCH - if your script feels accurate to North Korean culture and history, the rest falls into place. The CIA World Factbook is always a perfect place to start on any of these subjects https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/kn.html

It’s not enough that North Korean communism is a vile type of social organization - you have to figure out how to make them capable of defeating one of the most powerful armies on earth.

Otherwise, just some custodial critiques: You have a couple of big paragraphs, and - as a general rule - I feel like anything over 5 lines should be cut down or split in half. And you don’t have to write the lines twice for your translation sequence - it’s weird and redundant (even though it makes some sense). You can just write an action line that says “Korean man translates” - just to avoid having the same text appear twice.

And as a random aside, did you know that Kim Jong Il was a HUGE movie buff? He wrote a treatise on filmmaking https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Art_of_the_Cinema I found a PDF of it at some point but never got around to reading very far.

@SzPeti42 Thanks for your feedback! The Witcher has been on my radar for a while - particularly because the developer is Polish, and I’ve never been exposed to a fantasy adventure from eastern Europe. However, I’ve been spending my money on film equipment rather than upgrading to the PS4, so I just don’t have the hardware. Maybe I’ll watch a playthrough of that DLC package - the game is hundreds of hours long, so it doesn’t hurt to spoil a small section.

I was a little worried that Myrin would end up being a little unlikable at first - clear motivation is something I talk about all the time, and my main character has NONE at the beginning of this story. She’s a teenage girl who has spent years in isolation praying and learning the sword; now she’s asked to go out and do justice…but she doesn’t really know what justice is - she’s passionately, completely devoted to being ‘the good guy’ and has absolutely no clue how to go about it. So she covers up her ignorance by being thorny and sure of herself…she recites a man’s sins to him as she cuts him apart, but I think she’s saying that to herself; she’s saying “Myrin, it’s OK to kill this man, because he’s a sinner.” She’s got a lot of growing to do, and I hope I can get her through it.

The whole time I’m writing Fritz, I picture George Clooney from Oh Brother Where Art Thou (or From Dusk Til Dawn), so that’s where the character is sort of coming from, and I hope he’ll be a little charming on the screen…but - yes - he is pretty much a professional bad guy, and he’s not sorry for anything he’s ever done. His journey is most likely going to be about learning remorse…your guess is as good as mine as to whether he’s going to learn his lesson.

I definitely thought about trying something un-modern for the dialog patterns, but I couldn’t settle on anything that seemed to work. I see a lot of fantasy that just used overly formal English and calls it ‘old timey’, and I didn’t want to do that…the other option was to find some archaic dialect, research the hell out of it, and try to make it work, but - even in the best case scenario - it would be pretty hard to read naturally, even if it were easy to follow. So I felt like I would be doing something very difficult that would actually end up sounding LESS good in the end. So, yeah - my characters just talk like a bunch of hoodlums, and it’s really a lot of fun to come up with disgusting lines about Troll sex.


#35

Next week being mired in holidays, I think it’s safe to assume that several people won’t be able to write as much. HOWEVER, this group is only two weeks old, so I think it’s good for all of us to stay in the habit of posting on Fridays.

This week, let’s set the bar lower: Try to have at least five new pages OR a re-write of last week’s script

Merry Christmas, chag sameach, good Kwanzaa, and happy writing!


#36

Keep writing, everyone! We love how active this thread is. You’re all kicking butt!


#37

Thanks so much! I’m glad you appreciate the humor of it like I did. In this story, Stewert is pronounced stew-urt.


#38

Your welcome! And thank you for your insights to the characters! :slight_smile:

It can definitely work with George Clooney, it really can make or break a character sometimes, he has that charm with him which makes you like him even if he’s playing an anti-hero. When I read it I pictured him immediately as Steven Ogg, he played Trevor in GTA V and the actual “tax-man” in Walking Dead, he has more of a crazy scumbag vibe than a roguishly handsome Clooney vibe. Perception really is everything :smiley:

I don’t think it’s a problem if she’s a bit unlikable at first, teenage girls can especially be a hard subject to tackle. If you can show what you’ve written about her just now, her struggle to find her definition of justice and that growth then I think she can be a super interesting character, I’d like to see young women protagonist like this more in any genre.

Yes, you absolutely should! As an Eastern European myself that is one part why it’s so close to my heart, it builds a lot from our folk tales, mythology, and has that unique flavour.

Here’s my written review of the 3rd game and some discussion about the subject if you’re interested more in the subject.

PS4 is one way to go, I’m a PC guy myself, so 1440p/60 FPS/ultra settings for me :smiley:
Or alternatively you can tackle the books, they take place way before where the games’ storyline begins. The first two are collections of short stories and after that it shifts to the traditional novel style.

And also your welcome @Heyhatti! :slight_smile: Thank you for clearing that up for me.


#39

Exposition is the single hardest thing to balance in a script like this…because it is dead on arrival if you have these massive dialog blocks spitting unsolicited information at the audience, but it’s a fantasy, so all of the rules of the world need to be explained. It’s a very difficult balance to make sure that there is always conflict and movement in every scene and the audience is getting enough information to follow the plot.

As to eastern European folklore, something that’s been sitting in my loglines for a while is the idea of a little girl and her grandfather fleeing Spain for Poland during the 1492 Jewish expulsion. We intercut their journey across the continent with grandpa’s fantastic stories, and we get some incredible mix of fantasy, history, innocence, and grime. There’s a lot of opportunity to tell a lot of stories about the world - both historical and mythological - that rarely get attention.

HOWEVER, that’s the kind of script that would require a year of preparatory research - historical and cultural accuracy are extremely important (if you didn’t want to talk about the actual Renaissance, why not set the movie in SPACE?)


#41

Yo! Since it’s Friday in Australia, I thought I’d post my five pages. Thanks for your feedback, guys!

Would it be possible to lower the bar for weekly submissions to five pages in the future? I have two jobs that make cranking out ten pages a week difficult.

Oh yeah, and happy holidays everyone!