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NeptuneImaging
05-16-2005, 04:29 PM
Hey, y'all... :)

Over the last few months I have been working on a story that involves the abuse of technology, and writing different scripts about the concept. The working title is called "Project R" and it takes place in the future where technology is pretty advanced and more sophisticated.

The main character is a soldier of highly advanced technology and he deals with the world's conflicts. He is human, but he is one of the world's most decorated killing machines and his involvement in this new campaign explains his connection to it. The script is still a work in progress, going throught rigorous rewrites and character tightening. I am going to post the opening of Project R, and I would like your advice on how to make it more dynamic. :thumbsup:

FADE IN:
EXT. A JUNGLE -- NIGHT

SUPERIMPOSE: OCTOBER, 15th 2024

In a jungle environment, several SOLDIERS search around a dark wooden area. It is very creepy, very quiet. They are armed with high-tech assault rifles with laser beams on them.
RADIO CHATTER.

SOLDIER

(into communicator)
We are at the location now.
Confirm strike?


SQUAD LEADER
(over radio)
Negative, wait for the target.
It should be in position in a
minute.


One of the soldiers is wearing night-vision goggles to survey the scene. Holding a gun with a flashlight, he looks in the distance. The soldiers greet him. He looks at people in the distance, who are armed with various weapons. A man, with white hair, walks toward a scruffy man with a shotgun, carrying a package. MUTED VOICES.

SQUAD LEADER
Lieutenant, what do you see?


JAMES, a soldier wearing luminous goggles responds. He turns the lenses
for a better look.

JAMES
A person with white hair, but I
canít see the face. What are
we looking for anyway?

SQUAD LEADER
There is an illegal technology
deal going down here. We
need this lead.


A soldier to James' left, smoking a cigar, arms himself.

FIRST SOLDIER
(to another soldier)
Terrorist piece of crap. I have been
itching to kill somebody lately.


SECOND SOLDIER
(cocks rifle)
Yup. Those sons of bitches.
(spits tobacco juice)


JAMES
If we have our way, they
will all be dead.


SQUAD LEADER
Quiet, get into your positions.


The squad leader rallies his men into position. They scramble quietly into their desired positions. They point their guns at the scene in the valley. The squad leader picks up his radio.

SQUAD LEADER
Exo-1 to Mission Command. Come in.


Radio CRACKLES.

MISSION COMMAND
(womanís voice, over radio)
This is command.


SQUAD LEADER
We have the target in position.
Awaiting orders, over?


Radio SQUAWKS.

MISSION COMMAND
You have the go-ahead. Leave no
survivors. Recover the technology
documents.


Radio clicks off. The squad leader turns to his soldiers.

SQUAD LEADER
Okay, you heard emí. Leave no
one standing.


All the soldiers start to run down the hill. James runs after them with his gun loaded. The terrorists are unaware of the soldiers coming at them. CHATTER. Sound of a BEATING HEART.

The terrorists turn around now, the soldiers open fire. Sounds of MULTIPLE GUNFIRE, EXPLOSIONS, and SCREAMS. James follows the white-haired man. He kills another terrorist who comes at him. Terrorist groans.

Several HELICOPTERS fly into the scene. More armed soldiers jump out of them on tow lines. They too have high-end equipment.

JAMES
Fall in!


James kills multiple soldiers who come at him, with bloody results. Bullets echo in the darkness of the battlefield.

SOLDIER
Rip them apart!!


The white haired man tries to hide. James pulls the trigger on his gun. The bullets rip the flesh of the man, who falls over dead. James walks to the dead body of the man. He fires
the gun again.

SMASH CUT TO:

And that is the end of the first scene.... I look forward to your critique and advice.

malcolmvexxed
05-16-2005, 08:53 PM
I think you're off to a good start mood wise but like the other scripts i've read here i'd avoid the novelization of your script. It's just a preference of mine.

In a jungle environment, several SOLDIERS search around a dark wooden area. It is very creepy, very quiet. They are armed with high-tech assault rifles with laser beams on them.



jungle + dark wooden area = redundant. Those adjectives should be combined. Also i don't know until the next passage that it's night time so the description of 'dark' could mean nighttime or a jungle area of heavy density/canopy setting where the sunlight is blocked out. AFter all why describe night time as dark. All of the descriptions such as night vision goggles should be grouped imo with the description of their rifles. I guess i'm probably confused by the idea that he has night vision goggles and a flashlight?

also i'd work on the dialogue. Nothing about it grabbed me. Some of it is overly formal and none of it has a distinct in my voice as I'm reading it.

Terrorist piece of crap. I have been
itching to kill somebody lately.

this doesn't sound (a) menacing (b) natural - i have vs. i've in that setting?

I also don't understand some other things, why did they walk up and talk if they're trying to be quiet AND have radios? If they're still talking over radios your first couple pieces of dialogue say so and none of the others after it do.

Also (i'm just trying to give as much feedback as i can so it's more readable) I had no idea that scrambling into position (which was said twice - also redundant imo) took them to a hill from the jungle settings. There was no indication given of this.

This 'high end' equipment also seems very standard. If it doesn't need to be described to emphazie the future-nature of the setting then... I'd remove all descriptions of it as being high end or high tech.

"The white haired man tries to hide. James pulls the trigger on his gun. The bullets rip the flesh of the man, who falls over dead."

here is an area for example where MORE description is needed. Tries to hide behind what? He's alongside a hill correct? so what is he using for cover, and how does James hit him? Less a description of what bullets do is needed. More of a description of how the bullets hit him to clarify the action should be in it's place.

EX: As the white haired man scrambles to hide behind a Tanker, two bullets cut him down at the knees. As the white haired man's (need an abbreviation for this imo) shaking hand reaches into his waist to retrieve a holstered pistol James' next bullet flies through his skull. James walks to the dead body of the man and fires the gun into the cadaver's chest.

just what i'm emphasizing is the need for concise action descriptions if you're going to make them detailed. otherwise imo the text is mostly superfluous.



hope this helps make sure to post the next draft of your script i look forward to it. i think the idea of futuristic terrorist fighting is a great story idea, it was done pretty brilliantly in Appleseed imo and i'd like to see more stories like that where the race between technology of "terrorists" (or freedom fighters i don't know what perspective you're using to write with) and protagonists is part of the story. Good luck.

NeptuneImaging
05-17-2005, 02:00 AM
Well, thank you. I appreciate the feedback. I probably did not mention the main character's mission: He has to protect the new technology that has everyone buzzing...especially a technology hungry madman. And the technology has a strong connection to the main character.

Hopefully this will be the last draft...I am thinking about using the opening as a teaser....

NeptuneImaging
05-19-2005, 03:32 AM
I think you're off to a good start mood wise but like the other scripts i've read here i'd avoid the novelization of your script. It's just a preference of mine.

[/font]

jungle + dark wooden area = redundant. Those adjectives should be combined. Also i don't know until the next passage that it's night time so the description of 'dark' could mean nighttime or a jungle area of heavy density/canopy setting where the sunlight is blocked out. AFter all why describe night time as dark. All of the descriptions such as night vision goggles should be grouped imo with the description of their rifles. I guess i'm probably confused by the idea that he has night vision goggles and a flashlight?

also i'd work on the dialogue. Nothing about it grabbed me. Some of it is overly formal and none of it has a distinct in my voice as I'm reading it.

Terrorist piece of crap. I have been
itching to kill somebody lately.

this doesn't sound (a) menacing (b) natural - i have vs. i've in that setting?

I also don't understand some other things, why did they walk up and talk if they're trying to be quiet AND have radios? If they're still talking over radios your first couple pieces of dialogue say so and none of the others after it do.

Also (i'm just trying to give as much feedback as i can so it's more readable) I had no idea that scrambling into position (which was said twice - also redundant imo) took them to a hill from the jungle settings. There was no indication given of this.

This 'high end' equipment also seems very standard. If it doesn't need to be described to emphazie the future-nature of the setting then... I'd remove all descriptions of it as being high end or high tech.

"The white haired man tries to hide. James pulls the trigger on his gun. The bullets rip the flesh of the man, who falls over dead."

here is an area for example where MORE description is needed. Tries to hide behind what? He's alongside a hill correct? so what is he using for cover, and how does James hit him? Less a description of what bullets do is needed. More of a description of how the bullets hit him to clarify the action should be in it's place.

EX: As the white haired man scrambles to hide behind a Tanker, two bullets cut him down at the knees. As the white haired man's (need an abbreviation for this imo) shaking hand reaches into his waist to retrieve a holstered pistol James' next bullet flies through his skull. James walks to the dead body of the man and fires the gun into the cadaver's chest.

just what i'm emphasizing is the need for concise action descriptions if you're going to make them detailed. otherwise imo the text is mostly superfluous.



hope this helps make sure to post the next draft of your script i look forward to it. i think the idea of futuristic terrorist fighting is a great story idea, it was done pretty brilliantly in Appleseed imo and i'd like to see more stories like that where the race between technology of "terrorists" (or freedom fighters i don't know what perspective you're using to write with) and protagonists is part of the story. Good luck.


hey, thanks you for the advice, and for a the last day or so I have been going slowly through my script and decided to try this line to get this effect of the dark moodiness that is present in the whole film. Maybe even bloodthirsty characters. I am still going through the script before even considering doing the 3D stuff....



FIRST SOLDIER
(to another soldier)
I've been itching for months to kill something.
The closest thing I've killed was a cockroach.

SECOND SOLDIER
(cocks rifle)
Really?
(spits tobacco juice)

FIRST SOLDIER
Yeah, it was nice and crunchy. Kind of like human
bones.

JAMES
You said it. I can't wait to splatter the leader's
brains.

SQUAD LEADER
Calm yourself, James. Get into your positions.


Let me know if that is dark enough.... :)

ruukki
05-30-2005, 06:36 PM
Hi, have a look at the Marlon Brando character in Missouri Breaks, or some of the Peckinpah directed characters. It will help you convey the bloodthirst and absolute lack of humanity. You need scraps of humanity mixed with something else, I think. It's hard to describe, but sure as hell it ain't health :) .

The stuff was pretty straightforward, add a twist or two, maybe a false lead combined with an insane trait or two.

NeptuneImaging
06-02-2005, 01:47 AM
@ Ruuki: Hey, thank you for the suggestion of the bloodthirst advice. I am still trying to get that bloodthrist and lack of humanity in the terrorist leader.

Right now I have one of the backstory sequences, which talks about how the terrorist leader got that way. It basically continues from when I posted the opening of te script. I hope this is an example of lack of humanity for the characters that I trying to convey. This has got to be the longest fight I have ever created :) I would love your critiques.

The whole script is still a work in progress. :) :thumbsup:


EXT. A JUNGLE -- NIGHT -- FLASHBACK

SUPERIMPOSE: OCTOBER, 15th 2020

From a piece of the first scene, this dream continues

-- As the white haired man scrambles to hide behind a Tanker, two bullets
cut him down at the knees. As the white haired man's shaking hand reaches
into his waist to retrieve a holstered pistol James' next bullet flies
through his skull.

-- James walks to the dead body of the man and fires the automatic weapon
into the cadaver's chest.

JAMES
The terrorist leader has been --

-- A look of horror comes across James' masked face. Below him, a seven
year old girl, lays there with a dead accusing stare in her eyes. There
James drop his gun. He cowers to his knees. He shuts his eyes.

-- Behind him, another man, with white hair comes out.

-- The gunfire RINGS out.

SOLDIER
(yells)
James, look --

-- The soldier screams after being shot. James stands up with the blood
of a child on his hands. They tremble. Most of the Drop Squad is dead.
Only few are left to fight. The entire battlefield is on fire.

-- Inside a burning building, James sees a human MACHINA, in full body
gear, wielding a sword. He cuts off the head of another soldier. Blood
SQUIRTS violently from the corpse. The man looks at James with hard blue
eyes.

-- James stares back at him. Machina walks toward him with his sword
raised. He steps through the fire. There is a stare down. It lasts for
about ten seconds.

JAMES
Surrender now...or die.

-- Machina sets his hands on the hilt of his sword.

JAMES
I guess you choose death.

-- A brutal swordfight ensues. Both warriors trade strikes against each
other's blade. Blades CLASH. James pushes Machina back with force. It is
seen in their faces. Machina gets away from James.

-- Machina runs away from James. He gives chase. They meet again at a set
of barrels that are stacked height-wise. The corroded barrels read
"DANGER: SULFURIC ACID". They continue their furious fight.

-- James counters Machina's sword with his own strike. Machina staggers.
The barrels topple slightly.

JAMES
Come on!

-- James waits for Machina to fight again. The battle continues. Machina
slashes James' back. James screams. There is an long wound on his back.
Machina goes to finish off James.

MACHINA
Now, you will join your soldiers!

-- James stands up quickly. He dodges Machina's sword stab and kicks him
in the back of the neck. His body punctures the canisters. SIZZLING.

-- ANGUISHED SCREAMS. Machina stands up from the damaged canisters. His
body is wracked with pain. His skin burns and sears. James covers his
nose. He starts to move away. Machina staggers behind him.


-- They deliver the final blow on each other. Machina falls back from a
kick to the neck. The acid burns exposes his rib cage and the lower part
of the face. James is unconscious. Smoke and fire is everywhere. The
rain continues to fall.


EXT. ROOFTOP OF A MILITARY HOSPITAL -- NIGHT

-- A Helicopter lands on a helipad. MILITARY DOCTORS runs toward the
helicopter frantically.

MILITARY DOCTOR #1
What do we have?

-- MILITARY POLICE OFFICERS carry Machina on a gurney, with tubes running
into his body. James comes in on another helicopter.

MILITARY DOCTOR #2
Two victims. One with terrible acid burns.

MILITARY DOCTOR #1
All right, get the one with the acid burns to
emergency, stat!

-- The Military Doctor looks at James who just has bruises. A bloody
bandage is on his back. James is breathing fine. His eyes have a far away
look in them.

INT. OPERATING ROOM -- NIGHT

MONTAGE

-- Doctors look over Machina's body. A heart monitor BEEPS. His armor is
taken off. The skin is burned and scarred horribly. Doctors frantically
work to keep him alive.

-- More machines are brought in. Machina's vital signs are failing. A
female NURSE hurries frantically to a doctor.

-- Machina flatlines. The doctors are even more frantic now. They run the
defibrillator toward the bed to save him. A younger DOCTOR MOSS walks in.

-- A doctor, a woman, talks to him. A dejected look come across her face.
Doctor Moss nods. He waves in a crew of ROBOTIC ENGINEERS. They bring in
carts of robotic body parts. He nods.

SUPERIMPOSE: 14 HOURS LATER

-- Doctors work on Machina's body. They cut away the damaged skin and
replace it with the robot body parts. One doctor attaches the face plate.
An insignia "OMEGACON TECHNOLOGIES" in small letters decorates the kevlar
mask on the side.

-- Another few hours later, Machina is restructured from head to toe, no
longer a man. Doctors store away the removed skin in freezers.

INT. PATIENT'S WARD -- NIGHT

-- On a door marked "ROOM 666", Machina lies on an elevated bed comatose.
His brown hair is disheveled and dead. An EKG machine BEEPS in rhythm.
Doctors walk in and out of room, checking on his vitals.

-- James is in another bed, resting comfortably. He is hidden behind a
curtain.

-- Doctor Moss checks them both. Diagnostics flood the screen. He smiles
in success.

SUPERIMPOSE: FIVE YEARS LATER

-- James is gone.

-- In the same room, Machina's hair is now white and the machines BEEPS.
HEAVY RAINFALL pelts the window. We see Machina's face. His eyes open up.
They are red and luminous. He sits up in the darkness.

-- A sharp breath comes through the respirator. Machina steps out of the
bed. He walks toward a mirror. The implants WHINE with each movement.

-- He looks in the mirror. His face looks emotionless and torn. He
touches his neck with his augmented hand. He notices the mechanical voice
box. He smashes the mirror.

Zeicon
06-02-2005, 06:33 AM
In a jungle environment, several SOLDIERS search around a dark wooden area. It is very creepy, very quiet. They are armed with high-tech assault rifles with laser beams on them.

I think you should rewrite this sentence. "dark wooden area" seems superfluous. The slugline tells us that it's night (dark) and takes place in a jungle (wooden area). Remove "it is very creepy" - it is telling, not showing. Also, why are they using laser beams? Seems like a perfect way to warn potential enemies. You know, flickering red lights.

One of the soldiers is wearing night-vision goggles to survey the scene. Holding a gun with a flashlight, he looks in the distance. The soldiers greet him. He looks at people in the distance, who are armed with various weapons. A man, with white hair, walks toward a scruffy man with a shotgun, carrying a package. MUTED VOICES.

There is no reason to point out that he has a flashlight on his gun as he is already wearing night-vision goggles. Seems a bit overkill. I realize he might not have the flashlight turned on, but still... your reader might get the idea that he has. Better to just leave it out. Also, I don't quite get the greeting-soldiers-in-the-distance thing. Where excactly are these soldiers, greeting him? Are they in the distance as I assumed? Why do they greet him? It's very confusing. You probably have a clear image in your head, but I think you need to translate it better to the page.

All the soldiers start to run down the hill. James runs after them with his gun loaded. The terrorists are unaware of the soldiers coming at them. CHATTER. Sound of a BEATING HEART.

Well, we would automatically expect him to have his gun loaded when he attacks. The beating heart seems out of place in my humle opinion. I know you are trying to create a suspenseful atmosphere, but using a beating heart is too easy. Almost cheating.

Several HELICOPTERS fly into the scene. More armed soldiers jump out of them on tow lines. They too have high-end equipment.

Maybe you can condense it a little. EX. "HELICOPTERS arrive at the scene unloading soldiers on tow lines.". The next line "They too have high-end equipment" is redundant.

As the white haired man scrambles to hide behind a Tanker, two bullets
cut him down at the knees. As the white haired man's shaking hand reaches
into his waist to retrieve a holstered pistol James' next bullet flies
through his skull.

You start the first sentence 'as the white haired man...' and then you start the next sentence excactly the same. Not good. Also, try to use shorter sentences. Not too many subordinating conjunctions. Don't be afraid of using fragmented sentences. It will make the read easier and quicken the pace of the action.

A look of horror comes across James' masked face. Below him, a seven
year old girl, lays there with a dead accusing stare in her eyes. There
James drop his gun. He cowers to his knees. He shuts his eyes.

I would write something like this, "James' eyes widen in horror. A young girl lies on the ground in a pool of blood. Dead eyes staring out."

James stands up with the blood of a child on his hands.

There's a minor war raging. Does he really have time for this? As a soldier he is probably used to blood and gore. It's a part of his job.

James sees a human MACHINA, in full body gear, wielding a sword. He cuts off the head of another soldier.

What excactly is "a human MACHINA"? It needs some elaboration as it's not in my dictionary. I know you're writing a sci-fi, but these kind of elements need some introduction because the reader is not familiar with them. Or is Machina the name of a human? It's not entirely clear.

A brutal swordfight ensues. Both warriors trade strikes against each
other's blade.

"A brutal swordfight ensues." is redudant. I get that from the next sentence. You are only slowing things down by telling the same things twice.

They continue their furious fight.

Redundant.

The battle continues.

Redundant.


... I'm sorry, but I must stop here. Have to go to bed. Just wanna finish off by saying that I enjoyed the read. Now, English is not my native tongue, but I really think you have to work on the dialogue. It seemed generic, melodramatic at times. Also, the pacing in your action scenes is too slow. Use shorter sentences so the pictures move faster in our heads.

Keep working!

Zeicon
06-02-2005, 06:40 AM
Oh, I almost forgot. I took the liberty to rewrite your opening... I was just trying to make it flow a little better. Maybe you can use some of it. *shrugs*


FADE IN:



EXT. JUNGLE - NIGHT

SUPER: OCTOBER, 15th 2004

A squad of soldiers pushes through the underbrush. All
armed.

The jungle growth gradually thins out. A clearing ahead.

One of the soldiers crouches. Signals DOWN!

The men hit the ground.

RADIO CHATTER.

SOLDIER
We're in position. Establishing
visuals.

SQUAD LEADER (O.S.)
Roger that.

They are at the edge of a plateau sloping into the valley
below.

The crouching soldier grabs a pair of binoculars from one
of the other men.

He throws himself on the ground. Crawls a few feet. Puts
binoculars to his eyes.

BINOCULAR POV

Night vision, scanning the valley below.

Scanning -- a building complex.

Scanning -- a few armed men.

Scanning -- a SUV enters the scene.

Two guards approaches the SUV. It stops.

A white-haired man gets out. A BRIEFCASE in his hand.

SOLDIER
Looks like we got jackpot.

He lowers the binoculars, handing them over to one of his
comrades.

Radio CRACKLES.

SOLDIER
Target located. We got visual
contact.

SQUAD LEADER (O.S.)
Roger. Stand by.

NeptuneImaging
06-02-2005, 03:08 PM
Good Morning, Zeicon, thank you for the advice and suggestions. It is duly appreciated. I think you are right about using fragmented sentences; I am just under the impression that they are a no-no. That fight scene was tough to write. :)

And yes, Machina is a human character, well was...and I also used a little bit of your rewritten opening. It sounds very dynamic. I am trying to shorten the sentences, something I am not really used to. :) I will be happy to take more advice.

EDIT: I also continue the first scene in the form of a flashback.

Zeicon
06-02-2005, 03:51 PM
I am just under the impression that they are a no-no.

yea, we learned that in school didn't wee?

well, if you're writing a novel it IS a no-no, but this is screenwriting.

here's a quotation from a professional screenwriting teacher,


1. Make sluglines self-sufficient, without reference to prior sluglines for understanding them. If a reader puts a bookmark in a script and returns to read C0NTINUOUS, s/he must read up the script to remember what this means. Don't do this. Put all relevant information in every slugline.

2. Make sluglines consistent and as simple as possible. Don't use DAY, MORNING, AFTERNOON, NOON, EARLY AFTERNOON, etc., when DAY works. Think not when the action is happening but when it will be shot. How often in a movie do you actually know what time it is? Not very often. Only add the details if they are essential to the story and then put them in action when describing the scene. In other words, use DAY and NIGHT almost exclusively. It shows you know how sluglines are used in production. Along the same lines, avoid putting descriptions in sluglines. Don't write EXT. HOUSE IN A CUL DE SAC, write EXT. HOUSE and describe its location, if important, in the action element. Generally speaking, if you use a preposition in a slugline, it's not written simply enough.

3. Write action in very short paragraphs. This is how the writer can direct the reading, if not the movie. When you imagine a new shot, start a new paragraph. No paragraph should be longer than five lines across the page, perferably less. This also gives the script verticality and makes it easier to read.

4. Avoid parentheticals. They seldom add anything essential. Often they smack of directing, which is not your job.

5. Avoid using "we see" and "we hear." Duh. This is a movie, dummy. Using "we" is pure fat and smacks of directing. Also avoid all reference to the camera.

6. Minimize capitalization. You don't have to capitalize sounds any more. Don't. In general, only use capitalization to introduce a new character and for extreme and infrequent emphasis. Scripts look cleaner and are easier to read without them.

7. Write with simple sentences and fragments but also with style. Avoid complex sentence construction and long modifying phrases. Write very simply. You are not here to dazzle anyone with your prose style. Wrong place for that. Tell the story directly, simply. Don't be afraid to use incomplete sentences, especially in fast action sequences. Don't be afraid to add sizzle and style to your writing with an occasional short expletive when appropriate, i.e. No way! or Ka-bang! or Snoring zzzzzzzzzz. Make the script fun to read.

Many experienced readers can tell at a glance, without reading a single word, whether or not a screenplay invites a quick read or not. Make sure yours does.


read it all here,
http://www.screenwritersutopia.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=2756

NeptuneImaging
06-02-2005, 04:22 PM
Yeah, I will take a look at that. :) Right now I am going through the script again, writing everything in short sentences. To elaborate, this story is about a career soldier, set out to protect a new technology against "technologically adaptive" global terrorists. Who is led by Machina, an augmented superhuman.

Tell me how these sound? with the simple sentences. this is from a short scene


EXT. THE VIEW OF THE CITY

The futuristic city bustles with floating vehicles and people populating
the streets. The sounds of VARIOUS MUSIC, and OBNOXIOUS CHATTER
fill the air.

James walks down the busy street with his head slightly down. TEENAGERS
populate the sidewalk. Later, he sits on a bench at a park. He looks into
the distance. Time passes as the sky goes into its phase of day to night.

Zeicon
06-02-2005, 05:42 PM
It's not bad at all.

A few crits though...

The futuristic city bustles with floating vehicles and people populating
the streets.

Remove 'futuristic'. We get that from the 'floating vehicles'.

Later, he sits on a bench at a park. He looks into the distance.

Instead of writing 'Later, he sits...' insert a new slugline here reading "EXT. CITY - LATER"

Time passes as the sky goes into its phase of day to night.

I think you have to use a 'montage' here. What is a montage? A montage is a series of shots which shows moments in various events quickly. It is generally used to convey a great deal of information or to condense a long time period into a much shorter version.

EX.

BEGIN MONTAGE

<insert events>

END MONTAGE

The question is... is it necessary? You could just insert a new slugline and replace day with night.

Overall, this evoked something in me. A sense of loneliness. A lonely man in an overcrowded city (ironic?). You know... the way he just sits alone on a bench while the rest of the city bustles. Don't know if that was what you were going for though.

It inspired me to give it a go myself. Maybe it ended up a little too poetic... dunno. Take or leave.



EXT. CITY SKYLINE - NIGHT

Towering concrete. Ablaze with neon.

Processions of floating vehicles.


EXT. CITY - NIGHT

The streets are bustling like the proverbial anthill.

A small park area in the midst of it all. A steady stone in
a troubled sea of flesh.


EXT. PARK - NIGHT

James sits on a bench, staring into the crowd. Impassive.

NeptuneImaging
06-02-2005, 06:23 PM
Hey, you are truly being very helpful. It sounded a little poetic to me also, and I started to change a lot of things in the script. Even the action scenes read quicker. In the park scene, I took some of your advice as well. Bear in mind this is my first screenplay.


EXT. THE VIEW OF THE CITY

The city bustles with floating vehicles and people populating the
streets. The sounds of VARIOUS MUSIC, OBNOXIOUS CHATTER, and the like
fill the air.

James walks down the busy street with his head slightly down. TEENAGERS
populate the sidewalk.

EXT. CITY -- LATER

He sits on a bench at a park. He stares into the crowd of people. They
pass by him.

CaptainJackSparrow
06-05-2005, 03:11 AM
Yep Ziecon's write up is good, just maybe avoid stuff like 'a stone in a troubled sea of flesh' might sound nice but it doesn't paint a mental picture well for a script.

NeptuneImaging
06-05-2005, 04:23 AM
Yeah, I liked Zeicon's write up, and I decided to lose the poetics and keep it simple. I am still in the process of fixing the script's dialogue and streamlining the action. I will probably post the final battle scene between James Rayder and Machina.

I appreciate the help from all of you....and can't wait for more.

Zeicon
06-05-2005, 05:53 AM
You're right Sparrow. That one was way too poetic, hehe.

NeptuneImaging
06-05-2005, 02:27 PM
Well, Zeicon, I used it though and it made a lot more sense. :)

Zeicon
06-05-2005, 03:28 PM
you used 'a steady stone in a troubled sea of flesh' ?

that was what I was talking about :>

NeptuneImaging
06-05-2005, 03:47 PM
Nah, didn't use the stone part. I used the other stuff you advised. :)

NeptuneImaging
06-05-2005, 09:35 PM
After the very hot nights, I have finally gone through the script and it has lost so much weight. Now by removing scenes, shortening shots, I feel that the script has been streamlined, but with all of your help I hope to make it more streamlined and perfect for viewers.

In the meantime I will post here the final fight between james and Machina (in its entirety, and shots in between). If you have advice to streamline the fight, I will readily accept it. Thanks :) And I apologise for the long post.


EXT. ROOFTOP -- HELIPAD -- MINUTES LATER

SUPERIMPOSE: 0220 HOURS

HEAVY RAIN. Lightning FLASHES. Thunder RUMBLES. Outside on a
large helipad is a waiting helicopter. Machina and Doctor Moss go
to board it.

On the roof are bright red lights that flash repeatedly. Tall
towers of UV spotlights paint the rain soaked deck. Doctor Moss
pulls away from Machina forcefully.

Machina grabs him by the hair. He yelps in pain.

MACHINA
Come on! Come on!

THUNDER CRASHES violently. Machina drags him toward the
helicopter.

HELICOPTER PILOT
Sir, we are ready for takeoff.

INT. BACK STAIRS

James runs up the back stairs hurriedly. Smoke starts to billow
around him. James COUGHS. He taps his ear piece.

JAMES
Mona, come in! Mona?

EARPIECE CHIRPS.

MONA
James, is that you?

JAMES
Yeah.

MONA
Jesus Christ! What the hell happened to you?

JAMES
Listen, no time to talk. Get some strike
teams down here. Now! Machina is about to
escape! Where is Agent Zero?

MONA
I have not heard from him at all. Are you
alright?

JAMES
Yeah. About to diffuse the problem myself.

He clicks off. He bangs the door to the helipad.

EXT. ROOFTOP -- HELIPAD

James, with the color of fire behind him, stares at Machina.

JAMES
Machina, this is your last chance!

THUNDER CRASHES. Machina turns around and looks at James.. He
shoves Doctor Moss onto the ground. James walks slowly up to him
with his sword drawn. Machina goes to meet him half way. He
stops.

MACHINA
You have been a thorn in my side for long
enough! Haven't you suffered?

James drops his sword at his feet.

JAMES
Perhaps you have not. If you are going to
kill me, you better. I have to same thing
in mind, for you.

EXT. THE SKY -- MINUTES LATER

Several fighter jets race through the air toward the OmegaCon
complex.

FIGHTER PILOT
This is Gladiator. Ready for attack
formation. Commander Merrick, give us an
order.

Communicators BEEP.

MONA
That is a negative, Gladiator. Do not attack
the building, just squeeze in. Machina will
not escape this time.

FIGHTER PILOT
Roger that.

EXT. ROOFTOP

A brutal martial arts battle between Machina and James takes
place. A skilled fighter, Machina throws a flurry of martial art
attacks toward James who blocks them.

Machina blocks James' next shot and kicks him in the stomach.

MACHINA
What's wrong?
You started off so fearlessly.

Machina jumps toward James with a kick, James dodges it. THUNDER
CRASHES. Lightning fills the sky. James kicks high toward
Machina's head. Machina grabs James' foot and slams him to the ground. He groans. James catches his breath for a second.

JAMES
I am giving you a chance to live. To regain
your humanity.

MACHINA
Bullshit. Why go back to my humanity when I
can do this.

EXPLOSION. A big ball of fire shoots from the hallway, nearly
burning them. Another explosion destroys the windows and the top
half of the building next to them.

JAMES
Machina, we should stop this! We are all
going to die if we don't exit.

Machina stares coldly. He and James continue their fight. James
blocks a strong right hand and jabs Machina in the stomach.
Machina shoves James hard. James slides across the deck.

MACHINA
You...are not enough to stop me.

Machina charges at James who is backed to a wall. He then punches
his body with hard right hands. James buckles from the pain. He
goes to one knee. Machina aims for James' head with his boot. He
misses. The wall splinters.

James struggles to his feet.

JAMES
(to himself)
What the hell?

MACHINA
You have a minimal chance of victory.

Machina kicks James in the ribs. James screams. THUNDER CRASHES.
The twisted man-machine lifts James to his feet and tosses him
into the wall.

MACHINA
Forget humanity!

James shakes his head to get the cobwebs out. Machina runs at him
to punch him.

James dodges. He grabs his hand and kicks him into the solid
brick wall. It buckles. Machina stands up after the impact as if
nothing happened to him.

JAMES
What the ****?

Machina turns to look at James. His mask is covered with
scratches. James musters up enough strength to strike at Machina
who tries to block the blows.

MACHINA
You have no idea of the strength I possess.

Machina kicks James in the face. James crumbles to the ground. He
holds his stomach in pain.

MACHINA
Why do you try to restore my humanity? When
you should be saving your own!

EXT. UNRESTRICTED AIRSPACE

The jet roars above the clouds. The sun starts to rise from the
fluffy clouds.

INT. INSIDE THE JET

Mona and her agents pick up guns and extra accessories. Maginnis
starts tweaking controls. The jet peels through the clouds.

MONA
Let's pick up our friend.

EXT. ROOFTOP

Machina pins James away with his sword, James pushes him away.
Machina laughs. He goes to slash at James' abdomen.

James jumps backward, narrowly missing the blade from striking
his body. He rolls on the ground, but Machina is still attacking.
He hits the ground. James rolls to the side, avoiding the blade.

HELICOPTER PILOT
Sir, watch out!

The Helicopter Pilot jumps from the cab with a flare gun. James
kicks Machina in the gut. He is unfazed. James stands up with his
sword. He is hit from the left. James screams. The flare strikes
his rib cage, burning him.

Doctor Moss grabs the pilot and pushes him into the rotor blades.
The pilot is decapitated.

JAMES
(breathless)
Thank you.

Machina stands up with his sword drawn again. He sees James
injured. He kicks him in ribs. James flies across the pad. James
groans. Machina sees the long scar on his back.

MACHINA
Wait a second.

He observes the long scar.

MACHINA
You are that soldier! The one who disfigured
me!

James realizes he is screwed.

He kicks James in the stomach again. James rolls toward the edge.
He looks down and sees the whole environment. THUNDER CRASHES.
Machina walks toward James' downed body with his sword.

MACHINA
I have waited six long years for this! I have
never realised the man who did this to me,
was here the whole time. Going for the same
goal.

He picks James up by his throat. He holds him over the edge of
the roof. Doctor Moss throws hard objects at Machina.

The fighter jets tear up the sky, flashing their lights on the
roof. Machina James on the ground. He starts stalking Doctor
Moss, who backpedals in fear.

MACHINA
You must want to die!

Doctor Moss throws his shoe at Machina.

MACHINA
You ****!

The jets hover above the battle.

FIGHTER PILOT
(over megaphone)
Freeze, this is the United States Air Force!
Cease your activities and surrender!

Machina runs to the helicopter and picks up a grenade launcher.
He fires it at the jet. EXPLOSION.

SECOND FIGHTER PILOT
Shit! Peel away! Peel away!

The fighter jets peel away. James stands up in pain. THUNDER
CRASHES.

JAMES
Hey, asshole!

Machina turns around and sees James. He picks up his sword and
charges toward James in a rage. He screams. James runs toward
him. In the clash, Machina's sword shatters.

James kicks Machina in the face. He staggers. James proceeds to
slash Machina with the sword. A few times across the chest,
across the face. They near the edge of the building.

JAMES
Had enough?

James walks toward the edge. Machina is dazed.

JAMES
A part of you is still human. That part will
die.

James kicks Machina off the building. He sails toward the earth.
He smashes into a car. GLASS SHATTERS. James looks down at the
body. Machina is dead.

JAMES
See you in Hell.

James turns around. He passes out from exhaustion.

Zeicon
06-07-2005, 12:52 PM
You're definitely improving. Your action scenes flow a lot better (can still be improved upon though). Your dialogue is still a bit generic in my opinion.


HEAVY RAIN. Lightning FLASHES. Thunder RUMBLES. Outside on a
large helipad is a waiting helicopter. Machina and Doctor Moss go
to board it.

Only capitalize sounds. Actually you don't have to capatilize sounds either, but most screenwriters do it anyway. "Outside on a large helipad..." seems redundant as you already established this in your slugline.

On the roof are bright red lights that flash repeatedly. Tall
towers of UV spotlights paint the rain soaked deck. Doctor Moss
pulls away from Machina forcefully.

What roof? Aren't we outside on a helipad? "Doctor Moss
pulls away from Machina forcefully" - move this to the next paragraph. You can actually direct the movie in your reader's mind when you treat each paragraph as a single shot. When the camera cuts to a new shot, you hit return.

MONA
James, is that you?

Use voice-over: MONA (V.O.)

JAMES
Mona, come in! Mona?

Like you did in one of your earlier drafts, you could add "(into radio)".

He bangs the door to the helipad.

He bangs the door? An unfortunate choice of words in my humble opinion.

James, with the color of fire behind him, stares at Machina.

The color of fire? Is there an actual fire or is it just an orange painted wall?

James drops his sword at his feet.

Why does he drop his sword?

MONA
That is a negative, Gladiator. Do not attack
the building, just squeeze in. Machina will
not escape this time.

Squeeze in? Is she telling the fighter planes to squeeze into the building?

A brutal martial arts battle between Machina and James takes
place.

Redundant.


James dodges it. THUNDER
CRASHES. Lightning fills the sky. James kicks high toward
Machina's head.

I think your thunder/lightning imagery slows the fight down. It pulls us out of the action. Use it wisely or don't use it at all.

A big ball of fire shoots from the hallway, nearly
burning them.

Or more dramatic: "A gigantic ball of fire shoots from the hallway, nearly engulfing them."

He and James continue their fight.

Redundant.

MACHINA
You...are not enough to stop me.

Made me cringe.

MACHINA
You have a minimal chance of victory.

Argh! The melodrama!

MACHINA
You have no idea of the strength I possess.

Seems a bit generic. Try to be more original.

Maginnis starts tweaking controls.

I don't like that one. I think you can leave it out.

Machina pins James away with his sword, James pushes him away.

Pins him away? Maybe it's my English, but it seems wrong. I could understand if he pinned him to a wall with his sword.

HELICOPTER PILOT
Sir, watch out!

Where did he come from? Has he been sitting in the helicopter all the time?

Doctor Moss grabs the pilot and pushes him into the rotor blades.

Maybe he should lift him instead?

Machina sees the long scar on his back.

Replace "sees" with "notices". And you should probably write "James' back".

He looks down and sees the whole environment.

What excactly does he see? How far down is there?

He holds him over the edge of
the roof. Doctor Moss throws hard objects at Machina.


If Moss is on James' side, he shouldn't be throwing objects at Machina. I mean... James is dangling over the edge.

Doctor Moss throws his shoe at Machina.

Made me laugh.

James stands up in pain.

Maybe "James rises, his face winced in pain."

James kicks Machina off the building. He sails toward the earth.
He smashes into a car. GLASS SHATTERS. James looks down at the
body. Machina is dead.


Maybe "James kicks Machina off the building. He plunges to the ground,
SMASHING through a car roof. Dead."


Good job so far.

NeptuneImaging
06-07-2005, 03:46 PM
Hey, thanks for the feedback. It is very appreciative :). I am still working on the script to get everything flowing dynamically, in terms of dialogue and action...the mood seems to be off a little in some of the sequences. I am glad you liked "You...are not enough to stop me."

I also cringed after reading it back. it works for Machina is mechanically augmented.

Empath
06-07-2005, 04:54 PM
Don't have the time to chew through any of your big chunks, but I'll offer a few opinions on this bit. Seems to be coming along well for your first script, by the way. :thumbsup:


EXT. THE VIEW OF THE CITY

The city bustles with floating vehicles and people populating the
streets. The sounds of VARIOUS MUSIC, OBNOXIOUS CHATTER, and the like
fill the air.

James walks down the busy street with his head slightly down. TEENAGERS
populate the sidewalk.

EXT. CITY -- LATER

He sits on a bench at a park. He stares into the crowd of people. They
pass by him.

Nix "populating the streets" in the first sentence, let the action 'bustle' describe both the vehicles above and the people below.
"and the like" in the second sentence I personally don't like, it's assuming that I know what your idea of a busy city sounds like, and leaves me to wonder what other sounds there might be instead of moving forward with the script. If you didn't want to get too descriptive, maybe something like:
'The sounds of a mixture of musics, obnoxious voices, and general cacophany fill the streets.'
I've been doing a bit of reading around on scripts myself, and one helpful quote I've come across was a director saying 'We can't shoot adjectives'. So here, maybe instead of:
"James walks down the busy street with his head slightly down."
"James walks down the busy street, head bowed."

And to shorten the last bit up (I think it really needs it):
"He sits on a bench at a park. He stares into the crowd of people. They
pass by him."
maybe
'He sits on a park bench, staring into the passing crowd.'

NeptuneImaging
06-07-2005, 05:11 PM
Thanks Empath. :) I wanted to get descriptive but I felt it slows down the read. Especially since I want the reader to come up with their own vision in their heads. Most of the film takes place in shadowy environments, and I want to heavily make the viewer feel tense.

I am giving the script the "once-over-treatment" to fix any dialogue that does not sound right. Dialogue is really tough to make. I spent at least three months as "Machina" to really develop that unfeeling demeanor.... and another few months as James Rayder. Which included walking around in heavy rain to get an idea for the last battle, which takes place in a storm.

Zeicon
06-08-2005, 12:10 PM
and another few months as James Rayder. Which included walking around in heavy rain to get an idea for the last battle, which takes place in a storm.

Haha, wow! I'm impressed. Walking around in a rain storm shouting "Machina, regain your humanity!". No wonder why we writers are sometimes viewed as complete lunatics by ordinary people. Or as I like to put it... maybe we're just sane people in an insane world. hehe.

NeptuneImaging
06-08-2005, 02:43 PM
Well, Zeicon, it actually worked too. And I was happy to make you cringe and laugh at the same time. And in fact, I really did all of that. And your opinion on the last fight was well taken. I actually cut out the last scene which takes place in a morgue. I decided since it worked so well, I am saving it for the sequel and have the first script at 87 pages. Writers and artists are the sanest people on the planet, IMO. Anyway, here is the omitted scene.


FADE IN:

SUPERIMPOSE: TWO WEEKS EARLIER

INT. A MORGUE

COUNTRY MUSIC plays from a radio. A MORTICIAN sits at a desk with a half-
eaten ham sandwich. He takes a bite. He does paperwork.

Machina is seen under a fluorescent lamp. His mask has been removed but
his face hidden. A WOMAN in a lab coat enters the morgue.

WOMAN
John, have you finishing prepping the bodies?

John puts down the ham sandwich. He picks up the clipboard. He gets up and
walks over to the counter.

JOHN
Yeah, almost. I have one more, the John Doe. Not
your typical dead man. Wanna see?

The woman shrugs. They walk over toward Machina's bed. John folds the
sheet back to reveal Machina's mangled corpse. His face is not seen. The
woman almost throws up.

WOMAN
What the **** happened to him?

JOHN
Beats me, Theresa. He was found near a bus stop
with gaping wounds. This poor bastard has been
hacked pretty badly. And look at all of these
implants.

THERESA
Jesus Christ.

JOHN
Yeah. I got first dibs on his trenchcoat though. It
looks really cool. I will start extracting bits of
his body.

Theresa starts to walk away.

THERESA
Good, I can't stand another second to look it. What
time are you leaving tonight?

John moves a tray of medical tools toward him. He takes a marker and
writes on Machina's skin.

JOHN
About one. I am working the graveyard shift.

Theresa chuckles.

THERESA
Careful now. Do not work yourself into a grave. You
want anything?

John puts on latex gloves.

JOHN
A pepsi would be nice.

Theresa exits. John picks up a scalpel. He makes an incision on Machina's
midsection. The gaping hole closes instantly. A look of surprise comes on
John's face.

JOHN
What the hell?

He goes to cut it again. The skin lacerates. Machina opens his eyes. He
sits up immediately. Machina looks at John with malicious intent. John,
clutches the mattress. The radio still plays COUNTRY MUSIC.

Machina stands up. His eyes light up. John quakes in fear.

BLOOD CURDLING SCREAMS echo. John's face is stabbed with the scalpel,
through his nose. The skin on neck is stripped.

Machina gets dressed. He slips on his large coat. He walks to the desk and
eats the ham sandwich sloppily.

INT. THE MORGUE HALLWAY -- SECONDS LATER

Machina, with his jacket on, walks down the hallway without detection. The
lighting is cold and fearsome. The country music concludes.

FADE OUT.

Zeicon
06-08-2005, 04:14 PM
And I was happy to make you cringe

I think you misunderstood me. Actually I didn't mean it in a positive way, but upon reading it again, I think it is okay. Just don't do it too much... too much melodrama is never good. But considering this is a culmination point in the story and so on, I guess there have to be some. Also your point about Machina being partially machine is valid. That way he doesn't have to speak exactly like a human. But keep in mind... in my feedback I have mostly focused on the bad things.. the stuff that you could improve upon. There is a lot of good things too, and I can definitely see that you are improving. Your writing is more concise now. Keep at it.

I will read the next pages as soon as I got some spare time...

NeptuneImaging
06-08-2005, 06:05 PM
Yeah, that was a huge challenge for me when I was designing Machina's background. Whether or not to make him sound like a regular person....here is an example of it. I may end up posting the whole script if I could.


INT. LABORATORY

Machina stands behind Doctor Moss with menace. Doctor Moss sets up the
computers on the counters. Rayne watches him. Doctor Moss slowly walks to
another part of the room by the large battery machine. Machina follows.

DOCTOR MOSS
I suggest you stop following me; I don't like that.

MACHINA
What you like is highly tangential.You have other
things to like, such as keeping your life.

Doctor Moss fixes the glasses on his face. Machina grows impatient, his
eyes twitch.

DOCTOR MOSS
I wish I could. This plant is now running at
reserve power. And if it were at full power, I will
never do anything like this for a freak like you.

MACHINA
A freak?

Machina grabs Doctor Moss by his shirt and throws him into the wall.Doctor
Moss darts at Machina who wrestles with him. Rayne, with his machine gun,
puts it under Doctor Moss's jaw. GUN COCKS.

RAYNE
Go ahead, try something.

Doctor Moss breathes deeply. Machina huffs furiously.

DOCTOR MOSS
(in submission)
First, we need to get the generator back on line.

MACHINA
Do it. And no more stalling.

Rayne lowers the gun and walks to the door.

RAYNE
Where is it?

DOCTOR MOSS
Lower garage.

Machina motions to Rayne. He exits. Machina stalks Doctor Moss with
twisted intentions.

MACHINA
(sinisterly)
If you are playing stupid games with me, not even
the forces of God will save you.

I am still editing the script to get rid of the generic dialogue, for the most part. :) But of course I am pretty below the minimal page count as well.

Zeicon
06-10-2005, 03:44 PM
HaloAnimator,

May I suggest that you go to "scriptsales.com > forum > script pages" and post some of your pages. There are a bunch of very experienced screenwriters that can help you improve your script even more.

guerillo
06-12-2005, 11:37 PM
don't know if anyone mentioned that before, or if you're into realism, but in the darkness, no soldier or mercenary or whoever combattant does smoke. part of the camo. the radio communication, however, is also a bit away from reality, but thats another story. just my 1 cent.

anyway, i like your ideas.

NeptuneImaging
06-13-2005, 05:22 AM
Yeah, I was kind of thinking about that. The closest thing to radio in the future probably is Fiber Op. And about the smoking, I just had to put it in there. I am still going through the script and having people read it. and the combatants are not wearing traditional camo. Everything in the film is high tech, high end.

I just hope to keep the whole film fever pitch...

:thumbsup:

NeptuneImaging
06-16-2005, 05:19 AM
@ guerillo: I believe this is what you meant about getting rid of the smoking a cigar refs. It DOES give you away. Here is an example of it.


INT. HALLWAY -- 3RD FLOOR

James stalks the darkened hallway. His sword SCRAPES the wall.

At the corner, a SOLDIER smokes a cigarette. James sticks to the darkness.
He wipes his lip. DISTANT RADIO TRANSMISSION.

DISPATCH
(over radio)
Millard, give me a sit rep.

Millard, the soldier at the corner, clicks his radio.

MILLARD
All clear here. Not a roach in sight. What the hell
is going on now?

DISPATCH
Sit tight.

He CLICKS OFF. From behind, James grabs Millard by the neck. He slams him
hard against the wall. Millard, shocked, goes to grab his gun. James
knocks it away with a kick to the hand.

MILLARD
You son of a --

James punches Millard directly in the heart. A skeleton is superimposed
over Millard. It shows the shattered ribcage in graphic detail. The wall
collapses under the pressure.

Millard's body falls. James walks away.

Fixed Version


INT. HALLWAY -- 3RD FLOOR

James stalks the darkened hallway. His sword SCRAPES the wall.

At the corner, a SOLDIER stands there. James sticks to the darkness.
He wipes his lip. DISTANT RADIO TRANSMISSION.

DISPATCH
(over radio)
Millard, give me a sit rep.

Millard, the soldier at the corner, clicks his radio.

MILLARD
All clear here. Not a roach in sight. What the hell
is going on now?

DISPATCH
Sit tight.

He CLICKS OFF. From behind, James grabs Millard by the neck. He slams him
hard against the wall. Millard, shocked, goes to grab his gun. James
knocks it away with a kick to the hand.

MILLARD
You son of a --

James punches Millard directly in the heart. A skeleton is superimposed
over Millard. It shows the shattered ribcage in graphic detail. The wall
collapses under the pressure.

Millard's body falls. James walks away.

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