It’s been a month since any of us posted last. I thought that all of us had a really good thing going here. It’s been really cool seeing people of all levels of interest in screenwriting be inspired to write and leave feedback for others.
I haven’t been doing my part. I know that I promised feedback for @Exquisite_Corpse and @TalkSweet a while ago. I also haven’t submitted anything. Last month I moved back home after being abroad for a while. It’s been an adjustment, to put it mildly, and the adjustment has gotten in the way of writing diligently.
Even if this thread doesn’t receive another reply for quite some time, I’m really grateful that there’s a forum for people to express their creativity, passion, and desire to learn more about the craft of screenwriting, so for anyone who reads this and may be interested, whether you’re new to the thread or you’ve submitted before, you have an audience that’s interested in your ideas, willing to provide feedback, and supportive of your desire to write.
On that note…
@TalkSweet I was harsh when I critiqued your screenplay. I stand by what I said, but my response was out of proportion to the situation. I want to apologize. The more people involved in this forum brings more enthusiasm to the art and craft of screenwriting to this site in general, and we all get the chance to grow as writers that way. I negatively affected that environment here with my comments, and for that I’d like to apologize to everyone on this forum. Also, @TalkSweet, I don’t want my uncalled-for hostility to diminish your interest in screenwriting in any way.
The Brooklyn version of Moonshine isn’t my cup of tea for reasons that I explained in my previous post and should be looked at as separate from my critiques on the originality. Maybe you’re no longer interested, but I did promise feedback for your remaining pages. You also took the time and discipline to write them, and that alone should give your work the chance to find the largest audience possible.
I liked your first pages and remember them pretty well, so my feedback is for the remaining ones in your screenplay.
–I like the addition of Gene’s past. Stuff about the Arcane Wars, son of legendary hunter Sam Silver – super creative.
– A lot of exposition between Markus and Gene. Try and show their conversation through images, or enhance that conversation with cinematic devices (some montage, quick cuts). For screenwriters and directors, it’s always better to show rather than tell.
–Concerning your comments before the start of the new screenplay: I agree that Gene’s back story is great. When you say he’s not easy to relate to, do you mean as a personality? I don’t think that’s the fault of the character. In my opinion, if you have a character with a great backstory and you feel like he could be the protagonist, there’s got to be some nugget of soul in there that you could develop into a full-fleshed character that feels real. Forget about his lineage – what’s he been doing in the months and years before he entered this facility? Did he ever kill people? What are his views on all of these monsters? I think that Gene would work as a main character, although I’d give him a damn good reason to leave his adventurous upbringing to work in the therapist trade.
– I get your point about him knowing too much about the world, which doesn’t leave room for the audience to catch up. Have you thought of adding a supporting character through which the audience can get up to speed? There’s actually a screenplay term for this, where a character who’s new to the world of the movie functions as a stand-in for the audience. It doesn’t mean he has to be the main character though.
–Lastly, tone: hopefully this doesn’t contradict what I’ve said before: the tone of the action-packed Brooklyn screenplay is more engaging, because what happens is vivid and striking (the race of tackling a violent werewolf in the middle of the night; holy shit!). However, vivid and striking is different than memorable. I remembered Gene and Markus months after reading your original incarnation of Moonlight because I enjoyed their interactions with each other and the world around them. If you could combine the character development and pacing (key, here) of your first script with the action elements of your second screenplay, you’d Level Up in terms of your screenwriting achievements.
I hope this feedback helped.